03/09/2012 3:48PM

Tribal Rule proves popular at stud, in sales ring

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At the breeding shed and the year’s first major juvenile sale, Tribal Rule is proving to be a popular stallion in California.

Last Monday at the Barretts March sale of selected 2-year-olds in training in Pomona, Calif., colts by Tribal Rule sold for $130,000, $105,000, and $30,000. He was by far the leading stallion of California-breds at the one-day sale, by gross and average.

Tribal Rule has been a busy stallion this year, too. Mike Jimenez, the broodmare manager at Ballena Vista Farm, in Ramona, Calif., where Tribal Rule stands, said the 16-year-old will be bred to approximately 110 mares this year. He stands for $5,500, live foal.

“We closed the book at 110” mares, Jimenez said. “He’s doing pretty well. It makes our job easy.”

Tribal Rule, by Storm Cat, finished 2011 ranked second in progeny earnings for California-based stallions, with $3,488,563. In 2010, he ranked 10th, with $1,870,920. Through Thursday, Tribal Rule ranks second in 2012 earnings with $476,071, trailing leader Unusual Heat with $756,075.

At Monday’s sale, a Tribal Rule colt was sold to Dave Heerensperger for $130,000. The colt was purchased for $25,000 at the Barretts October yearling sale last fall and had a pre-sale workout of 10.80 seconds on March 2.

Another Tribal Rule colt sold for $105,000 to Jamie McCalmont, agent for Paul Reddam. The colt worked a furlong in 10.40 seconds on March 2 and will be trained by Ben Cecil. Cecil said Reddam bought the colt as a prospect for statebred stakes this year, which have been enhanced by the newly formed Golden State Series of stakes.

“That was partly our thinking, the way they’ve raised the prizes on the Cal-breds,” Cecil said. “Hopefully, that’s a nice one.”

Reddam’s Tribal Rule colt was purchased for $37,000 at the Barretts October sale.

Trainer George Papaprodromou bought a Tribal Rule colt for $30,000. The colt was purchased for $62,000 at the Barretts October sale.

There were 21 California-breds in the Barretts catalog. Of those, nine were bought back, four were withdrawn, and eight were sold for an average of $55,625, according to sale company statistics.

Cassidy reflects on The Usual Q. T.

The owners of those horses can only hope to emulate the success the partnership that owned The Usual Q. T. enjoyed.

A 6-year-old California-bred gelding, The Usual Q. T. was retired earlier this week after winning 8 of 23 starts and $1,531,240 in a five-year career.

The highlights included wins in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in 2009 and the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar in 2010. Trainer Jim Cassidy ranks the Eddie Read as one of The Usual Q.T .’s finest performances.

Thursday, Cassidy recalled that The Usual Q. T.’s first graded stakes win, in the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby at Santa Anita in fall 2009, was somewhat overshadowed. In the preceding race, Zenyatta became the first female to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“I felt like I won a maiden 32,” Cassidy said. “It was a bit anticlimactic. It was a hard act to follow.”

Early in The Usual Q. T.’s career, Cassidy was reluctant to ship the gelding because of concern over nerves. That was not an issue over time. The Usual Q. T. became a good traveler. He was fourth in the Dubai Duty Free in the Middle East in 2010 and later that year was second in the Woodbine Mile in Canada and third to Goldikova and Gio Ponti in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs.

“When I took him to Dubai, he stood there like an old pony horse,” Cassidy said.