Stands at Claiborne Farm for $30,000 in 2010
First Samurai was a top class 2-year-old. He was a multiple Grade 1 winner at 2, having won the 2005 editions of the Champagne S.-G 1 and Hopeful S.-G1, as well as placing 3rd in The Breeder's Cup Juvenile-G1.
His sire, Giant's Causeway, finished 2009 as the leading sire in North America, based mainly on his older progeny's earnings, but it should be noted that he sired a very respectable 23 2-year-old winners in 2009 and was actually tied for 1st with 5 2-year-old stakes winners in 2009.
I don't expect First Samurai's progeny to make a big splash early in 2010 but as the 2-year-old races in North America begin to stretch out to 5.5 and 6 furlongs his runners should start to excel.
Stands at Darley for $25,000 in 2010
Henny Hughes earned $644,820 as a 2-year-old on his way to winning both the Tremont and Saratoga Special S.-G 2. In addition, he was 2nd, at 2, to First Samurai in both the Champagne S.-G1 and Hopeful S.-G 1. Henny Hughes capped off his 2-year-old season with a near victory in The Breeders' Cup Juvenile-G 1. He had the lead at the 16th pole in the Juvenile but reluctantly let Stevie Wonderboy by him inside the last 50 yards. Had he won, he most likely would have been the champion 2-year-old in 2005 as he was able to turn the tables on his nemesis First Samurai in the race.
His race record combined with the fact that his sire, Hennessey, was a Grade 1 winner at 2 and former champion 2-year-old sire himself indicate that Henny Hughes has a great chance of topping the Freshman sire list by the end of the year.
Stands at Darley for $12,500 in 2010
Rockport Harbor was an undefeated, multiple graded stakes winner at 2 who won at distances from 5.5 to 9 furlongs.
While his paternal line isn't seen as a significant influence for early development, his sire, Unbridled's Song, is the sire of 2008 2-year-old champion Midshipman and he is out of a speedy Coplean mare.
I think you might see his progeny running, and running well, slightly earlier than the two listed above. His runners should stick around for the late summer and fall 2-year-old races too.
Stands at Three Chimneys Farm for $7,500 in 2010
I have to admit that I wasn't a big fan of Sharp Humor's when he was retired to the breeding shed, however, I have seen a great deal of his sons and daughters at the sales and have been very impressed with them physically. As I saw more of them that I liked at the sales I began to review his race record in more detail. During this process I realized that he did break his maiden at Belmont, in July, while posting a first half-mile of :44 and change and that he was champion 2-year-old in New York that year.
As it relates to becoming a successful Freshman Sire there are aspects of this guy's pedigree that I like. He is by Distorted Humor, who has sired a fair share of top-class 2-year-olds himself (Z Humor and Awesome Humor come to mind) as well as the fact that he hails from the female family of 2-year-old champion Forty Niner and Grade 1 winner at 2 Swale but I am mainly basing this one on his foals. They just look early to me.