Juddmonte Farms


Bill Oppenheim reviews the 2018 Year-End APEX A runner index table for North American and European Sires

Taken from BloodHorse Daily, 14th January 2019, by Bill Oppenheim

The Annual Progeny Earnings Index was developed 30 years ago as a way to dilute the distortion in the average earnings index caused by one huge earner. There are actually 17 different ratings (by class, age, and region), but the signature tune is the APEX A Runner Index, which measures the frequency with which stallions sire runners who are among the top 2% of earners each year or (Southern Hemisphere) season.

Table copyright the Bill Oppenheim Group 2019

Two restrictions are that the numbers are calculated for a rolling seven-year period (2012-18 in this case), and only sires with 10 or more three-year-olds of the last year covered (in this case 2015) are assigned ratings. The seven-year period catches once-great sires who are on the downgrade, and the 10 or more foals restriction eliminates the bottom one-third of sires and 20% of foals who will never figure on any but very local radar, but whose inclusion in statistics has the effect of inflating sires' ratings. Galileo is the most prolific top sire in history, at least in terms of average crop size. His own sire, Sadler's Wells, sired 2,180 foals in 23 crops, an average of 95 foals per crop, and Danehill, who died at age 17, sired a total of 2,410 foals in 27 crops, counting both hemispheres, an average of 89 foals per crop. Galileo has sired 1,984 foals in 14 crops of racing age (through 2018), an average of 141 foals per crop— almost 50% more foals per crop than Sadler's Wells. Yet, in his crops racing in 2012-18, Galileo scores a massive 5.78 A Runner Index, which equals (multiply x 2) 11.56% of A Runners per year of starters.

In terms of A Runner Index, however, FRANKEL, the best son of Galileo, surpasses even Galileo in his ratio of A Runners per year to starters (a horse counts as one year-starter every year it runs, because the calculations are done on an annualised basis). From 316 year starters 2016-18 FRANKEL has 42 A Runners, which translates to a 6.65 A Runner Index. That makes him the king of APEX sires, though he obviously has just 15% the number of year-starters as his sire.

Galileo's 241 A Runners 2012-18 is over 100 more than second-ranked Dubawi (136). Only Tapit (125), Kitten's Joy (107), Medaglia d'Oro (105), and War Front (103) also have more than 100 A Runners over the seven-year period. Dubawi (4.89) ranks third by A Runner Index, meaning the top three sires are all European. They are followed by three American sires: War Front (4.68); Uncle Mo (3.87); and Medaglia d'Oro (3.50). Then two more Europeans, Galileo's half brother Sea The Stars (3.36) and DANSILI (3.30), and two more American round out the top 10: Ghostzapper (3.29) and Tapit (3.11).

The top 15 are rounded off by German sire Adlerflug (3.02); Into Mischief (2.86); Curlin and Fastnet Rock (2.84 each); and Quality Road and Scat Daddy (2.79 each). For the complete list of 777 North American, European, and Japanese sires with first foals 2015 and earlier which had year-end 2018 APEX ratings, as well as further explanation of the APEX method, please visit www.billoppenheim.com. ​​

Date: 16 January 2019