Last week brought the news that ace sprinter/miler Caleb’s Posse would be retiring to stand at Three Chimneys Farm for the 2013 breeding season. At the weekend, however, it was two Three Chimneys stallions that have departed for greener pastures, Rahy and Dynaformer that were in the spotlight.
Like the protagonists in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar winning film, The Departed, Rahy and Dynaformer were polar opposites, at least as far as physique and aptitude were concerned. Rahy, who passed in September, 2011, initially came to prominence as a precocious and speedy two-year-old in England. The son of Blushing Groom – Glorious Song by Halo – a $2,000,000 Keeneland July purchase by Gainsborough Stud Management – ran four times as a juvenile, winning a maiden and the listed Sirenia Stakes, and finishing third in the Mill Reef Stakes (gr. II), and second in the Middle Park Stakes (gr. I). Rahy sustained a split pastern in the Middle Park, and wasn’t seen out until the August of his three-year-old season. He won over a mile on his reappearance, and after demonstrating that he didn’t stay ten turlongs, ended the year with a second in a conditions race a Newbury. Sent to the U.S. at four, Rahy won three times of his six starts, including an astonishing ten lengths victory over Hot Operator and Ruhlmann in the Bel Air Handicap (gr. II), and took second in the Harold C. Ramser Handicap (gr. III) and Goodwood Handicap (gr. III).
Despite his excellent pedigree, and very creditable race-record, Rahy had one thing to overcome when he retired to stud, his size. Although he was returned at 15:1, seeing him in a stallion stall one couldn’t escape the impression one was seeing a pony. His size did not deter Three Chimneys, who purchased 50% of Rahy when he retired, and stood him in partnership with the Maktoum family throughout his career. As it turned out, Rahy’s size had very little impact on his ability to sire runners. He was represented by ten stakes winners from a first crop of 49 foals, including the graded stakes winning fillies Mariah’s Storm and Miss Ra He Ra. Champion Serena’s Song and grade one winner Exotic Wood appeared in his second crop, sealing his popularity. To date, Rahy has sired more than 90 stakes winners, with the most recent of his offspring to tally in a black-type event being eight-year-old Rahystrada, who took the Arlington Handicap (gr. II) at the weekend. In addition to those previously mentioned, his other stars included Fantastic Light, Early Pioneer, Noverre, Tate Creek, Dreaming of Anna, Rio De La Plata and Dancing Forever. Although the success of his early daughters led to him being labeled a “filly sire” in reality six of his group/grade one winners were males (against seven females) , and his male group/graded winners outscore the females 28 to 17. Rahy has also been an extremely successful broodmare sire, his daughters producing such as Giant’s Causeway, Megahertz, Sophisticat, After Market, Rutherienne, Life At Ten and Courageous Cat. In addition to Giant’s Causeway and After Market, stallions out of Rahy mares also include Posse (the sire of Caleb’s Posse), Even the Score and Giant’s Causeway’s brother, Freud.
Raced by his breeder, Joseph Allen, and trained by D. Wayne Lukas, Dynaformer was by Roberto, out of the grade one winning His Majesty mare, Andover Way. He one once in five starts at two, taking a seven furlong maiden at Saratoga. The following year he emerged as a smart performer, if one some way below the top of his division, taking the Lucky Draw Stakes (in a new track-record), the Jersey Derby (gr. II) and the Discovery Handicap (gr. II). Kept in training at four, Dynaformer didn’t add to his stakes laurels, but from 11 starts did win a pair of turf allowance races at Keeneland, setting a new course record for 1½ miles in one.
A tall (17:00 hh), somewhat course, and not particularly attractive individual – in some ways typical of his grandsire, Hail to Reason – Dynaformer also possessed a tough personality. He retired to stud in the same season as Rahy, but at Nathan Fox’s Wafare Farm, initially advertised at a fee of $5,000. From his first crop of 49 foals, Dynaformer came up with five stakes winners, including Blumin Affair, a graded stakes winner who also took second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and third in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). As Dynaformer’s career progressed the decision was taken to move him to Three Chimneys, where he was likely to have access to a wider range of quality mares. The moved proved to be a highly-successful one, and when died this April at the age of 27, he was regarded as one of the world’s leading sires.
Proving effective on both dirt and turf, the offspring of Dynaformer have won major races on three continents, and include the ill-starred Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor Barbaro, Americain, who took the Melbourne Cup (gr. I) and earned honors as Champion in Europe and Australia; European Champion Two-Year-Old Filly Rainbow View; English/Irish classic winners Lucarno and Blue Bunting; German Derby (gr. I) captor Wiener Walzer; Champion English Three-Year-Old Filly Ocean Silk; as well as Perfect Drift, Film Maker, Riskaverse, Sand Springs, Dynaforce, Critical Eye, Brilliant Speed, and Starrer. The most recent of his 15 U.S. grade one winners Point of Entry, tallied by 3½ lengths in the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. I) at the weekend, and the day also saw Dynaformer’s daughter, Starformer win the Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (gr. II) and his son, Ioya Bigtime, take the Stars and Stripes Stakes (gr. III). Dynaformer has also emerged as a very good broodmare sire, and his daughters have produced nearly 80 stakes winners, including the U.S. grade one scorers Hollywood Story, Sharp Lisa, Spring At Last, Stately Victor and Prince Will I Am.