As you’ve heard us say before more than once, wherever possible we prefer to send a young mare to a proven stallion for one or more of her first couple of matings, in order to give a breeder the best possible line on his mare’s ability as a producer (rather than breeding her to a succession of first-year sires that might all flop; if that’s the case and her foals don’t do much running, you wouldn’t know whether to attribute that to her contribution or to that of those failed stallions). In the case of the recently-acquired Speightstown filly Boogie Baby, she ought to be a perfect fit in her first breeding shed run for the rock solid Darley sire Hard Spun.
Though she herself is unraced, Boogie Baby’s family is highly proven on the track: her dam, Upperline by Eclipse Champion 2YO Maria’s Mon, won 8 races and almost $700k, including a trio of G3s on turf and all-weather (she was also graded-placed on dirt at 2), and has gone on to produce Boogie Baby’s half-siblings War Secretary (a SW for Coolmore) and Reigning Spirit (a G3-placed earner of over $220k), both by War Front. Upperline is a half-sister to the multiple SW Snow Fall (also by War Front) — and their dam is a G1-placed daughter of Caerleon, with the next dam a winner of the G1 Oaks d’Italia. So that’s loads of European/turf/synthetic class on the page, with the dirt speed of Speightstown and Maria’s Mon right up close.
In looking for a mate that meets Boogie Baby’s new owners’ goals of getting her off to the best start possible at stud, we were interested in finding a stallion that would come close to duplicating the pedigrees of those stakes-caliber close relatives. And while there are no proven, commercially safe sons of War Front available at this moment (he does have several promising young sons at stud, but their first foals will reach the races before Boogie Baby’s first foal sells, making them very risky), Hard Spun is a son of Danzig just like War Front, and he’s also thoroughly proven, reliable, and sale-able.
His 76 career stakes winners at stud (good for 5.6% of his foals of racing age, a thoroughly respectable number) include no fewer than 15 G1 winners — on turf and dirt, short and long, here and in Australia and South Africa (he also has several G2 winners in Europe, as well). Hard Spun also has a lifetime yearling sale average that registers in the six-figures, and his 2022 average was above his lifetime number, demonstrating that he remains popular at the sales today (and with domestic buyers and those overseas, too). Also noteworthy, for a breeder hoping to make a young mare, is that the lifetime average earnings of Hard Spun’s offspring stands at over $99k, with more than half of his foals making it to the winners’ circle.
Another part of his appeal at the sales, and what makes him a good choice for the average-sized Boogie Baby, is that Hard Spun is a big, strong, stout and correct horse, so he works perfectly for her from a physical standpoint as well.
We have mentioned how well Boogie Baby’s female family has already worked with a son of Danzig, but Hard Spun has also been successful with Speightstown specifically (his G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Aloha West is out of a Speightstown daughter) and the Gone West sire-line more generally (his G1 winners Spun To Run and Out For a Spun are also out of mares from this line). And then looking back another generation, the Danzig/Maria’s Mon cross has also done well and produced the world-class 2YO Air Force Blue.
All of which points to this being a successful mating, both in terms of its potential to produce a successful runner and a successful sale horse!