I started my homework last month about who the Mosses should send Zenyatta to next if all goes well. Last year I had a top 5 list, and Zenyatta did indeed go to Tapit like I requested! Of course, at this stage it would appear the Mosses are favoring “trendy” sires, but who knows, that could easily change this year with foal #3. I have done a little digging and tried to find new sire picks that are feasible (i.e. Empire Maker and Henrythenavigator will be out of the running, sadly, because they are not in North America). Here it goes!:
Henrythenavigator - Over in Ireland. Sigh.
1) Lemon Drop Kid - A classic winner with a Belmont (I) victory and a G1 winner at ages 2, 3, and 4, LDK is both a really good-looking stallion, an excellent racehorse, and a phenomenal sire with graded stakes winners on every surface type. I’ve always greatly appreciated Kingmambo (and the rest of Miesque’s family). Fee $35,000 (TrueNicks Rating: A)
2) Bullet Train [GB] - Yep, going with a newbie here, but really it’s hard to argue against the spell-binding presence of Frankel’s 3/4 brother, newly-relocated to Kentucky. Should Zenyatta’s connections suddenly start favoring a great turf horse, Bullet Train is basically a perfect match: speed, great bloodlines, and strong classic ability. Fee $7,500 (TrueNicks Rating A+)
3) Lonhro [AUS] - While new to the U.S. and unconventional, it’s hard to knock the black beauty Lonhro who ran an impressive 35 times down under, winning 26 times with 11 Group 1 titles. A truly underrated freak of nature, he represents Australia’s finest with son Pierro taking much attention last year as a sizzling two-year-old. Fee $30,000 (TrueNicks Rating: B)
4) Cape Blanco [IRE] - The first foal crop from the G1-winning titan looks amazing, and I gush at the possibilities. Undefeated at the age of 2 and a G1 winner at 3 and 4, the stunning chestnut son of Galileo [IRE] offers serious substance and distance ability with wins at 12 furlongs. Fee $17,500 (TrueNicks Rating: A)
5) Smart Strike - Grass, poly, dirt, no matter! Smart Strike always seems to have a special one out of every crop: My Miss Aurelia, Salty Strike, Centre Court, Dynamic Strike, Lookin At Lucky, Curlin, English Channel Smart Bid, Never Retreat, blah blah blah. It’s a no brainer. Get Z in before he gets too old, please! Fee $85,000 (TrueNicks Rating: B)
This is all a wish list, and I realize from looking it over that most of these options probably won’t ever happen because of American racing prioritizing dirt over grass. As for what I think will most likely happen, I think the Mosses will go with Medaglia d’Oro, Distorted Humor, or another A.P. Indy boy. I would be surprised if they picked a brand new stallion, but it’s always possible they might go with someone with a lot of early ability and speed like Bodemeister.