09/05/2016 10:46AM

Union Rags, Dialed In grab early lead among freshman sires

Benoit & Associates
Union Strike, by Union Rags, wins the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Saturday.

The premier summer race meets at Saratoga and Del Mar, featuring a robust slate of maiden special weight races and stakes for 2-year-olds, annually provide a chance for freshman sires to make their names known. Heading into the final day of both meets Monday, both featuring Grade 1 events for juveniles, Union Rags and Dialed In had emerged atop the standings.

Through Sunday, 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, who stands at Lane’s End, led the freshman sire list by earnings, thanks in large part to his daughter Union Strike. The filly won her maiden in the Del Mar Debutante on Saturday, giving her sire a Grade 1 winner from his first crop. Union Rags was eligible to extend his lead with another maiden Grade 1 starter, Everybodyluvsrudy, in the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes at Saratoga on Monday.

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Dialed In was second on the earnings list through Sunday off a strong Saratoga meet, with three winners, including Grade 2 Saratoga Special winner Gunnevera. He was followed in the top five by Tapizar, Creative Cause, and Dominus.

Union Rags was one of two freshmen represented in the Hopeful; Bodemeister is the sire of Royal Copy. On the opposite coast, Creative Cause and Dominus were to be represented in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity by Dynamic Ruler and Straight Fire.

Among freshman sires by number of winners, Stay Thirsty and Maclean’s Music lead the list, deadlocked at 11 through Sunday.