‘Big’ things for New York’s top sire and other leaders in 2020

Monday, January 11th, 2021

Champion and dual classic winner Big Brown topped New York’s general sire list in 2020. Susie Raisher Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Five years after moving to New York, champion and dual classic winner Big Brown added another accomplishment to his lengthy resume when taking home the Empire State’s leading sire title for 2020.

The sire of 57 winners in 2020, Big Brown had a narrow $167,562 lead on Central Banker when the clock clicked over to 2021 to secure his first leading sire title. For Bill Leak, Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions’ stallion manager, it was satisfying to see Big Brown on top.

“To be with this horse every day for the past several years and getting to know him as well as we do, it’s really nice to see something like this happen for him,” said Leak. “He’s just such a classy horse. He’s had very interesting history and for him to get here to leading sire in New York, it’s really a great milestone for him. We’re so happy to see it for him.”

Big Brown’s march to the title was led by Somelikeithotbrown from his first New York-sired crop in 2016. Multiple graded stakes-placed at 2 and a graded winner at 3, Somelikeithotbrown stepped up even more as a 4-year-old in 2020 with $277,860 in earnings. Finishing on the board in six of nine starts, Somelikeithotbrown proved that Big Brown could sire a top turf horse when he won the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch Handicap at Saratoga Race Course.

Big Brown shows off at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views. Susie Raisher Photo.

Somelikeithotbrown wasn’t the only one from that crop to represent his sire in stakes company, with Funny Guy adding to the haul with three stakes wins on dirt.

Funny Guy won the Commentator at Belmont Park, John Morrissey at Saratoga and a division of the New York Stallion Series at Aqueduct, and held his own in open company in two attempts at the level. He finished second in the Grade 2 Vosburgh at Belmont and fourth in the Grade 1 Forego at Saratoga against some of the top sprinters in the country.

Leak said those two from the 2016 from helped Big Brown’s book in 2020 and it already looks like he’ll be even more popular this year.

“He had good 2-year-olds [in 2019] and people were happy about that so he had a good book,” he said. “Then [in 2020], the older horses stepped it up with Somelikeithotbrown and Funny Guy – Somelikeithotbrown doing it on the turf and Funny Guy doing it on the dirt, people like to see that. It’s still early in the year to tell but as far as December numbers go and people looking to book to the horse, it’s definitely been strong.”

Big Brown ended 2020 with $2,761,404 in progeny earnings and four stakes horses from three different crops, including multiple stakes placed 3-year-old Big Q and 2-year-old Tepin Stakes third Big Time Lady.


State Leaders 

New York-bred champion and 2020 Belmont Stakes and Travers winner Tiz the Law, who figures to be among the finalists for Eclipse Award honors, topped the list of New York-bred earners in 2020. The now 4-year-old son of Constitution won four of six starts last year and banked $2,388,300 to finish well clear of Ny Traffic ($494,900) and Simply Ravishing ($414,200) on the state’s earnings list.

New York stalwarts Chester and Mary Broman enjoyed another good year in 2020 and runners bred by the couple won a state best 58 races and hit the board at a 46.3 percent clip from 310 starts. The Bromans finished 20 winners ahead of McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and Barry R. Ostrager, who tied for second.

The Bromans also led all breeders by stakes winners with four and finished fifth as owners with their runners winning 15 of 60 starts.

Known for racing many of their homebreds, the Bromans saw their own Mr. Buff win two races to start a year before adding another victory in the Empire Classic Handicap in late October. He was joined by another homebred runner in Spin A Yarn, who won five of seven starts and finished second in the Park Avenue division of the New York Stallion Series.

The Broman’s other three stakes winners proved that the breeders aren’t averse to selling top foals from their program.

Team Hanley’s Broman-bred Captain Bombastic won two New York-bred stakes and finished fourth in the Grade 1 H. Allen Jerkens at Saratoga for five top three finishes in seven starts and $175,200 in earnings. He finished as the Broman’s second highest earner after Mr. Buff ($307,500).

Chestertown, a $2 million 2-year-old in 2019 and winner of the Albany last summer at Saratoga, played big part in another strong season for Chester and Mary Broman in 2020. NYRA Photo.

Sold as a 2-year-old in 2019 for $2 million, Chestertown was another successful stakes winner from their breeding program. Co-owned by the Bromans, West Point Thoroughbreds, Woodford Racing, Siena Farm and Robert Masiello, the then 3-year-old finished first or second in five of his eight races in 2020 including a victory in Saratoga’s Albany Stakes.

They were joined by another former 2-year-old sales graduate in Newly Minted, who rounded out the quartet of stakes winners. The winner of the Union Avenue Handicap and second in two other stakes from her four 2020 starts, Newly Minted was sold in November for $180,000 to OXO Equine after earning $97,125 in 2020 for Beach Haven Thoroughbreds.

Twin Creeks Farm, breeder of Tiz the Law, finished atop the list of leading earners with more than $2.9 million.

Another prolific breed-to-race owner, Patricia Generazio, saw her New York-bred runners win 20 of 116 starts with those runners also hitting the board 37 percent of the time. As a breeder, Generazio saw her New York-breds win 18 of 116 starts, good enough for seventh on the breeder leaderboard by wins.

Winning 31 races nationally in 2020 as an owner, three of her top five horses by earnings were New York-breds with Maxwell Esquire leading the way. The earner of $133,520 in 2020, the then 3-year-old colt won three of seven starts with two other on-the-board finishes. Those victories included three wins in four starts from July to October. He earned just over $300 more than Generazio’s stakes-winning Mischievous Dream. She broke her maiden on debut at Saratoga before going on to win the Sorority Stakes and finish second in the Nownownow Stakes at Monmouth Park in her five 2020 starts.

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