Air Force Blue
Excellence as a two-year-old has been the hallmark of many of Coolmore America’s most successful stallions, such as Storm Bird, Giant’s Causeway, Scat Daddy and Uncle Mo. Whereas Giant’s Causeway was rated the second-best juvenile in Europe, with a Timeform rating of 119p, Air Force Blue was Europe’s best two-year-old with an outstanding rating of 128p, 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. Few colts have succeeded in winning both the National Stakes and the Dewhurst but one of them was Storm Cat’s sire Storm Bird.
A $490,000 yearling, Air Force Blue comes from the sixth crop by War Front. Although the previous five had all been sired at fees of $15,000 or less, the son of Danzig has amassed an impressive percentage of Graded/Group winners, with 42 among his 652 foals of racing age. This equates to a world-class figure of over 6 per cent and War Front seems destined to follow in Danzig’s footsteps as an important sire of sires.
Although Air Force Blue made his name on turf, both his parents and both his grandsires did all their winning on dirt, so he is entitled to prove as versatile as War Front regarding his progeny’s surface requirements. His second dam, Circle of Gold, is a sister to Flanders, America’s champion 2yo filly of 1994 and dam of champion Surfside.
Air Force Blue has the advantage of having none of the SEATTLE SLEW blood which helped his family produce multiple Gr.1 winner Surfside. War Front has Graded winners from mares by A.P. INDY and his son PULPIT, achieving an impressive 20 per cent black-type winners with daughters of PULPIT. This suggests daughters of TAPIT could work as they would produce two lines to FAPPIANO and two to Tapit’s second dam Ruby Slippers.
War Front has several good winners inbred 2x4 to DANZIG, including Gr.1 winners War Flag, Hit It A Bomb and Brave Anna. Some of these winners have dams by ARCH, who was out of a DANZIG mare.
Air Force Blue has plenty of scope to 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 and WOODMAN. Other sons of War Front have already sired Graded winners from daughters of GULCH, SPEIGHTSTOWN, CITY ZIP, Forty Niner’s grandson TRIPPI and STREET SENSE. The FAPPIANO branch is another attractive option, as War Front has four black-type winners from his first 23 foals out of UNBRIDLED’S SONG mares, as well as a Gr.2 winner from a GRINDSTONE mare. Air Force Blue is well worth trying with mares by Mr Prospector’s grandsons, such as STREET CRY (War Front has two black-type winners from his first seven foals) and ELUSIVE QUALITY.
War Front has two Gr.1 two-year-old winners out of a SADLER’S WELLS mare and three Gr.1 winners out of GALILEO mares, including the 2018 2yo Fog of War and the triple Gr.1 winner U S Navy Flag. He also has a Gr.2 winner out of an EL PRADO mare and a Gr.3 winner with a MONTJEU dam. Mares by MEDAGLIA D’ORO and KITTEN’S JOY are a likeable option and Air Force Blue merits a chance with GALILEO mares.
At least seven other grandsons of Danzig have sired Gr.1 winners from STORM CAT line mares, including from daughters of GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, HENNESSY, TALE OF THE CAT and FOREST WILDCAT.
War Front has Graded winners from mares by two BLUSHING GROOM line stallions including RAHY.
War Front has Graded winners from daughters of DYNAFORMER and RED RANSOM, and from mares by ARCH, a son of KRIS S. He also has Gr.1 and Gr.2 winners with second dams by SILVER HAWK.