As a very well-made, well-bred young broodmare who showed plenty of ability on the racetrack, we want to make sure that No More Excuses gets every chance to prove herself in the breeding shed, so we have chosen the veteran Kentucky stallion Midshipman for her 2022 mate.
Midshipman is one of the most underrated sires in the country currently — his 37 stakes winners from 535 foals aged 3 and up translates to an excellent rate of 7%, while his 1.34 AEI is well above his mates’ 1.19 CI, so he’s moving his mares way up in achieving those impressive stakes results. He also has a 17% black-type horses to runners ratio, which — as the Darley ads remind us — is better than any stallion standing for less than $85,000, while no stallion standing for less than $75,000 boasts more than Midshipman’s 11 black-type winners in 2021. These recent black-type winners include the likes of impressive 2YO turf sprinting filly Averly Jane, 5YO dirt sprinting gelding Special Reserve, and 4YO two-turn dirt gelding Royal Ship — highlighting the versatility of Midshipman’s offspring, as well as their class.
But given the speed exhibited by No More Excuses during her own racing career, we expect the foal from this pairing to trend towards the shorter end of the distance spectrum in the mold of Averly Jane, Special Reserve, Dearest, Lady Shipman, Mr Vargas, Wink, etc.
An Eclipse Champion 2YO, Midshipman is just about the most successful sire son of Unbridled’s Song — which he might owe to being a much more average-sized horse than some of the other leggy, hulking sons of UBS whose brilliant speed didn’t always come through in the breeding shed. The cross of Unbridled’s Song’s sons with Not For Love mares like No More Excuses rates an “A++” on TrueNicks, thanks to 4 stakes winners from 41 foals. Among those 41 are just 6 foals by Midshipman himself out of Not For Love mares, which include 3 winners from 4 starters, highlighted by stakes winner Slip the Cable and his stakes-placed full-brother Weekend Liberty — so 2 black-type horses from 4 starters on the direct cross is not too shabby. Plus, No More Excuses’s dam is a half-sister to a winning stakes-producer by a son of Unbridled. Then No More Excuses’s dam, Lucky Dance, is a daughter of the Cherokee Run son Kafwain — and Midshipman has produced the graded winner Dearest from a daughter of Cherokeee Run. So there are plenty of positive pedigree pointers with this pairing.
Physically, No More Excuses is tall and solid with excellent balance (befitting a six-figure yearling by a regional stallion), and she should match very well with the slightly longer, if less leggy, Midshipman.