I'll Have Another - Stud or Dud?

I’ll Have Another’s Triple Crown chances received a cold reality check when the colt was injured before the race and retired.  There’s no doubt the major stud farms are courting I’ll Have Another’s owner Paul Redam and we’ll read the announcement within the next few months as to which stud farm will receive the honor of standing the son of Flower Alley. 


It takes a special horse and the perfect circumstances to win the Kentucky Derby and come back just two weeks later to triumph in the Preakness, but one would think that a colt who can win two of the most prestigious races for three year olds in America would pass along the superior genes that helped him beat the best of his generation. There are two aspects to a stallion’s success or failure in the breeding shed, his stud fee and pedigree.

Stud Fees:

Since 1997, seven three year olds pulled off the Kentucky Derby/Preakness double and headed to Belmont to vie for the Triple Crown. Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Charismatic, War Emblem, Funny Cide (gelding), Smarty Jones, Big Brown and I’ll Have Another.  Out of the seven, only four had a realistic chance to win, based upon their pedigree and running style.  Although I’ll Have Another didn’t contest the Belmont Stakes, he certainly had the pedigree and running style to win the race. 


Silver Charm, whose opening fee was $25,000 stands with his stablemate Charismatic (initial fee $35,000) for $3,700 yen in Japan. War Emblem joined his counterparts in 2002 after being sold for $17.7 million.  He’s proved to be extremely picky about his female dates and hasn’t produced much in the way of progeny. So far, he’s sired eight blacktype winners from a handful of mares. Understandably, his stud fee is private.


Of the six colts to stand at stud, the highest original stud fee was commanded by Smarty Jones at $100,000. The undefeated colt was less than stellar in the breeding shed. From five racing crops, Smarty Jones has sired 13 stakes winners, only 4% of his foals to race. Typically, his stud fee plummeted. He relocated to Pennsylvania and currently stands for $7,500. Smarty Jones shuttles to Brazil in the summer, but has only three foals of racing age there.


Big Brown’s initial stud fee in 2008 was $65,000.  Normally, a stallion’s stud fee drops after his first year at stud and remains stable until his initial crop of two year olds start to race.  That crop determines if the following year’s stud fee goes up, down or remains the same.  Big Brown currently stands for $35,000. His yearlings and two year olds have been well received at auction. His babies hit the track this year, so we may see a change in Big Brown’s fee for next year, depending on how his two year olds fare at the races. So far, quite a few of Big Brown’s offspring are breezing around the country, but none have raced.


The market trend from paying high initial fees for new sires and their untested offspring changed dramatically with the economy in 2008.  Stud fees for all except the top few sires dropped 50 – 70%. Over the last five years, the highest  initial stud fees have raged from $75,000 for Curlin and Henrythenavigator in 2009 to $35,000 for Uncle Mo in 2012.


That brings us to I’ll Have Another.  A lot will depend on the other horses going to stud next year and their qualifications, but based upon previous and current industry rates, it would be safe to say that I’ll Have Another’s initial stud fee will be in the $30,000 - $40,000 range.



Pedigree is generally a good indicator of how well a stallion will do at stud.  Sure, some stallions have excellent pedigrees but wind up standing for $1,000 at a dusty backwater farm. It’s a matter of who will pass along the DNA in the most favorable sequence.  Mr. Prospector did. His full brothers Search for Gold, Kentucky Gold, Red Ryder and Vaal Reef didn’t.


A couple of factors in determining the potential of a stallion is how the sire line passes along genes. Sire lines produce either the coveted sire of sires or broodmare sires, stallions whose talents are passed along to daughters and their progeny.


I’ll Have Another is a product of the Mr. Prospector sire line through his son Forty Niner.  That one’s best son at stud is undoubtedly Distorted Humor.  Although he never won a Grade 1 contest, Distorted Humor was a swift sprinter miler on the track. Distorted Humor’s popularity and success at stud is his affinity to pass along speed and stamina to his varied offspring, thus his $100,000 stud fee.


Distorted Humor is a young stallion and six of his sons went to stud in 2007.  So far, most are not lighting the world on fire as top sires.  Only one, Sharp Humor, immediately headed to the top of the First Crop sire lists, getting plenty of precocious runners. He finished the year in sixth place, but has been sold to stand in Korea. 


Distorted Humor’s other major sons at stud include Any Given Saturday, three crops to race, two stakes winners, and this year’s freshmen sire Cowtown Cat, who is ranked 13th on the First Crop Sire list with seven runners and two winners.


In the same 2007 crop as Sharp Humor and Any Given Saturday, I’ll Have Another’s sire Flower Alley got off to a slower start at stud. He has only six stakes winners from 126 runners. I’ll Have Another is a typical example of Flower Alley’s offspring, improving with age and racing. Currently, his oldest crop are three year olds, so we should see more stakes winners as they grow into four and five year olds. Only time will tell if Flower Alley will become a solid sire of older horses or if I’ll Have Another will be his only home run hit.


I’ll Have Another’s damsire Arch has only 11 crops of racing age, the same number as Distorted Humor. Unlike that stallion, Arch’s sons didn’t go to stud until 2008. He has a few minor sons whose offspring will hit the track beginning this year, however Arch’s most accomplished sons, Blame and Archarcharch, retired to the breeding shed in 2011 and this year.  Prognoses for Arch’s prospects as a broodmare sire are excellent thus far.  His daughters bore only 58 foals, with 46 to race.  Of that small group, ten are stakes winners and one, Uncle Moe, is a Champion.


The quality of a stallion’s distaff family and their propensity to produce winning sons extends beyond the influence of the damsire.  Like their sire counterparts, certain distaff families produce more Classic victors than others. I’ll Have Another is a member of family 23-b (Turk Mare).  This female family has now produced eight Kentucky Derby winners, more than any other female line.  Kingman started it in 1891 and other members of this family include Zev (1923), Tim Tam (1958), Affirmed (1978), Winning Colors (1988), Lil E Tee (1992), Mine That Bird (2009) and now I’ll Have Another.  The best stallions deriving from the family of 23-b have passed their quality on as broodmare sires rather than sires of sires. The various branches of this family tree include Discovery, damsire of Native Dancer (second sire of Mr. Prospector), the aforementioned Affirmed, Chief’s Crown and Smart Strike.


I’ll Have Another’s dam Archs Gal Edith showed talent in winning her only start.  She is a young broodmare who has produced only four foals and so far, she’s developing into a solid, reliable mare. Three of her foals have raced thus far. Her 2007 gelded son Those Wer The Days (by Thunder Gulch) is a decent allowance class runner with a 7-5-1-1 ($162,860) record. Another gelded son born in 2008, When Willy Win (by Soto), is an allowance/claimer with a 15-6-2-4 ($70,476) record.  I’ll Have Another’s 2010 half-sister Gloria S (by Tapit) has yet to make her appearance on the track.


The second dam Force Five Gal (by Pleasant Tap) was a slow developer, needing 13 starts to win her maiden.  She was an allowance class runner who placed in a minor stakes race.  As a broodmare, she bore seven foals four are winners. Three of her offspring made over $100,000 the hard way at the lower claiming level. 


I’ll Have Another’s third dam Last Cause (by Caucasus) was an allowance class runner who placed in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo as a two year old. Last Cause bore ten foals, nine made it to the track. Besides Force Five Gal, three others were stakes placed.  Only two of Last Cause’s seven daughters produced foals with blacktype, and none were winners.


I’ll Have Another’s fourth dam Last Bird is his closest female relative to produce notable black type. Last Bird (by Sea Bird) bore Roanoke, winner of the G-2 Young American Stakes and the 1 1/8 mile Californian (G-1).  Last Bird is also the fourth dam of CashCall Futurity (G-1) Champ Into Mischief.


We have to go back to I’ll Have Another’s fifth dam Patelin, a blue hen, to find a direct link to stakes winning quality.


Overall, the quality of I’ll Have Another’s distaff line is solid, but not spectacular. The runners they produce are sound claiming/allowance types.


The one distinction the current top twenty leading sires share is a quality distaff family. One or more of these leading sires’ first three dams own stakes wins, many in graded stakes and the majority of the stallions have a blue hen (superior female) within their first five generations. I’ll Have Another has a blue hen as his fifth dam, however, this particular branch of the distaff line is patently average, with stakes winners being the exception rather than the norm.


I’ll Have Another carries linebreeding to Mr. Prospector, Northern Dancer and way back in his seventh generation is some cross-breeding (through sire and dam) to Bold Ruler. I’ll Have Another also carries the blood of Hail To Reason through two of his top turf descendants, Sadlers’ Wells and Roberto. I’ll Have Another’s pedigree is inclusive of the most popular modern bloodlines and should mix will with a wide variety of mares.  


Conformation wise, I’ll Have Another is an average sized, yet powerfully built stallion who resembles his sire. His pasterns are a little long, but overall, he has good bone.  I’ll Have Another has a fluid gait with good extension and no wasted motion.



In summary, Distorted Humor may yet get a son who will be as brilliant at stud as he is. Flower Alley may be one of those stallions who need several years to prove their worth.  I’ll Have Another’s female family doesn’t lend itself to brilliance.  I’ll Have Another’s offspring overall won’t be precocious. They’ll prefer to run at least a mile and should do well over all surfaces. 


By Laurie Ross, Horse Racing Nation Pedigree Expert 


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Older Comments about I'll Have Another - Stud or Dud?...

Cocoa2 if you read the 1st salvo directed your way you will see the dolt actually confirms your point regarding the inbreeding that has contracted and therefore weakened the gene pool.
GregRiessland, I'm surprised at you, only a little though. Roy made some fantastic selections you must be confusing him with some one else. Keep em coming Roy.
i remember roy he told everyone to bet gem and how hes the best blah, blah. and i remember saying i will stick with i'll have another. i never gave up on him after his saratoga flop and i wasn't going to stop in the triple crown.
1st, TV, F up. 2nd, read my comment again. This is not the first time and I doubt it will be the last where you read half of my comment and then your head blows up and you have to run outside before it explodes in your house. " even the strongest and fittest horses like Northern Dancer and Native Dancer will come up with weak colts when they show up too much in a pedigree". You know enough about horse racing to understand that even a Man O' War inbred colt would be weaker than a non inbred colt. You obviously have NO idea what you are saying and just like to show off your information that is not only rude but downright annoying. 3rd, who ever liked that comment (and I would bet more $ that it was TV liking his own comment than on Man O' War in a claiming race), F up as well. You obviously were too lazy to hit the 'Show All Comments' link and you need to do your homework before you jump on a bandwagon. 4th, Northern Dancer will NEVER be as great a sire as Man O' War. From covering less than 100 mares in his last years he produced an amazing amount of stakes winners. It was not Man O' War whose genes were not superior to keep up throwing the best colts, it was Riddle who refused to buy him quality mares to breed. You may have decades on me, but atleast I finish something before I jump on someone's throat.
weak colts from the Dancer? He only commanded a million dollar NO GUARANTEE contract: the highest of all time. Breeders, ALL OVER THE WORLD, ran and did not walk, to a sire the likes of which has not been around in the past century. Grade one after grade on all over the world were won by his sons and daughters....Again you expose that you simply do not know what you are talking about as the was the greatest sire of the twnetieth century by ALL ACCOUNTS.
ONE of these days the breeding industry is going to have to come up with the inevitable: ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION so that stallions from completely isolated parts of the world can mix outcross gene to instill hybrid vigor.
Inbreeding weakens horses terribly, even the strongest and fittest horses like Northern Dancer and Native Dancer will come up with weak colts when they show up too much in a pedigree. Ideally no inbreeding would ever take place, as the most successful method of breeding is by crossing lines or strains of the Thoroughbred. These days these bloodlines have almost disappeared completely. Every horse is either related to Bold Ruler or Native Dancer. You can see the success this bloodline crossing has in horses like Man O' War (Spendthrift x Springfield), which also produced My Play and Mad Hatter and Masda and Messenger.
travel_vic The record holder in the Travers is General Assembly. He was sold to Germany. I am always amused that certain stallions fall out of favor and then get few opportunities. I am amazed that the fastest horse in our lifetime is represented by so little cross-breeding. By fastest, I mean over a distance, but Secretariat also put up some excellent speed figures at shorter distances as well. When Canadian Bound sold for an astronomical figure and then did not race, people complained Secretariat was no good at stud. It could be that some of his greatest attributes were recessive and would not be reproduced without more cross-breeding. Since fourty years have passed there has been little attempt to do so. What are you waiting for?
stud or dud, we'll never know
Nice speculation in the article. The thing is, they won't know until they test IHA. He could be sterile. And if his trainer has been doping him up, that might have an effect on him too. I'm sorry his story ended like it did. I really wanted to see how we would have handled the Belmont. I just hope he doesn't end up like Ferdinand: shipped over to Japan and turned into dog food.
I'm not remembering who Oatsee is in foal to right now...I am waiting for her 3 year old APIndy colt, Stephanoatsee, to resume training after an injury earlier this year
@notobsessed, that would be a miler to threaten Frankel's crown!
I would like to see Oatsee/Distorted Humor
I want to see Oatsee (Dam of Shackelford) visit Ill Have Another or Flower Alley!
Afleet Alex was a prime example.
Ok Dipak ,You are the best no doubt
DipakRoy, I remember you. You made some nice selections last year, keep it up.
guys who do not believe my comments, it is ok, i do not want to proof anything to anybody, i know how good i am in handicapping horses, if any body has doubt in one's mind, ask the mangement of HRN, they know how good i am? and i also do'nt care who believes me or not. i cashed $2300.00 in kentucky derby and $4200.00 in preakness, but i did not able to cash too much in the belmont stakes, because i got only the winner. i live in Vancouver , Canada and Hastings Race Course Ticket counter knows how good i am in selecting horses.
Just like looking for a single winner each race, tyro's constantly try to equate the racing of one era to another. IT CANNOT BE DONE with any logic as nutrition is better, training better, track surfaces better, horse shoes lighter etc etc
None of them would make it to the top 50. Tom Fool and Buckpasser and Man O' War and War Admiral and Alydar and Alysheba/Easy Goer were better sire/foal combos.

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