Monday, June 26, 2006

The Real Leading Sires

I frequently check the Leading Sires list on to see how the progeny of my favorite stallions are doing on the track. The stallions are listed in descending order based on total current year earnings by horses sired by the stallion and running in North America, Europe and Dubai. I always thought the list was a little skewed because one win of a big purse (specifically in Dubai) or one good runner out of 100 can put a mediocre stallion at the top of the list. In a totally unscientific move, I backed out the top current year performer out of total earnings for the sire (as of 6/25/06) and thought the results were interesting:

The top sires by gross earnings (including the top performer) were: Red Ransom, Dynaformer, Pleasant Tap, A.P. Indy and Maria's Mon.

When you back out the top performer, the top of the list looks like: A.P. Indy, Maria's Mon, Distorted Humor, Giant's Causeway and Grand Slam.

If you exclude Dubai purses earned by Electrocutionist and David Junior, then Red Ransom and Pleasant Tap would not even be 0n the Top 100 Stallions list. Neither would Slew City Slew (currently #12) if you exclude Lava Man.

The other stallions that move up most based on my methodology are Unbrided's Song, Bertrando, Not for Love and Elusive Quality. Perhaps these represent value compared to those that move down the list.

The other ones that move down the most are Langfuhr, Forestry and Storm Cat. I guess it is no surprise that the sires of Grade 1 competitors have a disproportionate amount of their earnings from just a few horses. But if I was sending my mare out to be covered, I just don't see value in buying a lottery ticket with one of these stallions that have 1 big winner and 99 performers that don't get close to justifying the stud fee.

Again, I acknowledge that this is an unscientific back-of-the-envelope analysis. It does not consider the number of mares covered nor total number of runners and winners. However, I see some value in the concept.


Pjon10 said...

All this talk of sires and not one mention of Malibu Moon? Alan, your slipping!

alan said...


Have you ever seen Bill Oppenheim's APEX ratings system for sires? Basically, he rates them by the number of stakes winners they produce by Grade, then comes up with some eclectic ranking number based on how that number compares to the general population. I can try and find his synopsis if you'd like. It's an interesting alternate to the general rankings which, as you point out, are skewed by outsized purses.


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