For a breeder with a proven, stakes-producing mare and looking to maximize the commercial value of her next foal, first-year sires are typically the first and best place to look, and we believe that the gorgeously-bred Greatest Honour at Spendthrift offers great commercial upside at a reasonable price point given how popular he has been with breeders. As such, we’re excited to recommend him for Darting in 2023.
A five-time winner by the Cherokee Run son During (who originally retired to stud at Claiborne Farm before moving to West Virginia), Darting is already the dam of the three-time stakes winner and $300k earner Kenny Had a Notion (by regional sire Great Notion). She traces back to Althea Richards’ good local mare Duds, the dam of multiple graded winner Finery and stakes winner Smock, as well as of Green Jeans, who is in turn the dam of G3 winner Just Call Kenny, stakes-placed Determined Vision, and granddam of 2022 multiple stakes winner Green Up.
Those last three black-type horses are all sired by A.P. Indy-line horses like Greatest Honour: Just Call Kenny and Determined Vision are both by Jump Start, while Green Up is by Upstart. The TrueNicks rating for the Greatest Honour/Darting match is an “A” and encompasses 2022 & ’23 stakes winner Betsy Blue among the handful of stakes winners bred on the rated cross. Mares from the Cryptoclearance sire-line of Darting’s dam Dosh have also had success with this sire-line (another “A” on TrueNicks), and the foal from this cross will have 5×5 inbreeding to Fappiano, Vice Regent and Blushing Groom (the latter two sex-balanced) — all three of whom are positive inbreeding influences in pedigrees.
Greatest Honour himself brings plenty to the table as a stallion prospect: he rose to prominence on the Triple Crown Trail in Florida, breaking his maiden impressively despite a troubled trip and then reeling off victories in both the G3 Holy Bull and G2 Fountain of Youth Stakes in off-the-pace style for trainer Shug McGaughey over a Gulfstream surface and configuration that would not have played to his strengths. Though he went to the sidelines before the Kentucky Derby-G1, the impression that he made in those wins combined with a stunning physical presence and a pedigree that’s second to none in the studbook, he makes for a fascinating new addition to the Kentucky stallion ranks. His incredible pedigree combines a sire in Tapit who is the all-time leading North American sire by money won, and a three-time Leading General Sire, responsible for the likes of Flightline, Essential Quality, Constitution, Tonalist, Frosted, Untapable, Unique Bella, Tapizar, Tapiture, Tacitus, etc. Greatest Honour’s dam was a $2.2 million broodmare purchase who is half to the Belmont-G1 winners Rags to Riches and Jazil, all of them out of the Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, herself a daughter of Blue Hen broodmare and Kentucky Oaks-G1 winner Blush With Pride. This is the female family also of Eclipse Champion Close Hatches, the dam of Tapit’s multiple classic-placed and exciting young sire son Tacitus.
Greatest Honour is a big, strapping, beautifully-made horse with loads of presence, and he should be a nice physical match for the big and pretty Darting. Given those similarities, and the success that their bloodlines have already achieved when blended, we believe their foal ought to have every chance to be a success in the sales ring and on the racetrack for its breeders!