By Chris McGrath – Courtesy of Thoroughbred Daily News (March 7, 2020) –
OM (Munnings–Rare Cat, by Tabasco Cat), Harris Farms, $7,500
Alydar’s disappointing legacy at stud gets additional mitigation here, as he is responsible for the second dam of a very fast and hardy horse in Om.
Here’s a rookie who looks very eligible to consolidate and complement the sterling work his farm has been doing with Smiling Tiger (Hold That Tiger), who’s now fully established as a $6,500 sire of a Grade I winner in Spiced Perfection.
We won’t give Om credit he doesn’t need, for happening to have none other than American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile) back in fifth in a sprint maiden on the synthetic at Del Mar. More pertinent, in view of his seven-length margin and 98 Beyer that day, is the fact that a reverse on dirt in stakes company next time persuaded connections not only to try turf but also to stretch him out to eight and nine furlongs–over which distances he collected three Grade II prizes and a Grade I podium as a sophomore.
Though exploding from last place to share a photo when dropped back for the GI Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint down the hill at Santa Anita, at four, he did not convert to full-time sprinting until switched to Peter Miller as a 7-year-old last year. He promptly chased home the top-class World Of Trouble (Kantharos) in the GI Jaipur Invitational; set a track record over five and a half furlongs at Churchill in a June 29 allowance; and again finished runner-up in the Turf Sprint at the Breeders’ Cup, this time over the bare five furlongs.
Om is the leading earner by a stallion of ample excellence to become a sire of sires, while the Storm Cat line works in any number of ways through broodmares. His female line, meanwhile, goes back to none other than Miss Grillo, the South American nugget who did so much to introduce Horatio Luro to the American Turf (and does so through her daughter Meadow Music, dam of an Irish Derby winner).
There is a corresponding old-school resonance to Om’s record, having won or placed in 17 graded stakes, while 14 triple-digit Beyers give him all the commercial appeal he might need today. And if his speed will never go out of fashion, an aptitude for turf may prove to be no bad thing out west in the years ahead. New stallions are hardly ever value but I’d be inclined to make an exception for this guy.