It was an extremely close race, but it appears Ramsey Farm's Kitten's Joy has secured the title of leading North American sire by earnings for 2013.
Heading into today's cards, according to the widely-recognized General Sire List at Bloodhorse.com, Kitten's Joy runners had collected $11,320,523 in earnings, giving him a slim $89,342 advantage over Speightstown, who sat in second with earnings of $11,231,181.
WinStar Farm's Speightstown would have had an opportunity to pull ahead on the final day of the year (with some racing luck), but several scratches seem to have sealed the deal for Kitten's Joy. Speightstown had an entry at Aqueduct Tuesday and four more in two separate races at Fair Grounds, but four of those five horses were scratched. Had his runners won all three races, the purse money (about $97,000 for the winners' shares) could have put Speightstown on top of the earnings list and set up a wild finish on New Year's Eve at Turfway Park.
Kitten's Joy has two entries in small-purse races at Turfway this evening, and both runners are favorites. The combined winner's share of those races equals $9,000, meaning the battle between Kitten's Joy and Speightstown could have come down to literally hundreds of dollars in the final hours. Alas, it's all hypothetical at this point.
But other stats for the two stallions are neck-and-neck as well. Going into today, each sire had 257 runners. Speightstown produced 153 winners to 133 for Kitten's Joy, but Kitten's Joy held a slight edge (24-23) in the number of stakes winners and graded stakes winners (11-10). The top bread-winner for Kitten's Joy was Big Blue Kitten, who won a pair of Grade 1 races and racked up $902,800 in earnings. For Speightstown, it was Reynaldothewizard, winner of the $2 million G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen.
Kitten's Joy will stand at Ramsey Farm in 2014 for $100,000, twice what he stood for this year. WinStar Farm has set Speightstown's 2014 fee at $80,000.
Rounding out the top five on the General Sire List are Giant's Causeway, Malibu Moon, and War Front. Next year, War Front's fee at Claiborne Farm nearly doubles from $80,000 to $150,000, the highest U.S. stud fee along with Gainesway Farm's Tapit, who ranks 7th on the General Sire List.
On the North American-only earnings list, the recently deceased Taylor Made Stallion Unbridled's Song – sire of Will Take Charge – ranks third, with Speightstown fourth and Tapit fifth.
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