When Tom’s d’Etat crossed the finish line first in last Saturday’s Oaklawn Mile, it marked the fifth Stakes win in his career and his fourth win in his last five races.
Already a Grade: 1 winner, it also sent a signal that, when his racing days are over, he could give his sire, two-time leading North American sire, Smart Strike, yet another important son at stud to carry on his legacy.
If you recall, Smart Strike, a magnificently bred bay, had won six of his first eight starts including the (at that time) Grade: 1 Philip H. Iselin Handicap. However, his career was cut short by injury as he suffered a condylar fracture during a workout while preparing for the Breeders’ Cup.
The son of the great Mr. Prospector out of multiple Stakes winner Classy n’ Smarty, a Canadian Hall of Fame inductee herself, was retired to stud at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Kentucky in 1997.
His fee opened at $30,000 in 1999, but he struggled for the first few years with his fee dropping to just $20,000 in 2003.
From there it was all downhill as his fee climbed every year for the next five years, topping off at an eye popping $150,000 in 2008. His fee dropped again over the next few years due to age, but at the time of his death, it was still $100,000.
Of course, 113 stakes winners, 12 champions, five Breeders’ Cup winners (with two coming in the Breeders’ Cup Classic) will do things like that.
Smart Strike’s active sons at stud are led by Curlin, who like his dad, once had a tumbling stud fee as he was as low as $25,000 in 2014 but has now has leap frogged his dad as he commands $175,000.
Curlin, a four time Champion including two Horse of the Year titles and a Preakness win, has been off the charts good led by Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Eclipse Award Champion Vino Rosso, Two Year Old Champion Good Magic, Older Female Champion Stellar Wind, Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice, Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator and Travers Winner Keen Ice, defeating Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the process.
Smart Strike also is represented by Lookin At Lucky, a champion at two and three, who sired Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and champion Accelerate and Kentucky Derby winner Country House as well as Turf Champion English Channel, who has sired nine Grade 1 winners to this point. Although proven infertile, the ill-fated Battle of Midway, who won the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile and was third in the Kentucky Derby, was by Smart Strike.
You may also want to keep an eye on Square Eddie, who is a leading sire in the state of California, but appears to be picking up momentum around the country too.
Tom’s d’Etat, who is trained by Al Stall Jr. for GMB Racing, has overall won 10 of 17 starts, including the Grade: 1 Stephen Foster in 2019, and has earned more than $1.3 million.
There is no stud deal in place for Tom’s d’Etat just yet, but being he is from one of the final full crops by Smart Strike, and with the recent success by his siblings, it appears there will be several offers waiting for him.