12/16/2011 3:24PM

Airdrie Stud hopeful for Indian Charlie's sons

Barbara D. Livingston
Indian Charlie, who died Thursday at age 16, bred 136 mares this year.

LEXINGTON, Ky. − Indian Charlie’s death Thursday at age 16 cost Airdrie Stud its banner stallion, but farm owner Brereton C. Jones said the Midway, Ky., operation hopes to build on his legacy by perhaps standing one of his sons. In the meantime, Indian Charlie’s connections have a lot of good memories of his racing career and stud career, as his fee rose from $10,000 to $75,000 since he was relocated to Airdrie in 2003.

“He has a lot of sons, and we’re in the process of making sure we get one of those at some point,” Jones said. “His legacy is that every year, from the time we got him, he kept getting better and better mares because his foals were performing.

“He was 16.3 hands, so he’s a big horse, and if you looked at his profile, he had this beautiful shoulder, girth, hip, and hind leg, and a lovely neck,” Jones said. “He had a very intelligent head and eye − just the things you looked for in a top horse. He had the speed, and he was a horse that would breed a very swift middle-distance horse. If you wanted to breed a longer, two-turn horse, he would be able to get you that if you bred the proper mares to him.”

Indian Charlie came to Airdrie after four years at Vinery. When he arrived at Jones’s farm, Indian Charlie already endured the first physical setback of his stud career: diagnosis as a wobbler followed by surgery to correct the disorder, which causes incoordination.

“His injury, while it was serious, as he got older, believe it or not, he got sounder,” Jones said. “He just was a very competitive horse, the kind that you just got a feeling was going to produce good racehorses. We just fell in love with him. He was friendly, but he’d also let you know he was the head guy.”

Indian Charlie bred 136 mares this year, according to The Jockey Club statistics.

Tom Van Meter, one of the partners who raced Indian Charlie and later a shareholder during the horse’s stud career, opined in a Facebook tribute that the horse’s best runners still could be in the pipeline. Van Meter revealed that he and another partner, Olin Gentry, had seen Indian Charlie in good spirits the day before he was euthanized at the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, where he had been treated for a highly aggressive form of cancer, hemangiosarcoma.

“He was trying to nip us while we were getting a picture and taking him away from his carrots,” Van Meter wrote. “His attitude and appetite were good even these last days. He suffered not! He was a very cool horse that made a lot of memories and opened a lot of doors for me personally.”
At the farm, Jones acknowledged, Indian Charlie was the staff’s favorite, too, and he will be memorialized there.

“We’ll have a monument here at the farm next to Silver Hawk, who, of course, was a multiple Grade 1-producing stallion that was able to get a horse of any distance,” Jones said. “They were both very special horses.”

General Quarters fee set at $8,500

General Quarters, the two-time Grade 1 winner owned and trained by former Kentucky high-school principal Tom McCarthy, will enter stud with an $8,500 fee in Florida.

A 5-year-old by Sky Mesa, General Quarters retired earlier this month to stud at Stonewall Farm in Ocala, Fla. General Quarters scored Grade 1 victories in the 2009 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland and 2010 Turf Classic at Churchill and also won the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes in 2009. He left for the breeding shed with more than $1.2 million in earnings.

General Quarters is the first stakes winner out of Ecology, by Unbridled’s Song. He is a half-brother to New Wave, a stakes-placed filly this year.