Sire Profile: Sky Mesa

by Bob Schless

Sky Mesa is trail blazing a path for impressive 2 year old performers. This is not surprising considering he himself was a top two-year-old while racing. He also has Grade 1 winners on all surfaces. Add royal breeding and a powerful build and you are looking at a sire who has everything it takes to churn out winners side by side with the big boys. So far this stallion has produced 43 lifetime stakes winners and a progeny that has earned 31 million dollars. He adds a bit of speed on to his offspring and his Average Winning Distance (AWD) is 6.90 which suggests runners of shorter distances, although he does have classic distance horses.

Sky Mesa has been a perennial leading sire of 2-year-olds: #4 in earnings so far in 2014, #12 in 2013 (tied for most stakes winners), #27 in 2012, #23 in 2010 and #3 in 2008. His best earners have been Skyway (Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes), Llanarmon (Grade 2 Natalma),  Dynamic Sky (Simcoe Stakes), Wonderlandbynight (Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Lassie), Terrain (Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity), Thiskyhasnolimit (Grade 3 Iroquois Stakes) and Sky Diva (Grade 1 Frizzete).

Some of Sky Mesa’s top offspring have won on turf and synthetic surfaces including General Quarters (former claimer who became a millionaire winning Grade 1 Bluegrass Stakes on synthetics and Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic), Dynamic Sky (Plate Trial Stakes, synthetics), Terrain (Grade 3 winner on synthetics), Storm Mesa (Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap on turf), Satans Quick Chick (Grade 2 Raven Run on synthetics) and Sky Blazer (multiple graded stakes placed on turf). Sky Mesa is not a strong international sire but does have his share of runners in Asia and a few in Europe as well.

A great feature that Sky Mesa passes on to his babies are royal bloodlines. He was purchased at KEENSEP01 for $750,000. Sky Mesa was the first Grade One winner of his dad Pulpit, who is having a remarkable 2014 being the grand sire of California Chrome, Untappable and Tonalist. Pulpit sired 63 stakes winners, with many becoming successful sires themselves, especially his son Tapit. His dam, Caress, was by the great Storm Cat who once stood for $500,000. She was a multiple graded stakes winner and is a full sister to the successful sire Bernstein and the Grade 3 winning Country Cat. She is also a half-sister to Della Francesca, a multiple Group or Graded stakes winner. Sky Mesa’s female line traces to the great La Troienne, his seventh dam, through Buckpasser’s dam, Busanda (his 5th dam). He is also inbred 4×4 to Secretariat, 6×4 to both Northern Dancer and Round Table. Quite an impressive pedigree resume if I may say so myself.

Sky Mesa’s career on the racetrack was impressive but brief and could have been much more. He won his first three starts at two, winning the Grade 1 Hopeful and the Grade 2 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity. He would have been favored in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile but an injury held him out and carried on through the Triple Crown season the following year. He ran 2 big races when returning to the track at 3, running a good 3rd in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes followed up by an impressive 2nd in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. After a disappointing run in the Travers he was retired.

It is easy to see why Sky Mesa has pumped out early to mature horses by looking at his own 2-year-old campaign. What is very neat to me is that although he ran on dirt he has produced great turf and synthetic runners on top of dirt ones. Sky Mesa’s stud fee dropped from $30,000 in 2011 to $20,000 where it stands now. The last two years, including this one, he has been on the rise (8 stakes winners 2011, 6 in 2012, 15 in 2013 and 9 already this year) so an investment in Sky Mesa right now would be a wise one in my humble opinion.

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is an 18-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. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with Brisnet.com and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of AGameofSkill.com, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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