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January 18, 2021 (Mon)

2020 Stallion Rankings

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, we can look back on last year and the stallions who made the most significant impact over the past 12 months.

Freshman Sire Rankings
1. Duramente(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN) - By the end of the year, the top stallion to debut in 2020 was Duramente(JPN); the 2015 Japanese Derby winner had 32 individual winners from 102 to race that won a total of 37 races over the last six months of the year. King Kamehameha(JPN) has been quite the sire of sires over the years, with both Rulership(JPN) and Lord Kanaloa(JPN) bring the top Freshman sire in the two years they debuted as well. Both have continued to perform well as their career ticks on, so much will be expected of Duramente(JPN) as his first crop turns three in 2021 and his second crop debuts.
2. Maurice(JPN) by Screen Hero(JPN) - In the early stages of the two-year-old season, which starts in June in Japan, it looked like his offspring wouldn't be very precious, though many did place in their debuts early on. Midway through, though, he started having multiple winners per weekend and for a while looked like he might come out on top. Big things will be expected from the big horse as his offspring mature since Maurice(JPN) himself only got more formidable as he aged. He had 29 individual winners from 109 runners who won 31 times.
3. Leontes(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN) - Pedigree wise his performance at stud shouldn't be a surprise at all, but since he wasn't getting the same all-star broodmares as some of this rival freshman sires, his overall performance is that much more impressive. He is a half brother to Epiphaneia(JPN) by Symboli Kris S(USA), who was second in the freshman rankings in 2019. Leontes(JPN) himself was a champion two-year-old so having precocious offspring seemed like a safe bet. He had 14 individual winners from 81 runners.
4. Mikki Isle(JPN) by Deep Impact(JPN) - He was the only freshman sire to get a graded stakes winner from his first crop. Meikei Yell(JPN) won both the G3 Kokura Nisai Stakes in September and the G3 Fantasy Stakes in November before finishing 4th in the G1 Hanshin Juvenile Fillies in December. Her success helped elevate him high on the list as he had just eight individual winners from 46 starters who won 11 times.
5. Makfi(GB) by Dubawi(IRE) - This recent import to Japan debuted the best, breaking into the top 5 with 11 individual winners from 62 starters, winning a total of 12 races. Makfi(GB) was already an established sire when Japan bought him in 2017 and has five G1 winners in three different countries, France, Australia, and New Zealand. Given that Japanese horses have traditionally run well in most of those countries, the sky could be the limit for this proven stallion as he continues his career in Japan.

Rest of the Top 10
1. Discreet Cat(USA) by Forestry(USA)
2. Asia Express(USA) by Henny Hughes(USA)
3. Danon Legend(USA) by Macho Uno(USA)
4. Hokko Tarumae(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN)
5. Lovely Day(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN)

Sires of Two-Year-Olds Rankings
1. Deep Impact(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA) - It shouldn't be surprising to see Deep Impact(JPN) at the top of any ranking charts in Japan as his domination of the Japanese turf racing scene has been absolute for a decade. As Japan's top stallion who gets large books of the best mares in the world, his 'impact' on the Japanese thoroughbred can not be denied. 2020 was the second to last full crop for Deep Impact(JPN), though, so his reign over this particular ranking is likely coming to a close after the 2021 two-year-old season. He had 27 winners from 86 runners who won a total of 34 races. His best of the year was Red Belle Aube(JPN), who won the G2 Daily Hai Nisai Stakes in November and finished second in the G1 Asahi Hai Futurity Stakes in December.
2. Duramente(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN) - It is rare for a freshman sire to place so high against established stallions, especially given that he didn't have a graded stakes winner. The only other freshman to end this high in the two-year-old general rankings was Lord Kanaloa(JPN) when he debuted. An excellent sign for this promising young stallion.
3. Maurice(JPN) by Screen Hero(JPN) - Another freshman high up on the two-year-old general rankings should mean good things for Maurice(JPN) in the years to come. It was a great year for young stallions in general, which is even more promising with the loss of Deep Impact(JPN) and King Kamehameha(JPN) in 2019 and other top stallion sons of Sunday Silence(USA) nearing the end of their stallion careers.
4. Kizuna(JPN) by Deep Impact(JPN) - He was the top-ranked freshman sire in 2019, and his second crop did not disappoint either, hanging on strong the latter half of 2020. He didn't have any graded stakes winners in this two-year-old crop, but he did have 29 individual winners from 93 starters, more than his sire. They won a total of 30 races last year. He continues to prove to be his sire's best son at stud so far.
5. Epiphaneia(JPN) by Symboli Kris S(USA) - He was second in the freshman sire rankings in 2019, and like his rival Kizuna(JPN), he held firm in his second year as well. His first crop went on to do amazing things last year, so future years could bring a lot more excitement for this young stallion.

Rest of the Top 10
1. Lord Kanaloa(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN)
2. Rulership(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN)
3. Heart's Cry(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA)
4. Daiwa Major(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA)
5. Leontes(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN)

Broodmare Sire Rankings
1. King Kamehameha(JPN) by Kingmambo(USA) - His legacy may end up being more significant than Deep Impact(JPN) because he was such an outcross for the Sunday Silence(USA) line stallions and has mixed remarkably well with them. Last year was the first time in over a decade that Sunday Silence(USA) was dethroned from the number one stop in the Broodmare Sire rankings, so this probably the beginning of a long stretch of seeing King Kamehameha(JPN) at the top of this list. His best performer of the year was Daring Tact(JPN) by Epiphaneia(JPN), who won the filly Triple Crown undefeated, the first filly over the achieve such a feat. He had 108 winners from 395 starts who won 145 times. He has eight graded stakes winners who won 13 graded stakes, including G1 winners Daring Tact(JPN) and Sodashi(JPN) by Kurofune(USA).
2. Sunday Silence(USA) by Halo(USA) - Has ruled the Broodmare Sire Rankings every year since 2006, but now his youngest crop is 18 years old, so nearly all of his daughters will be nearing the end of their breeding careers. While his time at the top might be over, his influence over the Japanese thoroughbred will never be forgotten thanks to his grandsons and granddaughters' success in the breeding shed. Almond Eye(JPN) by Lord Kanaloa(JPN) was his best performer of 2020. He had 104 winners from 417 runners who won 127 times and a total of six graded stakes.
3. Kurofune(USA) by French Deputy(USA) - He has long been one of the most reliable blue-collar stallions in the country, a sire you could count on to get a durable runner, and his daughters are proving to be just as reliable. His sire French Deputy(USA) was also a top ranked BMS for the past decade, so it makes sense his best son in Japan would be able to repeat the success as well. His top performer was Chrono Genesis(JPN) by Bago(FR), who won the G1 Arima Kinen at the end of 2020. He had 80 winners from 327 runners who won 103 races and a total of 6 graded stakes.
4. Agnes Tachyon(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA) - He has a short but brilliant career at stud, and this is his third year in the top five. He had 89 winners from 404 runners who won 111 times, including three graded stakes. His top performer was Fairy Polka(JPN) by Rulership(JPN), who won a pair of G3s in early 2020.
5. Deep Impact(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA) - It is still early to know how well he will turn out a Broodmare Sire, he broke into the top 20 for the first time in 2017, but his daughters only started having runners back in 2014. In 2019 he broke into the top 10, and last year he is in the top 5, so it seems to be looking like Deep Impact(JPN) 's legacy will remain intact as a top BMS as well. His best performer was Kiseki(JPN) by Rulership(JPN). He had 82 winners from 332 runners, winning 106 races, including three graded stakes.

Rest of the Top 10
1. Symboli Kris S(USA) by Kris S(USA)
2. French Deputy(USA) by Deputy Minister(CAN)
3. Dance in the Dark(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA)
4. Fuji Kiseki(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA)
5. Special Week(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA)

General Sire Rankings
1. Deep Impact(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA) - He has enjoyed top billing every year since 2012, and based on his stats last year, that is unlikely to change anytime soon, despite his final full crop preparing to debut later this year. His year was headlined by his son Contrail(JPN) 's outstanding performances, who went on to emulate his sire by winning the Triple Crown undefeated last year. Like his sire, he finished second in the final start of his three-year-old season, when Contrail(JPN) finished second to Almond Eye(JPN) in the G1 Japan Cup in November. It is fitting that from one of his final crops, he should produce his finest son, as the Deep Impact(JPN) himself was from one of the last few crops of Sunday Silence(USA) as well. Overall he sired 184 winners from 472 runners who won a total of 257 times. He had 24 graded stakes winners who won 32 graded stakes, including G1 winner Contrail(JPN). He had two international G1 winners; Fancy Blue(IRE), who won the G1 Prix de Diane and G1 Nassau Stakes in France and England, and then Fierce Impact(JPN) won the G1 Makybe Diva Stakes in Australia.
2. Lord Kanaloa(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN) - He continues to be one of the hottest young stallions in Japan. While his overall prize money was helped in no small part by his best performer Almond Eye(JPN) 's two big wins in the G1 Tenno Sho Fall and G1 Japan Cup, he still finished strong across the board. He ended the year with 131 winners from 402 runners who won 170 races, including 12 graded stakes. He had two international performers as well, with Tagaloa(AUS) winning the G1 Blue Diamond Stakes in Australia earlier in the year, and Danon Smash(JPN) gave him another win at the end of the year in the G1 Hong Kong Sprint.
3. Heart's Cry(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA) - He has long been the reliable back up to Deep Impact(JPN), producing many G1 winners in his own right. As he nears the twilight of his stallion career, he is still going strong, with 103 winners from 317 runners who won a total of 136 races, including four graded stakes. His top performer was Salios(JPN), who won a G1 in 2019 and was second to Contrail(JPN) in the first two legs of the Triple Crown, the G1 Satsuki Sho(Japanese 2000 Guineas) and the G1 Japanese Derby.
4. Orfevre(JPN) by Stay Gold(JPN) - The Triple Crown winner had a banner year overall, and while he only broke into the top ten year before last for the first time, he had more graded stakes winner last year than any year previously. His sire was also a bit slow to get rolling, but he was a force to be reckoned with once he did. Lucky Lilac(JPN) is from his first crop and was yet again his best performer of the year, though she retired at the end of 2020. He had 72 individual winners from 284 runners who won 106 races, including eight graded stakes. He had a slew of G2 winners last year and many impressive stayers who will be ones to watch going forward.
5. King Kamehameha(JPN) by Kingmambo(USA) - The last few crops of this amazing stallion were much smaller than is typical for a sire like him. Health issues until the end of his career limited his covering abilities. Despite that, he remains in the top 5 like the champ he is. He had 79 winners from 232 runners, winning 101 races and six graded stakes races. His top performer was Boccherini(JPN), the full brother to Lovely Day(JPN), who one the G3 Chunichi Shimbun Hai in December. He seems to be getting better as he ages, which proved true for his brother as well. His G1 winner last year was Chuwa Wizard(JPN) who captured the G1 Champions Cup in December.

Rest of the Top 10
1. Rulership(JPN) by King Kamehameha(JPN)
2. Daiwa Major(JPN) by Sunday Silence(USA)
3. Kizuna(JPN) by Deep Impact(JPN)
4. Epiphaneia(JPN) by Symboli Kris S(USA)
5. Henny Hughes(USA) by Hennessy(USA)

*All stats are from the JRA only.

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