Sire Profile: Mizzen Mast

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by Bob Schless

Mizzen Mast is siring top class runners in North America, Europe and Japan with Stakes Winners on dirt, turf, and synthetic surfaces in five different countries. He’s known as a sire who “upgrades” his mares. Mizzen Mast is also best known for his later maturing, middle-distance runners in which he adds a touch of speed to (he did have multiple G1 winners at classic distances though). He is the sire of 33 stakes winners including 12 Graded stakes winners and 5 Grade One winners. In 2012 He sired 2 Breeders’ Cup Winners, Mizdirection and Flotilla. Only Smart Strike, Awesome Again, and More Than Ready have also sired two Breeders’ Cup Winners in the same year who currently stand at stud. Juddmonte Farms just raised his stud fee from $15,000 in 2013 to $20,000 in 2014 but there is still value to be found in this excellent stallion.

Mizzen Mast hasn’t had great success with two-year-olds. As stated earlier his offspring are known to be late maturing. But he has put out a couple of very nice ones in Flotilla and most recently Full Mast. Also, Mizzen Mast was a top 2 seller for a duo of two year olds in training at the second session of the OBS sale in 2011. It is as a sire of turf runners where he has left his mark, although he was able to produce quality winning dirt horses such as Barrier Reef (Whirlway Stakes), Ultimate Eagle (G2 Strub Stakes), Tropical Light (million dollar earner in Japan) and Mizzcan’tbewrong. He himself both raced on turf and dirt surfaces. From 2009-2014 He was in the top 25 in offspring earnings on turf 5 out of 7 times. And as an international sire just look where his best runners this year are running: Argentina, Peru, France, UAE and Australia. Year after year a solid percentage of his total earnings have come from his international runners.

Mizzen Mast’s best runner, 2 time Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint Champion Mizdirection, recently sold at a public auction for 2.7 million dollars at Fastig-Tipton auction. Some of his other best runners were/are Flotilla (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Filly Champ), Mast Track (just under one million in earnings, winner G1 Hollywood Gold Cup at 1 1/4 miles), Midships (winner G1 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at 1 1/4 miles), Ultimate Eagle (winner G1 Hollywood Derby on Turf and G2 Strub Stakes on dirt) and multiple graded stakes winners Madeo and Jibboom.

Focusing on his pedigree, Mizzen Mast is the son of Cozzene, the 1985 Eclipse Champion Male Turf Horse. That year he won The Breeders’ Cup Mile but what’s interesting to note is that he didn’t race until three and then won 3 of his first 6 races on dirt before switching to turf. After racing Cozzene had a very successful career at stud producing Group One winner Environment Friend (Eclipse Stakes) and 2 Breeder Cup Champions himself, French invader Tikkanen (Breeders’ Cup Turf) and Alphabet Soup (Breeders’ Cup Classic). His grand sire, Caro, was no slouch either in the breeding shed. With 78 stakes winners he was first known as a great turf producer in France but later came to America and gave us Winning Colors (Kentucky Derby Heroine). He was also the grand sire of successful dirt stallion In Excess and the broodmare sire of Unbridled’s Song and Maria’s Mon. Mizzen Mast’s female family includes Kentucky Oaks and Massachusetts Handicap winners on dirt among his nearest relatives so you can see how Mizzen Mast gives off both turf and dirt winners. One interesting thing of note about Mizzen Mast’s pedigree is that there is no inbreeding in his family’s first five generations (something of value to a breeder and not seen in too many American horses).

Mizzen Mast ran on both surfaces as well and I feel probably his best surface was actually on dirt. He was a Group winner at two and three in France before he came to the states and trained by Bobby Frankel. He won the G1 Malibu (7 furlongs. dirt), The Bien Bien Stakes (1 mile, turf) and the Grade 2 Strub Stakes in which he set a stakes record (9 furlongs, dirt). His career earnings were $554,146. It’s too bad Mizzen Mast raced only 11 times because Frankel always thought he was an exceptional talent.

What sums up Mizzen Mast as a sire is versatility, the way he brings up his mares, and his international success. He puts a touch of speed in his progeny and most get better with age. Mizzen Mast is a true value sire- he is getting some very good results on the race track, even when measured against far more expensive stallions.

About the Author

Ever since 2004 when I picked Smarty Jones to win The Kentucky Derby I have been smitten by the horse racing bug. I love everything about horse racing-the handicapping, fans, writers, tracks, history, horses of course. I wanted to learn how they ran the way they did but more importantly why; their bloodlines. I truly enjoy learning and writing about horse pedigree and hope to share my enthusiasm with you so you can learn about a particular horse and how he/she is made up of a line of horses to form a family. Enjoy reading and please leave feedback. I will usually write an article a week so check back at bobschless@wordpress.com for more articles. You can also follow me on Twitter at @columbia7644 and Facebook. Thank you.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 15-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com, Rich is also a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program. He is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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