Mike Ryan reflects on Upstart’s progeny at OBSMAR

As published at: https://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com/pdf/tdn/tdn200319.pdf

Prominent agent Mike Ryan seems to have a particular affinity for, and track record with, purchases who remind him of horses off his long list of past successes. In Wednesday’s session-topping $600,000 Upstart colt (hip 598), he saw shades of Structor (Palace Malice), who he purchased for $850,000 here 12 months ago for hip 598’s new owners, Jeff Drown and Don Rachel. Structor, unbeaten in three starts last term including the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, will soon be joined in the Chad Brown barn by hip 598. “It was quite extraordinary how much he reminded me of Structor—same size, quality, strength“, said Ryan. “He had an aura about him. I felt he was the best horse in the sale… About 20 minutes after I bought him, David Hanley of WinStar, who were the underbidders, came up and said to me, ‘He’s just like Structor, isn’t he? So, I wasn’t alone on my feeling. He’s a very special horse.” A $220,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by John and Susan Sykes’s Woodford Thoroughbreds, hip 598 breezed in :21 flat at last Saturday’s breeze show session. The Feb. 12 foal is out of a winning half-sister to MSW and MGSP Brigand (Flatter) and SW Sky Music (Sky Mesa). Brigand was a $925,000 OBSMAR grad himself in 2011. “The cross has worked–there’s a stakes winner by Flatter and a stakes winner by Sky Mesa under the second dam, so the A.P. Indy line has been very successful with this female line,” Ryan noted. “Plus, with his performance on the racetrack, the way he breezed, he’s a two-turn horse but he’s still got plenty of pace. He galloped out in :32 1/5 and :46 1/5. There’s a lot of Quiet American in him, too [via his second dam], which I like. Quiet American was the broodmare sire of [Ryan-purchased Horse of the Year] Saint Liam… I knew he was going to be expensive. I’m hoping he’s good enough to be on the front of the catalog next year like Structor was this year.”

Ryan made five purchases at the March sale for a combined $1.62 million, four of which were by first-crop sires–he bought another Upstart colt, hip 359, for $280,000; a $380,000 Outwork colt (hip 358); and a $170,000 colt by Speightster (hip 322). “I’m not opposed to buying freshman sires,” he said. “Structor was by Palace Malice, [GI Kentucky Derby] winner Nyquist, who we bought as a yearling, was by Uncle Mo. If they’re good physicals, it doesn’t really matter to me.” Ryan added, “I was very impressed with both the Outworks and the Upstarts. I bought a yearling by Outwork last year, but I didn’t buy any by Upstart–I hadn’t seen too many of them. It became very evident to me watching the breeze show live that every one of them moved well. They’re good, easy movers. They have a low-to-the-ground action. Then, when I went back to the barn and looked at them, I was impressed with them physically. I’m sure there will be a great demand for people wanting to breed to the horse now on that $10,000 stud fee. He’s not an expensive horse, but he’s sure breeding quality.”

Upstart, a stakes winner and MGISP at two and GSW at three and four, stands at Airdrie Stud.