Temple City to carry on his sire’s legacy

Miss Temple City: one of two Grade 1 winners for her sire last weekend

PICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos Temple City to carry on Dynaformer's legacy
By Nancy Sexton 2:22PM 8 DEC 2016

IT LOOKED for a time as though one of the real success stories of American bloodstock could be left without a single realistic heir.At the time of Dynaformer's retirement from stud duty at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky in 2012, the son of Roberto commanded a fee of $150,000 and the attention of many of the world's leading breeders.

That hadn't always been the case. He had been a high-class performer for breeder Joseph Allen, winning a Saratoga maiden at two and the Grade 2 Jersey Derby and Discovery Handicap at three.

He was tough, running 30 times over the course of three seasons, but regularly fell short of Grade 1 level. With an extremely large (he stood 17 hands high) and plain frame to complete the package, he spent his first few seasons covering for $5,000 at Wafare Farm in Kentucky.

Bloodstock history is packed full of stallions who made their mark despite limited early opportunities, including a number from the Roberto sire line; Red Ransom began his career at $7,500, Kris S started out in Florida at $3,500 while the likes of Intikhab, Bob Back and his son Big Bad Bob held their own at an inexpensive level in Europe.

As for Dynaformer, he overcame any prejudice to become a leading light of Kentucky and respected name in Europe. He sired 23 Group or Grade 1 winners led by the ill-fated Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro in the US and 1,000 Guineas and Irish Oaks heroine Blue Bunting and St Leger winner Lucarno in Europe. Several of his progeny inherited his tough nature but on the whole his name was associated with durability and toughness.

Yet although his stud career was a long and fruitful one, few sons have emerged to inherit the mantle.

Admittedly, circumstances have not been kind. Barbaro broke down with fatal consequences in the Preakness Stakes. Another son, Purim, was on the cusp of developing into a worthwhile stallion at Richland Hills like his sire before him when succumbing to colic in 2012. He left behind four relatively small crops that came to include Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner Undrafted (a rare sprinter from this particular sire line).

Then earlier this year, Grade 1 winner Brilliant Speed was killed at Three Chimneys when struck by lightning. His first crop of 28 juveniles includes Listed winner Americum and smart Italian juvenile Lunastorta.

Happily, amid this tale of woe a legitimate successor has emerged in Spendthrift Farm's Temple City, who dominated the weekend's Graded stakes action in America when pulling off a Grade 1 double in California. It is an achievement usually associated with elite stallions but in Temple City's case, the horses in question, Hollywood Derby winner Annals Of Time and Matriarch Stakes winner Miss Temple City, were bred when their sire stood for $5,000 – shades of Dynaformer.

Temple City was a late maturer who won his only race at three and sole stakes race at five when successful in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap on the Polytrack at Del Mar.

However, had he managed to hold off Unusual Suspect's late charge at the end of the 2010 Hollywood Turf Cup, he would have secured that all important Grade 1 victory and a greater fee than the $5,000 set upon his retirement in 2011.

It's questionable how many operations, particularly in Kentucky, would have given Temple City much of a shot in light of his race record, which didn't get going until his fourth year and included a number of creditable efforts over 1m4f, a marathon in some American eyes.

But as a good-looking Dynaformer out of a Danzig half-sister to Malibu Moon, he attracted his share of attention and slotted in particularly well at Spendthrift, where Malibu Moon has been a flagship stallion for a number of years.

Temple City attracted 137 mares in his first year, a figure undoubtedly inflated by Spendthrift's ‘Share The Upside' programme whereby a breeder earns a lifetime breeding right to a farm stallion by committing at least one mare to that horse for two consecutive seasons. The programme, which has been since mimicked by a number of studs worldwide, was then in its infancy and according to staff personnel at the time, Temple City was sold out in ten days.

It was soon evident that a number of his progeny were quicker to come to hand than their sire. Startup Nation became his first stakes winner when successful in the Grade 2 With Anticipation Stakes at Saratoga in August of his juvenile year and was followed by the Listed-winning juveniles Saratoga Heater and Bolo, a subsequently Grade 1-placed colt who won this year's Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes.

Bolo has been an excellent flagbearer for Temple City but he has been usurped at the top of the table by Miss Temple City, a filly bred by Bob Feld out of former $6,000 mare Glittering Tax, by the disappointing Marquetry stallion Artax.

Miss Temple City has won six of 16 starts for Graham Motion and close to $1.5 million in prize-money. Sunday's win in the Matriarch Stakes, in which she held off the former Adrian McGuinness-trained Roca Rojo by a whisker, was her third strike at the top level this year after the Maker's 46 Mile and Shadwell Turf Mile.

The filly is also known to British racegoers, having run a good fourth in the 2015 Coronation Stakes and this year's Duke of Cambridge Stakes.

Miss Temple City heads a group of five stakes winners out of Temple City's first crop while Saturday's Hollywood Derby winner Annals Of Time is the headline act of a second crop that numbers 72. It also includes Miss Temple City's Grade 3-winning sister Pricedtoperfection, who recently changed hands at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale for $650,000 to SF Bloodstock.

Annals Of Time, who was making only his fourth start in the Hollywood Derby, pays another credit to breeder Dr Gary Knapp of Monticule, whose select broodmare band has also yielded champion Big Brown in the past ten years. Knapp bred Annals Of Time out of Lemon Haze, a winning daughter of former Juddmonte stallion Distant View who was bought for just $14,000 by the breeder in 2009. Annals Of Time is the second stakes winner out of the mare after Sharp Sally, a Listed-winning miler.

Temple City has 44 yearlings to follow, so life may be tougher in the immediate future. But he has another 152 foals on the ground and covered 172 mares this year at $15,000. Eight of his nine stakes winners are proven turf performers, so it will be interesting to see if whether any Europeans start to react.

Hopefully, he won't be the last Dynaformer to make his presence felt either since there is further hope for the sire line through younger sons such as Point Of Entry, Medal Count and Melbourne Cup winner Americain.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Point Of Entry, who stands at Adena Springs in Kentucky, has 75 first crop yearlings bred off $25,000 to run for him next year. And while the Grade 1-placed Medal Count stands for only $3,500, he comes under the same Spendthrift umbrella as Temple City. His first crop are foals next year.

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