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story posted Thursday 16th February 2006 10:56


SAINT BALLADO began his stud career in Florida at a fee of $2,500 but his success as a pre-eminent representative of the Turn-To sireline was such that at the time of his death in 2002, aged 13, he was standing at Taylor made in Kentucky at $125,000.

Along with Roberto, Saint Ballado has been a flagbearer for the Hail to Reason branch of Turn-to line stallions, along with the late Japan supersire, Sunday Silence.

In 2005, US horse of the year Saint Liam and the illustrious Ashado helped their sire to US leading sire by earnings wuth $4.76 million between them – almost half their sire’s total of $9.2 million, but Saint Ballado was also represented by horses such as Lord of the Game, Joyful Ballad, and Prospective Saint. He had 10 individual North American stakes winners among 79 individual winners.

Saint Ballado has emulated his own sire Halo, who was champion US stallion in 1989, joining an elite father-son club numbering just three in the past 40 years. A.P. Indy was 2003 champion stallion after his sire Seattle Slew achieved the feat in 1984; Raja Baba won the title in 1980 and his sire held court at the top of the table from 1963 to 1969.

Saint Ballado beat a worthy field to the champion sire title,with Distorted Humor (Forty Niner) runner-up and the leader by US stakes winners, with 17, one more than third-placed A.P. Indy. Langfuhr (Danzig) took honours as the US sire with the most individual winners, with 104 putting him ahead of Maria’s Mon (Wavering Monarch) on 100. It should be noted that the table only takes into account races and prizemoney earned in the US and Canada by US based sires, hence, for example, the $3.6 million winning purse taken by Roses In May (Devil His Due) for winning the Dubai Cup, is not included.

If Saint Ballado’s tale was a classic rags-to-riches story, Saint Liam is beginning his career on a much higher platform, standing at Lane’s End at a hefty first season fee of $50,000. Saint Liam has nine wins, six seconds and a third for $US4,456,995 earnings from 20 appearances. Saint Liam won the Eclipse horse of the year title in a landslide with 194 votes from Afleet Alex, winning the Breeders' Cup Classic (Gr 1) and Donn Hcp (Gr 1) as well as the Stephen Foster Hcp (Gr 1) – the latter on the same day that Ashado won the Ogden Phipps (Gr 1). He also won older male title,while Ashado -- the only winner of the Kentucky Oaks and Breeders' Cup – added older female to her Eclipse trophy as champion three-year-old filly.

Sold to Sheikh Mohammed at Keeneland for a $9 million as a broodmare, Ashado has a date with none other than Storm Cat.

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