By Jack Werk
On May 18, 2009, I published a post here on Florida-based Wildcat Heir after the Journeyman Stud sire had gotten his 5th first-crop 2yo winner (click here to read the article). “At WTC Inc., we spend a lot of time tracking young stallions, and to have five individual winners by mid-May is an obvious indication that a stallion is siring precocious stock and needs to be followed closely,” is what I wrote then. By Dec. 31, 2009, Wildcat Heir had delivered on that precocious start by having a final tally of 39 – yes, 39! – 2yo winners to his credit, which equaled the record set by Chapel Royal a few years ago. But here’s what’s really impressive about the accomplishment. The 39 winners represent 36% winners of his 2yo crop (108 named 2yos)! That’s a yesteryear-type number, and what I mean by that is that in the days before “big books” a really precocious sire of 2yos was a horse that hit the 30% mark in 2yo winners to foals, just like a top sire in those days could be expected to sire more than 10 percent SWs to foals.
Not only was Wildcat Heir the leading first-crop sire by winners, he was fourth by progeny earnings with $1,169,439 behind Offlee Wild ($1,951,283), Roman Ruler ($1,926,794), and Pollard’s Vision ($1,448,981). This is pretty good company, especially with such promising young sires as Kitten’s Joy (5th) and Afleet Alex (6th) directly behind him, and such names as Rock Hard Ten (19th), Eurosilver (20th), and Ghostzapper (21st) well down the list!
Florida has historically produced sires that get 2yo winners – remember Lawmaker and An Eldorado? – but these types usually never go on to as a general rule to get classy stakes horses. Wildcat Heir, a G1 winner who stands for a bargain $8,000 in 2010, may be an exception! On Saturday, the stallion had two runners in the big Florida races at Gulfstream, and lo and behold, one won, and the other ran second!
The winner was Richiegirlgonewild (click here to view 5-cross pedigree), who shocked the field in the G3 Old Hat Stakes at 31-1! She is now Wildcat Heir’s first Graded SW, too.
Then, Wildcat Frankie (click here to view 5-cross pedigree) led the field in the Listed $100,000 Spectacular Bid Field into deep stretch before settling for second.
Wildcat Heir was not a SW at 2 himself – he was second in the G2 Sanford Stakes at 2 — and like his sire didn’t get good until he was older, when at 4 he won the G1 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. He retired with a record of 6 wins from 12 starts. This may be a good sign for his offspring as they mature, too. Though they were precocious at 2, they may end up being better racehorses after 2, just like their sire and grandsire!
I wrote the following in my May 18 post, and it gives an indication of the type of sire that Wildcat Heir may become: “How important is the G1 De Francis Memorial Dash as an indicator of future stallion potential? Just look at some of the previous winners – Cherokee Run, Yes It’s True, Montbrook and Smoke Glacken!”