October 14, 2016
With two Grade 1 winners already from his first crop, UNION RAGS has shot to the top of the Leading Freshman Sire list in North America and Europe.
The brilliant Classic winner currently has nearly $920,000 in progeny earnings, which leads runner-up Frankel (GB), Europe’s top young sire, by a wide margin.
UNION RAGS is as yet the only stallion to have sired a pair of Grade or Group 1 winners from his first crop in 2016, led by his daughter Dancing Rags, who last weekend defeated a deep field in the G1 Alcibiades S. at Keeneland.
Coming off a Laurel maiden win, Dancing Rags took control a furlong out and was full of run to beat the G2SW Daddys Lil Darling by a length. Dancing Rags is owned by Phyllis Wyeth’s Chadds Ford Stable, which also campaigned Union Rags.
Dancing Rags was bred by David DiPietro from the Storm Cat mare Home Court, making her a half to the G2SW Coup de Grace.
A few weeks earlier, UNION RAGS got his first Grade 1 winner care of another 2-year-old filly, Union Strike, who won the G1 Del Mar Debutante by a driving 2 1/4-length margin. Union Strike, a $325,000 2-year-old purchase, had American Pharoah’s sister American Cleopatra back in second.
Union Strike was not only her sire’s first Grade 1 winner, but also the first Grade 1 winner for the 25-year-old trainer Shelbe Ruis. Union Strike is owned by her family’s Ruis Racing, and was bred by Pollock Farms, Brian Kahn, Taylor Brothers Property, et al. She’s out of the SMART STRIKE mare Classic Strike and is a half to the G2SW Handsome Mike.
Both Union Strike and Dancing Rags now appear headed toward the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
UNION RAGS continues to lead his class in the sales ring, as well. He’s the leading NA sire of his crop by yearling average and median, and saw individuals bring $335,000, $250,000, $225,000, etc.