Wednesday, July 22, 2009

N.Y. stallion Badge still on the market

From the looks of things, a stud farm still has opportunity to buy the ex-New York stallion Badge, and at a price that gets better each time I check.

As I noted on June 13, the 13-year-old stallion was posted for auction at The price then was $20,000, which I speculated was too high.

Today, it appears to be down to $9,500. In this sorry economy, even that might be asking too much, but if someone were to acquire this stallion who has been standing at Foggy Bottom Farm, I really believe they'd be getting a nice horse.

Badge (Air Forbes Won-Revenge Time, by Raja's Revenge) was a winner at 2, a Grade 3 winner at 3, and finished a gutsy third in the 1999 Preakness behind Charismatic and Menifee.

At stud, Badge has thrown some nice winners -- most notably stakes-placers Heathersdaddysbaby (13 wins, $327,059) and Pretty Partisan (11 wins, $255,730). Statistically, he upgrades his mares, with his foals performing a little above the breed average in earnings despite a broodmare band that otherwise has been a group of relatively poor producers.

And, he has a pedigree that I like: A Bold Ruler-line sire out of a Bold Ruler-line mare (4x4) and neither of those lines via Secretariat or Seattle Slew, making him an excellent linebreeding opportunity for mares carrying those popular stallions. He's an outcross for Mr. Prospector, and only carries one line to Northern Dancer, who appears in Badge's fourth generation as the sire of Look North, dam of Raja's Revenge.

Obviously it's proving tough for Badge to find a new home. But I would think that a sire of some rugged runners, as Badge has been, would acquit himself pretty well in a smaller U.S. market (New Mexico, perhaps) or in the Caribbean or South America.

If you buy him and he doesn't pan out, well, you can always blame me.


  1. At the risk of sounding pedantic, you should have said that Badge has "gotten" some nice winners...

    mares "throw", stallions "get".

  2. Do you have an acre in your back yard, sounds like you'd be the best salesman for him. Nice piece, i remember Badge in that preakness.

  3. At the risk of being argumentative -- because I do that sort of thing sometimes -- I've certainly witnessed plenty of instances of the word "throw" being used both for stallions and mares. Personally, the stallion seems more like the "thrower" and the mare's activity at foaling is more like a "drop," which I've also seen.

    It certainly to me doesn't seem to be as clear-cut a case of my using the wrong terminology as when someone says that a foal is "out of Milwaukee Brew" when the term should be "BY Milwaukee Brew" and "out of" whatever mare bore the foal.

    I decided to check for examples, to see if I'm a complete idiot. (Which is possible.) There are plenty of other people out there who likewise might just be buffoons. But there are people within the industry using the term "throw" as I've used it, for a stallion's progeny.

    A quote from Adena Springs' Web page: “I love training the offspring of Awesome Again. He is a hell of a stallion. He throws a very nice individual. Their soundness goes along way," leading California trainer Craig Dollase.

    Australian Breeding & Racing magazine quotes Bob Frappell of Clear Mountain Fairview stud on the sire Zaha: "He's beautifully bred & throws good types with great temperaments."

    Found a piece by K.T. Donovan in Thoroughbred Times regarding a son of More Than Ready, which reads: "Partially owned by Vinery Stud, who stands his sire, Perfectly Ready is very dark like More Than Ready and has his sire’s face, but is built leaner. His connections anxiously wait for Saturday to see if he can emulate More Than Ready’s sprinting success, but so far, he has genetics on his side. His father throws progeny that run well on bothturf and dirt and have shown their ability on two continents."

    And, Avalyn Hunter, author of both "Gold Rush: How Mr. Prospector Became Racing's Billion Dollar Sire" and "The Kingmaker: How Northern Dancer Founded a Racing Dynasty" wrote this in the Blood-Horse about Storm Cat: "Few stallions have fit the modern commercial market better than Storm Cat. Seven times the leading sire of juveniles, he regularly gets quick, precocious runners, yet has demonstrated that with the right mare, he can throw a horse capable of getting the American classic distance of 10 furlongs.

    Certainly Avalyn considers "get" and "throw" interchangeable when discussing a stallion's progeny, as do I.

    However, I'd be interested in hearing from others.

    Do stallions "throw" foals? Or only "get" them?

    (P.S. Yes, Handride, I have exactly an acre. But I also have a stallion already in Virginia who is expensive enough on his own!)

  4. You can use the term gets and throws for stallions; you can also use the term sires; or is by a sire; for mares, produces nice individuals; or foal is out of, or from; or she's dropped some nice foals; or she gets strong foals; or she's foaled 3 SWs;

    i personally don't like to use the phrase a mare has thrown, although there's nothing wrong with it.

  5. I'm with you, Sid. I personally don't care for "throws" when it comes to mares. But I know that it does get used.

  6. Nice piece, personally I like to have him myself, oh and I agree with you stallions are more of throwers and fillies are more of droppers.

  7. Glenn –

    You and (others) may prefer the sound (and or thought) of stallions' "throwing" offspring, but that usage is (minimally) far from being typical. In order to illustrate the point, let's consider a different tense. How often have you professionals in the industry state that a particular stallion "threw" a particular type? Mr. Prospector threw fast horses? Storm Cat threw horses with hot temperaments?

    In my experience, and I'd bet that of the vast majority of horsemen, that usage is exceedingly rare. The typical, long-established expression is that they "get" or "got" runners, or "sired" runners.

    Along those lines, it's worth mentioning that the offspring of males have been referred to as "get" at least as far back as biblical times. Given that history, it is not only a much more common usage, but also traditionally correct to say that stallions "get" runners.

    I don't deny that some people use the word "throw" when referring to stallions, but given the current state of the English language in the U.S., throwing out (couldn't resist) a handful of anomalous examples is hardly the basis of a compelling argument.

  8. I think it's pretty darned compelling when you have a trainer, stud farms on two continents, the author of two of the finer books on 20th century American sires, and Sid Fernando, president of, all using the term "throw" for the stallion's end of the equation.

    They "get," too, certainly. But I'm not sure why you think the term "throw" for the stallion's contribution is even a little bit uncommon or improper.

    I can even "throw" in Wesley Ward, who at Ascot said his stallion Bring the Heat "throws sprinters."

    And Garrett O'Rourke of Juddmonte Farms, speaking of Distant View (who was being shipped to Argentina): "He's a horse that throws winners. ... He throws extremely honest horses."

    Or Eoin Harty, boasting of the soundness of two of his charges, "a trait that Tiznow throws to his stock.”

    I really think you're going to have to catch on to the fact that the use of "throws" is practically global in reference to a stallion's work. (Yes, pun intended.)

  9. Glenn,

    I'd bet that even today, less than 10% of English speaking professionals use the word in that context. Furthermore, the main question still remains: is that usage correct? I'd argue that it is not, and that the more frequent use of it these days is a simple reflection of modern language degradation.

    As one of countless analogies, I frequently hear or read (mostly younger) people using the word "dominate" when they actually mean "dominant". These type of misuses spread rapidly due to technology and social networking, and language is degraded as a result.

    Now, if you care to trace the history of the word "throw" as it relates to horse breeding, and discover that it was, in fact, originally used in reference to stallions, then I'll be happy to admit that I am wrong. But given that I almost never heard it used in that context for (roughly) the first 20 years of my involvement in the industry, I don't expect that to be the result of any investigation.

  10. by the way, the term "throwing" is not limited to thoroughbreds.

    here's a AQHA ad for the stallion Biebers Oakie: Throwing quality colts, showing the ability, good looks, disposition and trainability of their Sire. See Mr. Golden Oakie and Merada Smokin Oakie (alias 'Cimmarone'.)

    here's a pony stallion ad:
    00/17 Stallion Reg No 196
    Born 2000
    Sire Lowhouses Rambo
    Dam Bowes Countess
    9½ inches of bone Jan 2003

    Premium Stallion throwing all Section A foals to date

    here's an ad of a stallion "throwing color":
    We stand a buckskin stallion throwing high percentage color and have buckskin and other quarter horses for sale.

  11. I don't know how we'd prove it, Tinky. Poll of "professionals" maybe? But I'd take that bet. The more I look, the more I find.

    Vinery Australia's GM Peter Orton on the G1 winner Mossman: "He is a magnificent-looking stallion and throws such good-looking, tough, athletic types."

    Consigner David Scanlon, on a Street Cry colt at the 2008 Calder February sale: "He's a big, 'scopey' horse like the sire throws."

    Bloodstock agent Nick de Meric, on a Tale of the Cat filly he'd just purchased: "We felt she was a beautifully balanced, athletic type of filly with awonderful look, and she epitomized all the best qualities that Tale of the Cat throws.”

    John Moynihan, bloodstock agent: "Dynaformer is one of those sires that throws horses that aren't attractive ... but they consistently run."

    Empire Stud of New York, on one of its stallions: "Chief Seattle throws an outstanding individual ... on Chapel Royal: "Chapel Royal is a gorgeous horse who throws gorgeous foals ...

    R&B Bloodstock in the U.K., on the stallion Mind Games: "He is a horse with all round appeal, he consistently throws tough, sound, fast horses ..."

    George V. Smith, pedigree analyst to Virginia Kraft Payson, on a stallion prospect: "You should know whether he has the good stuff from the very first foals he throws ..."

    So, yeah, I'm all over that bet. ... I mean, only 11 percent of all English-speaking "professionals" wins, right?

    Granted, the American Heritage Dictionary's No. 14 definition for "throw" is "To bear (young). Used of cows or horses, for example."

    "Bear," clearly, means "to give birth."

    But even dictionaries do, eventually, change.

    Sometimes I, too, get frustrated how the language evolves around us. But evolve it does. (And this case is absolutely nothing like morons not knowing the difference between "dominate" and "dominant.")

    Google "sire throws" and "stallion throws," then "mare throws" and "broodmare throws." The number of returns are statistically nearly the same. (About 9,130 usages in reference to males; 9,660 for females.)

    Certainly seems the word is being used interchangeably, regardless of gender ... at least these days.

  12. Sure 'nuff, Sid. I figured all those people, though -- QH folks, color-breeders, etc. -- might be considered even less sophisticated than I in this debate. (grin)

    More from the TB world ...

    Pin Oak Lane's owner and veterinarian William Solomon: "(Point Given has) bred a variety of mares and really throws speed.

    Headline in Owner-Breeder International on a story about In Excess: "Nothing Succeeds Like Excess; Golden State Sire Throws Speed."

    I really do suspect we're at loggerheads here, though. (Grin)

  13. Glenn –

    While it may not move the discussion forward, I can't resists pointing out the following from some of your examples above.

    (Nick de Meric) Even you should agree that stallions don't throw qualities!

    ( it is never correct to use "who" in relation to a horse; should have used "which"

    (Empire Stud ) more incorrect grammar: should be plural – "throws outstanding individuals"

    While partly tongue-in-cheek, my point is that you are mostly quoting people who do not use language particularly well to begin with.

    But I do agree that times have changed, and language with it. I still recall when the word "awesome" carried tremendous weight, but it has now been drained of virtually all of its original impact.

  14. If you want to quibble with Empire Stud's usage, go ahead. It doesn't change the intended meaning of the word at that source.

    As for Nick de Meric, what do you mean, stallions "don't throw qualities?" And why complain about his particular usage? It's how everyone else is using the word, albeit in other cases more specifically, i.e., "throws speed," "throws tough, sound, fast foals," "throws gorgeous foals," etc..

    The American Heritage Dictionary's top definition for "quality" is "an inherent or distinguishing characteristic; a property." And the growing usage of "throws" in connection with a stallion is largely in conjunction with a trait or attribute -- or "quality" -- he is imparting on his offspring; speed, soundness, height, color, etc.

    As for, the usage there is absolutely correct per the source I suspect the writer was intentionally following, and allowable by at least one dictionary.

    Associated Press style states: Who is the pronoun used for references to human beings and animals with a name."

    Random House dictionary: "(Who is) used relatively in restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses to represent a specified antecedent, the antecedent being a person or sometimes an animal or personified thing.

  15. Glenn, now you're tumbling down the slippery slope of poor grammar.

    Do you really believe – even setting aside our original dispute – that it is in any sense correct to state that a stallion throws (or gets) particular qualities!?

    Stallions get horses which have (or are prone to having) particular characteristics. They don't "get" or "throw" the characteristics themselves. de Meric's use of the word in that context is unequivocally incorrect.

    With regards to the who/which question, it has long been accepted that who, whom and whose are used primarily in reference to people. I could cite numerous sources (dictionaries and others) that buttress the point, though I do agree that some references now add animals and personified things as a third or fourth usage. I suspect, though, that if one were to consult an old dictionary, there would not be any references to animals.

    In any case, language does change, and I accept that. However, to revert to my previous example, while it might be reasonable to say that the word “awesome” now means essentially the same thing as “cool” to most younger people, it is clearly not consistent with the original meaning of the word.

    You apparently like to engage in research, so my original challenge stands. If you can find conclusive evidence that “throw” was originally used in reference to stallions (as opposed to mares), then you will have settled the argument in your favor.

  16. Look wherever you desire for evidence that other sources don't permit animals to be referred to by the pronoun "who" or "whom," but I work with AP style every day, and for the 20 years I've been in the newspaper business, that's been AP's style -- animals with names are "who" and "whom." ... I'm sticking with it.

    As for "throwing" particular qualities, quibble with the linguistic correctness of that usage all you wish, it's simply how the word is being used, regardless whether you've granted your blessing.

    I'm prepared to stipulate that you're probably correct on how originally "throws" was used to mean foaling by the mare, not siring by a stallion. (Though if I find evidence to the contrary, I'll let you know.)

    But I've been reading, watching and listening on this subject for 20 years (I suspect you've been at it decades longer) and I've never known "throws" to be solely used for the broodmare's role. In fact, I think it's likely I first heard the term tossed out it was by televised handicappers (pan them if you wish, but they're both media and horse industry professionals) in statements such as "the sire throws speed."

    Your insistence that your preferred definition of the word is what "throws" still means to 90 percent of the industry is, from all prevailing evidence, likely incorrect. I'd say that's particularly so when some of the examples cited above -- ex-DRF bloodstock columnist Sid Fernando (present in this thread representing himself himself), Avalyn Hunter, Ann Ferland in OBI, etc. -- are among the more recognizable writers on the subject, and when Juddmonte Farms, Adena Springs and Pin Oak Lane are established names in the breeding business.

  17. The philologist in me very much enjoyed the "throws" vs. "gets" debate. And as long as we're on the topic of English, how about "that" and "which?" E.g. I went to my home race track, Rillito Downs, which (that?) probably will not reopen next year.


I welcome comments, including criticism and debate. But jerks and the vulgar will not be tolerated.