Breeding Watch: The latest star

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Some of North America’s stalwart stallions and other up-and coming second-crop sires were in the headlines again last weekend.

Lane’s End Farm’s venerable Kingmambo stallion Lemon Drop Kid has long been one of the more dependable sires in North America. His latest star is Itsaknockout, who parlayed a strong stretch run (and some sympathy from the Gulfstream Park stewards) into a victory in the Grade 2 Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes. The sophomore colt was making just his third career start after clearing his preliminary conditions in impressive fashion, so regardless of the stewards’ take it’s clear that Itsaknockout is a top-class colt.

Itsaknockout is a product of a quietly prolific cross with daughters of the Runaway Groom stallion Cherokee Run. Lemon Drop Kid has sired eight starters so far out of mares by the 1994 Breeders’ Cup Sprint hero and Itsaknockout is the fourth stakes winner.

Cherokee Run is the dam sire of 18 stakes winners with other stallions and among those is the Japanese Group 1 winner Hokko Taruma, by another Kingmambo stallion, King Kamehameha.

Lemon Drop Kid now has 80 stakes winners from his 751 Northern Hemisphere starters (10.6 percent stakes winners from starters), 36 at the group or graded level.

The beat goes on for the sons of Street Cry with Street Sense and the New York-based Desert Party represented by new stakes winners last weekend.

Darley’s Street Sense sired his latest stakes winner and his fifth of 2015 when Street Babe captured the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap on last Saturday’s Fair Grounds program. Sent off at 21-1 in his stakes debut, the Michael Dilger-trainee got up for the win over the Argentine Group 1 winner Mystery Train.

Street Babe is out of a mare by Richman, a great grandson of Never Bend and this is the second consecutive weekend we’ve seen a stakes winner bred Street Cry over Never Bend. Metaboss, by the Street Cry stallion Street Boss out of a mare by the Never Bend great grandson Free House, won the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby (G3) Feb. 14 at Golden Gate Fields.

Street Cry’s Desert Party stands under the Darely banner Sequel New York in Hudson, where he easily ranked as the Empire State’s leading crop-sire in 2014. The multiple Grade 2 winner added another stakes winner to his tally Sunday when his 3-year-old daughter Rousanne won the Island Fashion Stakes at Sunland Park. The filly is out of a mare by the His Majesty stallion Valiant Nature and has helped her sire stay atop New York’s second-crop standings in 2015.

Desert Party sits 15th on the national second-crop sire chart that’s topped by Ashford Stud’s Munnings through Wednesday. The son of Speightstown sired his second graded stakes winner when I’m a Chatterbox (dam by the Danzig son Lost Soldier) rolled home in last Saturday’s Grade 3 Rachel Alexandra Stakes at Fair Grounds. The Kentucky Oaks contender has racked up $180,000 in earnings this year with an additional stakes victory in the Jan. 17 Silverbulletday Stakes in New Orleans.

The Malibu Moon colt Where’s the Moon (dam by Storm Cat) captured last Saturday’s feature at Sunland Park, the $100,000 Mine That Bird Derby. He is the 84th stakes winner by Malibu Moon and the latest good one from the prolific Courtly Dee female line. Where the Moon is out of the Grade 1-winning mare Aldiza, by Storm Cat out of the Courtly Dee daughter Aishah. Just a few weeks ago, Aldiza’s daughter Alchemist produced Grade 3 Withers Stakes winner Far From Over (by Blame).

Candy Ride has a main-track superstar in champion Shared Belief, who’s gearing up for the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 7. The Lane’s End stallion can sire some good turf runners, too, as evidenced by last weekends results.

Chocolate Ride, claimed for $40,000 last November, made his stakes debut in last Saturday’s grassy Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap. The 5-year-old broke on top and never looked back, coasting to a 1 3/4-length tally at 13-1. He’s out of a mare by the A.P. Indy son Old Trieste and is Candy Ride’s 44th stakes winner and 19th group or graded stakes winner. Among those is the turf stakes winner Grand Tito, who placed in the Grade 2 Ft. Lauderdale in early January and the Grade 3 Canadian Turf Stakes last weekend at Gulfstream.

Matt O’Neil is a freelance writer and pedigree consultant based in Chicago. A former editor of Owner-Breeder International, his work has also appeared in numerous publications that include The Blood-Horse MarketWatch, The Florida Horse and Keeneland Magazine. He is currently marketing and social media coordinator for Adena Springs Farm and a partner in the fantasy horse racing game