She Be Wild: victory by the daughter of Offlee Wild in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies was influential in her sire landing the US first season sire titlePICTURE: EDWARD WHITAKER
Offlee Wild crowned leading US first crop sire
SHAKESPEAREAN'S win in the Goffs Million wrapped up victory for Shamardal in the 2009 European first-crop sires' title with six weeks of the season still to go, but it has been a different story in the US, where a battle between Roman Ruler and Offlee Wild has gone all the way to the wire.
On Wednesday, Roman Ruler gained a $708 edge over his rival when Tiny Woods triumphed in a Santa Anita allowance race. However, the pendulum swung the other way during the decade's final afternoon of racing in the US when Offlee Wild's Heavenville earned $12,040 witha third-placed effort in the Lousiana Futurity.
It is only the third time since 2001 that the leading US first season sires' title has been decided by earnings of less than $100,000; in 2002, Distorted Humor edged out Awesome Again by$43,330 (Elusive Quality was demoted from first to third following the disqualifications of Elusive City in the Richmond Stakes and a maiden at Lingfield) while in 2005, Tiznow finished $78,145 ahead of Roman Ruler's half-brother El Corredor.
Fittingly, Heavenville was Offlee Wild's first runner and winner when scoring in a maiden special weight at Keeneland in early April. Since then, the son of Wild Again has been represented by 16 further winners led by She Be Wild, whose win in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies contributed $1,080,000 to her sire's progeny earnings of $1,939,951.
A tough and durable performer from the immediate family of Dynaformer, Offlee Wild's finest moment on the track came when he won the Grade 1 Suburban Handicap. Purchased by Darley shortly after that win, Offlee Wild entered stud at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky for $15,000, which was reduced to $7,500 for the 2009 season. Despite landing first season sire honours, he will stand for $7,500 again this year.
Hill ‘n' Dale Farm's Roman Ruler has been a headline maker nearly all his life, starting when he sold for $500,000 as a yearling to Fog City Stable.
The son of Fusaichi Pegasus went on to win half of his ten starts led by the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational and Grade 2 Norfolk Stakes in a striking performance which led trainer Bob Baffert to claim he was the fastest two-year-old he had ever trained.
Roman Ruler's first crop has yielded 29 winners including Grade 1 Champagne Stakes winner Homeboykris. He will stand the 2010 season as Hill ‘n' Dale Farm in Kentucky for $20,000.
The pair are approximately $500,000 clear of Wintergreen Stallion Station's Pollard's Vision, the sire of Grade 1 heroine Blind Luck. Wildcat Heir, who recently set a northern hemisphere record of 39 juvenile winners in a season, and Kitten's Joy fill fourth and fifth.