NY stallions led by Central Banker ready for 2022 season

Friday, January 7th, 2022

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds’ Central Banker topped the New York sire list for the first time in 2021. Courtesy of Barbara Livingston.

By Tom Law

Whenever he asks, Joe McMahon will hear a familiar response.

“Trainers will tell me when I ask them if they have a Central Banker, they’ll say, ‘love ‘em, they like to train and they’re sound. You take them to the races, whatever their level is, they’ll give it to you.’ ”

Offspring of Central Banker, who stands at Joe and Anne McMahon’s McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, gave plenty in 2021 and helped propel the young son of Speightstown to the top of New York’s general sire list for the first time. Third in 2019 and second in 2020, Central Banker topped the 2021 list with progeny earnings of $4,155,215 according to BloodHorse statistics.

Central Banker, who will stand 2022 for $7,500, landed his first New York sire title with four crops and 229 foals. He sired 54 winners in 2021, second most in the state behind Big Brown’s 58, and a state-best eight black-type horses. Bank Sting, who kicked off 2022 with a victory in the La Verdad Stakes Jan. 2 at Aqueduct, led that group with $321,300 in earnings on the way to likely nominations as champion New York-bred older dirt female and female sprinter.

“If you look at North American-based sires, dirt sires, you’ll find that he’s No. 10 on the national sire list of average earnings per runner and there’s an awful lot of very good horses underneath him,” McMahon said of Central Banker’s $40,576 average earnings per runner stat. “They aren’t turf horses. Several people have tried to make them turf horses and I tell them, ‘no, they’re not.’ He’s had turf winners but they aren’t as good as they are on the dirt.

“His strong suit is definitely dirt. … And he gives toughness to his horses. Bank Sting showed the other day. John (Terranova) and I talked right after the race and I told him, ‘John, we were on the wrong part of the racetrack and still won.’ I was watching races all day long and she was laboring out there in the four- or five-path. The Central Bankers, when they hook up with another horse, most of the time they can prevail. If they get in a duel, they can duke it out and prevail.”

Bank Sting landed her first of two stakes wins in 2021 on Big Apple Showcase Day in late May at Belmont Park when she won the Critical Eye to cap a four-race win streak to start her 4-year-old campaign. Bankit, who helped Central Banker to a fourth-place finish on North America’s freshman sire list in 2018, gave the sire two stakes wins on the Big Apple card with a victory in the Commentator.

Bankit, Central Banker’s leading runner with a bankroll of $1,057,875 and a stakes winner in each of his four seasons, remains in training for a 6-year-old campaign in 2022.

Central Banker is among a strong group of established and successful stallions in New York heading into the 2022 breeding season. He’s joined by Irish Hill and Dutchess Views Stallions’ champion and dual classic winner Big Brown, the state’s leading sire in 2015 and 2020 and runner-up in 2019, Sequel Stallions New York’s four-time leader Freud and Waldorf Farm’s Bustin Stones. That group finished 2-3-4 on the state’s sire list in 2021.

Not far off that trio are Irish Hill and Dutchess Views’ War Dancer, sixth with just two crops of runners in 2021; and Sequel Stallions’ Mission Impazible, the state’s leading freshman sire in 2016 and fourth overall in 2020.

Sequel Stallions’ Union Jackson topped New York’s freshman sire list in 2021. © Barbara Livingston

Sequel Stallions New York is also home to the state’s leading freshman sire of 2021 in Union Jackson. A stakes-winning 10-year-old son of Curlin, Union Jackson sired five winners and the earners of $254,295 in 2021, including the stakes-placed $98,500-earner Unique Unions. He could become his sire’s first stakes winner in Sunday’s $100,000 Rego Park Stakes at Aqueduct.

War Dancer, a 12-year-old graded stakes-winning son of War Front, topped New York’s second-crop sire list with progeny earnings of $1,869,228. The late Effinex finished second on that list with Slumber, a 14-year-old son of Cacique who stands for $7,500 at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, third. Fluffy Socks, winner of the Grade 2 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont and third in two Grade 1s in Southern California, led the way for Slumber in 2021.

Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions is also home to New York’s leading third-crop sire for 2021 in Majestic City, a 15-year-old son of City Zip who stands for $2,500. Majestic City sired the earners of $828,408 last year, including $220,675-earner and Iroquois Stakes winner The Important One.

Ready for the ‘firsts’

New York’s established group is complimented by almost two dozen other stallions who will stand for the first time in 2022 or see their first foals, first yearlings or first runners this year.

2020 Santa Anita Handicap winner Combatant is among New York’s first-year stallions in 2022. The Grade 1 winner will stand at Rockridge Stud. Benoit Photo.

The six newcomers are spread out on six farms, based on information last month in BloodHorse’s Stallion Register, including Combatant at Rockridge Stud and Galilean at Hidden Lake Farm in Stillwater. Combatant, a 7-year-old son of Scat Daddy who won the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap in 2020, will stand his first season for $7,500 LFSN.

“A Grade 1-winning son of Scat Daddy is a great complement to the New York stallion market and a perfect fit for our program,” said Rockridge’s Lere Visagie.

Galilean, a multiple stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed son of leading sire Uncle Mo from the female family of the influential Smart Strike, will command $7,000 LFSN in his first season.

“We are proud of what Galilean accomplished on the racetrack,” said Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds, which campaigned Galilean with Denise Barker and William Sandbrook. “We’re excited for him to write his next chapter as a stallion. He was precocious, fast and he proved his class repeatedly in top company. We believe he has the looks, the pedigree and the type of dangerous miler-speed to make his mark as a stallion. We are committed to supporting Galilean with some of our top mares, and we’re excited to offer him to New York breeders.”

Irish Hill & Dutchess Views added Waiting, a 4-year-old son of American Pharoah out of the $1,575,000 Saratoga sale-topping Medaglia d’Oro mare Wait No More, to its roster for 2022. He will stand for $4,000 LFSN.

New York’s other three newcomers – Mill Creek Stud’s Venezuelan Hug, Oriskany Creek’s Dr Large and Waldorf Farm’s Son of Thunder – will stand their first seasons for $2,500.

Son of Thunder, a full brother to the late former New York leading freshman sire Laoban, joins fellow Climax Stallions-managed Mr. Monomoy at Waldorf. Sean Feld manages the Climax roster, which includes stallions in other states, and is hopeful for a strong 2022 season.

“The regional markets got crushed last year. Big time crushed,” Feld said. “Maybe it was a little delayed reaction to the Covid stuff. … I’m hoping it kind of boomerangs back.”

Three stallions who stood their first seasons in 2019 will see their first runners this year – McMahon of Saratoga’s Redesdale, Irish Hill & Dutchess View’s Weekend Hideaway and Rockridge’s Frank Conversation. According to The Jockey Club’s Live Foal Report for 2019, Redesdale has 47 foals and Frank Conversation has 41 foals.

A larger cast of eight stallions stood their first seasons last year and will soon see first foals. That group includes Irish Hill & Dutchess View’s King for a Day and Lookin At Lee, who bred 73 and 22 mares, respectively, according to The Jockey Club’s Report of Mares Bred.

Honest Mischief, who stands at Sequel Stallions New York, was the Empire State’s most popular stallion in 2021. Coady Photography.

Sequel Stallions New York’s Honest Mischief, who will see his first foals born in 2022, proved the Empire State’s most popular stallion of all last year with 127 mares bred. A 5-year-old son of Into Mischief out of the Grade 1-winning Seattle Slew mare Honest Lady, Honest Mischief stands for $6,500 LFSN.

Hidden Lake Farm’s Fog of War, a 7-year-old Grade 1-winning son of War Front, also proved popular in his first season last year and bred 92 mares. He will stand for $7,000 LFSN.

The other four stallions with their first foals this year (with 2022 stud fee) are Waldorf’s Mr. Monomoy ($3,000), Kaz Hill Farm’s Name Changer ($2,500), Mill Creek Farm’s Killybegs Captain ($2,500) and McMahon of Saratoga’s Joevia ($1,000).

The quartet of Solomini, Disco Partner, Dr Disco and Sakonnet will be represented by their first yearlings in 2022.

Solomini, a 7-year-old son of Curlin who stands for $6,500 LFSN at McMahon of Saratoga, saw nine members of his first crop sell as weanlings last year for an average of $25,556. Disco Partner, a 10-year-olld son of Disco Rico who stands for $4,000 LFSN at Rockridge Stud, was represented by a $42,000 weanling colt at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga fall mixed sale. Dr Disco, a multiple stakes-winning 14-year-old son of Disco Rico, will stand privately at Keane Stud in Amenia; and Sakonnet, an 8-year-old winning stakes-placed son of Scat Daddy, will stand for $1,500 at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater.

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