08/18/2005 11:00PM

Dream comes into focus at Queensvalley


As a young businessman in Switzerland, Peter Mueller dabbled in Thoroughbred racehorses, keeping a couple of broodmares that he owned with his wife, Katja Ulm, at a French stud farm.

But Mueller had a dream to emigrate to Canada and build his own breeding farm, a dream that is now starting to come to life.

Atop the rolling hills of Queen's Valley, just south of Owen Sound, Ontario, Mueller and Ulm's Queensvalley Farm is 94 acres of horse heaven, Next month, the couple will have their first full consignment of yearlings at the Woodbine sale, most of whom are owned by Reade Baker and Janis Maine.

"Our immediate goal is to sell the yearlings well this fall for Reade and Janis, prep them the right way, and then start to add more clients," said Mueller, who owned a renovating company in Switzerland with his father.

Mueller visited Canada on several occasions through a school chum and began corresponding with Baker and Maine, who have an expansive training and breeding operation in Ontario.

"They have been supportive of us right from the start," said Mueller. "I checked out some 15 farms before buying Queensvalley in September of 2002."

The couple packed up their two mares, Crazy Lady, a stakes-winning and -producing mare, and Vinona, an unraced daughter of Singspiel, and got busy building barns on the former cattle farm.

The couple has added two more mares with North American speed breeding, picking up Love Whisper (co-owned by Baker and Maine), by Friendly Lover, and Start Stinging, a daughter of Siphon, from the 2003 Adena Springs broodmare sale.

"We're looking at having seven or eight mares of our own and selling their offspring at the sale," said Mueller, who, along with Ulm and their son, Danny, do all the barn work at Queensvalley.

Mueller, an avid student of pedigrees and conformation, believes the Thoroughbred industry in Ontario is on the upward swing, mentioning the recently announced Woodbine Live! project - an entertainment district to be built at the track - as an example.

"There is plenty of opportunity to make money breeding and owning horses," he said. "The purses here are excellent and with the upcoming expansion at Woodbine, there will be a lot of money coming into the industry."

Both Crazy Lady and Vinona have rich European turf bloodlines and are in foal to one of Ontario's newest sires, Tomahawk, a champion son of Seattle Slew.

Vinona's second foal, a colt by exciting freshman sire One Way Love, is Hip No. 3 in the selected Woodbine sale on Sept. 6.

Love Whisper, an unraced mare from the family of graded stakes winner Thunder Blitz, has a 2004 filly by Running Stag in the open session of the sale and is in foal to Windfields Farm's Cat's at Home.

Start Stinging, also in foal to Cat's at Home, was a multiple winner and has a 2005 filly foal by Macho Uno.

For Baker and Maine, the Queensvalley team offers two fillies by Cat's at Home in the selected session.

Hip No. 53, Closer to Home, is out of the Ascot Knight mare Closerthanyouthink and is a half-sister to Fury Stakes winner Elusive Thought and stakes-placed Galaxy.

Hip No. 78 is a daughter of the winning Mt. Livermore mare Forbidden Love, a close relative of Grade 2 stakes winners Posse and Green Fee.

Two other Cat's at Home fillies owned by Baker and Maine will sell in the open session.

Queensvalley has an attractive website (queensvalleyfarm.com) which offers photos of the property and mares and in-depth pedigree information.