Stands for $15,000 live foal at Vinery.
Congrats is the stallion of the week, for the week ended Monday, Dec. 13, 2010. With two and a half weeks to go to the end of the year, the Claiborne-bred son of A.P. Indy is clinging to a lead on the 2010 first-crop sire list by a few hundred thousand dollars from another, more heralded son of A.P. Indy, Darley's Bernardini. Click here to see the race on the charts.
Congrats, a brother to Claiborne's Flatter, was sold as a stallion prospect by Claiborne to Cloverleaf II to stand in Florida in 2007, in a deal agented by eMatings expert and noted turf authority Frank Mitchell. Vinery subsequently purchased an interest in the horse, and he'd stood the last few seasons at Vinery's Florida operation. Last year, the horse covered mares at a fee of $4,500, but he will move to Vinery in Kentucky for a $15,000 fee---academic because the young sire is fully booked at the time of this writing.
Congrats is a member of a one-time Rokeby family that paid classic dividends to its master, the late Paul Mellon, when Sea Hero, trained by recently deceased MacK Miller, won the Kentucky Derby in 1993. Out of Glowing Tribute, the third dam of Congrats, Sea Hero, Congrats, and other members of this illustrious family trace to La Troienne, just as Bluegrass Cat’s family (and Derby winner Super Saver’s same family) does.
When Glowing Tribute’s Northern Dancer daughter Wild Applause—the second dam of Congrats—was put up for sale by Rokeby in 1992 at the Keeneland November sale in foal to Claiborne sire Forty Niner, Claiborne’s Seth Hancock pulled the trigger at $1,025,000 for the account of Claiborne and Adele Dilschneider—the connections of Blame, too. The resulting foal was Grade 2 winner Roar. The mare was bred back to home sire Mr. Prospector and next produced the filly Praise, the dam of Congrats and Claiborne sire Flatter—both sons of A.P. Indy.
Neither Flatter nor Congrats was particularly precocious: Flatter was Grade 2 stakes placed at 4 and won 4 of 6 starts but never a stakes race; brother Congrats was a winner of one race from two starts at 2, stakes-placed at 3, won a stakes at 4, and won the Grade 2 San Pasqual at 5, when he also was Grade 1-placed in the Santa Anita Handicap and the Hollywood Gold Cup.
Because Claiborne had Flatter, Congrats was sold. Mitchell put the deal together that sent Congrats from Claiborne and Ms. Dilschneider to Tampa bay businessman John Sykes (owner of Clover Leaf Farms II). Brent Fernung, owner of Journeyman Stud, originally managed the horse in Florida and is primarily responsible for the horse’s first-crop success, which includes 24 winners to date and Grade 1 winners Turbulent Descent (won G1 Hollywood Starlet on Dec.11) and Wickedly Perfect, plus the Grade 1-placed duo of Jordy Y and I’m steppin’ It Up. Wickedly Perfect, unfortunately, went to the sidelines after winning the Darley Alcibiades at Keeneland or the stallion might have an even greater cushion against Bernardini.
Clover Leaf Farms II and Tom Simon’s Grapestock LLC currently own Congrats.