Two classic winners in his first crop
By Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone and half-brother to champion 3-year-old filly Bird Town, Birdstone lived up to his blue-blooded pedigree by winning three of New York’s most historic Grade 1 events – the Champagne at 2 and the Belmont and Travers at 3. At stud, Birdstone has proved capable of passing on his classic genes: His remarkable first crop yielded winners of the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.
Eclipse Award finalist at 2 and 3; one of only two horses to sweep the Champagne (G1), Belmont (G1), and Travers (G1)
Sire of two champions, two classic winners, and a pair of $2 million earners in his first crop, including champion and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Mine That Bird; champion Summer Bird, first 3-year-old since Easy Goer to win the Belmont (G1), Travers (G1), and Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1); Stephen Foster H. (G1) winner Noble Bird; Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) runner-up Swipe; track record setter and Breeders’ Cup runner-up Birdrun; and graded stakes winner and Breeders’ Cup-placed Thank You Marylou
Sales Results: 2016 yearlings sold up to $60,000, 2015 yearlings sold up to $190,000, 2015 2-year-olds sold up to $275,000
Lifetime: 30 black-type horses, 19 stakes winners, eight graded stakes winners, and $21 million in progeny earnings
Champagne S. (G1), Belmont Park, 1 1/16 miles, by 2½, defeating Chapel Royal, Dashboard Drummer, Notorious Rogue, Read the Footnotes, etc.
A maiden special weight race, Saratoga, 6 furlongs, by 12½, defeating Bold Love, Hornshope, etc.
Belmont S. (G1), Belmont Park, 1½ miles, defeating Smarty Jones, Royal Assault, Eddington, Rock Hard Ten, Tap Dancer, Master David, Caiman, Purge.
Travers S. (G1), Saratoga, 1¼ miles, by 2½, defeating The Cliff’s Edge, Eddington, Purge, Sir Shackleton, Suave, Lion Heart.
An allowance race, Gulfstream Park, 1 mile and 70 yards, by 3, defeating Capejinsky, Caiman, Smoocher, etc.
By Alan Porter
Winner of the Champagne Stakes (G1) at 2 and the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers Stakes (G1) at 3, Birdstone is a history-making classic sire.
A grandson of Unbridled, Birdstone is out of a Storm Bird mare. He sired his classic-winning champion 3-year-old colt Summer Bird out of a mare by Summer Squall, a son of Storm Bird bred on an identical cross to Storm Cat, and Birdstone has three stakes winners out of Storm Cat-line mares, including graded scorer Thank You Marylou. Tale of the Cat and other Storm Cat/Mr. Prospector crosses Bluegrass Cat, Stormin Fever, and Stormy Atlantic might prove particularly interesting.
From other Northern Dancer branches we can note a graded stakes winner out of a mare by Dixieland Band, the sire of Dixie Union; a stakes winner out of a mare by Sky Classic, from the Nijinsky II branch; and a stakes winner out of a mare by Toccet, a son of Awesome Again from the Deputy Minister branch.
Summer Bird was from the family of Relaunch, and Birdstone’s Grade 1-winning son Noble Bird is out of a mare by Relaunch’s grandson Tiznow.
Birdstone has been particularly successful when crossed over his own sire line, that of Mr. Prospector. His champion and Kentucky Derby (G1) victor Mine That Bird is out of a mare by Mr. Prospector son Smart Strike. Birdstone has two stakes winners out of mares from the Forty Niner branch, now best represented by Distorted Humor. From the Gone West branch he has two stakes winners — including multiple graded scorer Florida Won — out of Grand Slam mares and a stakes winner from a daughter of Came Home, with Speightstown looking like another interesting option.
Birdstone sired Grade 2 winner Birdrun out of a mare by Jolie’s Halo and graded stakes winner Livin Lovin out of a mare by another Halo-line horse, Captain Bodgit, a son of Saint Ballado (himself a brother to Devil’s Bag). Birdstone’s affinity for Halo might be explained by the presence of Halo’s genetic relative Drone in his pedigree. This would also suggest introducing the similarly bred Stop the Music, who could be brought in through Cure the Blues and American Chance.
Birdstone’s 2-year-old stakes winner Conquest Titan is out of a mare by Mineshaft, a son of A.P. Indy; Congrats, Flatter, Malibu Moon, and Pulpit are all sons of A.P. Indy bred on the same cross as Mineshaft. Daughters of A.P. Indy son Bernardini might also work well with Birdstone, and it would be interesting to try mares by Pulpit sons Sky Mesa (out of a Storm Cat mare) and Tapit (from the same family as Summer Bird).
Buzz My Bell