05/01/2008 11:00PM

Business is booming at Fox Tale Stud


Vince Tucciarone and Dawn Newman, co-owners of Fox Tale Stud, one of Pennsylvania's newest Thoroughbred breeding establishments, are extremely busy people.

During this breeding and foaling season, Tucciarone and Newman have been on the go from the crack of dawn until late in the evening - and many times are up in the middle of the night. They are in the midst of their busiest year since moving to Fox Tale Stud, a 48-acre farm in Coopersburg, Pa., established three years ago from scratch.

Fox Tale Stud, located a few miles south of Allentown, is home to eight stallions, including three millionaires - Request for Parole, Fastness, and Freefourinternet - who have full books for 2008. So far this season, the Fox Tale stallions have covered more than 120 mares. In addition to the busy breeding shed, approximately 45 mares will foal at the farm. Tucciarone handles the stallion breedings while Newman is in charge of foaling mares.

Freefourinternet, whose oldest foals are yearlings, and Fastness, the sire of Canadian champion Le Cinquieme Essai, both stood in other states before moving to Pennsylvania. Grade 1 winner Request for Parole is standing his first season this year.

Request for Parole, who raced for seven seasons, competed on turf and dirt, and won or placed in a dozen stakes. He is from a well-known sireline in Pennsylvania. His grandsire, Judge Smells, led the state's sire rankings for many years, and his sire, Judge T C, was immensely popular during his one season standing in Pennsylvania, when he covered 115 mares in 2002. Newman noted that Request for Parole has also been getting a number of mares from outside of the state.

Before shifting gears to Thoroughbreds about six years ago, Tucciarone and Newman had an extensive background with Quarter Horse show horses. Both now in their mid-40s, Newman had been competing at shows since she was 8. Tucciarone had bred and shown Quarter Horses for more than 25 years.

But the lure of the Pennsylvania Breeders Fund persuaded the couple to diversify about six years ago, when they bought their first Thoroughbreds to race. Soon they were diving head first into the breeding end of the business.

Following an introduction to Bob and Robin Seeger, Tucciarone and Newman took in their first stallion in 2003 when the Seegers moved track-record-setting stakes winner My Favorite Grub to Pennsylvania. My Favorite Grub stood at Tucciarone and Newman's previous farm, Blue Moon Equestrian, which has since been sold.

Fox Tale Stud (named for a 2-year-old Quarter Horse colt whose sale provided the down payment for the farm) was ready for operation for the 2006 breeding season, and the stallion roster swelled. Among the stallions taking up residence were Smart Guy and Rubiyat.

Smart Guy, a son of Smarten who won the 1999 Pennsylvania Derby and entered stud in 2001, is the sire of 2007 multiple stakes winner Secretintelligence from only nine foals of racing age. Rubiano's son Rubiyat has a high percentage of winners per starters (70 percent) from five modest-sized crops. According to Newman, both stallions are booking well for this season.

Two stallions, Pies Prospect and Sort It Out, entered stud at Fox Tale Stud last year, with their first foals arriving this spring. Multiple graded stakes winner Pies Prospect, an earner of more than $700,000, won or placed in eight stakes during his career. Most notably, he won the Grade 3 Pegasus Handicap, defeating Eddington, and the Grade 3 Fred W. Hooper Handicap, scoring by more than eight lengths. A son of Crafty Prospector, Pies Prospect also finished third in the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational Handicap won by Lion Heart.

Sort It Out, a son of Out of Place, contested the 2005 Kentucky Derby after winning the Whirlaway Stakes and placing in four stakes, including the Grade 2 Lexington. From the family of Forty Niner and Swale, Sort It Out is owned by Fox Tale Stud with Stonerside Stable.

Both stallions didn't attract as many mares their first season as expected, said Newman, who noted that getting mares to stallions in the state is a continuing battle. Even though the number of mares to Fox Tale stallions will nearly triple this year, it is hard to convince breeders that "these are Kentucky-type stallions," said Newman. "Pennsylvania breeders should be taking advantage of them more."