With the North American harness racing season well underway we continue with 'A Stallion Review' series. Today we have produced an in depth review for the outstanding racehorse Shark Gesture and what impact he might have as a young sire.
All statistics shown are as at the 7th of April 2014.
Enjoy the read.
is by , one of the all time greats to have stood at stud in the history of the standardbred breed. His figures are mind blowing and a testament to his siring ability and longevity in a very fashion conscious industry. Not only is he a great sire but he is now firmly established as a sire of sires with the great sire leading the way. Others by Cams Card Shark to have made an impact to date are Four Starzzz Shark, Riverboat King, Million Dollar Cam and Aces N Sevens while Roll With Joe and Shadyshark Hanover are young sons now at stud.
Total stakes earned to date is $135,345,825. Numbers in 1:50 or better is 58. He has ten million dollar plus earners. Number in 1:53 is 346 and average earnings per starter is $103,555.
Simple Gesture is the dam of Shark Gesture and she is an un-raced daughter of Western Hanover who has had six foals of racing age to date for three winners. Apart from Shark Gesture she has produced Shark Ingested 1:49.2f ($277,970) and The Village Rusty 1:51.1f ($145,541).
Shark Gesture's second dam is Empty Feeling. She was a very talented mare on the racetrack taking a mark of 1:53.1 on her way to winning $354,657. She carried that into the breeding barn having left five winners from seven foals to date including the high class son of The Panderosa in Ponder 1:48.1m ($1,686,134) and Gotta Feeling 1:52.4f ($235,109).
As a 2yr old he had ten starts for three wins and four placings for $118,971 in stakes. His best win was in the $113,000 Bluegrass Stakes at Lexington in 1;51.3m. He also won a heat of the Breeders Crown and was second in the $156,000 International Stallion Pace.
As a 3yr old he had sixteen starts for eight wins and two placings for $677,427 in stakes. His best win was undoubtedly in the final of the $695,000 Breeders Crown. Horses he beat that day included Mister Big, Artistic Fella, Jeremes Jet and Total Truth. Other notable wins during the season included the $288,000 Tattersalls Final in 1:49.1 (his record for his 3yr old season) and the $126,000 Bluegrass Final in 1:51
As a 4yr old he had eight starts for two wins and three places for $206,791 in stakes. His best win was in the $120,000 NH Sweepstake in 1:49.2m while he ran second in both the $200,000 Dan Patch final and the $285,000 Graduate Final.
At this point he was retired to stud and didn't return to the track for over sixteen months.
As a 5yr old he had three starts late in the year in which he ran a third in the last start.
As a 6yr old he came back with a vengeance and had 29 starts for seven wins and eight placings for a super $963,890 in stakes, his biggest earnings for a season on the track. He was a constant in all the big races. His best win was arguably in the $685,000 Canadian Pacing Derby in 1:48.1 although his win in the $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 was just as impressive. Another stellar win that season was in the $210,000 Graduate Final in 1:49.
2009 $688,000 W R Haughton Memorial
As a 7yr old he had another great year on the track with just twelve starts for seven wins and three placings for $918,875 in stakes. He had arguably his best year on the track at seven with his wins in several major races being quite dominant. His best win was in the $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial in 1:48.2 at The Meadowlands.
This win was especially significant as this field was full of great horses that have won between them a massive total of $21,435,937 in stakes to date. It included the great Foiled Again ($6,139,210), Won The West ($3,977,956), Bettor Sweet ($2,816,687), Vintage Master ($2,162,979), Hypnotic Blue Chip ($1,794,793) and Mr Wiggles ($1,195,099).
2010 $702,000 W R Haughton Memorial
As can be seen Shark Gesture started from the far outside post 9 and was parked out wide at the quarter in 25.4 before getting cover at the half in 52.3 then he was out to attack at the three quarters in 1:20.4 before winning in hand in 1:48.2. An outstanding mile against the very best.
Shark Gesture also won the $200,000 Graduate Final in 1:48.4, The $228,000 Bettors Delight Final in 1:48.3, The $200,000 Dan Patch Final in 1:48.1 and was a close second in the $500,000 Franklin Final in 1:49.1. He was timed under 1:50 in ten of his twelve starts that season.
Shark Gesture was timed in 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.4 (2nd), 1:47.2 (2nd) and 1:47.3 (5th) during his career. Twice in his career he posted very fast last quarters of 25.4 and 25.3
NORTH AMERICAN STUD RECORD
He stood at stud for one season in Canada as a five year old. He bred 73 mares but there were only 43 foals from mares that were of raceway standard at best. Of that 43 foals he had 33 colts born and just 10 fillies. Twenty four of those won but stakes won have only amounted to $1,261,212 with his best performers being Piston Broke 1:49.2s ($295,330) and Best Ears 1:49.4f ($191,657). He was then moved to Pennsylvania where he bred 87 mares to produce 56 foals that are two year olds in North America in 2014. He has two more crops of 39 and 30 still to come in Pennsylvania. He now stands atin Ohio for the 2014 season.
AUSTRALIAN STUD RECORD
Again he has only one crop old enough to race which are now five year olds. They number just 18 and there have been twelve starters for four winners for stakes of $90,842. His two best winners have both been fillies with Gesturestar having won 8 and She’s A Killer 10. He has a crop of 24 yearlings in Australia.
NEW ZEALAND STUD CAREER
He only has one crop on the ground in NZ and that is the crop of 42 yearlings which are due to hit the track next year.
The first string to his bow is that he is the biggest stake winning son of the great sire Cams Card Shark with $2,890,594 in stakes.. His soundness over several seasons at the top and the longevity of his performance at the elite level should appeal to Southern Hemisphere breeders where most of the bigger stakes are aimed at the older free for all horses. He only has one crop in NZ which are presently yearlings and they were well received at the NZ yearling sales this year with the likes of the well respected horseman Jim Dalgety, Tony Herlihy and Nigel McGrath amongst the high profile horsemen to have purchased one.
Management issues coupled with poor promotion have meant he has yet to serve a meaningful book of mares at stud, either in his initial stint at stud or since his retirement in 2010. In todays market very small crops make it impossible to make an impact and can very quickly ruin a stallions career if changes are not made.
A smart racehorse at two and three who matured into a genuine star as an older horse. Retired to stud initially without the necessary runs on the board to attract either the quantity or the quality of mares to make it as a sire in today's marketplace. On his return to the track he matured into a super star and this time he has a much bettor shot at making it. His recent move to Ohio can only help his future prospects and give him the opportunity to achieve as a sire to the level his race record suggests he should be achieving.
4 out of 10