Rock Hard Ten has been feeling the love for years now, breeding 104 mares in 2011, 145 in 2010, and 131 in 2009.
As a top 10 third-crop sire, a leading third-crop sire by graded winners, and a top 12 active Kentucky turf sire with three graded stakes winners to his credit, ROCK HARD TEN had another rock solid season at stud in 2011.
ROCK HARD TEN’s runners included the top-rate 3-year-old filly Nereid. Bred by Mr. & Mrs. Emler Neuman and produced by the BELONG TO ME mare Dowry, Nereid opened up 2011 with a pair of impressive wins at Hollywood Park. Then, in just her fourth lifetime effort, she made all in the G1 American Oaks and kept finding more to claim her first win at the highest level. Nereid also finished a close-up third in the G1 Del Mar Oaks and placed in the G1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S. at Keeneland.
Alan Porter wrote in The Blood-Horse after the race: “Nereid is the first stakes winner from ROCK HARD TEN’s second crop, but the first crop, now 4, has already been represented by five stakes winners, including Grade 2 score Doubles Partner, and Group/Grade 3 winners Long Lashes, Krypton, and The Mailet. Another current ROCK HARD TEN 3-year-old, Alienation, was third in the G1 Prioress S. earlier this month and was runner-up in the G1 Spinaway Stakes at 2.”
The aforementioned Doubles Partner added to his graded tally with a victory in the G3 Tampa Bay S. and also placed in the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic S. at Churchill.
ROCK HARD TEN’s 4-year-old gelding Kevlar Kid proved a reliable Grade 2 performer in Southern California, while his 4-year-old filly Hard Way Ten was also a stakes-winning talent not the West Coast.
The next generation of ROCK HARD TEN’s performers appeared in Europe in the form of the 2-year-old colt Abtaal, who broke his maiden in France in September, then came right back to annex the G3 Prix Thomas Bryon at Saint-Cloud.
As a sire of 10% stakes horses to starters, ROCK HARD TEN is also the sire of the stakes winners Bear’s Hard Ten and Hard Seven.
ROCK HARD TEN was just as good in the sales ring in 2011. His yearlings included a $250,000 full-sister to Nereid who sold at Keeneland September, a price equaled by another ROCK HARD TEN filly at September who was produced by Grade 1 heroine Tribulation (Danzig). Others brought $160,000, $125,000, $120,000, etc. At the 2-year-old sales, seven ROCK HARD TEN youngsters sold for an average of $100,714 and a median of $100,000.
ROCK HARD TEN has now gotten off to a fast start in 2012. On Feb. 11, his son Utopian, a $360,000 weanling grad from Lane’s End’s 2007 Keeneland November draft, ran a close-up second in the G2 San Marcos S. at Santa Anita. Bred by G. Watts and Louise Humphrey and trained John Shirreffs for Jerry and Ann Moss, Utopian was making just his second start in stakes company. ROCK HARD TEN’s 3-year-old Frankie is Rock, meanwhile, placed in the Turfway Prevue S., and fellow sophomores Diez and Rock on Baby won impressively in Gulfstream maidens in January.
ROCK HARD TEN – The torchbearer for his sire Kris S. and grandsire Roberto.