It's not unusual for a Florida-based stallion to rocket up the first crop sire charts. Kantharos and Wildcat Heir are a couple of recent top 10 freshman sires who hailed from the Sunshine State. Those two were speedy and precious and so are most of their progeny. In 2015, we've seen a different type emerge in the form of Double Diamond Farm's First Dude, who is currently running second to Uncle Mo in the North American freshman sire race.
After a winless juvenile season (two runner-up finishes) First Dude was a major player in the three-year-old division in 2010. He broke his maiden going a mile at Gulfstream Park, ran third in the Blue Grass Stakes (G1) and was second-best in the Preakness Stakes (G1) behind Lookin at Lucky. From there he placed in four more graded stakes but didn't find the winner's circle until a three-win four-year-old season that included a stunning victory over Game on Dude in the 10-furlong Hollywood Gold Cup (G1).
As a sire, First Dude is up to 11 winners after Flora Dora broke her maiden in the $500,000 My Dear Girl Stakes going 8.5-furlongs at Gulfstream Park on October 3. Another First Dude daughter, Enterprising Lady, ran second in that race. She's one of First Dude's four first out winners. Four other 'Dudes' won at second asking with three scoring in their third starts or later.
After an initial string of five straight Maiden Special winners, five of the past six First Dude winners have come in Maiden Claimers. Three of those winners were coming off failed attempts versus Maiden Special company.
As a son of the A. P. Indy distance specialist Stephen Got Even, and 10-furlong winner himself, it's a bit surprising to see so many First Dude winners at this point in the season. Bettors can expect his progeny's success to continue as they mature and face up to longer distances, no matter where they appear on the class ladder. The one caution might be off-tracks. Save for a single turf winner, all of the First Dude winners have come on fast main tracks.
Here's a rundown of the first 11 First Dude winners:
|Date||Horse||#Start/Race Class Won||Margin||Trainer||Odds||Track||Distance/Footing||Track Condition|
|10/3||Flora Dora||2nd/My Dear Girl S.||1 1/2L||M. Coffey||9.20||Gulfstream||8.5F/Dirt||Fast|
|9/25||Woodburn||3rd/MClm 35||3 1/4L||J. Braddy||1.70*||Gulfstream||8F/Dirt||Fast|
|9/19||Phirst Phoebe||5th/MClm 25||3 1/4L||D. Pita||3,00||Gulfstream||5.5F/Dirt||Fast|
|9/11||Alex the Dude||4th/MClm 25||Neck||R. Nicks||4.90||Gulfstream||6F/Dirt||Fast|
|9/3||Behzad's Pride||2nd/MClm 25||5 1/2L||A. Sano||7.30||Gulfstream||6F/Dirt||Fast|
|8/6||Mama Joyce||2nd/MClm 50||10 3/4L||R. Nicks||1.20*||Gulfstream||5.5F/Dirt||Fast|
|8/4||First Heritage||1st/Maiden Special||3 1/2L||C. Clemente||2.00*||Delaware Prk||7.5F/Turf||Firm|
|8/1||Enterprising Lady||1st/Maiden Special||1 1/4L||R. Nicks||2.00||Gulfstream||5F/Dirt||Fast|
|8/1||Sticksstatelydude||2nd/Maiden Special||2L||K McLaughlin||1.05*||Saratoga||6F/Dirt||Fast|
|7/28||Klingon Warrior||1st/Maiden Special||5 1/2L||K DeMasi||8.80||Parx||5F/Dirt||Fast|
|6/20||No More Chillin||1st/Maiden Special||3 3/4L||R. Potts||1.90||Thistledown||5.5F/Dirt||Fast|