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Leading Second-Crop Sires Justify, Good Magic Move Up

The List: An Update and Review of the Top 25 General Sires List Rankings.



Anne M. Eberhardt

One of the cool things about the general sires list is that, unlike other rankings, it has less to do with what wasn't done and more to do with what was. 

For example, if this were a college basketball poll and the University of Kentucky were to lose to the University of North Carolina-Wilmington (gasp!) Dec. 2, the Wildcats would most certainly plummet in the standings. But should they win, it probably doesn't move the needle much because the victory was expected. 

But when we look at where sires rank in terms of progeny earnings, there are different ways to achieve the ultimate goal—sitting at the top like Into Mischief  has for most of the year (and the four years before that). But sires can move up by offspring earning in volume even without necessarily picking up wins, winning in volume perhaps even without notching the biggest races, or progeny can win the biggest purses—rocket fuel for these purposes. 

So when we see a sire drop, as Tonalist  does by three places (No. 21) in this latest edition of The List, it's not so much about what his offspring didn't do as much as what the progeny of the three sires who moved ahead of him did do over the past two weeks. As the year winds down, there isn't as much activity on the tracks; movement can be a result of who is scheduled to run.

What we saw was Arrogate, Justify , and Good Magic  all move up one spot. It doesn't take that much to move around in this part of the Top 25. There's just more than $400,000 between Arrogate (No. 18) and Tonalist. 

In the case of Arrogate, he had a pair of winners in graded stakes: Mr Fisk took the Native Diver Stakes (G3) at Del Mar and Linda's Gift claimed the Red Carpet Stakes (G3T), also at Del Mar. Arrogate also had Arro Smash winning an allowance race at Churchill Downs. Combined, those purses added nearly $200,000 to the sire's tally for the year. 

Leading second-crop sire Justify had his 2-year-old son Just Steel win the Ed Brown Stakes at Churchill Downs. Good Magic, ranked second on the second-crop sires list, had Dai Vernon win an allowance race at Churchill. In the race, another of his runners, Single Dot Yahtfinished second. Combined they added almost $100,000 to his total. And to the point of earning prize money but not getting a victory, Good Magic's son Good Like Magic finished third in the Jean Lafitte Stakes at Delta Downs. While that paid only $10,000, over the course of a year, those $10,000 payouts add up.  

Higher on the list, Munnings  (No. 7) and Not This Time  (No. 8) swapped positions from two weeks ago. The Munnings gelding Nothing Better was victorious in the Aqueduct Turf Sprint Championship Stakes, which paid $82,500 to the victor. Munnings' edge on Not This Time is less than $21,000. 

Joining the Top 25 is Nyquist , while English Channel, who had been No. 24, fell out of the rankings.  

Nov. 28 ranking Nov. 14 ranking
1. Into Mischief 1 (--)
2. Curlin 2 (--)
3. Gun Runner 3(--)
4. Uncle Mo 4 (--)
5. Quality Road 5 (--)
6. American Pharoah 6 (--)
7. Munnings 8 (--)
8. Not This Time 7 (--)
9. Hard Spun 9 (--)
10. Practical Joke 10 (--)
11. Kantharos 11 (--)
12. Violence 12 (--)
13. Tapit 13 (--)
14. Twirling Candy 14 (--)
15. Constitution 15 (--)
16. Candy Ride (ARG) 16 (--)
17. Street Sense 17 (--)
18. Arrogate 19 (+1)
19. Justify 20 (+1)
20. Good Magic 21 (+1)
21. Tonalist 18 (-3)
22. Cairo Prince 23 (+1)
23. Ghostzapper 22 (-1)
24. Goldencents 25 (+1)
25. Nyquist NR