When looking to maximize the commerciality of a mare’s specific foal, first-year sires always make the most sense just because of the way that the US commercial market functions. And we believe that one of the best values among first-year sires heading into 2023 is Darley’s wickedly fast Speaker’s Corner, who will be the mate of the young mare Lime Squash.
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 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 has plenty of size and length, with 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.
Lime Squash was also best going a mile on dirt, and she rates an “A+” on TrueNicks with Speaker’s Corner (his sire-line has also done well with Storm Cat-line mares like Lime Squash’s dam, who is by Harlan’s Holiday). Although Speaker’s Corner raced exclusively on dirt and Lime Squash only won on dirt, Lime Squash is half to a pair of dual-surface stakes winners and sired by a grandson of Sadler’s Wells, while the Street Cry sire-line has gotten plenty of good turf horses and Speaker’s Corner has those lovely European connections relatively close-up in his pedigree as well.
So we could foresee a foal from this mating having success on any and all surfaces, and we’re very excited to see what the match produces!