Bloodlines: San Vicente Winner Kanthaka Enhances Spotlight On Jimmy Creed

by | 02.13.2018 | 11:57am
West Point Thoroughbreds' Kanthaka and jockey Flavien Prat win the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

One of the surprise successes of the 2017 sales season for 2-year-olds in training was the depth of quality and athletic ability found among the first-crop juveniles by the Distorted Humor stallion Jimmy Creed.

In 2017, Jimmy Creed was an inexpensive stallion standing at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. He had been a nice racehorse, had a good pedigree, and really looked the part of an athlete when he went to the sales as a yearling and again when he showed up in the winner's circle.

Every year, however, nice-looking horses go to stud and get little more than animals who fill races.

So, the response to the first juveniles by Jimmy Creed merited attention.

Of the sire's 26 2-year-olds who went through the ring for in-training auctions last year, 21 sold for an average of $87,570 and a median of $60,000, from an entering stud fee of $12,500.

A third of those brought $100,000 or more, including Kanthaka, who sold for $140,000 at the 2017 Barretts March sale of select 2-year-olds in training to West Point Thoroughbreds. On Feb. 10, Kanthaka won his second race in three starts when the handsome chestnut came home first in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes at Santa Anita.


At the Barretts sale, Kanthaka pointed himself out as a good prospect with a stride length of nearly 25 feet and such excellent stride component factors he earned a BreezeFig of 65 and was among the select group of work horses who got a Group 1 ranking from DataTrack International.

Kanthaka is now the third graded stakes winner for his sire, who last year was represented by G2 Sorrento Stakes winner Spectator and by Star Galicia, a G3 winner in Panama.

Graded stakes speed was the key quality of Jimmy Creed during his own racing career.

A winner of the G1 Malibu Stakes at 3 and the G2 Potrero Grande at 4, Jimmy Creed was also third in the G1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship at 3 and the G1 Bing Crosby at 4.

The handsome chestnut had been a $900,000 September sale yearling in 2010 for the racing stable of Wayne Hughes, and when the colt went to stud at Spendthrift Farm, Jimmy Creed proved popular with breeders.

Part of the way Spendthrift operates its stallion business is to sell breeding rights in the “Share the Upside” program, and season and shares representative Mark Toothaker said the breeding rights sold in Jimmy Creed numbered “somewhere in the high 30s.”

When a young stallion prospers, the breeding rights become a commodity of their own, and Toothaker noted there is a “resale market for them, with the most recent trading at around $60,000 each.”

With that level of interest and the stallion standing at $15,000 live foal, he is going to receive a markedly stronger book of mares than in earlier years. And the horse will receive more mares, as well. Jimmy Creed covered 67 mares in 2017 and will breed a book of around 130 this year.

In addition to having his sire stand at Spendthrift, the San Vicente winner has further ties to the history of the farm.

Kanthaka goes back in the female line to the excellent producer Mellow Marsh (by Seaneen), who was bred by Harbor View Farm, which bred and raced many notable horses, including Triple Crown winner Affirmed (Exclusive Native), and was a decades-long Spendthrift client, standing Raise a Native and Exclusive Native there as well.

At Spendthrift, Mellow Marsh foaled five stakes winners from 14 foals, nine of whom were fillies.

Spendthrift Farm owner Leslie Combs acquired Mellow Marsh and bred the stakes-winning fillies Yale Coed (Majestic Prince), Active Voice (Pretense), Brorita (Caro), and Manicure Kit (J.O. Tobin), plus the colt stakes winner L'Natural (Raise a Native), from Mellow Marsh.

Even more amazing, seven of Mellow Marsh's nine daughters produced stakes horses, including Yale Coed, the dam of four-time G1 winner Interco (Intrepid Hero), and Alyne Que (Raise a Native), who foaled G3 winners Descent (Avatar) and Muscovite (Nijinsky).

One of the two who didn't produced a stakes horse was Alyne Que's full sister Raise an Heiress, who was bred by Spendthrift, won twice from seven starts, and is Kanthaka's third dam. The mare ended up consigned by Wayne Lukas and L.R. French to the second Night of the Stars sale at Fasig-Tipton in 1988, and the young mare, in foal to leading sire Caro, sold for $650,000 to Frances A. Genter Stable.

So, a family which made a mark at Spendthrift decades ago, now has success anew with Spendthrift's new guard of sires, including Jimmy Creed.

Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in Central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.

  • Ida Lee

    Always liked Jimmy Creed….not surprised that he makes beautiful and talented babies ….

    • Eddie

      Who didn’t u like…..

      • Ida Lee

        I love horses….all horses….some more than others ….I do have levels of “love” though …example: Secretariat is in a level all his own; then another level for Curlin, Pharoah, Chrome and the ladies….Zenyatta, Rachel, Beholder and just about every mare who ever raced; next level…Barbaro, John Henry, Cigar, Funny Cide, Charismatic….honorable mention group includes Little Mike, Game on Dude, Gun Runner…..well, you get the picture….then I have the likes ….that’s the biggest group actually….how do I know I “like” a horse like Jimmy Creed? there was a little something about him, or maybe just his name, that got my attention and I picked him to win the race over the rest of the field …

        • OopsyDaisy3

          Ida Lee, i know you listed some wonderful mares so please allow me to add Royal Delta (RIP) wonder how her foal is doing, and then Lady Eli. Those are 2 that i really ‘love’ as far as Lady Eli goes and ‘loved’
          with memories of Royal Delta, she was special. Linda in Texas

          • Ida Lee

            Hi Linda….Happy Valentine’s Day ….a few days ago, I was talking to my husband about TBs we have lost and find it very hard to forget….Ruffian and Royal Delta are on top of that list ….just about every mare who ever raced is special to me….I don’t know what it is about mares…. Genuine Risk, Rags to Riches, Black Caviar….I could go on and on …. Winning Colors, Personal Ensign, Pepper’s Pride, Ginger Punch, Blind Luck, Havre de Grace, La Verdad, Unique Bella….love them all …

          • John Murray

            Winx

          • Ida Lee

            Oh yes….her name alone sends me flying into my happy place ….

          • OopsyDaisy3

            Hi Ida Lee, thanks for mentioning so many more. I could not have done that without reaching back in my old foggy or should that be fogie brain.
            On the subject of mares, any word about Zenyatta’s foaling date?
            Thanks so much. Linda

        • Magi

          I think John Henry is the greatest story of all. Absolute legend.

          • Ida Lee

            I got Old Friends to sell me an old John Henry poster they had …I got it framed and it hangs in my TV room/den….so believe me John will forever have a place in my heart not to mention my home….

  • Laura Woodside

    My Derby pick so far

  • jimmy ski

    I wonder how many mares did he cover in his first 2 years?Now he goes from 67 to 130 this year.Gotta get every buck you can.I like Claiborne’s approach to limit the mares covered with each sire and no dual shuttle.

    • From his first crop, foals of 2015, Jimmy Creed covered 141 mares, with 102 reported in foal, and 91 live foals, per the Jockey Club. For his second crop, the horse covered 147, with 90 reported in foal, and 81 live foals of 2016. With his third book of mares, Jimmy Creed covered 72 mares, with 43 reported in foal, and 37 live foals last year that are now yearlings. The fourth-crop coverings are mentioned above, and those will be arriving this spring.

      Typically, third- and fourth-year books decline precipitously because only breeders strongly committed to the horse or planning to race the offspring themselves want to risk having yearlings and 2-year-olds by horses that the marketplace will already have judged successful or not.

      • jimmy ski

        Thanks for the info.My question now is how many covers a day for a stallion with a 140 mare book?I’ve followed racing since my youth but just started going on farm tours learning the breeding side.

        • About two covers a day. Breeding season is approximately five 1/2 months long (Feb. 10 or 14 to July-ish, if breeders still want a late cover). So around 165 days. Most farms try to manage stallions and mares to have fewer than 1.5 covers per mare.

  • LJ

    Jimmy Creed:
    Pros: Won 2 nice stakes in CA.(1- G1 & 1 – G2) Fee:$15K Comes out of a pretty good female family & female runners have earned 2-3x as much their male counterparts in the 1st 2 Dams.
    Cons: Only 10 starts. Never ran at 2. 1st 2 wins on artificial surface.
    Cost $900k – Earned $440k..Never won beyond 7F.

    Like Kanthaka. Love to see 3yr-olds that win or place & run big in San Vicente in their 1st start as 3 yr-olds develop going forward.Good Luck!

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