I think Preakness Stakes winners make good sires, and recently, that’s been proven correct, with Bernardini, Curlin, Lookin at Lucky and Shackleford having success after winning the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. It’s also why, among many other reasons, I like American Pharoah and Exagerrator as they begin their stallion careers.
I’d like to talk about a Preakness winner who I think will have a nice first crop this year, 2013 champ Oxbow. He’s by leading sire Awesome Again, from the same cross as Haskell winner (and fellow Belmont Stakes runner-up) Paynter, and a full brother to stakes winner Awesome Patriot. Oxbow’s dam, the unraced Cee’s Tizzy mare Tizamazing, is a full sister to Horse of the Year Tiznow and was a $1 million Keeneland September yearling.
A $250,000 yearling, Oxbow broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in November 2012 for Hall of Famer Wayne Lukas. He won the Grade 3 LeComte at Fair Grounds, was the runner-up in the Gr. 2 Rebel to stablemate Will Take Charge, then was a decent fifth in the Kentucky Derby. His Preakness win came over Kentucky Derby winner Orb and two-time Breeders’ Cup Mile winner Goldencents, in a time faster than American Pharoah. Oxbow followed up his Preakness win with a solid runner-up effort in the Belmont to Palace Malice, and was retired in the fall of 2013 after a fourth in the Grade 1 Haskell.
At auction in 2016, Oxbow had 27 yearlings sold, for an average of $101,000, more than five times his 2017 fee of $20,000, and ranking him as the third highest average for first crop studs. Oxbow begins the year with a pair of promising two-year-olds at the Fasig Tipton Florida Sale in March.
Like his sire, mares from the Mr. Prospector line appear to cross well with Oxbow, specifically mares from Unbridled’s Song. Holy Bull line mares look to cross well, including Giacomo and Macho Uno. The cross of Tiznow mares with Oxbow looks very promising also.
I’m pretty bullish on Oxbow. He was a solid two-turn runner, competitive in each Triple Crown race, comes from an excellent classics family, and his progeny have been very popular so far in the sales ring. Breeders can expect runners who can win early, who can get classic distances, and will reward you if you sell at auction. I think he’s going to be right there for first-crop sire honors at the end of the year. He’s a great value right now for a $20,000 breeding fee, I’d get in before that number goes up.