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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Productive New Pacing Stallions

Some of the new sires from the class of pacers born in 2008 have been experiencing early success in the various sire stakes programs in the US and Canada. Roll With Joe, who we looked at in a recent piece, is the top sire of two-year-old pacers in New York. Shadyshark Hanover is turning heads in Indiana. And Big Bad John and Big Jim are drawing attention to themselves in Ohio and Ontario, respectively.

Shadyshark Hanover was very fast; the full brother to Sharky Osborne, who brought $90,000 at Harrisburg, won the Holmes in a track record 1:47.3 over Hugadragon, Roll With Joe and Big Jim. That was the fastest race mile of the year for his class. However, this was his only open stakes win at three, and the Nassagaweya was his only open stakes win at two. Although he did set a track record for his class at Pocono in his freshman BC elimination.  He won six time in 28 lifetime starts, primarily eliminations and consolations. One could compare him to his speedy paternal brother from the following crop, Hurrikane Kingcole, who, despite his vaunted speed, wears the Nassagaweya as his only open stakes win.

The strapping son of Cam’s Card Shark stands for $3,000 in Indiana. His current class consists of 88 registered foals, a figure that will be cut in half next year. His top performer is the chestnut filly, Ginger Shark, who is four for four in the ISS, and crushed the field in Friday’s $75,000 final. Another Shadyshark filly, Shady Caroline, was second in that race. She has won twice and banked almost $40,000. The fillies are ahead of the colts right now.

Shadyshark is tenth on the two-year-old earnings list, ahead of Dragon Again, Bettor’s Delight and Rock N Roll Heaven. And he ranks twelfth in average earnings per foal, ahead of Well Said and Rocknroll Hanover. With that crop reduction to 43 next year, let’s hope we don’t see the same break in momentum that has been evident this year with fellow Hoosier Always A Virgin.

Big Bad John, a smooth going $130,000 Lexington Selected purchase from the last crop of Western Hanover, won 7 of 9 relatively soft starts at two, including splits of the Bluegrass and ISS, and he took the Jug at three, when he won 11 times. He was no factor in division voting at two and got only six percent of the vote the following year. John raced in a $12,000 open at Pompano in January as a four-year-old in order to eclipse the million dollar mark in earnings. BBJ was higher on the pecking order than Shadyshark, but he was well below Roll With Joe, who earned $1.8 million and received 85% of the Dan Patch votes cast.

Overall, Big Bad John, whose stud fee jumped $1,000 to $5,000 in 2015, ranks second only to SBSW on the earnings list, with 73 starters banking more than $500,000. He’s third in the average earnings per foal category, a testament to the regeneration of the Ohio program as well as his own promise as a stallion. Friday night Virgil Morgan’s colt, Primo Giovanni, won a $40,000 split of the OHSS at Northfield in 1:55.2. Saturday night the filly Big Bad Ashley engineered a very strong wire to wire win in 1:54.2 in another OHSS split at Scioto. And Queen Ann M made a three deep brush to the top into the last turn for Chris Page, after starting from the nine post, and won another split in 1:55 at odds of 3/5.

Big Jim scored more than 95% of the Dan Patch votes as a freshman after finishing up with dominating wins in the Breeders Crown and Governors Cup. He was viewed as a blossoming star as he entered his sophomore campaign. Unfortunately, this did not come to pass, as he earned more than $700,000 in an abbreviated ten race season, but had no open stakes wins.

Jim has been standing for $4,000 after opening at $5,000. He faces the same sort of momentum issues as his brethren: this crop consists of 73 foals, but next year there will only be 41. The median price for his yearlings was only $15,750: 40 averaged $24,000. The paternal brother of Rocknroll and American Ideal can obviously pump up those numbers over the next couple of months.

Monday night at Grand River his daughter Tempus Seelster won an elimination for the Battle Of The Belles in 1:56.1 as the second choice for Travis Henry. Another daughter, Bold Amoretto, from the millionaire Artsplace mare, Armbro Amoretto, was second in another split and made the final. And the black gelding Magnum J took a Battle Of Waterloo split. There will be two in the Belles final and one in the Waterloo.

A quick mention is also due another paternal brother of Big Jim, who is sending his first crop to the races in Ontario, Vintage Master. Tony Alagna’s filly, Thatsoveryverynice, set an OSS record when she crushed a field of her peers in 1:51.2 for Jody Jamieson recently at Mohawk. There are only 47 freshmen by double-millionaire Vintage Master, but they bear watching.

Joe FitzGerald


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