Stallion Feature: More Than Ready is More than Ready to Take Over
Stallion Feature: More Than Ready is More than Ready to Take Over: 2013 was the year Verrazano dominated much of the three-year-old division, despite Will Take Charge taking the year-end honors. Verrazano was undefeated headed into the Derby, and after the Derby, was again, a force to be reckoned with. Wins in the Wood Memorial, Haskell, Pegasus, and others, showed he was brilliant. While the Haskell was his best and last victory, he was still held in high regards.
Verrazano might have brought his sire, More Than Ready, to the real limelight. More Than Ready was slightly overlooked as a stallion, before Verrazano put him on the map for being a high quality producing sire. More Than Ready has since been more well received at sales and on the track. In the last year, we have seen Verrazano, Room Service, and now a top juvenile in Daredevil (owned by the connections of Verrazano). More Than Ready stands at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. He was moved to the farm only last year, from Vinery Kentucky where he entered stud in 2001. More Than Ready’s fees have gone up gradually his entire career. Entering stud in 2001 for $25,000, the stallion gradually moved to $30,000, to $40,000, to $60,000. The stud fees for 2015 have been announced and More Than Ready’s value has again increased. He will stand for $75,000 for the 2015 season.
More Than Ready has stamped his value in the breeding shed, but he was no slouch on the racetrack. Being the precocious juvenile that he has often stamped his offspring with, More Than Ready was a graded stakes winner early in his career. After breaking his maiden, More Than Ready went on to win four stakes races for the 1999 season, two of which included the G3 Tremont Stakes and the G2 Sanford. More Than Ready also hit the board in a fifth stakes race, finishing third in the Futurity Stakes at Belmont. The third place finish ended More Than Ready’s five race win streak.
Coming back as a three-year-old, trainer Todd Pletcher put the colt to work. He won his sophomore debut in the Hutchenson Stakes (G2). From there, More Than Ready would finish second in both the Louisiana Derby (G2) and the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (G1). Making it the Kentucky Derby, More Than Ready ran a decent fourth, behind Fusaichi Pegasus. Pletcher gave the colt a rest before returning him to the races. Two months later, More Than Ready came back to run second the G3 Dwyer Stakes, behind Albert the Great. He did, however, finish ahead of Red Bullet (2000 Preakness Winner) and Commendable (2000 Belmont Winner). After another fourth, this time in the Haskell (G1), More Than Ready backed up in distance, headed to the 7 furlong Kings Bishop (G1). He would easily win the race. The Kings Bishop would be More Than Ready’s last victory. He would finished second in the Vosburgh, fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and fourth in the Cigar Mile.
In retirement, More Than Ready has blossomed. Being well received worldwide has helped him tremendously. His yearlings that have sold thus far in 2014 are averaging almost $165,000. His leading runners included More Joyous (NZ), Regally Ready, Verrazano, Room Service, Daredevil, and Sebring (AUS). Sebring has gotten some attention lately, as he is the sire chosen to cover Australian sensation Black Caviar for the 2014-2015 breeding season.
2014 has been kind to More Than Ready. With 250 runners, 111 winners represent him. Of those 111, 10 are stakes winners with 17 overall stakes wins. 3 graded stakes winners and 2 grade one stakes winners are accredited to the stallion thus far this season.
As Daredevil prepares for his run in the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, those numbers may very likely go up. More Than Ready may be sixteenth on the 2014 General Sires list, but for what he has given the racing world so far, the 2015 of $75,000 is likely one of the best bargains on the market.