California is somewhat unique in U.S. racing, in that it features two relatively self-contained circuits, wherein one of those is contested primarily over a synthetic main track.

The Golden State was once the center of all-weather racing in North America, when the major tracks were mandated to install synthetic racing surfaces. Over the past decade, most of those tracks have reverted back to natural dirt, but Golden Gate Fields, the anchor of the northern California circuit, has kept its Tapeta surface.

With all-weather footings having such a big presence on the northern California circuit, the types of sires whose foals succeed over the surface might differ from those who excel downstate.

With the Winter/Spring Meet spanning the first six months of the year in the books at Golden Gate, here is where things stand.

Leading California Sires By Average 2021 Earnings Over Synthetic Surfaces
Through June 15, 2021

StallionFarmStartersWinnersAverage 2021
Old TopperDeceased74$19,051
Boat TripSpecial T Thoroughbreds75$17,454
UnionizeVictory Rose Thoroughbreds107$16,688
Smiling TigerHarris Farms2814$15,694
Idiot ProofVictory Rose Thoroughbreds136$15,130
Many RiversVictory Rose Thoroughbreds94$14,960
GrazenTommy Town Thoroughbreds2912$14,544
Bold ChieftainVictory Rose Thoroughbreds135$13,604
Slew’s TiznowRancho San Miguel125$13,488
Ministers Wild CatTommy Town Thoroughbreds229$12,519

The top spot on the list is held posthumously by Old Topper, who died earlier this month at age 26. He had been residing as a pensioner at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in Santa Ynez since 2019.

The son of Gilded Time’s runners have earned an average of $19,051 over synthetic surfaces this year, led by Til I Found You, who has earned $45,360 on the main track at Golden Gate.

The 3-year-old filly has not finished worse than third in six starts over Golden Gate’s main track this season, and her most recent start was her best to date. After five in-the-money efforts, Til I Found You broke her maiden in impressive fashion on May 22, exploding to a 10-length lead and crossing the finish line 5 1/4 lengths in front in a 5 1/2-furlong race.

Til I Found You races as a homebred for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, and she’s trained by Jonathan Wong.

Old Topper added quantity to his quality in Trouble N Paradise, who has won three of four starts this season on synthetic for earnings of $20,940.

Two of the filly’s three wins this season have come at six furlongs, with the other scaling back to 5 1/2 furlongs. The standout effort among the trio of victories came in a six-furlong claiming race on April 30, when Trouble N Paradise settled off the pace, swung out as she left the turn, and kicked on to triumph by 2 1/4 lengths.

Old Topper hasn’t finished a year in the top ten among his state’s sires by average synthetic earnings in recent memory, marking a significant turnaround in fortunes for the stallion at the conclusion of Golden Gate’s recent meet.

Old Topper holds a lead of nearly $1,600 in average progeny earnings over second-place Boat Trip, whose seven runners over synthetic surfaces have made an average of $17,454 through the first half of the year.

Boat Trip

That group is led by the filly Family Trips, who has made $35,240 over synthetic this season. The 4-year-old finished fourth or better in all eight of her starts at Golden Gate in 2021, including four wins. Among those winning efforts was her most recent start on May 29, when she moved steadily from four-wide to win a 5 1/2 furlong starter allowance by a length.

Boat Trip stands at Special T Thoroughbreds in Temecula.

Victory Rose Thoroughbreds in Vacaville, Calif., accounted for four stallions in the top ten, led by third-place Unionize.

The son of Dixie Union’s 10 runners over synthetic averaged $16,688 through June 15, led by Union Dance, who has made $78,432 on all-weather this year, powered by four consecutive starter allowance or allowance optional claiming wins at Golden Gate.

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