The 2023 2-Year-Old Sale Sire Power Rankings: Maclean's Music Makes Big Debut After Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

The 2023 2-Year-Old Sale Sire Power Rankings: Maclean’s Music Makes Big Debut After Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May

Maclean’s Music

We're rounding the turn for home during the 2-year-old auction season of 2023, and things are about to get dirty.

The recently completed Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale was the first multiple-session auction on the calendar to offer a dirt surface during its under-tack show, meaning stallions whose offspring are predisposed to North America's dominant footing got their first opportunity to shine under their perceived ideal conditions. They'll get another chance to rack up some more dirt works next month when Fasig-Tipton returns to Timonium, Md., for its newly-minted Midlantic June sale.

Whether it was the surface, the region, the point on the calendar, or some other unseen factor, the Power Rankings saw a fair bit of upheaval in its upper echelon following the Midlantic May sale, with two new members of the top five.

One of the new members finally cleared all the thresholds to qualify for the list, and he made his presence known in a monumental way. The other let the field come back to him, and found himself in the lead flight.

We're up to 100 qualifying stallions on the list, and there are still two major sales to go in June. Though we have likely moved past the last sale that would be expected to produce a seven-figure offering, the Power Rankings stand to remain competitive as horses keep clocking times in breeze shows and rank-and-file offerings help solidify median sale prices.

As a reminder, here are the requirements to qualify for the Power Rankings. If you notice a sire is missing from the list, it's almost definitely because they didn't hit one of these marks:

1) At least five horses sold during a major 2023 juvenile sale, regardless of distance breezed.

2) At least five horses that breezed an eighth of a mile, whether they sold or not (as much as I love a good quarter-mile breeze, there just aren't enough horses doing them to make a fair average).

Also important to note: For the sake of calculating averages, I stretched out each breeze time from fifths to tenths. If you see a :9.8 time somewhere, do not adjust your stopwatches.

Let's get a look at those rankings…

#1 – Justify, Ashford Stud


After finishing first in last year's Power Rankings, Justify continues to make himself comfortable at the top of the list in 2023, after clearing the eligibility bar following the OBS Spring Sale.

The Justifys have blazed over the track during this season's breeze shows, averaging a best-in-class eighth-mile time of :10.067 seconds through the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May sale. He entered the sale with an average breeze time of :10 flat, and having a pair of juveniles go in :10.4 seconds (remember, we're working in tenths, not fifths) barely put a dent in that average. That's how fast they're going en masse.

Justify's quartet of workers to go in :9.8 seconds over the season thus far is tied for the third-most among eligible sires, and none of his juveniles to go under the stopwatch to date have gone slower than :10.4 seconds.

This continues a trend Justify established last year with his debut crop, which also finished atop the rankings by average breeze time, at 10.120 seconds.

Justify sits in fifth by median sale price, at $300,000, led by Tennessee, a colt who hammered to Maverick Racing and Siena Farms for $1.2 million at the OBS March sale; the auction's second-highest price.

The dark bay or brown colt, offered as Hip 215, is out of the Grade 3-placed Smart Strike mare Zinzay, whose foals of note includes Grade 1-placed stakes winner Moon Over Miami. He breezed an eighth in :10-flat during the under-tack show for consignor Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds.

#2 – Maclean's Music, Hill 'n' Dale Farms

Maclean's Music

Welcome to the list Maclean's Music, who finally cleared the “five horses sold” threshold after the Midlantic May sale. What a way to make an entrance.

Maclean's Music was part of a quartet of stallions to tie for the fourth-highest average breeze time, in :10.2 seconds (or :10 1/5 seconds if you want to keep it traditional), joining Florida sires Bucchero and The Big Beast, along with another sire we'll discuss momentarily.

That time was propelled by a pair of juveniles who breezed an eighth in :10 flat during the OBS March Sale, and another who achieved the same time a month later at the OBS Spring Sale. Five of his seven horses to breeze have gone in :10.2 seconds or faster, which can do wonders for an average.

He finished eighth by median sale price $240,000.

The clubhouse leader among that group hit their high mark at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic May Sale, when Legion Bloodstock, agent, went to $450,000 for Hip 284, a colt out of the winning Yes It's True mare Martini. The Maryland-bred full-brother t0 stakes winner Dirty breezed an eighth in :10.2 seconds, and he was consigned by Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent.

If you're sitting on a Maclean's Music for the upcoming yearling sales, this should all come as wonderful news.

The juveniles of 2023 were conceived at a lull in Maclean's Music's stud book in 2020, when he covered 57 mares. In 2021, he entered the breeding season off big campaigns by his sons Jackie's Warrior and Drain the Clock, and that increase in demand led to North America's biggest year-to-year increase in mares bred, with 221. Though he got a classic winner from his first crop in 2017 (Cloud Computing in the Preakness), it felt like Maclean's Music fully earned the public's trust in the early 2020s, and on top of the bulk numbers, breeders felt comfortable sending the best mares they had to him.

Something is clearly working for Maclean's Music in the 2-year-old market, and next year, he'll see a boost in both quality and quantity. Seeing how hard the pinhook buyers dig in for them when they're restocking this fall should be fun (and profitable) to watch.

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#3 – Medaglia d'Oro, Darley

Medaglia d'Oro

Remember that other sire whose foals averaged an eighth in :10.2 seconds that I said we'd talk about later? It's later.

Remarkably, Medaglia d'Oro climbed from eighth on this list to third without having a single horse go through the Midlantic May sale. He set a strong pace with his youngsters during the two OBS sales earlier in the season, and the ebbs and flows of other sires during the Midlantic May sale settled him here.

His breeze show performers have been incredibly consistent, with five of his eight to clock one furlong doing so in :10.2 seconds. Two more went in :10-flat.

As one of the breed's commercial stalwarts, a high median sale price is practically expected at this point, and he lived up to the billing at $220,000, ranking him ninth.

The star of that group came during the OBS Spring Sale, when MKW Racing and Breeding landed Hip 1170, a filly out of the Grade 2-placed Distorted Humor mare Virginia Key, for $325,000. Consigned by Wavertree Stables, the filly was one of Medaglia d'Oro's two juveniles to clock an eighth in :10-flat.

Medaglia d'Oro finished tied for third in the 2022 Power Rankings, so this is familiar territory for the veteran sire. He has two cataloged in the OBS June sale, and a solid performance there could ensure he stays in this lofty position as the season draws to a close.

#4 (tie) – Speightstown, WinStar Farm

Speightstown (Gone West – Silken Cat)

A top-10 sire in last year's Power Rankings, Speightstown remains hot in 2023.

Speightstown's under-tack horses carried the most weight to this position, with his average of :10.217 seconds ranking him ninth. Among them was a filly who went an eighth in 9.6 seconds at the OBS Spring sale to tie for the fastest time at the distance.

That filly, offered as Hip 1012 from the consignment of Scanlon Training and Sales, agent for Excel Bloodstock, is out of the Grade 3-placed Ghostzapper mare Spooky Woods, and she hails from the family of Arabian Knight. She sold to Bradley Thoroughbreds, agent, for $485,000.

That filly is also Speightstown's most expensive offering of the season so far, helping propel his median sale price to $215,000; 10th-best of the class so far.

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#4 (tie) – Into Mischief, Spendthrift Farm

Into Mischief

The commercial paramount of today's Thoroughbred marketplace holds steady in fourth after the first Midlantic sale.

Into Mischief sits in second by median sale price, at $330,000 (the late Arrogate tops all sires with a median of $342,500, and he ranks 17th overall), led by a $1.3-million dollar colt who sold to More Play at the OBS Spring Sale.

Offered as Hip 967, the colt is out of the Grade 3-placed stakes-winning Ministers Wild Cat mare Singing Kitty. He's one of six horses tied for the fastest time for an eighth this season, stopping the clock in 9.6 seconds. Wavertree Stables consigned the colt, as agent.

Into Mischief's average breeze time of :10.245 seconds ranked him 17th in that category. His seven-figure colt spearheaded a trio of sub-:10 workers, joined by seven more that breezed in :10-flat.

This crop of 2-year-olds was conceived in 2020, on the heels of Into Mischief's first of what's become four straight years as leading general sire by earnings the previous year. He was getting top-shelf books of mares before this crop, but this was his first formal season of breeding the best to the best, in terms of sire list rankings. For as meteoric as Into Mischief's rise has been, it might be ready to enter warp-speed now that we're seeing the foals conceived at the top of the mountain.

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