Top 20 American Sires of 2021

With the Breeders’ Cup signaling the unofficial end of the championship season in American racing, It’s time to take a look at which sires have enjoyed the best overall results in the 2021 racing calendar. The following list represents the top 20 stallions in the United States by progeny earnings through the World Championships at Del Mar.

Top 20 American Sires of 2021

1) Into Mischief


A 16-year-old son of Harlan’s Holiday, this half-brother to the champion Beholder was a Grade 1 winner on the track, who only had six career starts before beginning his stallion career at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. He currently tops the American sire list for the third straight year. His top earner in 2021 was Mandaloun, winner of the Risen Star (G2), placed first in the Haskell (G1), and may still be placed first in the Kentucky Derby (G1). Other standouts sired by Into Mischief include Authentic, Goldencents, Life Is Good, Gamine, Audible, Practical Joke, Covfefe, Vyjack and Mischevious Alex. He will stand for $250,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

2) Ghostzapper

A 21-year-old son of Awesome Again, this Hall of Fame runner was the Horse of the Year and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2004, and winner of 9-of-11 career starts. Currently standing at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky, his top earner in 2021 was Mystic Guide, winner of the Dubai World Cup (G1), Razorback (G3), and the Jim Dandy (G2) the year before. Other standouts sired by Ghostzapper include Shaman Ghost, Moreno, Judy the Beauty, Paulassilverlining, Better Lucky, McCraken and Guarana. He is also the broodmare sire of the Triple Crown champion Justify. He will stand for $75,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

3) Curlin

A 17-year-old son of Smart Strike, this Hall of Fame runner was named Horse of the Year in both 2007 and 2008. A winner of 11-of-16 career starts, his biggest wins include the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Preakness (G1) and Dubai World Cup (G1). Currently standing at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky, his top earner in 2021 was Malathaat, winner of the Kentucky Oaks (G1), Alabama (G1), and Ashland (G1). Other standouts sired by Curlin include Vino Rosso, Exaggerator, Keen Ice, Good Magic, Stellar Wind, Palace Malice, Connect and Clairiere. He will stand for $175,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

4) Tapit

A 20-year-old son of Pulpit, he was a Grade 1 winner on the track, who only had six career starts before beginning his stallion career at Gainesway Farm in Kentucky. He is the most influential American sire of the last 20 years. He is a three-time champion sire and the only horse to sire four Belmont Stakes winners in the past two centuries. His top earner in 2021 was Essential Quality, winner of the Belmont Stakes (G1) and Travers (G1) this year, and champion juvenile last year. Other standouts sired by Tapit include Frosted, Untapable, Tonalist, Stardom Bound, Hansen, Cupid, Creator, Ring Weekend, Tapwrit, Unique Bella, and Constitution. He will stand for $185,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

5) Paynter

A 12-year-old son of Awesome Again, he was a Grade 1 winner of the Haskell Invitational, with four wins in 11 career starts. In his 3-year-old season, he was stricken with a near-fatal case of colitis, which was complicated by laminitis, but survived an extended battle for his life and came back to race the following season. Retired to WinStar Farm, his top earner by far has been Knicks Go, who will likely take home the Horse of the Year award in 2021. He is the winner of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1), Pegasus World Cup (G1), Whitney (G1), and the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) the year before. Paynter’s top offspring besides Knicks Go include Harpers First Ride and Merveilleux. He will stand for $10,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

6) Speightstown


A 23-year-old son of Gone West, he was champion sprinter and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint of 2004. A winner of 10-of-16 career starts, he was retired to WinStar Farm after his championship season. His top earner in 2021 was Charlatan, who finished second in this year’s Saudi Cup before retiring with two Grade 1 wins in only five career starts. Other standouts sired by Speightstown include Tamurkuz, Munnings, Reynaldothewizard, Haynesfield, Golden Ticket, Sharing, Rock Fall, Flagstaff, Lexitonian, Force the Pass, Jersey Town and Seek Again. He will stand for $90,000 in the 2022 breeding season

7) Munnings

A 15-year-old son of Speightstown, he was a three-time graded stakes winner with 4 victories in 14 career starts, before retiring to Ashford Stud after his 4-year-old season. His top earner in 2021 was the unbeaten juvenile, Jack Christopher who easily won the Grade 1 Champagne in his second career start. Other standouts sired by Munnings include I’m A Chatterbox, Om, Bonny South, Finite, Kimari, Ginobili, Venetian Harbour and Warrior’s Charge. He will stand for $85,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

8) Hard Spun

A 17-year-old son of Danzig, he was a top class runner at any distance. A Grade 1 winner of the King’s Bishop at 7 furlongs, he also finished second in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic, before retiring to Darley Stud after his 3-year-old season. His top earner in 2021 was Silver State, winner of the Grade 1 Met Mile, and Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap. Other standouts sired by Hard Spun include Aloha West, Wicked Strong, Spun to Run, Zo Impressive, Questing, Hardest Core, Hard Not to Like, Hard Aces, Smooth Roller and Hard Not to Love. He will stand for $35,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

9) Uncle Mo

A 13-year-old son of Indian Charlie, he was the champion 2-year-old and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile of 2010. He was also a graded stakes winner at 3 before retiring to Ashford Stud following his 3-year-old season. His top earner in 2021 was Golden Pal, who won the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint this year and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last year. Other standouts sired by Uncle Mo include Nyquist, Unbridled Mo, Mo Forza, Bast, Yaupon, Outwork, Dream Tree, Laoban and Mo Town. He will stand for $160,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

10) Twirling Candy

A 14-year-old son of Candy Ride, he was a graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt, and while sprinting and routing. He was a winner of 7-of-11 career races before retiring to Lane’s End following his 4-year-old season. His top earner in 2021 was Rombauer, winner of the Preakness (G1) and the El Camino Real Derby, and third-place finisher in the Belmont Stakes. Other standouts sired by Twirling Candy include Concrete Rose, Gift Box, Finley’sluckycharm, Collusion Illusion Danzing Candy, Morticia, Pinehurst, Gear Jockey and One Bad Boy. He will stand for $60,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

11) Street Sense

A 17-year-old son of Street Cry, he was the champion juvenile and winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile of 2006 and came back to win the Kentucky Derby (G1) and the Travers (G1) the following season. He retired to Darley Stud after his 3-year-old season having earned better than $4.3 million. His top earner in 2021 was the Grade 1 winner Maxfield, winner of the Stephen Foster (G2) and Alysheba (G2) this year. Other standouts sired by Street Sense include McKinzie, Sweet Reason, Wedding Toast, Concert Tour, Unlimited Budget, Aubby K, and Tower of Texas. He will stand for $75,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

12) Constitution

A 10-year-old son of Tapit, he was a Grade 1 winner in each of his two seasons on the racetrack. A winner of 4-of-8 career starts, he was retired to WinStar Farm after his 4-year-old season, where he has become one of the nation’s outstanding young sires. His top earner in 2021 was Warrant, who won the Oklahoma Derby (G3) and Texas Derby. Other standouts sired by Constitution include Tiz the Law, Independence Hall, Laura’s Light, Amalfi Sunrise, Annex, Major General and Promise Keeper. He will stand for $85,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

13) Quality Road


A 15-year-old son of Elusive Quality, he was a 7-time graded stakes which included Grade 1 scores in the Met Mile, Woodward, Donn and Florida Derby. He was a winner of 8-of-13 career races before retiring to Lane’s End following his 4-year-old season. His top earner in 2021 was the unbeaten Corniche, winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) and American Pharoah (G1). Other standouts sired by Quality Road include City of Light, Abel Tasman, Dunbar Road, Bellafina, Caledonia Road, Spring Quality, Roadster, Hootenanny, Salty, Klimt and Dr Post. He will stand for $150,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

14) English Channel

A 19-year-old son of Smart Strike, he was a 6-time Grade 1 stakes winner on the turf and was named champion grass horse after a victory in the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Turf. He was a winner of 13-of-23 career races before retiring to stud following his championship season. Perhaps America’s top grass sire, his top earner in 2021 was War Like Goddess, winner of the Flower Bowl (G1) and three other graded stakes in only eight lifetime starts. Other standouts sired by English Channel include The Pizza Man, Channel Maker, Heart to Heart, Channel Cat, V.E. Day, Voodoo Song, Two Emmys, Al’s Song, Johnny Bear and Cross Border. Sadly, English Channel passed away on November 11, 2021 after a sudden illness.

15) Medaglia d’Oro

A 22-year-old son of El Prado, he was a multiple Grade 1 winner who finished first or second in 15-of-17 career races. He twice finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) and won both the Travers (G1) and Whitney (G1) at Saratoga. He retired early in his 5-year-old campaign after running second in the Dubai World Cup (G1). His top earner in 2021 was the international star Golden Sixty. Other standouts sired by Medaglia d’Oro include the great mares Rachel Alexandra and Songbird, as well as Talismanic, Elate, Mshawish, Marketing Mix, Plum Pretty, Vancouver, Higher Power, Bar of Gold, New Money Honey and Bar of Gold. He currently stands at Darley Stud for a fee of $100,000 for the 2022 breeding season.

16) Candy Ride

A 22-year-old son of Ride the Rails, he was bred in Argentina, where he began his racing career. A Group winner in his native land, he became a Grade 1 winner in America with a dominant win in the Pacific Classic. He retired during his 4-year-old season, still unbeaten in six career starts. His top earner in 2021 was Rock Your World, who emulated his sire with stakes wins on both turf and dirt, including the Santa Anita Derby (G1). Other standouts sired by Candy Ride include Gun Runner, Shared Belief, Game Winner, Twirling Candy, Misremembered, Vekoma, Sidney’s Candy, Separationofpowers, Leofric, Ollie’s Candy, Ascend and Capt. Candyman Can. He will stand for $75,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

17) American Pharoah

A 9-year-old son of Pioneerof the Nile, he became the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years when he swept the series in 2015. The champion 2-year-old of 2014, and Horse of the Year the following year, he retired after winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015 and began stud duty at Ashford Stud. His top earner in 2021 was As Time Goes By, winner of two graded stakes in California this year. Other standouts sired by the young sire American Pharoah include Harvey’s Lil Goil, Cafe Pharoah, Van Gogh, Sweet Melania, Four Wheel Drive, Merneith and Mackinnon. He will stand for $80,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

18) Kitten’s Joy


A 20-year-old son of El Prado, he was named America’s grass champion of 2004. First or second in all but one of his 14 career starts, he won seven graded stakes including the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1). Upon retirement he has become one of America’s great turf sires of recent times. Currently standing at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Kentucky, his top earner in 2021 was Tripoli, winner of the Pacific Classic (G1). Other standouts sired by Kitten’s Joy include Stephanie’s Kitten, Hawkbill, Big Blue Kitten, Roaring Lion, Sadler’s Joy, Oscar Performance, Divisidero, Bobby’s Kitten, Real Solution and Kameko. He will stand for $50,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

19) Goldencents

An 11-year-old son of Into Mischief, this six-time graded stakes winner is the only horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) on two occasions. He finished first or second in 14-of-18 career starts before beginning his stallion career at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky. His top earner in 2021 was By My Standards, a 5-time stakes winner who won the 2019 Louisiana Derby (G2), and finished second in this year’s Met Mile (G1). Other standouts sired by Goldencents include Going to Vegas, Mr. Money, Wildman Jack, Phantom Currency and No Cents. He will stand for $15,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

20) Liam’s Map

A 10-year-old son of Unbridled’s Song, this stallion never finished worse than second in eight career starts, highlighted by wins in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) and Woodward (G1). He was retired to Lane’s End Farm in Kentucky after his 4-year-old campaign. His top earner in 2021 was Colonel Liam, winner of the Pegasus World Cup Turf (G1) and Old Forester Turf Classic (G1). Other standouts sired by Liam’s Map include Juju’s Map, Crazy Beautiful, Basin, Wicked Whisper, Rushie and Churn N Burn. He will stand for $40,000 in the 2022 breeding season.

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Brian Zipse

Expert on Horse Racing

Taken to the races at a very young age, Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Professionally, his work has been published on several leading industry sites. Brian served as the Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, where he still writes a regular column and hosts the popular weekly webcast HorseCenter.

Email: [email protected]