10/14/2003 12:00AM

Aldebaran: $50K at first


Multiple Grade 1 winner Aldebaran, who is set to retire after the Oct. 25 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Santa Anita, will stand his initial year at stud for at least $50,000, Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky., announced on Tuesday.

"This initial fee is guaranteed only until the Breeders' Cup Sprint, after which the fee may be raised," a farm statement said.

Aldebaran also is the subject of an innovative stud fee guarantee deal that Darby Dan has devised. Darby Dan will allow some breeders who nominate high-caliber mares to the stallion in 2004 to breed to him at a lower stud fee of $40,000. Those breeders also will be allowed to breed back to the stallion at $40,000 in the fifth, sixth, and seventh years of his stud career with any mare of their choice.

Darby Dan also announced the 2004 fees for its seven other stallions. All fees remain the same as last year, with the exception of Behrens, who drops from $20,000 to $10,000. Others are Hap at $5,000; Matty G, $7,500; Meadowlake, $20,000; Pyramid Peak, $5,000; Repriced, $5,000; and Vicar, $10,000. Breeders to Hap, Matty G, Pyramid Peak, and Repriced are eligible for the farm's profit-protection plan, which offers an adjustable stud fee for matings intended to produce horses for auction.