Yearlings by first-crop sires whose weanlings grabbed the most attention last fall—as measured by sales average—will get much of the limelight during the July 11 Fasig-Tipton July Sale, but rest assured a couple of sires will start finding traction at this sale. 

Leading the first-crop class are four sires whose weanlings generated six-figure averages, a strong contingent considering the first-crop class of 2022 included two stallions whose first weanlings sold in this price range. The top quartet for this year includes Spendthrift Farm’s 2020 Horse of the Year Authentic (with a 2022 weanling average of $242,692), Lane’s End’s 2018 champion 2-year-old male Game Winner ($138,200), Gainesway’s four-time grade 1 winner McKinzie ($134,250), and Claiborne Farm’s American Classic winner and dual-surface grade 1 winner War of Will ($102,762).

Among these four sires, McKinzie will have the greatest representation at the July Sale with six entered as of July 9. Game Winner and War of Will will be represented by four, and Authentic just two.

One stallion whose progeny fell outside the top 10 of his class by 2022 weanling average (among those with three or more sold) but could get some serious consideration by yearling-to-juvenile pinhookers is Airdrie Stud’s Complexity Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan picked the son of Maclean’s Music out of the 2017 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and signed the ticket for $375,000. The colt went on to race for Klaravich Stables and trainer Chad Brown and captured the Champagne Stakes (G1) at 2. A quarter crack kept him out of competition through the Triple Crown series, but he came back at 4 to win the Kelso Handicap (G2) and be runner-up in the Forego Stakes (G1).

Bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet Stables, Complexity is out of the Yes It’s True mare Goldfield, making him a half-brother to grade 3 winner Valadorna, by Curlin, who was runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). 

Other of Maclean’s Music’s progeny have shown plenty of precociousness as well. Among the sire’s 31 black-type winners to date, 10 became stakes winners at 2. His leading earner so far, Jackie’s Warrior , won the Hopeful Stakes (G1), Champagne Stakes (G1), and Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) at 2 and went on to become Eclipse champion male sprinter for 2021. 

Complexity exited last year’s fall sales with a $58,519 weanling average from 27 sold, but these sales included five that sold for six figures. Mullholland Springs sold Complexity’s top-priced weanling, a filly out of the Dynaformer mare Hudson River Gal that Sycamore Hall Farm bought for $165,000 during the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. 

As for book quality, Complexity is among the top 10 of his class with a 1.53 Comparable Index for his first crop. The CI is based on earnings similarly to the Average Earnings Index but considers only the foals by other sires out of the dams of Complexity’s first foals. A higher CI indicates how good the mares are collectively as producers regardless of to whom they were bred.

Complexity is represented by 14 entered in the July Sale, which is the highest number entered among the first-crop yearling sires. 

“Complexity is a beautiful horse and because of his race record and how attractive he is, he has been popular with breeders. To have 14 cataloged in the July sale where physicals are such a premium, it is a very good indicator of their quality,” said Bret Jones with Airdrie. “He is built like a fast miler, and he is throwing horses that look like they’ll have speed, but there were also plenty of breeders who recognized he could bring that speed to their two-turn-type mares. I don’t expect him to throw only speedballs. I expect him also to throw horses that can stretch out successfully.”

Airdrie has consigned two of Complexity’s July entrants that the farm bred and raised. They are Hip 266, a filly out of the Ghostzapper winner Bestinthebusiness, who is a half-sister to grade 3 winner Do Share (Candy Ride) and stakes-placed winner Dalton (Kantharos); and, Hip 343, a colt out of Stevie Wonderboy winner Heart of Midway, who is a half-sister to La Brea Stakes (G1) winner Sam’s Sister (Brother Derek) and stakes winner Sensitive (Divine Park). Heart of Midway’s family has been particularly productive for Airdrie founder Brereton C. Jones, who also has bred from the tail-female line grade 1 winners Check the LabelInclude Me Out, and Sweet Talker along with five other stakes winners.

“We wanted to bring two nice representatives to the first yearling sale of the year and I think we’ve done that,” Jones said. “The filly is a big, strong stretchy filly that has the top line people expect to see in this sale. The mare has already had a stakes horse from her first foal.

“As for the colt, probably no family has been better to dad (Brereton Jones) over the last 50 years than this one,” he continued. “He is a well-balanced, strong colt that you are proud to show to buyers.”

First-Crop Yearling Sires
The chart below includes statistics for the leading first-crop yearling by their 2022 weanling average, including only those with three or more weanlings sold at auction in North America. For each stallion are shown the 2021 stud fee, the number of 2022 Northern Hemisphere foals, the CI (Comparable Index) and CPI (Class Performance Index) for 2022 foals, and the 2022 weanling average (number sold in parentheses) and median.
Stallion ’21
’22 Wnlg Avg.
(No. Sold)
’22 Wnlg
Authentic $75,000 153 2.94 3.38 $242,692 (13) $230,000
Game Winner $30,000 109 1.70 2.81 $138,200 (10) $130,000
McKinzie $30,000 167 1.91 2.62 $134,250 (24) $117,500
War of Will $25,000 109 2.02 2.62 $102,762 (21) $90,000
Tiz the Law $40,000 90 1.81 2.94 $96,750 (16) $70,000
Improbable $40,000 117 1.76 3.73 $94,700 (10) $102,500
Vekoma $20,000 144 1.35 1.96 $92,222 (27) $75,000
Country House $7,500 31 1.17 2.69 $91,667 (3) $15,000
Volatile $17,500 118 1.62 2.11 $80,742 (33) $67,000
Instagrand $7,500 127 1.65 2.23 $65,609 (23) $40,000
Complexity $12,500 119 1.53 1.70 $58,519 (27) $52,000
Maximum Security $20,000 77 0.99 1.98 $57,000 (12) $37,500
Rowayton $5,000 25 1.14 1.51 $54,667 (3) $24,000
Global Campaign $12,500 117 1.20 1.49 $54,563 (16) $52,500