Ned Evans’s QUALITY ROAD was a dynamic track-record-setting performer on the track, and breeders are betting the four-time Grade 1 winner will be just as successful at stud. To wit, QUALITY ROAD led all first-crop covering sires at the recently concluded Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland November sales, with 48 of his 50 mares to sell averaging $283,208. By way of comparison, the second-ranked covering stallion among freshman averaged $229,000, while the third-ranked stallion averaged $108,789.

QUALITY ROAD’s average, of course, reflects two things: the respect afforded to the G1 Met Mile winner by breeders, as well as the quality of mare the son of Elusive Quality received in his first year at stud. These mares include the Lane’s End-bred Weekend Strike, by SMART STRIKE, the half-sister to G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Court Vision who was hammered down to Barronstown Stud for $2.3 million at Keeneland November. They also include the impeccably bred Dark Sky (Storm Cat), a full-sister to MG1SW Nebraska Tornado who went for $1.5 million at Keeneland to Summerwind Farm. Both mares were sold by Lane’s End from Evans’s Spring Hill Farm dispersal.

Many of the mares QUALITY ROAD covered in his first year were from top families curated and developed by the late, great Evans, giving QUALITY ROAD a huge advantage when his first foals hit the track. First and foremost of these families could be that of Quiet Dance, dam of the Evans-bred Horse of the Year SAINT LIAM, GSW Congressionalhonor, et al. Quiet Dance herself was offered in foal to QUALITY ROAD at November, and brought a bid of $800,000 from Besilu Stables. Meanwhile, a half-sister to Quiet Dance, the 3-year-old Quiet Flight, sold to Mt. Brilliant Broodmares for $600,000.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Raging Fever (Storm Cat) is another from a top Evans family, and she brought $725,000 at Keeneland in foal to QUALITY ROAD.

The Lane’s End-consigned 4-year-old mare Miles of Style (Storm Cat), another in foal to QUALITY ROAD, topped session 4 of the Keeneland November Sale when Whisper Hill Farm landed the full-sister to G1SW Mr. Sidney for $575,000. Miles of Style is a daughter of the Lane’s End-bred and -sold MG1SW Tomisue’s Delight (A.P. INDY), a full-sister to our Horse of the Year MINESHAFT.

Other mares to sell in foal to QUALITY ROAD included the $550,000 Casanova Move (LANGFUHR), a multiple Grade 1 performer who sold to I T C; the $435,000 Silk Road, a half-sister to G1SW Summer Colony who went to WinStar; the $410,000 Sumptuous, a MSP daughter of Grade 2 winner Belle of Perintown; and the $385,000 Colonella, dam of a trio of black-type runners by SMART STRIKE, including GSW Pleasant Strike, who sold to Earl Schultz. All four of these mares were offered by Lane’s End on behalf of the Evans dispersal. Other mares carrying members of QUALITY ROAD’s first crop brought $375,000, $360,000, $350,000 (2x), $290,000, $270,000, $250,000, etc.

So what’s all of this mean? It means QUALITY ROAD is odds-on to be the leading freshman sire in 2013. And it means you’re going to look pretty smart having bred to QUALITY ROAD in his second year at stud.

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