Stallion Feature Hard Spun a Hard Knocking Sire
Stallion Feature Hard Spun a Hard Knocking Sire: In 2007, Street Sense took the Kentucky Derby by storm after a masterful ride by Calvin Borel. The second place horse, Hard Spun, led almost every step of the way. While Hard Spun never won the Kentucky Derby or any classic race at classic distances, he was only off the board once in his entire career, and even then, he was never worse than fourth. Hard Spun was a serious racehorse in a year of strong three-year-olds, which included Curlin, Street Sense, First Defense, and Any Given Saturday. Hard Spun had every reason to be a classic winning horse, as his pedigree shows. Hard Spun has turned into a top ten sire, as he is number 10 on the General Sires list this year. Hard Spun is showing that he is a very valuable and durable sire.
Hard Spun began his racing career in 2006, with only one race that year. He did win on debut, in a maiden special weight at 5.5F. That would prep him for his three-year-old debut in the G3 Lecomte, where he would beat Teuflesberg. He did not make another start until May 5, 2007, which would be the Kentucky Derby. He would finish second behind Street Sense. Hard Spun performed very well, considering he only had a grade three and a maiden special weight under his girth. He would continue throughout the Triple Crown series, finishing third and fourth. Curlin took the Preakness Stakes (G1) while Rags to Riches took the Belmont Stakes (G1). Hard Spun continued his three-year-old campaign next in the William Hill Haskell (G1), but would finish second once again, this time behind Any Given Saturday. He however, did beat Curlin to the wire. After the Haskell, trainer Larry Jones decided to back up to 7F for the son of Danzig. Hard Spun would press pacemaker Spin Master, before grabbing the lead on the turn, repelling competition, and pulling away to win the Kings Bishop (G1) by 1 ½ lengths. Jones would send Hard Spun to Turfway Park to take on Street Sense once again in the Kentucky Cup Classic Stakes (G2) as his final Breeders’ Cup Classic prep. He would lead every step of the way before repelling Street Sense in the stretch, beating him a 1 ¼ lengths.
The Breeders’ Cup Classic was Hard Spun’s final race. He set a rapid pace throughout the race, but was able to hold on as Curlin powered right on by to win the Classic by 4 ½ lengths. Hard Spun was clearly second best, but was able to beat Awesome Gem (the third place horse) by almost five lengths.
Hard Spun had a pedigree that any breeder looking for classic bloodlines would look high and low for. Hard Spun carries on the highly desirable Danzig sire line, but also carries on the Turkoman sire line on the distaff side. He also has traces of Alydar, Roberto, Hail to Reason, and Native Dancer, just to name a few. Hard Spun had every gene available to make him both fast and consistent at route distances.
After the 2007 Breeder’s Cup Classic, Hard Spun went to stud duty for Darley America. He would actually be very well received from the beginning. In his first crop, Hard Spun sired 17 group/graded stakes winners and 29 other stakes horses. He is the only horse to do so after racing for only two seasons. His best book of mares to date, in the United States, was in 2013, when 106 of his 144 mares were graded stakes winners, producers of graded stakes winners, daughters of graded stakes winners, or siblings to graded stakes winners.
Just this year alone, Hard Spun has one of the leading three-year-olds in the country, in Wicked Strong. Wicked Strong has banked over a million dollars, and is headed to the Jockey Club Gold Cup for his final 2014 race.
Throughout his stud career, which is only 6 crops deep, Hard Spun has sired 1 champion, in Questing, and 12 graded stakes winners, with 9 in just this year. He has had three grade one winners this year in Hard Not to Like, Wicked Strong, and Hardest Core. Hard Spun was also well received at the recent Keeneland September Yearling Sale. His yearlings this year has averaged at $107,629.
Hard Spun offspring have shown they are fast, durable, and able to get the classic distances. Hardest Core won last out at 10F, Wicked Strong won the 9F Jim Dandy (G2) and was second by a nose in the 10F Travers (G1). Hard Not Like won the 8.5F Jenny Wiley Stakes earlier this year.
Hard Spun has shown he is worthy of the steep prices the Darley normally posts. His 2015 fee has not been released yet, but it is likely to go up, now that he is proving to be a versatile, worthy stallion. Watch him in the years to come, as he gets the best mares thrown his way, as he is likely to get many more great offspring.