01/24/2006 12:00AM

Ten freshmen who should lead the pack


LAS VEGAS - With the completion of my five-part series on this year's freshman sires last week, it seems fitting to announce who I think will be the top 10 first-crop stallions.

Picking young, unproven sires is always a tricky read, and while there will surely be stallions who will emerge as their offspring mature, going longer distances and also racing on turf at 3 and 4, the selections below are based on how the progeny of these sires will perform as juveniles.

When looking at a sire of 2-year-olds, one thing stands out more than anything else: speed. Another important barometer is the number of foals. Obviously, a stallion who has 35 foals is at a disadvantage to a stallion who has 100 foals.


There has never been a champion 2-year-old who accomplished as much as Johannesburg. Not only was he undefeated in seven starts at 2, he won Grade 1 or Group 1 stakes in four countries - England, Ireland, France, and the United States - and on turf and dirt. Johannesburg has everything it takes to be a top sire of 2-year-olds: (1) he is by a brilliant juvenile, Hennessy, who was a neck short of a championship when he finished second in the 1995 Breeders' Cup Juvenile; (2) he had push-button acceleration on turf and dirt; and (3) he has a high-class female line that has been a stallion-making family.

His dam is a half-sister to Minardi, a champion at 2 in England and Ireland, and also to Tale of the Cat. His second dam, Yarn, is a full sister to Preach, the dam of Pulpit. Finally, his fifth dam is a full sister to Round Table, and mated to a mare with Minardi, Tale of the Cat, Pulpit, or Round Table will create inbreeding to a superior female family. You can expect his runners to have speed and excel on dirt and turf.

Came Home

Came Home also meets the criteria to be a top juvenile sire. Brilliant at 2, he won the Hopeful Stakes and Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes. He won six additional stakes at 3 including the Santa Anita Derby and the Pacific Classic against older horses.

Inheriting the quality speed of his world-class sire, Gone West, Came Home also got plenty of speed from his damsire, Clever Trick.


Another good juvenile, Yonaguska won the Hopeful Stakes and placed in three stakes. He is also by a former leading juvenile stallion, Cherokee Run, and his female family has been very active over four generations, producing such stakes winners as Call It Off, Halo Homewrecker, Cat's at Home, Honor the Hero, Prenup, Capitalimprove-ment, After the Tone, and Possible Mate.

Street Cry

Stakes-placed at 2 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Del Mar Futurity, and Norfolk Stakes, Street Cry is by Machiavellian, a 2-year-old champion in France who has become a top stallion. Machiavellian is also a full sister to Coup de Genie, also a champion at 2 in France.

In addition, Street Cry is a half-sister to the dam of Shamardal, and Shamardal was a champion at 2 in England. Street Cry was more than just a good juvenile. He won the Dubai World Cup against a stellar international field at age 4.

Jump Start

Winner of the Saratoga Special, Jump Start was second to Officer in the Champagne Stakes and was injured during the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. By A.P. Indy, he has a dam who is is a stakes-placed full sister to Apollo Cat.

His second dam is a full sister to a major sire, Miswaki, and his babies were well-received at various sales.


Outofthebox fits the mold of past Florida stallions, such as End Sweep, who achieved success with their first crops. He was a good juvenile, and he is by Montbrook, a multiple stakes-winning sprinter whose offspring have quality speed.

Outofthebox is an RF (Rasmussen Factor), as he is inbred to the influential producer Old Bess, 4x3. While breeding has always been an inexact science, inbreeding to superior females has, more often than not, resulted in high-quality racehorses.


Until he was upset in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile by Johannesburg, Officer was the leader of the division with victories in the Champagne Stakes, Del Mar Futurity, Best Pal, and Graduation Stakes.

By a speed influence, Bertrando, he has as his fifth dam a half-sister to Buckpasser, and thus he traces in direct tail-female line to Thoroughbred racing's greatest broodmare, La Troienne.

E Dubai

E Dubai won a maiden race at Del Mar at 2 and was a major stakes winner at 3 and 4. Any son of Mr. Prospector has a license to be a formidable stallion, and he is a half-brother to a Del Mar Oaks winner, No Matter What.

His dam, Words of War, was a multiple stakes winner and a half-sister to stakes winners Ascutney and Word O' Ransom.

Van Nistelrooy

At $6.4 million, Van Nistelrooy was the highest-priced yearling at sale in 2001, based on his flashy chestnut appearance combined with his pedigree. A son of Storm Cat, he was a Group 2 winner at 2, when he captured 3 of 6 starts, and he is a half-brother to four other stakes winners.

Expect his babies to have high speed on dirt and turf, and his runners should make noise in Europe as well as the United States.


While Include does not fit the pattern of a stallion whose 2-year-olds should excel, the foals in his first crop are uniformly impressive by all accounts.

Unraced at 2, Include was a typical son of Broad Brush, whose offspring improved with age and distance. Include's juveniles should be best as they mature at the end of the year, stretching out in races like the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.