|Sire||Raise a Native|
|Foaled||January 28, 1970|
|Died||June 1, 1999 29)(aged|
|Breeder||Leslie Combs II|
| Gravesend Handicap (1974)|
Whirlaway Handicap (1974)
| Leading sire in North America (1987, 1988)|
Leading broodmare sire in North America
|Grade III Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park|
|Last updated on April 27, 2020|
Mr. Prospector (January 28, 1970 – June 1, 1999) was a Thoroughbred racehorse who became an outstanding breeding stallion and notable sire of sires. A sprinter whose career was cut short by repeated injuries, he won seven of his 14 starts, including the Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Whirlaway Handicap at Garden State Park.
Mr. Prospector began his stallion career in Florida as a regional sire. He proved so successful that he was moved to Kentucky where he became a leading sire and later a leading broodmare sire. His descendants have dominated the United States Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing for several decades and his impact on Thoroughbred bloodlines is felt worldwide.
Mr. Prospector was a bay stallion who was bred in Kentucky by Leslie Combs II, the owner of Spendthrift Farm. His sire was Raise a Native, a son of Native Dancer. Raise a Native was brilliantly fast but unsound, going undefeated in four races at age two before breaking down. Raise a Native became a notable sire but tended to pass on his "heavy-topped" build and other conformation issues associated with unsoundness.By contrast, Mr. Prospector's dam, Gold Digger, was a multiple stakes winning mare known for her toughness and durability. A daughter of Nashua, Gold Digger was from a highly distinguished female family tracing back to champion racemare and "blue hen" Myrtlewood.
Mr. Prospector was the highest-priced horse at the 1971 Keeneland July sale of selected yearlings, selling to A. I. "Butch" Savin for $220,000 (equivalent to $1.41 million in 2020). "Mr. P", as he came to be known, raced for owner Savin under his nom de course, Aisco Stable. The colt was trained by Jimmy Croll, a future Hall of Fame member who went on to train Holy Bull.
At maturity, he reached 16 hands (64 inches, 163 cm) high. He had excellent hindquarters and strong hind legs, but his right forefront was turned-out and his knees were offset, making him vulnerable to injury.
Mr. Prospector raced at the same time as Hall of Fame members Secretariat and Forego. Though not of their class, he was the top-ranked sprinter of 1974 on the Daily Racing Form's Free Handicap.
Mr. Prospector did not race at age two, 4⁄5 was a new track record and was only two-fifths of a second off the American record.but won his first two starts at age three with "ridiculous ease" before being sidelined by illness. He returned on April 1, 1973, in a six-furlong allowance race at Gulfstream Park, which he won by nine lengths. The time of 1:07
He next entered the Calumet Purse on April 17, 1973. In his first start at a distance of more than seven furlongs, he took the early lead but faded in the final quarter-mile to finish third.He next entered the Derby Trial on May 2 as the heavy favorite but finished second after a troubled start. This was his last start at age three.
On February 25, 1974, Mr. Prospector finished third in the Paumonok Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack as the 1-2 favorite. The crowd reportedly responded to the loss by booing jockey Walter Blum "like rutting moose".He then ran second in the Royal Poinciana on March 6 at Hialeah to Lonetree, who set a track record for seven furlongs.
On April 20, Mr. Prospector won the Whirlaway Handicap at Garden State Racetrack, setting a track record of 1:083⁄5 for six furlongs. He then entered the Carter Handicap at Belmont Park on May 18, where he finished second to eventual Horse of the Year Forego. He then finished fourth at the favorite in a turf race, a surface with which the colt was unfamiliar.
Mr. Prospector returned to the winner's circle in the Gravesend Handicap, held on June 19 at Belmont Park. As the second choice in a field of eight, he settled in second place behind Lonetree, then pulled away to win by five lengths.Mr. Prospector made what would prove his final start on July 4 in the Firecracker Handicap, finishing second. Shortly afterwards, he fractured a sesamoid bone and was retired.
Mr. Prospector retired to stud in 1975 at Aisco Farm near Ocala, Florida. As a regional sire with limited support, he exceeded expectations when he became North America's leading freshman sire of 1978. In 1980, he was relocated to historic Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.He became an outstanding sire, leading the North American general sire list in 1978 and 1979. From 1,195 named foals, he sired 182 stakes winners (15.1%). Although primarily known for the success of his offspring on the dirt in North America, he also was a top-ten sire for several years in Europe.
Mr. Prospector sired one winner of each of the Triple Crown races, a feat his grandson, Unbridled, also accomplished. His Triple Crown race winners were 2000 Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus; 1985 Preakness Stakes winner Tank's Prospect; and 1982 Belmont Stakes winner and American Horse of the Year Conquistador Cielo. Mr. Prospector's bloodline has been highly influential in the top echelons of Thoroughbred racing. All eight horses entered into the 2015 Belmont Stakes were descendants, through their sires, of Mr. Prospector.Similarly, all of the horses in the 2018 Kentucky Derby were descendants of Mr. Prospector.
Mr. Prospector's stud fee, even without the guarantee of a live foal, peaked at $460,000 in the early and mid-1980s. By March 1994 he was still commanding fees of $170,000-$180,000 even though the market had suffered a downturn.During breeding season, he was often able to "cover" two mares in one day. Mr. Prospector was jointly owned by a 40-member syndicate.
On June 1, 1999, Mr. Prospector died in his stall of complications from colic at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky. He was buried between Nijinsky and Secretariat.
Mr. Prospector's Grade/Group One winners are shown in the table below.The majority raced in North America on the dirt. However, he also had several significant winners in Europe who established more turf-oriented branches of the sire line.
c = colt, f = filly, g = gelding
|1976||It's In The Air||f||Alabama Stakes, Ruffian Handicap, Vanity Handicap|
|1977||Fappiano||c||Metropolitan Handicap, Forego Handicap|
|1977||Hello Gorgeous||c||William Hill Futurity|
|1978||Miswaki||c||Prix de la Salamandre|
|1979||Conquistador Cielo||c||Belmont Stakes, Metropolitan Handicap|
|1979||Gold Beauty||f||Test Stakes|
|1980||Eillo||c||Breeders' Cup Sprint|
|1981||Procida||c||Prix de la Forêt, Hollywood Derby|
|1982||Tank's Prospect||c||Preakness Stakes|
|1984||Afleet||c||Jerome Handicap, Canadian Horse of the Year|
|1984||Chic Shirine||f||Ashland Stakes|
|1984||Gone West||c||Dwyer Stakes|
|1984||Gulch||c||Hopeful Stakes, Belmont Futurity, Wood Memorial, Metropolitan Handicap, Breeders' Cup Sprint|
|1984||Jade Hunter||c||Gulfstream Park Handicap, Donn Handicap|
|1985||Classic Crown||f||Frizette Stakes, Gazelle Handicap|
|1985||Forty Niner||c||Champagne Stakes|
|1985||Over All||f||Spinaway Stakes, Matron Stakes|
|1985||Ravinella||f||1000 Guineas, Cheveley Park Stakes|
|1985||Seeking The Gold||c||Super Derby, Dwyer Stakes|
|1986||Fantastic Find||f||Hempstead Handicap|
|1986||Quena||f||Ballerina Stakes, Maskette Stakes, Ruffian Handicap|
|1987||Jade Robbery||c||Grand Critérium|
|1987||Machiavellian||c||Prix de la Salamandre, Prix Djebel|
|1988||Lycius||c||Middle Park Stakes|
|1988||Rhythm||c||Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Travers Stakes|
|1989||Prospector's Delite||f||Acorn Stakes, Ashland Stakes|
|1990||Educated Risk||f||Frizette Stakes, Top Flight Handicap|
|1990||Kingmambo||c||Poule d'Essai des Poulains, St. James's Palace Stakes, Prix du Moulin de Longchamp|
|1990||Miner's Mark||c||Jockey Club Gold Cup|
|1991||Coup de Genie||f||Prix Morny, Prix de la Salamandre|
|1991||Distant View||c||Sussex Stakes|
|1992||Macoumba||c||Prix Marcel Boussac|
|1992||Smart Strike||c||Philip H. Iselin Handicap|
|1993||Golden Attraction||c||Spinaway Stakes, Frizette Stakes, Matron Stakes|
|1993||Ta Rib||f||Poule d'Essai des Pouliches|
|1995||Chester House||c||Arlington Million|
|1997||Fusaichi Pegasus||c||Kentucky Derby|
|1997||Scatter the Gold||c||Queen's Plate, Prince of Wales Stakes|
|1998||Aldeberan||c||Metropolitan Handicap, Forego Handicap|
|1998||Dancethruthedawn||f||Woodbine Oaks, Queen's Plate, Go For Wand Handicap|
Mr. Prospector's male-line descendants have had great success in the American Triple Crown races, primarily through his sons Fappiano, Forty Niner and Smart Strike who themselves became sires of sires.
Raise a Native (USA)
| Native Dancer (USA) |
|Raise You (USA) |
|Lady Glory||American Flag|
Gold Digger (USA)
| Nashua (USA) |
|Sequence (USA) |
|Count Fleet||Reigh Count|
|Miss Dogwood||Bull Dog|
|Myrtlewood (Family 13-c)|
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