Featured question:

How many sons of War Front are standing in Kentucky in 2017?

Currently there are 8 sons of War Front standing in Kentucky for 2017. WriteSocially Social Media profiles them in its article ‘2017 is the Year to Go War Front.’

More facts about thoroughbred stallion War Front and his sire line:

  1. With stallion War Front’s increased success over the last two years, now is the time to focus on his ability to become a sire of sires. Commercially War Front’s sons have done well, and breeders are flocking to his best sons to get the best return at the yearling and two year old sales.
  2. War Front’s fee has been bumped up to $250,000 for 2017. Breeders will increasingly look to his sons to find War Front’s heir and to access this sire line at a lower price point.
  3. ‘2017 is the Year to Go War Front’ looks at Kentucky sons of War Front, plus sons standing in Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Oklahoma. Thoroughbred breeders can then determine which sons of War Front best fit their breeding program.

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*Please note: Since this article’s publication, another son of War Front has been retired in the U.S. to stand for 2017. Peace and Justice will stand at Diamond B Farm in Pennsylvania. An allowance winner at a mile on turf, Peace and Justice defeated graded stakes winners, and is from the Smart Strike mare, Strike the Sky. His family traces to 5th dam What a Treat, 1965 Champion Three Year Old Filly. What a Treat produced the elite sire Be My Guest. Peace and Justice’s fee for 2017 will be $3,500.

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Which of War Front’s Sons Has the Best Chance to Become His Heir?

And more to the bottom line: which ones offer breeders the best opportunities to profit?

Like collectors of the finest art, thoroughbred horse farms across the country are now vying for top sons of one of the nation’s premier stallions, War Front. At 15, War Front is enjoying immense popularity, especially after his banner year as the #1 sire of two year olds. His stat lines from the BloodHorse Stallion Register indicate the incredible momentum this horse is building, and justify his recent bump up to a $250,000 stud fee:

2016: 36 SH, 19 SW, 24 GSH, 10 GSW
Lifetime: 13 G1W, 31 GSWs, 53 SWs
Yearlings up to $1.9M at KeeSept

If you can’t get to War Front for 2017 or can’t purchase a mare in foal to the great stallion, then what are your other options? Fortunately there are many, at a variety of price points. It seems most every day a thoroughbred farm announces it will now stand a son of War Front. There’s quite a bit of scrambling going on, especially for the upcoming 2017 breeding season, to stand the son that will turn breeders’ heads.

War Front’s great sire, Danzig, has been gone for 10 years, and while War Front may not reach Danzig’s stakes winner total, he certainly is a world renowned stallion that is respected for what his progeny has accomplished on the racecourse and in the sales ring. The next question will be if he can emulate Danzig as a sire of sires. Will there be one War Front son in America who assumes his sire’s mantle as the leader, or will several emerge as useful, if not spectacular, heirs to the throne? (For the purposes of this discussion we are reviewing sons of War Front standing in America. In a sequel piece we may look at sons standing outside the U.S.)

Start with Claiborne

We can start with Claiborne Farm itself. They stand Data Link, a G1SW, and new course record setter. He stands for a very affordable $7,500, and had first crop yearlings this year sell for up to $200,000. With all of those factors in mind, and with his resemblance to his sire, one might pause in the search right here and put down Data Link as a serious contender for a top War Front stallion.

Factoring In

Speaking of factors, War Front’s The Factor was retired in 2013 after an excellent racing career where he won two G1 stakes, and 3 G2 stakes. Known for his speed (track record setter at Santa Anita at 2), this son of the great stallion definitely took the yearling sales by storm in 2015, and then scored big at this year’s 2 year old sales, with multiple juveniles selling for over $400,000, and one for $520,000. He achieved the coveted goal that all stallion managers want for their charges: he sired a G1 winner in his first crop this year; the filly Noted and Quoted who won the Chandelier S. at Santa Anita. At $25,000, The Factor has definitely been a good investment up to this point. What his progeny does on the track from now on will dictate how things shake out for him. He could be a good bet to continue his success. Since he shuttles to Newgate Farm in Australia, he has additional opportunities to build his presence worldwide.

Hitting a Home Run

Two year old prowess is what War Front is building his sire record on, and two of his best two year olds retired this year. Hit It a Bomb, who will stand at Spendthrift Farm in 2017, won the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). As the only Breeders’ Cup winner by War Front, Hit It a Bomb deserves some serious consideration. That he won his Breeders’ Cup race as a two year old might suggest that he may be a candidate for passing on that precocity that his sire is becoming famous for transmitting. As a full brother to 2 year old G1SW Brave Anna, this horse’s family is alive and well. With Spendthrift one can often receive tremendous value due to their Share the Upside program, and Hit It a Bomb is part of that offering. In 2017 he will stand for $8,500 Share the Upside or $7,000 stands and nurses. It might be worth a shot to get a lifetime breeding right via Share the Upside, as this colt ticks all the boxes as a potentially solid heir to his sire.

Declaration of War – The Total Package

Declaration of War is highly intriguing, especially this year, as his fee has dropped a bit to a very tempting $35,000. After beginning his stud career in Ireland, he returned to the States to take up duties at Ashford Stud. Billed as the best son of War Front (and his race record verifies that statement), his dam is a half sister to G1 siring Union Rags, which is some great icing on the cake, in addition to Declaration of War’s stellar race record. Undefeated through his 3 year old year when he won the G3 Diamond S., Declaration of War really took off at age 4, where he won two G1 stakes and then traveled to America to finish an exciting, closeup third to Mucho Macho Man in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). This year his first yearlings hit the sales and were very well received, averaging over $120,000. He sired many in the higher six figures, including $800,000, €475,000, $400,000, 380,000gns, $350,000, €350,000 and more. With the ability to carry his brilliance and quality over the classic distances, and the success of his family, (he is a full brother to GSW War Correspondent, and a half brother to GSP Vertiformer, in addition to his second dam being the dam of Union Rags, as we indicated earlier) Declaration of War deserves a serious look. His damsire, Rahy, was a very accomplished stallion and is noted as a broodmare sire, with Giant’s Causeway as the prominent example of this prowess.

As indicated above, Declaration of War’s full brother, War Correspondent, is another War Front son that merits consideration in 2017. Standing for a very reasonable $5,000 at Calumet Farm, this horse is a GSW of the G3 Appleton S. He had his greatest success finishing third in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (G2); barely a length behind the stellar Mshawish. 8 times in the money from 10 starts, with 4 wins, War Correspondent won $227,189. He offers very affordable access to the same blood as Declaration of War, with his own demonstrated GSW brilliance at one mile on the turf.

Don’t Overlook Summer Front or Jack Milton

Last year two prominent sons of War Front retired to Kentucky, in Jack Milton and Summer Front. Summer Front intrigues because he was an undefeated multiple SW at 2, a millionaire, and won G2 stakes, while placing in G1 stakes 5 times. The family is full of precocious speed, including his half sister Laragh who won the G1 Hollywood Starlet. She was also third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1). This is also the family of Carson City, Siphonic, General Meeting, and Summertime Promise. Summer Front’s fee for 2017 remains at $10,000 as it was in 2016. The speed that this horse showed made him an outstanding miler. He has the total package to be a top contender as War Front’s successor.

Jack Milton’s body type, like that of Data Link, reminds one of his sire. Jack Milton did not start at 2, but was a GSW at 3, taking the Transylvania S. at Keeneland, at 1 1/16 m. on the turf, defeating Up With the Birds. At 5 he became a G1 winner, taking the Maker’s Mile at Keeneland over Za Approval, Summer Front and others. Jack Milton leads all War Front sons at stud by career Ragozin Numbers. He ran a mile in 1:33. This horse also excelled at longer distances, as in his closeup third (lost by two heads) to War Dancer in the Virginia Derby (G2) at 1 1/4 miles. Standing for $6,500 at Crestwood Farm in Kentucky, he has the credentials to be any kind of sire; perhaps brilliant. Full brother to GSW Peace Preserver, Jack Milton hails from a top Claiborne family, tracing to the great producer, Bourtai, through her top daughter, Bayou. This is the family of War Pass and Oath. Other top performers that hail from the Bayou branch include Coastal, Slew O’ Gold, et al.

Regional War Front Sons

Fast sons of War Front are definitely not limited to Kentucky.

Regionally one doesn’t have to worry about a lack of War Front sons – they are beginning to take hold in several states; including Florida, Maryland, New York and Oklahoma. This is a boon to regional breeders who may not wish to ship to reach this bloodline; and the choices are excellent.

In Florida Soldat stands at Woodford Thoroughbreds. Soldat, who was a MGSW at 2 and 3 on dirt and turf, demonstrated exceptional class at 2, as he broke his maiden in a G2 stakes. Soldat then continued to show his class by finishing second in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. At 3 he raced with the best of his crop and won the G2 Fountain of Youth in wire to wire fashion. His first yearlings were well received at the sales this year, with four selling for $100,000 or more, led by one that sold for $155,000. Buyers liked the look of these yearlings and at Fasig-Tipton July three of them sold for an average of $65,000, which is a tremendous return on a $5,000 stud fee.

Two newer additions to the War Front stallion ranks will be standing in Maryland and New York for 2017. Country Life Farm, in partnership with Seth Hancock and Mrs. Adele Dilschneider, will stand Mosler, a very intriguing War Front horse, from Gold Vault, by Arch. Mosler has always been a standout, as he sold for $1,050,000 as a yearling. Gold Vault has also produced G1 winner Contested; winner of the Acorn and Test S. (both G1). Mosler’s full brother, Air Vice Marshal, sold as a yearling to Coolmore Stud in 2014 for $2,200,000. With this strong of a family and being by War Front, Mosler has a lot to offer. He himself excelled on the track, taking this year’s Laurel Dash over Ben’s Cat. Mosler offers breeders the benefit of his versatility, as he is also a stakes winner on the turf; taking Belmont’s Elusive Quality S. Standing for $4,000, breeders have an excellent opportunity to access a quality son of War Front in Maryland.

Not to be outdone, Rockridge Stud in New York will stand War Dancer in 2017. As the first son of War Front to stand in New York, War Dancer brings an impressive set of credentials. A MGSW and G1 placed in the Man O’War Stakes, War Dancer demonstrated the ability to win over a distance of ground; as he was victorious at 1 1/2 and 1 1/4 miles. A versatile horse, he also competed well at 1 1/16 miles. He posted 4 Triple Digit Beyers and won or placed in 11 stakes (9 graded). This accomplished son of War Front is one of only 3 millionaires by his sire standing in the U.S. His stud fee has not yet been announced.

Breeders in Oklahoma can access Doctor Chit at Royal Vista Ranches in Wayne. Doctor Chit showed brilliant speed, running six furlongs in 1:08.90 at Belmont. He hails from the family of sire Mr. Greeley. As a stakes-winning, GSP son of War Front, Doctor Chit has the credentials to be a very useful sire. Winner of the listed Western Larla S. at Belmont at 6 furlongs on the dirt, and finishing only a length from first in the G1 King’s Bishop at Saratoga, Doctor Chit demonstrated classy speed that breeders should find exciting, for a very reasonable $2,500 fee.

Blue May Be the One to Come Through

So while breeders can certainly find substantial quality among the aforementioned ten sons of War Front, there is one that we are especially keeping our eye on, and he stands his first season in Kentucky in 2017, at Ashford Stud. This is Air Force Blue, a stunningly beautiful son of the great stallion. European Champion Two Year Old and MG1SW at two, Air Force Blue has received the accolades that come with his accomplishments. He is the first two year old since 2001 to win three G1 events, taking the Dewhurst Stakes [G1] at Newmarket, and the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes [G1], and the Phoenix Stakes [G1] at the Curragh. Some of the best known horsemen in the world have sung his praises, and Timeform rated him at 128p as “The best champion of his age group in Europe for nearly 20 years, with the exception of Frankel.” That’s heady praise indeed, and Air Force Blue has a lot to live up to in his next career as a stallion. His family is stellar; his second dam is a full sister to champion Flanders. Flanders herself foaled champion Surfside.

Some may see the first year fee of $25,000 for Air Force Blue as a bit of a bargain. Others may be a bit hesitant as he did not show top form at 3. On two year old form alone, he certainly offers everything one could want in a champion son of War Front.

Lots of Ways to Go War Front in 2017

2017 may be the best year yet to find a son of War Front in America to fit one’s breeding program and budget. War Front himself started at a lower-end $12,500 stud fee in 2007 and built his reputation over time. With sons standing in five states (and counting) and at a range of price points, this could be the year that breeders tap into this sire line (via his sons) with a reasonable hope for success.

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