Stands for $20,000 at Hill 'n' Dale
Hill 'n' Dale's 9yo Roman Ruler is the stallion of the week, for the week ended Monday, Dec. 7. Represented by 28 winners so far from his first crop, the son of Fusaichi Pegasus and Silvery Swan closed the gap between first-crop leader Offlee Wild and him to a few thousand dollars this weekend. With the $450,000 his son Rule earned by winning the G3 $750,000 Delta Jackpot Stakes Friday night at Delta Downs, it's certain that the title of leading freshman sire will go down to the last day of the year.
As of Tuesday, the Thoroughbred Times freshman sire list had Offlee Wild with progeny earnings of $1,856,469 to Roman Ruler's $1,842,422 with 23 days left in 2009. Roman Ruler has 3 SWs to Offlee Wild's 2, including 2 Graded SWs to only 1 for Offlee Wild. More importantly, Roman Ruler has 134 registered 2yos to 62 for Offlee Wild, so the sheer numbers favor the Hill 'n' Dale sire at this time in what now appears to be a two-horse race. In 3rd and 4th, respectively, are Pollard's Vision and Kitten's Joy, with progeny earnings of around $1.1 million each.
Rule won the Delta Jackpot in front-running style and virtually guaranteed himself a spot in the Kentucky Derby next year with the Graded stakes earnings haul. He appears to be a good one, and he's trained by Todd Pletcher. Homeboykris is another good colt for Roman Ruler. He won the G1 Champagne at Belmont on Oct. 10, the same day another son, Roman Invasion, was 3rd in the G1 Dixiana Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland. Roman Ruler's 3rd SW is the G3-placed Seattle Ruler. He's also the sire of the promising G3-placed filly Connie and Michael.
A winner of 5 of 10 starts and $1.2 million, Roman Ruler was a very fast 2yo who also won the G1 Haskell and the G2 Dwyer at 3 at 9f. The G1 Travers at 10f -- he was 3rd -- was just beyond his scope. He was trained by Bob Baffert, who also trained his fast half-brothers El Corredor and Maimonides. Baffert has referred to Roman Ruler, a $500,000 yearling, as a "brilliant" racehorse, and he's passing on that brilliance to his runners.
Roman Ruler is adding to the reputation of Hill 'n' Dale as well. The home also of successful sires Stormy Atlantic and El Corredor, Hill 'n' Dale also started off Medaglia d'Oro and Candy Ride.