The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation Inc. published findings for 2013 regarding how capably breeding stallions have performed on producing durable progeny. In order to be considered, a stallion had to “have ranked within the first 200 sires by progeny earnings for the calendar year 2013.”

A revealing question is how closely the Grayson durability rankings correspond to the uppermost portion of the Blood-Horse list of leading sires of 2013?

The year-end Blood-Horse enumeration of 2013 leading sires ranked 70 stallions by progeny earnings. Of the top 25 sires on this list, only five also appeared in Grayson’s ranking of 100 stallions on its first measure of durability—a sire’s lifetime starts per starter. The five sires had an average ranking of 77.6 (of 100) and their individual rankings ranged from a high of 58th to a low of 99th.

Grayson’s second durability criterion was the percentage of foals of racing age that started. Thirteen of the top-25 sires on Blood-Horse’s earnings leaders for 2013 made the Grayson rankings. The average ranking out of 100 sires was 46.3, with a range between second and 82nd.

Stated differently, of the 25 leading sires by progeny earnings for 2013, 80% did not qualify on Grayson’s durability criterion of a sire’s lifetime starts per starter and 48% did not make the grade for the criterion of a sire’s foals of racing age that started.

Grayson calculated a third durability/quality measure that presents a different slant—the top sires of stakes winners 4 years old and up. On this list of 68 sires, 21 of the 25 leading sires by progeny earnings for 2013 were included. Their average ranking was 27.5 and the range was 1st to 68th.

What these results mean is debatable and need to be considered within the context of variables such as how long a stallion has been at stud and the quality of mares bred to him. However, what is not arguable is that a sire appearing on the Blood-Horse top-25 list of leading sires by earnings as well as on all three of the Grayson durability lists offers a broodmare owner a stallion whose progeny have generally demonstrated both soundness and ability. In 2013, only five sires were in this elite category: Macho Uno, Malibu Moon, More than Ready, Stormy Atlantic, and Tale of the Cat.

An adapted version of this analysis was published in the Blood-Horse. Copyright © 2014 Blood-Horse Publications. Used with permission.


  1. I am pleased to see that you named the five sires that get fast AND durable offspring. Malibu Moon started out in Maryland and is now a sought-after stud in Kentucky.