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BIRDSTONE

Stands for $10,000 SNLF at Gainesway Farm

 

Birdstone is the stallion of the week, for the week ended Sunday May 3.

The son of Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone and grandson of Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled is himself now the sire of a Kentucky Derby winner, Mine That Bird, who won the Churchill Downs classic Saturday at odds of 50-1. Birdstone also was a classic winner, in 2004, when he won the 12-furlong G1 Belmont Stakes to thwart Smarty Jones' Triple Crown bid. All told, Birdstone won 5 of 9 starts at 2 and 3, including the G1 Champagne Stakes at 2 and the G1 Travers at 3, for earnings of $1,575,600. He was the real deal as a racehorse, and he had a family behind him as well, which shouldn't make his excellent start at stud surprising.

Birdstone, who went to stud for $10,000 and presently stands at the same fee, is a half-brother to champion filly Bird Town, who won the G1 Kentucky Oaks in 2003. Their dam, the Storm Bird mare Dear Birdie, was Broodmare of the Year in 2004.

Birdstone's first crop is 3 in 2009, and aside from the new Derby winner -- who was champion Canadian 2-year-old colt of 2008 -- it includes the 2009 G1 Kentucky Oaks runner-up Stone Legacy (20-plus lengths behind winner Rachel Alexandra) and G2 Arkansas Derby third Summer Bird, who was 6th of 19 in the Kentucky Derby.

For a relatively unheralded stallion, Birdstone is showing a penchant for getting high-class runners. His stakes horses to date are: Mine That Bird (G1 winner, champion); Stone Legacy (G1-placed); Summer Bird (G2-placed); Livin Lovin (G3 winner); and Texas Birdstone (SW). 

Birdstone also is making a case for Belmont Stakes winners as sires, once considered a negative for prospective stallions because of the perceived stamina they bring to the table. He, along with Belmont Stakes winner Empire Maker (sire of Derby runner up Pioneerof the Nile), can join a group of successful stallions siring quality horses such as A.P. Indy (sire of Preakness winner Bernardini and Derby second Aptitude), Thunder Gulch (sire of Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner Point Given), and Lemon Drop Kid.

A small-to-average-size horse, Birdstone's son Mine That Bird is built on the same scale. Mine That Bird's size, action, and reserves of stamina no doubt helped his efforts in Derby going that was much heavier than wet-fast; the gelding appeared to skip over the best part of the track, on the rail, while his rivals labored over the surface. He won by 6-plus lengths under a ride and a trip that he relished. Click here to view it.

--Sid Fernando

DAVID BAY (AUSTRALIA)

DAVID BAY (born 1952) has owned horses since he was a teenager, trained as a journalist and worked as a reporter and editor on major Australian newspapers before becoming chief executive of Australian Bloodhorse Breeders' Association (now Thoroughbred Breeders Australia) for several years. More info...

EMMA BERRY

EMMA BERRY (UK) is the bloodstock editor of Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder magazine and European correspondent for Inside Racing in Australia. She has previously worked as deputy editor of Pacemaker and deputy editor/racing editor of Horse & Hound. She does matings in Europe only. More info...

SID FERNANDO

SID FERNANDO, a 1982 graduate of Vassar college, is a prominent racing and breeding writer and is president of eMatings LLC and Werk Thoroughbred Consultants, Inc. (eNicks.com). He has been a private pedigree consultant to a select group of international breeders and owners for the last decade. More info...

ROBERT D. FIERRO

ROBERT D. FIERRO is managing director of DataTrack International, a firm that helps clients breed, and select, thoroughbred racing and bloodstock prospects utilizing pedigree analysis and several long-established biomechanical programs. With his partner, Jay Kilgore, he devised BreezeFigs™... More info...

FRANCES J. KARON

FRANCES J. KARON is the acclaimed editor and a writer for the quarterly publications North American Trainer and Trainer magazines and one of the familiar faces at the Four Star Sales agency. Among the horses whose matings Frances has recommended are Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Cajun Beat and Grade 2 winners Fire Slam and Irguns Angel More info...

KRISTEN MANNING (AUSTRALIA)

KRISTEN MANNING is a freelance pedigree analyst and racing journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Working for various publications such as Bluebloods, Owner Breeder and Racetrack Magazine, she has been studying pedigrees for two decades... More info...

KAREL MIEDEMA (SOUTH AFRICA)

Of Dutch extraction, KAREL MIEDEMA was born in 1946 and emigrated from UK to South Africa in 1976. A life-long obsession with racing developed into a deep interest in breeding and pedigrees during the 1980s. His pedigree insight focuses on genetic sibling inbreeding... More info...

DIEGO MITAGSTEIN (ARGENTINA)

DIEGO MITAGSTEIN is based in Argentina and is one of the most prominent turf journalists in South America. More info...

FRANK MITCHELL

FRANK MITCHELL is the author of the book Great Breeders and their Methods: The Hancocks and is the editor and principal writer of Racehorse Breeding Theories. Formerly deputy bloodstock editor of Daily Racing Form, he writes a weekly column for Daily Racing Form called "Sires and Dams" that concentrates on bloodstock and sales... More info...

MAJOR SRINIVAS NARGOLKAR (INDIA)

MAJOR SRINIVAS NARGOLKAR was born 1943 in Mumbai, India, and educated at St. Xavier's High School and College, Mumbai. He joined the Army and was commissioned in the Regiment of Artillery. He was sent on deputation to Nigeria and took active part in two wars. The Major took premature retirement in 1987 and joined the Stud Book Authority of India... More info...

STEVEN A. ROMAN, PH.D

STEVEN A. ROMAN, Ph.D, was born in 1943 in New York City and is currently a resident of Costa Rica. He is the author of Dosage: Pedigree and Performance, published by the Russell Meerdink Co., in 2003... More info...

VICTOR SHEAHAN (IRELAND)

VICTOR SHEAHAN is a cost accountant and pedigree analyst. His work as a pedigree analyst is strongly influenced by his costing background. In assessing stallions he focuses on value for money and return on investment. Due to the statistical nature of his analysis he rarely recommends stallions yet to have runners. More info...

LAUREN STICH

LAUREN STICH has long been considered the dean of pedigree handicapping. Stich has parlayed a series of racing-related jobs beginning in her teenage years in New York City, starting with The Morning Telegraph in 1970, where she received a priceless education under the legendary racing journalists Charles Hatton, Evan Shipman and Joe Hirsch... More info...

CLIVE WEBB-CARTER (UK)

CLIVE WEBB-CARTER has been involved in the thoroughbred bloodstock industry for about twenty years. Clive has gained international experience on a number of leading stud farms, including Fayette Park in New Zealand; Side Hill Stud, Newmarket . . . More info...