By Elaine Belval
Sometimes it’s hard for a stallion to establish a reputation, especially in a competitive market like Kentucky, California, or Florida, where top-name sires abound. But it has reached the point where if you are a breeder in Florida and you are not sending mares to Awesome of Course, you’re missing a big gravy train.
Awesome of Course is a son of leading sire Awesome Again. He won three of six starts at two, including a maiden race at Calder and the Inaugural S. at Tampa, for owner/breeder Jacks or Better Farm and trainer James Hatchett. He raced eight more times at three, adding two additional listed stakes races in Florida to his tally.
Awesome of Course is one of three SWs out of the Lyphard mare Mais Oui. She comes from the outstanding La Troienne family through Big Hurry and No Fiddling. This is also the family of sires Caerleon (chef-de-race), Premiership (leading sire in Florida) and Belong to Me, and recent GSWs Eight Belles and Dangerous Midge (Breeders’ Cup Turf). Needless to say, it is one of the best families in the business. But with a more modest race record, Awesome of Course was up against it.
He had only eight named foals in his first crop, but all eight won, and among them was multiple SW Honey Honey Honey. There were nine foals in his next crop and seven in his third. In 2008—his fourth crop—he had only six foals, but they included 2010 Champion two-year-old filly Awesome Feather, undefeated in nine lifetime starts and still running this season. His 2009 crop numbers ten foals, with three SWs, all of which won two-year-old Florida Stallion Stakes races, so far.
This past weekend, two of those three 3yo SWs won black-type events in open company. Filly Redbud Road won the six-furlong French Village S., and colt Fort Loudon won the six-furlong In Summation S. Both were for the same connections: owner and breeder Jacks or Better Farm and trainer Stanely Gold—the original connections of Awesome Feather as well. Redbud Road has won four of seven starts and earned over $230,000. Fort Loudon has won five of 12 starts and earned over $430,000.
All told (not including two-year-olds of 2012), Awesome of Course has an astonding 75% starters, 65% winners and 13% SWs. His average earning per starter is $120,000 (now, that is somewhat skewed by Awesome Feather’s $1.5 million in earnings.) But, his median earnings per starter is an impressive $25,000. In 2011, he was ranked second by average earnings per runner, with his 14 runners averaging almost $60,000 each). He was also ranked second by percentage of stakes winners to runners (22%).
Awesome of Course is currently 18th on the 2012 Florida General Sire list. But with three SWs this year, he has more SWs than any other sire on the list.
Following Awesome Feather’s championship season, Awesome of Course covered 46 mares—more than his entire lifetime of foals—in 2011. With the continued success of his progeny, word is getting out on just how awesome—of course!—he is.
Awesome of Course stands at Journeyman Stud and his 2012 fee is $5,000.