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How Dubai World Cup Day Could Shake Up Sire Rankings

Senor Buscador could put Mineshaft on a path to dethrone Into Mischief.

Mineshaft at Lane's End

Mineshaft at Lane's End

Anne M. Eberhardt

Dubai World Cup day's $30 million in total purses carries enough weight to dramatically shake up the rankings of North American stallions overnight.

Mineshaft , who stands at Lane's End, tops the BloodHorse's general leading sires list as of March 28 with $11,612,098 in progeny earnings. The 25-year-old son of A.P. Indy got a $10 million boost when his son Senor Buscador won the Feb. 24 Saudi Cup (G1).

2024 General Leading Sires List

A Peacock family homebred, Senor Buscador could score a lucrative double March 30 if he captures the $12 million Dubai World Cup (G1), which pays $6.96 million to the winner. The victory would raise Senor Buscador's earnings for the year to $17,533,000 and catapult his career earnings to $18,456,427—making him the richest North America-based racehorse. Arrogate, who won the World Cup and the $12 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes (G1) in 2017, currently holds the North American racehorse earnings title with $17,422,600 in earnings.

A Senor Buscador World Cup win would put Mineshaft's year-to-date progeny earnings at $18,572,098 and preserve his place at the top at least for several more months. Should Senor Buscador continue his winning ways in top North American stakes, he could give Mineshaft a shot at dethroning five-time leading sire Into Mischief . The purse for this year's Breeders' Cup Classic (G1) has been increased to $7 million, which means a victory is worth $3.64 million and could alone raise Senor Buscador's earnings to $22,096,427. 

Spendthrift Farm's Into Mischief won't make holding onto the top spot easy, however.

The son of Harlan's Holiday ended 2023 with more than $25.6 million in progeny earnings and was the leading sire in 2022 with a single-season career high of more than $28.12 million. 

Into Mischief also will be represented by two starters in the World Cup—Santa Anita Handicap (G1) winner Newgate; and, Laurel River, who won the 2022 Pat O'Brien Stakes (G2) and comes into the World Cup off a win at Meydan Racecourse in the one-mile Burj Nahaar (G3). Newgate is trained by Bob Baffert (who also trained Arrogate) and is owned by a partnership group that includes SF Racing, Starlight Racing, Madaket Stables, Robert Masterson, Stonestreet Stables, Jay Schoenfarber, Waves Edge Capital, and Catherine Donovan. Laurel River is a Juddmonte Farms' homebred who was trained by Baffert in 2020-22 and is now conditioned by Bhupat Seemar, a former assistant to Baffert. Seemar won the 2022 Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1) with Switzerland and saddled his first Kentucky Derby (G1) starter with Summer Is Tomorrow, who was second in the 2022 UAE Derby (G2). 

Should Newgate and Laurel River finish in the top two spots of the World Cup, they would deliver $9.36 million in progeny earnings and put Into Mischief's year-to-date earnings at around $14.6 million. This scenario could return Into Mischief to the top of the standings. If either Newgate or Laurel River get the win but Senor Buscador finishes second or third, then Mineshaft could hold onto the number one spot.

Another sire who could get a windfall at Meydan is Lane's End's Quality Road , who will be represented by three runners on the World Cup day card. He is the sire of Scotland Yard in the Godolphin Mile (G2), Hopkins in the Dubai Golden Shaheen (G1), and Cairo in the Dubai Turf (G1T). These three races could deliver a maximum of $4.64 million in earnings if all three are winners and elevate Quality Road's year-to-date progeny earnings to more than $10.8 million. The son of Elusive Quality is currently ranked second on the general leading sires list with more than $6.2 million in progeny earnings. 

The World Cup could be a major game-changer for Florida sire Brethren , who stands at Arindel Farm. The 16-year-old son of Distorted Humor is the sire of Clapton, who was bred by Arindel and last year won the Lukas Classic Stakes (G2) for RRR Racing and trainer Chad Summers. He comes into the World Cup off third-place finishes in the Al Maktoum Challenge (G1) and Al Maktoum Classic (G2) at Meydan.

Clapton, Meydan, March 25 2024
Photo: Dubai Racing Club
Clapton, by Florida stallion Brethren, trains March 25 at Meydan Racecourse

A World Cup win by Clapton would put Brethren on an express elevator from his current rank at 92 and potentially into the top five on the general leading sires list with more than $7.7 million in earnings. 

Brethren has already sired a graded stakes winner this year in Octane, an Arindel homebred who won the Razorback Handicap (G3) at Oaklawn Park. The sire stands at Arindel for $4,000.