Most breeders give Union Rags the props he deserves as a Belmont Stakes (G1) winner and now sire of two G1 winners in his first crop. Union Rags has received accolades from his racing career right up through entering stud and straight through to when his first crop hit the sales. Now he has proven himself capable as a top progenitor of quality.
But you thought this blog was about Dixie Union’s son Gone Astray…And it is. By illustrating the success of Union Rags (and we can also point out High Cotton and now Grasshopper with Texas Chrome) we build the case for Dixie Union as a sire of sires. Dixie Union has already stamped himself as a powerful broodmare sire with the likes of Mohaymen, Mor Spirit and Klimt to his credit. Now let’s examine Gone Astray and see why this son of Dixie Union offers so much to breeders.
At the bargain fee of $4,500 Gone Astray should raise some eyebrows due to his stellar breeding. The match of Dixie Union with the Mr. Prospector mare Illicit brings together two of the most famed families in the stud book, not to mention prominent inbreeding to the great Mr. P himself. Dixie Union’s family was well chronicled in my post about I Spent It; as Dixie Union and I Spent It both trace to the famed broodmare Change Water. Change Water is the ancestress of multiple top performers and producers; most notable the line represented by her exceptional daughter Fall Aspen. Fall Aspen, the dam of a treasure trove of top runners and producers, is the dam of Colorado Dancer, who produced the great Dubai Millennium, who of course sired current superstar sire, Dubawi.
Via his dam Illicit (she a half to Eclipse champion Smuggler, and from Hall of Famer Inside Information), Gone Astray hails from one of the most famous Phipps families, tracing to his 5th dam, the great Grey Flight. Breeders need little introduction to this foundation mare, as she foaled 1975 & 1976 national leading sire What a Pleasure, plus Misty Morn, Bold Princess and others.
Gone Astray’s current popularity stems from his brilliant undefeated son Three Rules. Three Rules swept the Florida Sire Stakes Series and now sits at 5 for 5 as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile looms. Listed among the contenders it would add a tremendous credential to the growing influence of Gone Astray if Three Rules wins that race. Gone Astray so far this year has sired 2 BTSW and the earners of nearly $2 million dollars. Sitting at #8 on the second crop sire list as of this writing, Florida sire Gone Astray is poised to join Union Rags and make his name known throughout the land.