Usually in this spot we’re looking at the overall top 25 among North American sires on the General Leading Sires List.

But with the year at the July 1 halfway mark, it makes for a perfect opportunity to explore the early leaders among this year’s first-crop sires. Don’t worry, if you are looking to see the latest among sires overall, check out the accompanying rankings.

First-crop sires are unlike anything else in sports: They are a combination of rookies, all-stars, and most valuable players rolled into a huge and fast four-legged package.

What is fascinating is that a leading sire doesn’t necessarily have to be a classic or Breeders’ Cup World Championships winner.

Look at the current first-crop sire rankings, where about $2,500 separates the top two.

Complexity, who stands for $12,500 at Airdrie Stud, won half of his 10 career starts and earned more than $600,000. After winning the 2018 Champagne Stakes (G1) in his second start, he never won a grade 1 again in five additional attempts. But he was a very good runner, and as a stallion the son of Maclean’s Music is getting off to a great start, with nine winners from 14 runners with $447,786 in progeny earnings.

His top earner is Hollygrove , a 2-year-old filly out of Moon and Stars, who won her debut May 24 at Churchill Downs and has $69,000 in earnings from that one start. A couple of his other juveniles who have won their first forays on the track are Complexion and Mo Plex .

Complexion dazzled in her maiden debut, winning by 6 1/2 lengths June 14 at the Belmont at the Big A meet. Six days later, Mo Plex, who is out of the Uncle Mo mare Mo Joy, won his debut by 10 lengths.

Right behind Complexity among first-crop sires by progeny earnings is Vekoma. The son of Candy Ride won six of his eight starts en route to more than $1.2 million in earnings. He stands for $15,000 at Spendthrift Farm.

Vekoma is the leading first-crop sire by number of winners through June 30 with 10 winners from 16 runners. Anakarina is his top-earning offspring, who won her second career start by three lengths.

Other impressive runners for Vekoma include Viggiedal , who is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Minnelli and broke her maiden at Churchill Downs by five lengths; Louisiana Jess , who broke his maiden by half a length two races before Viggiedal; and Stitches , who won his lone start by 2 1/4 lengths at Woodbine.

These newly minted stallions aren’t alone near the top of the standings.

Spendthrift’s Thousand Words has $381,766 in Northern Hemisphere progeny earnings (as of June 30), and his daughter Vodka With a Twist  became his first black-type stakes winner June 30 at Churchill Downs.

Then there is Crestwood Farm’s Caracaro , who has two winners from three runners. In her first two starts West Memorial  posted Equibase Speed Figures in the mid-90s and earned a black-type win in the Kentucky Juvenile Stakes. Thousand Words and Caracaro are the only freshman sires with stakes winners to date.

Most of the top 10 is filled with racing millionaires—Tiz the LawGame WinnerWar of WillAuthentic, and Global Campaign  —as well as grade 1 winner Echo Town  .

It is too soon to predict what lies ahead for any of the first-crop stallions, but good starts to their stud careers can often serve as harbingers of more positives and accolades in the coming years.