Friday, October 15, 2010

Natural beauty

Nature, in her carefree way, has cast aside her most colorful autumnal cloak over the hills of north central Tennessee and south central Kentucky. That made the drive north from my haven on the banks of the Caney Fork to Lexington last Sunday for the Pedigree and Genetics Symposium on Monday more pleasurable than usual.

I prefer to drive early in the morning, so a gorgeous Sunday afternoon was free for first looks at some new stallions.

Desert Party is the standout on conformation among the three young horses I saw at Darley. He has grown into exactly the perfectly balanced, handsome, miler type one would have hoped when he topped the Fasig-Tipton Calder sale three years ago. There were times during his 10-6-1-0 racing career when the Street Cry colt looked like a G1 caliber horse, but he never stayed good enough or sound enough long enough to prove it. But he looks the part.

Street Boss looks exactly like what he was, a high-class sprinter. He's more heavily muscled than Desert Party, which he should be, and, aside from his chestnut coat, looks more like his sire. Thankfully he's more correct than Street Cry, but most of his sire's good ones are, of course. That's the way it works.

Midshipman is still in the process of letting down. He's a big, attractive horse, with the size and shoulder that Unbridled's Song passes on so consistently, but also managed only the brief racing career that has become all too frequent with sons of his sire. I loved Unbridled's Song from the time I saw him stroll from his stall in the Derry Meeting barn at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, but too many of his good offspring do not last past the spring of their three-year-old year. Midshipman might be a little light boned for his size, but otherwise has no obvious flaws. He just needs to fill out into a stallion.

From Darley I motored down to Nicholasville to Taylor Made.

I had discovered I didn't have a good picture of Unbridled's Song, so I snapped him, as well as his son Old Fashioned. The latter is probably the best-looking son of Unbridled's Song I've seen. Pretty correct, luckily not as big as his sire, and beautifully balanced. He was better than I expected. Old Fashioned raced even fewer times than Midshipman, but he is pretty clearly a Grade 1 talent for a Grade 2 price.

Eskendereya has a similar 6-4-1-0 record to Old Fashioned, and has a terrific body. Big shoulder, long barrel, nice long hip, but he's nowhere near as correct. He's offset and rotates both front legs, and it's easy to see why he had tendon problems. He's a very attractive horse, but you'd have to be careful what you breed to him.

Which, come to think of it, is true for just about any stallion you look at.


  1. Old Fashioned is a lovely critter, isn't he!

  2. He's pretty exceptional. Not a horse you can look at the pedigree and say..."he looks like X". But a very well-made beast.