Size isn’t everything. A.P Indy sire Congrats is proving just that with the imposing Vinery stallion producing 3 individual 2yo winner’s this week from a third crop light on numbers.
Congrats has a grand total of just 29 foals (now 2YO’s) to call on from his third crop but is clearly making the best of an unusual set of circumstances by producing yet another Swer and a Grade 1 2yo.
The former U.S Champion First Season sire has so far been represented by only 13 runners in the USA juvenile category in 2012 returning 7 winners including the Stakes winning Coastal Sunrise, stakes placed Emile and the Grade 1 placed, Toasting who finished third in the coveted Frizette Stakes at Belmont in New York.
“Congrats hadn’t had any runners on the track prior to him covering this smaller third crop,” Vinery’s Adam White explained.
Despite producing very athletic foals, these factors resulted Congrats attracting only a small third book. However, this lull mare numbers was only ever going to last one season once Congrats’ first crop hit the track.
With 26 individual 2yo winners in that first crop, 12 2yo stakes horses, 4 2yo Grade 1 performers, 2 of those Gr.1 winners, Congrats was immediately cast as North America’s most promising young sire.
The newly installed Champion First Season Sire was soon serving much larger books of mares of infinitely higher quality than what he had managed to upgrade so well at the start.
“Congrats is now covered books of good books of quality mares and is somewhat of a boom horse in Kentucky where he stands at Vinery.”‘ White said.
“And all the while his yearlings, weanlings and two-year-olds in training were all getting noticed and making good money at the sales.’’
Importantly, Congrats phenomenal first crop of 2yo’s has trained on as older horses, now 4yo’s Congrats first crop has won Gr.1 races as 3yo’s and 4yo’s and now boasts an 87% winner’s to runner’s record with 20% earning blacktype.
“I think one of Congrats’ great strengths is that his horses are sound and tough – and they win. Despite not benefitting from the continued support of quantity or quality that some other stallions are afforded, Congrats has sired 122 winners from 157 runners which is a massive 77.7% strike rate and 26 of those are stakes-performers,” White noted.
While Congrats’ stunning and continued success in the USA has made him one of the busiest stallions in Kentucky, his southern hemisphere book has been limited to ensure supply doesn’t overrun demand.
“He covered a strict book of 140 in his first year and was full very early.” says White, “Astute Breeders flocked to him yet again this season and he was limited to around 150.
“We are mindful to keep his numbers in check no matter how early this means we have to close his book,” say White, “considering his continued dominance and the enquiries we’ve already received for 2013, it is safe to say we will not see the same lull in his third season here!”