Bloodlines: San Vicente Winner Kanthaka Enhances Spotlight On Jimmy Creed

by | 02.13.2018 | 11:57am
Grade 2 San Vicente winner Kanthaka is the morning line favorite in the G3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes, part of the Pick 6 sequence at Santa Anita

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.

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