01/04/2012 4:08PM

Calumet Farm acquires stallion

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a move that would bring a stallion operation to Calumet Farm for the first time in at least seven years, the historic Lexington farm will stand Cactus Ridge in 2012.

A 11-year-old Hennessy horse, Cactus Ridge has relocated to Calumet from Vinery and will stand for $5,000 in 2012.

Cactus Ridge already is the sire of Canadian champion sprinter Hollywood Hit, Grade 1 winners Hot Cha Cha, and dual stakes winner Peyote Patty. As a runner owned by country music singer Toby Keith, Cactus Ridge won the Grade 3 Arlington-Washington Futurity and two other stakes in 2003. Undefeated in four lifetime starts, he earned $187,850.

Cactus Ridge is out of 1997 Santa Anita Oaks runner-up Double Park, also the dam of his stakes-winning full brother Sebastian County and three-quarter-sister Harriett Lane.

“We think that Cactus Ridge is the best breeding value in Kentucky, with 17 stakes horses last year and standing for $5,000,” said Calumet Farm’s manager, Bill Witman. “We’re real excited to have him.”

There could be another horse to follow. The farm, now owned by a trust established by late owner Henryk de Kwiatkowski, is exploring another deal that could bring a second stallion to the property that once stood such leading sires as Bull Lea, Alydar, and Chance Play.

“We’re very excited to get back into the stallion business,” added Witman. “Obviously, it’s the home of some of the all-time greats, and we’re anxious to get started. We feel like the time’s right.”

Witman couldn’t say yet how many stallions Calmuet might add to its roster in the near term.

“I don’t have a preconceived notion at this time,” he said.

Harlem Rocker to miss season

Adena Springs’s New York stallion Harlem Rocker will miss the 2012 breeding season, the farm has announced. A 7-year-old son of another Adena sire, Macho Uno, Harlem Rocker will undergo surgery on Jan. 5 “to alleviate symptoms of spinal cord compression,” Adena’s statement said. The statement did not elaborate, but such symptoms can include lack of coordination.

The surgery will take place at Cornell University, and after recovering from it Harlem Rocker will head to Adena Springs’s Paris, Ky., farm where he will recuperate under the care of resident veterinarian Dr. Tom Little.

Harlem Rocker, a Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed runner in a career that earned more than $560,000, stood his first season last year at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in Saratoga Springs, N. Y. Plans call for him to return to that farm for the 2013 breeding season.

Seeking the Best to Venezuela

Seeking the Best, a Japanese graded winner standing at Canada’s Colebrook Farms, will head to Venezuela’s Haras Gran Derby in Caracas in time for the 2012 breeding season.

He has been sold privately in a deal brokered by Chad Schumer Bloodstock.

Haras Gran Derby is Venezuela’s largest stud farm and has more than 90 mares resident, according to Schumer. The farm also stands Venezuela’s leading freshman sire, Music School.

Seeking the Best is by Seeking the Gold out of Mackie, who also produced graded winner Mr. Mellon and stakes-placed Beaucette and Danebury Hill. Seeking the Best sold for $1 million as a yearling and raced for Kazuko Yoshida. His first crop of 2-year-olds in 2011 produced five winners.

Diamond Stripes to Old Friends

Diamond Stripes, a multiple Grade 1-placed stakes-winner with more than $1.4 million in earnings, has retired to the Old Friends equine retirement facility in Georgetown, Ky., after slipping to the claiming ranks at Sunland Park in New Mexico.

Bred by Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Rogers’s Four Roses Thoroughbreds, the 9-year-old Notebook gelding won the 2008 Godolphin Mile, a Grade 2 race. He also won the Grade 2 Meadowlands Cup in 2006 and the Grade 3 Pegasus Stakes in 2007. He retires with 6 wins and 4 third-place finishes from 16 lifetime starts.

“I contacted his trainer, Chris Hartman, about retiring the horse,” said Old Friends co-founder Michael Blowen. “Chris put us in touch with Mrs. Rogers, and she generously donated Diamond Stripes and sponsored his trip from New Mexico to Kentucky. We’re so happy to have him.”

◗ Three Chimneys in Midway, Ky., will host an open house Jan. 9-12 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Visitors arriving to inspect the farm’s 2012 stallions can stop by the office for hot mulled cider, hot chocolate, and snacks.

◗ Northview Stallion Station in Peach Bottom, Pa., also will host a stallion show on Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a parade of stallions at 2 p.m. Among the stallions in the showcase are Jump Start, E Dubai, Smarty Jones, and Silver Train, who all have moved to Northview for 2012. Refreshments will be available. RSVP’s are required to Northview at (717) 548-3401.