What Makes a Sire Great
On February 20th (21st for Japan) Café Pharoah won the February Stakes, becoming Pharoah’s first grade one winner on the dirt.
Fans let out a collected sigh of relief. Finally, his dirt winners are catching up again.
This race is also a, “win and you’re in race,” for the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Meaning he has a guaranteed spot in that race.
However, Café Pharoah is pre-entered in the Godolphin Mile. An un-card race during the Dubai World Cup Night.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic is a mile and ¼, Café Pharoah has only won going longer than a mile twice.
Sure, that gives hope, but fans are already getting excited that American Pharoah, who won the Breeders’ Cup Classic, may have already sired a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner.
But, what if he hasn’t?
What if Café Pharoah keeps showing prowess going a mile? Would winning the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile really be that bad?
It’s still a Breeders’ Cup race.
Oh, but Into Mischief sired a Breeders’ Cup Classic winner!
Yes, from his 6th crop.
This is a foal from Pharoah’s first crop we’re talking about.
Goldencents won the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile back-to-back and he’s from Into Mischief’s first crop.
And from Pharoah’s first crop, one won the Juvenile turf sprint, another finished third in it. One finished third in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. While last year, his only entry finished a strong third, in the Fillies & Mares Turf, less than a month after winning a grade one, which was a month after finishing second in a listed stakes race.
Constitution had a Belmont, and Travers winner in his first crop.
Well, Pharoah would have had a foal in the Derby in that same year with Danon Pharaoh, had it not been for Covid-19.
No matter what we think of the Kentucky Derby, I certainly don’t believe it’s worth catching a mass virus over.
As for the Travers, well, so far Pharoah’s foals have done better later in the year.
Alright then, what’s my point with all of this?
My point is: Tiznow, Pulpit, Giant’s Causeway, A. P. Indy, are all considered legendary sires. Yet, none sired a Kentucky Derby winner, nor a Classic winner.
Now, I titled this with the word, “great.”
Alright, neither Tapit (three-time leading sire) nor Curlin has sired a Derby winner.
Curlin does have a Classic winner, from his fifth crop.
Why are they considered legendary or even great, but Pharoah is still getting guff when he’ll only have his third northern hemisphere crop hit the track this year?
He was Leading Freshman Sire and Leading Second Crop sire.
Plus, his two-year-old Van Gogh (IRE) won Europe’s version of Two-Year-Old Male Champion, where Tiz the Law lost year end honors to Authentic. Authentic, being Into Mischiefs Classic winner…from his sixth crop.
Is this just the game?
Or, do we circle back to being upset that a foal isn’t a carbon copy of their sire, and just may take after their dam more?
What makes a sire great?
Now, I won’t lie this is from a novice’s eye, but so far, I think whatever it is they’re doing with Pharoah’s foals has already made him great.
I’m also not saying that just because I run this page. I love that his foals are doing better not only at an older age, but also on the turf.
I mean, come on. Let’s have Pharoah be great by getting American’s excited about turf racing, and reminding people that a lot of, “greats,” did better at three and older. In fact, quite a few of them never raced at two.