It’s always important in the breeding business to be adaptable, and though we were originally excited at the idea of sending No More Excuses to a son of Tapit in 2023, things did not work out that way and instead, she’s going to be a member of the first book of mares to visit the wickedly fast Speaker’s Corner at Darley.
Speaker’s Corner was highly-hyped from the beginning of his career and broke his maiden at 2 over a field that included future SWs Caddo River, Greatest Honour, Miles D and Bourbonic. After an extended layoff, he returned at 3YO to win an allowance at Saratoga going 7 furlongs, finished 6th as the second choice in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby next time out, won a Belmont allowance by open lengths, then was nailed on the line in the G3 Discovery. Shortened up at 4YO, he ripped off impressive wins in the G3 Fred Hooper and G2 Gulfstream Park Mile, both going a flat mile at Gulfstream, then scorched 7 furlongs in the G1 Carter to win by 4-1/2 lengths and earn a 114 Beyer, the best earned in the past 3 years by any horse other than Flightline (he previously earned a 109 at 3, equal to the highest of all 3 Eclipse finalists in the category that year). Speaker’s Corner followed that 3-race win streak with a game 3rd in the G1 Met Mile after making Flightline run him down on the front end, then was 2nd to Life Is Good in the G2 John Nerud before two subpar races to end his career with a total record of (13) 6-2-2, $739,963. He has the pedigree to back up his class, as well, being a son of leading sire Street Sense out of a Bernardini mare (meaning he’s bred identically to Darley’s second year sire Maxfield), while his 2nd dam is G1 winner Round Pond (the dam of G1 winner Long River), and his 3rd dam is a half to Euro champions Black Minnaloushe and Pennekamp.
We believe that his brilliance and his pedigree make Speaker’s Corner an excellent sire prospect, and if he had retired after the Carter, he could have stood for twice as high a fee (also, if Darley didn’t already have his sire Street Sense at $75k LFSN and Maxfield at $40k LFSN, maybe he’d have been higher as well).
Speaker’s Corner also has an outstanding physical. He is good-sized, beautifully-balanced, has a huge hip and a nice straight hind leg — it’s easy to see where his speed came from. And while he could be described as a bit plain, that’s fully in keeping with his sire-line.
Indeed, other than the fact that she has a much prettier head, Speaker’s Corner and No More Excuses are very similar physicals — right down to the fact that neither has a speck of white on them. Which (the similar builds, not the lack of flash) no doubt explains where both got their fantastic speed from, and we are hopeful that this extreme like-to-like pairing will produce a similarly-made and similarly-successful foal.
TrueNicks rates the Street Cry/Not For Love cross an “A++” on the basis of two stakes winners among 10 winners from just 11 runners bred this way. Both of those stakes winners, Somekindofmagician and Soul Driver, achieved that status as turf milers, and it wouldn’t surprise us if the foal from this pairing also liked the lawn; although Speaker’s Corner never ran on grass, his grandsire Street Cry got turf/all-weather standouts like Zenyatta and Winx, while his female family has some very turf-centric names not too far back (Trempolino and Coral Dance being the parents of his 3rd dam, who is a half to a pair of European high weights, as mentioned above), while No More Excuses was a turf winner herself.
Going back another generation, No More Excuses is out of a mare by Cherokee Run’s son Kafwain, which is the Blushing Groom sire-line, and Street Sense has sired the triple G1 winner Sweet Reason from a mare by Blushing Groom’s son Mt. Livermore, so we think that bodes well here, too.
Indeed, although he wasn’t our initial choice for her this year, Speaker’s Corner actually suits No More Excuses incredibly well, and we’re excited that circumstances have led to this pairing!