First-Crop Sires: Flameaway making a mark on turf
Flameaway’s first crop started strong this spring/summer, placing him among the top five freshman sires based on progeny earnings, and the eight-year-old stallion remains prominent.
He currently ranks fifth on the first-crop sire list, accumulating $1,516,335 in progeny earnings, and Flameaway, who stands at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky. for a $20,000 fee in 2024, is the only new sire in the top five not standing at Spendthrift Farm.
By Scat Daddy, the Ontario-bred Flameaway won a total of five stakes, including the 2018 Kitten’s Joy on turf, and turf runners are a big part of his success at stud this season.
Dreamfyre romped gate-to-wire when opening her racing career in the $75,000 Everett Nevin S. at Pleasanton, and the speedy dark bay filly carried her form forward at Del Mar, rolling to a 3 1/2-length victory in the in the six-furlong Sorrento (G3) in mid-August. Despite the main track success, trainer O.J. Jauregui switched her turf for the one-mile Surfer Girl (G3) in early October, and Dreamfyre responded with a neck win.
She faltered when stepping up for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1), checking in ninth after setting the pace, but Dreamfyre remains a promising prospect on the turf for next season.
Gulfstream stakes winner
After opening his career with a pair of seconds, Freedom Principle broke through with a 7 3/4-length thrashing of maiden rivals going two turns on Gulfstream Park’s Tapeta in early October. The chestnut colt came back four weeks later to annex the Armed Forces S. at a mile and 70 yards, scoring by more than a length in frontrunning manner, and Freedom Principle has made all four career starts on synthetic while Gulfstream’s turf course undergoes renovations.
Turf will probably be in Freedom Principle’s future at some point, and it will be interesting to see where the chestnut runs next. Trainer Jose Garoffalo certainly has options.
Turf allowance scorers
A sharp debut turf winner at Ellis Park, Blue Eyed George rebounded smartly from a disappointing effort vs stakes rivals at Kentucky Downs, recording a convincing turf allowance victory at Keeneland on Oct. 26. The late-running colt has now two of three starts for Michael McCarthy, and Blue Eyed George figures to be headed back to stakes competition off his last performance.
McCarthy also has an up-and-coming daughter of Flameaway, Julias Dream, who remained perfect on turf when capturing an allowance at Del Mar on Nov. 10 at odds-on. A 5 1/2-length debut scorer on Del Mar’s turf this summer, Julias Dream sustained her only career setback when trying dirt in the Del Mar Debutante (G1). She appears to be a talented turf sprinter.
Following a fourth in the Laurel Futurity, Wine Collector got back into the win column by taking an Oct. 28 turf allowance at Laurel Park as the favorite. Since switching to turf four starts back, Wine Collector is perfect from two starts on firm ground, catching off conditions in a pair of setbacks. Rodolfo Sanchez-Salomon trains the chestnut colt.
Sixteen of Flameaway’s 55 starters have won, a solid 29% rate that compares favorably with other top first-cop sires. And Flameaway is well-positioned to remain in the top five through the end of the season, owning a solid cushion over Audible in sixth.
His offspring are showing versatility, and Flameaway is exceeding expectations so far at stud.