Saturday, May 2, 2020
The abbreviated racing schedules around the country are wreaking havoc on handle, purses, local economies, employment, paychecks and much more. On a less important scale, it is already changing the look of the leading sire lists.
There is no question that the end-of-the-year lists won't look anything like those of the past. Last season, Ocala Stud Farm's Adios Charlie was Florida's leading sire with earnings of $3,767,013. The 2020 season is exactly one-third completed, and the son of Indian Charlie is sitting fourth with earnings of $609,296. Barring a really big horse somewhere down the line, Charlie has little chance of coming anywhere near his 2019 total. Last year he had 64 winners and 41 repeat winners - this year thus far he has 18 and 5.
With Adios Charlie dropping to fourth, it would seem as though last year's runner-up, First Dude, would inherit the top spot, but that is not the case. Journeyman Stud's Khozan, who more than lived up to Brent and Crystal Fernung's expectations as a freshman last year, is the early leader this season and it will be interesting to see if he can continue on top since he has less runners in training than the others in the top five. The son of Distorted Humor led the frosh division in 2019 with earnings of $1,258,517 and he's a cinch to pass that as a sophomore in the near future - he already has reached $765,209.
It's not easy for a freshman sire to lead the general sire list in his second season. Kantharos got off to a quick start for Ocala Stud as a freshman in 2014 and was the leader with earnings of $868,968. In his second season, he jumped up to $1,780,874, but still finished eighth. He has continued on in Kentucky as a sire with a great impact on racing.
First Dude has been solid for Double Diamond Farm every season since his freshman year of 2015. He was second last year at $3,446.428, and is second behind Khozan with $733,430 this season. The two will have a tough battle the rest of the way, and Dude appears to have the edge strictly by numbers. He's leading the division with 26 winners, five better than runner-up Big Drama, and has six repeat winners, which is also leading.
Another to keep an eye on is Arindel Farm's Brethren, who was third last year and again this season thus far. His current runners are all products of when he stood at Pleasant Acres for Joe and Helen Barbazon, and the best of them are all in the barn of Arindel's owners, the Cohens. Another son of Distorted Humor, Brethren has earnings of $622,698 and can't be discounted from here to Dec. 31 - he has 70 runners, and 19 winners thus far.
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