FRANKEL KING OF APEX SIRES
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
Date: 16 January 2019