11/10/2014 7:12PM

Graeme Hall, Stratford Hill sold to stand in Saudi Arabia


Graeme Hall and Stratford Hill, a pair of stallions sold as part of the dispersal of Eugene Melnyk's breeding and racing stock, were purchased by Saudi Arabian interests at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale and will stand in the country in 2015, per bloodstock agent Chad Schumer.

Schumer signed the tickets for both stallions, who were consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, as agent for the Melnyk dispersal.

Graeme Hall sold during the auction’s opening Nov. 4 session for $100,000. The 17-year-old son of Dehere previously stood at Melnyk’s Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Fla., where he was advertised in 2014 for a fee of $4,000.

“He suits the program there,” Schumer said about Graeme Hall’s appeal to the Saudi Arabian program. “He’s an early sire and his foals tend to go anywhere from six furlongs to 10 furlongs, which is most of their racing program. It’s all dirt racing, no turf, so we thought he fit.”

Graeme Hall is the sire of nine crops of racing age, with 295 winners and combined progeny earnings of more than $24.5 million.

East Hall, winner of this year’s Grade 2 Indiana Derby and last weekend’s listed Millions Classic Preview Stakes, is the most prominent current Graeme Hall horse in training. Other notable progeny include Grade 2 winners Duke of Mischief and Designer Legs and Grade 3 winners Hurricane Ike, Joes Blazing Aaron, Graeme Six, and Tamarind Hall.

Graeme Hall won 7 of 22 starts racing for Melnyk, with earnings of $1,147,441. His most noteworthy wins include the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby, Jim Dandy Stakes, and Eclipse Stakes, as well as the Grade 3 Stuyvesant Handicap. He placed in five additional graded stakes. including a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile Handicap.

Bred in Kentucky by Sabine Stables, Graeme Hall is out of the Grade 3-winning Crafty Prospector mare Win Crafty Lady, whose nine winners from 10 foals to race also include Grade 1 winner Harmony Lodge, Grade 3 winner Win McCool, and stakes winner Win’s Fair Lady.

Schumer said that Graeme Hall’s hammer price was toward the upper end of his valuation for the stallion, but he still had a few bids left if they were needed.

“We thought he was a good value,” Schumer said. “He’s an older horse, but he looks absolutely fantastic for his age. He’s the picture of health and we’re really happy to have him. We’re still shopping, and maybe we’ll pick up a few more.”

Schumer was also the winning bidder on Stratford Hill during Keeneland's seventh session on Monday, securing the 7-year-old son of A.P. Indy for $110,000.

Stratford Hill also stood at Winding Oaks Farm, where he was advertised for $2,500 during the most recent breeding season. His first foals are weanlings of 2014.

Racing as a Melnyck homebred, Stratford Hill won 4 of 6 starts and $160,400, highlighted by a win in the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes. He is out of Harmony Lodge, by Hennessy, who as noted above is a half-sister to Graeme Hall.