Wednesday, October 22, 2014
On July 25, Kantharos didn't have a winner. The next day, Katie's Kiss won at Gulfstream Park and kicked it all off for Ocala Stud Farm's premier freshman sire.
Now, just under three months later, the son of Lion Heart has seven winners, is Florida's leading freshman, and by the looks of those he has waiting in the wings, he's due to be in much better shape by Dec. 31.
In Florida, a freshman sire usually is considered to have gotten off to a successful beginning if his progeny earn between $300,000 and $500,000 in his initial season, and $1 million or more in his second. Last year's leader was Get Away Farm's Two Step Salsa, whose runners earned upwards of $500,000 in 2013. The son of Petitionville is about to surpass $1.3 million this season despite losing his No. 1 gun, Blue Grass Stakes winner Dance With Fate, to a career-ending injury several months ago.
Ironically, Kantharos' leading earner is a colt named Kantune, and he's not one of his sire's seven winners. Kantune finished second in a $56,000 maiden special at Santa Anita Saturday and has three seconds and a fourth in four starts with earnings of $44,560. The $80,000 OBS April purchase, who is trained by Ocalan Mark Casse, seems certain to be added to the winners' list sooner rather than later.
There are four others with a solid chance of making it to the winner's circle in short order. Bucchero made his first start at Indiana Grand in the $85,000 Hillsdale Stakes at six furlongs on Oct. 1 and led every step of the way until the last few. He was nailed by one-half length in a smart 1:10:25. Doukas has a second and a third in three starts at Saratoga and Belmont Park, and Express Jet has a second and a third in his last two tries at Gulfstream. X Y Jet is also down south and is 0-3-1 in four starts, all in maiden special company.
Kantharos already has progeny earnings of $364,835 so he's passed the first qualifying test for Florida. But, considering those mentioned above who are sitting on go, plus the ones who will be making their debuts in the next couple of months, and Kantharos has a chance to become the next major young stallion for Ocala Stud.
Journyeman Stud's Cool Coal Man is in second place in the Florida rankings with five winners, including Puerto Rican stakes-winner Valery Stripe. Pleasant Strike, from Northwest Stud, is third with two starters and two winners, including Graciela Mia, the two-time group stakes-winner in Argentina, and Lil Smartiepants, who won at Gulfstream West four days ago. Bridlewood Farm's Mach Ride picked up his first winner when Ackeret scored at Belmont on Oct. 9; he's earned $30,600.
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