Air Force Blue
Excellence as a 2yo has been the hallmark of many of Ashford Stud’s most successful stallions, such as Storm Bird, Giant’s Causeway, Scat Daddy and Uncle Mo. Air Force Blue excelled at that age too and was rated Europe’s best juvenile with a rating of 124, after winning three consecutive Gr.1 races. He took the Phoenix Stakes over six furlongs and both the National Stakes and Dewhurst Stakes over seven.
Bred by Arthur Hancock III at Stone Farm Air Force Blue is the best juvenile by War Front, the remarkable son of Danzig who has sired more than 6 per cent Graded/Group winners on his way to becoming the U.S.’s highest-priced stallion in 2019. Air Force Blue’s second dam, Circle of Gold, is a sister to Flanders, America’s Champion 2yo filly of 1994, when she won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies.
Air Force Blue has the advantage of having none of the SEATTLE SLEW blood which helped Flanders produce the multiple Gr.1 winner and champion Surfside. War Front has Graded winners from mares by A.P. INDY, PULPIT (19 per cent black-type winners) and TAPIT. It was a TAPIT mare which produced a $400,000 colt from Air Force Blue’s first crop while a $290,000 filly is out of a MALIBU MOON mare.
War Front has several good winners with two lines to DANZIG, including the Gr.1 winners War Flag, Hit It A Bomb (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf) and Brave Anna.
Air Force Blue should shine with mares from the prolific male line of MR PROSPECTOR. War Front has Gr.1 winners out of mares by FORTY NINER, MISWAKI, SMART STRIKE, WOODMAN and SEEKING THE GOLD. Other sons of War Front have already sired Graded winners from daughters of GULCH, SPEIGHTSTOWN, CITY ZIP, TRIPPI and STREET SENSE. War Front has four SW’s from his first 26 foals out of UNBRIDLED’S SONG mares (15%).
Mares from the SADLER’S WELLS line should also shine with Air Force Blue, who had a $350,000 first-crop colt out of a grand-daughter of SADLER’S WELLS. War Front has 21% black-type winners with SADLER’S WELLS mares,including the 2019 Preakness Stakes winner War of Will and two Gr.1 two-year-old winners. He also has three Gr.1 winners out of daughters of GALILEO, a Gr.2 winner from an EL PRADO mare and a Gr.3 winner from a MONTJEU mare. Mares by MEDAGLIA D’ORO and KITTEN’S JOY are likeable options for Air Force Blue.
At least eight other grandsons of Danzig have sired Gr.1 winners from STORM CAT line mares, therefore daughters of TALE OF THE CAT, GIANT’S CAUSEWAY and SCAT DADDY should be guaranteed to produce good 2yos.
The ROBERTO male line should also suit well, as War Front has top-class Graded winners from daughters of DYNAFORMER, RED RANSOM and ARCH. He also has Gr.1/Gr.2 winners with second dams by SILVER HAWK.