One of the more intriguing young stallions in the Mid-Atlantic region at the moment is Buffum, a son of Bernardini at Northview Maryland, and we are excited that the stakes-winning La Wildcat will be bred to him in 2019 in a Housatonic Recommended Mating.
La Wildcat is a multiple stakes-winning sprinter by the similarly quick stallion Forest Wildcat. She is a half-sister to a Graded-placed stakes winner by the Pulpit son Purge, with another stakes-placed winner by Pulpit further back on her page, which is what led us to consider possible A.P. Indy-line mates for her in the first instance. On top of that, Forest Wildcat’s daughters have produced five stakes winners (3.8% from 131 foals) when mated to sons of A.P. Indy, including a pair of Grade 2 winners, and two more stakes winners (3.4% from 58 foals) when mated to grandsons of A.P. Indy.
Buffum himself was a $1.2 million yearling who debuted at 2-years-old with a win at one mile, and his biggest career victory came at 4-years-old in the Grade 3 Bold Ruler Handicap, in which he covered 7 furlongs wire-to-wire in 1:21.68. He was described by trainer Tom Albertrani as the fastest Bernardini he ever trained, and he had many of them given his status as a trainer for Godolphin, who stands Bernardini and raced Buffum. Buffum is from the immediate female family of successful stallions like Dayjur, Violence and Point of Entry.
Buffum’s first foals are 3-year-olds of 2018, and while he only has 15 named foals between his first two crops, two of them are stakes winners (good for 13%) and another is black-type placed, among the eight winners from ten Buffum offspring to reach the races — so that’s a quite promising start with limited opportunity (from just a 1.08 CI for the mares he bred, he has achieved a 1.59 AEI, meaning he’s moving his mares up quite a bit). His biggest winner so far is Clever Mind, who broke his maiden first-time out in last year’s Maryland Million Nursery over more experienced rivals for trainer Graham Motion.
Clever Mind was a $100,000 RNA as a sales yearling, highlighting the surprisingly strong commercial results that Buffum’s foals have achieved so far. From his first crop, along with Clever Mind, Buffum had an $85,000 sale yearling, and he also had a $25,000 yearling this past October from his third crop, off of just a $2,500 advertised stud fee — so his foals have looked the part.
Forest Wildcat is a son of Storm Cat, and Buffum’s dam is a Storm Cat mare, meaning the foal from this mating will be inbred 3×3 to that former Overbrook superstar — but even though, anecdotally, inbreeding to Storm Cat so closely is thought of as a negative given his propensity for passing on offset knees, 3×3 inbreeding to Storm Cat has actually produced 2.2% stakes winners to foals (compared to the 2.4% breed average). And the statistics for 3×3 inbreeding to Storm Cat are even better when you look specifically at the results for runners sired by A.P. Indy grandsons who happen to be out mares by Storm Cat, as such stallions have thrown seven stakes winners from 108 foals bred this way, good for 6.5% (including a pair of Grade 3 winners).
Although Buffum does not yet have any foals from Storm Cat-line mares, both he and La Wildcat are correct through their own knees, so we are not overly concerned about the inbreeding pattern in this case. We think that this will be a nice like-to-like matchup on racing proclivities, with both Buffum and La Wildcat having been fast, early horses. Physically, La Wildcat has a bit more of a typical sprinter build while Buffum has a bit more leg and stretch to go along with his powerful, sprinter-like hindquarters — but regardless of which parent the foal takes after in looks, we just hope it inherits their speed and class as well.
Buffum breaks his maiden first time out at Aqueduct
Buffum’s first-crop son Clever Mind wins the Maryland Million Nursery in his first start