by Elaine Belval
Frankel’s victory in the G1 Juddmonte International at York was sensational and Galileo’s ten SWs over the week—six on August 25th alone—are eye-popping. But with Frankel’s victories, perhaps it’s time to remember the great Sea-Bird, who was rated by Timeform at 145—the highest rating ever until it was surpassed by the unbeaten Frankel in his brilliant G1 Queen Anne S.
Sea-Bird’s best son at stud was Arctic Tern, a G1 winner in France and G1-placed in England. He, in turn, sired G1 winner Bering (winner of the French Derby and second in the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to the brilliant Dancing Brave). Bering was a leading sire in France for many years until his death in 2011.
For many years it seemed the Sea-Bird branch of Native Dancer would fail to thrive. Bering had several sons, including G1 2000 Guineas winner Pennekamp, at stud, with none that seemed to break out of the “modest” category. But as the saying goes, “Better late than never.” One of Bering’s best colts, American Post, was foaled in 2001, from his 14th crop of foals.
American Post was bred by Khalid Abdullah (owner/breeder of Frankel). He is out of the unraced Sadler’s Wells mare Wells Fargo, a half-sister to SW and G1-placed High and Low (second in the G1 St. Leger S. and the G1 Yorkshire Oaks). Trained by longtime leading French trainer Criquette Head-Maarek, American Post won six of nine starts. At two, he won the G1 Prix Jean Luc Lagardere at Longchamp. He added the G1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster to that victory to end his season. At three, he won his two prep races before a victory in the G1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas).
Retired to stud in France, American Post had his first runners in 2006. He had a two-year-old SW in France (Queen America) and one in Germany (Novita) among five SWs—including Ma Preference, who won a G3 at four—from that crop. American Post sired a total of 13 SWs from his first four seasons at stud and now has one from his fifth crop, foals of 2010, after Meneas took the Listed Criterium du Fonds Europeen de l’Elevage at Deauville on August 21st. Undefeated in three starts, Meneas was bred by Janus Bloodstock Inc. and Stilvi Compania Financiera SA, and he is owned by Leonidas Marinopoulos and trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias. He will be pointed to a Group race at Longchamp at the end of October.
Meneas is one of three SWs American Post has in 2012.
American Post is a very versatile stallion. Seven of his 14 SWs are two-year-old SWs. However, he has SWs from six furlongs (Chica Loca) to 13 furlongs (Ma Preference). So far, Ma Preference (winner of the Prix Fille de l’Air) is his only Group winner, but with his continued success at stud, more such victories by his progeny cannot be far behind. Hopefully, thanks to American Post, the influence of Sea-Bird will continue to be with us for the near future.
American Post stands at Haras d’Etreham, where his 2012 fee was €5,000.