|MACLEAN'S MUSIC: GRADE 1 VALIDATION
Courtesy of the Blood-Horse
By Eric Mitchell
Maclean's Music with bloodstock agent Donato Lanni at Hill 'n' Dale
Hill 'n' Dale Farm's owner John Sikura saw raw athleticism and pure talent when Maclean's Music broke his maiden at first asking at Santa Anita Park in 2011.
Injury prevented the son of Distorted Humor from showing his full potential as a racehorse but in Sikura's mind his potential as a stallion was set.
"I was convinced this horse was as good a prospect as there has ever been go to stud," Sikura said. "It makes no sense. There is no historical basis for that, but anybody who watched that first race of his recognized his ability. To do what he did in his first start—a horse could not run better than that. For me, even though he only ran one time, I thought he was a grade 1 winner. He did supernatural things."
Bred and raced by Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stable and trained by Steve Asmussen, Maclean's Music won his sole start going six furlongs gate-to-wire by 7 1/4 lengths. But what impressed Sikura most was his dazzling speed—early fractions of :21.24 and :43.48 and a final time of 1:07.44. His performance earned a 115 Equibase Speed Figure and a 114 Beyer Speed Figure.
Sikura called Andy Beyer to make sure the number was correct. When Beyer called him back he first assured Sikura that he had no breeding interests or ties to the horse or its family in any way. Then Beyer said he stood by the integrity of the number.
Sikura's belief in Maclean's Music has now been rewarded with a classic winner in his first crop—Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Cloud Computing who was bred by Sikura in partnership with his father-in-law Edward McGhee. They sold the colt for $200,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale to agent Mike Ryan, who was acting on behalf of partners Seth Klarman and Bill Lawrence.
Cloud Computing is out of the graded stakes-placed winner Quick Temper (A.P. Indy), who Sikura bred in partnership with the late owner/breeder John Franks. Sikura believed previous success with crossing sons of Distorted Humor with A.P. Indy mares made the mating with Maclean's Music a good choice. The cross has produced grade 1 winners Any Given Saturday, Joking, and Lukes Alley and grade 2 winner Ironicus.
"We believe in the horse, and he's just getting started," Sikura said. "His numbers are fantastic. I believe he will become a prolific, major sire."
Maclean's Music, who stands for $8,500, is now the leading second-crop sire with five black-type stakes winners and ranks second by earnings to WinStar Farm's Bodemeister , the sire of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming.
"It is really gratifying when you raise and breed a classic winner and stand the stallion. Just breeding a good horse validates your program," Sikura said. "While we have a lot of high-end, exclusive pedigrees, it is nice to know that a solid individual from a middle-aged mare raised on the same land in the same program has an equal chance to become a serious horse as the sale-toppers."