11/22/2013 3:10PM

Hot Sire: Not For Love adds to legacy

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November’s marquee events for Thoroughbred breeders – the annual Breeders’ Cup World Championships and the premier bloodstock sales at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland – brought forth new developments that will undoubtedly shape the industry in the coming years.

Elite broodmares found new owners, and up-and-coming stallions were represented by first-crop foals at the sales, while at Santa Anita, racehorses such as Goldencents, Mucho Macho Man, and Will Take Charge burnished their credentials as potential impact sires in the years ahead.

Events this month also added to the already-impressive credentials of the incredibly successful regional sire Not For Love, a 23-year-old son of the legendary Mr. Prospector who stands at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md. The progeny of Not For Love enjoyed solid returns at the Kentucky auctions and he was flattered by the ongoing success of one of his best runners on the track.

At the Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland sales, eight horses sired by Not For Love changed hands for a total of $548,000. Seven of these were broodmares or broodmare prospects, led by the 4-year-old mare Sojourn Love, a half-sister to prominent late sire Indian Charlie who was purchased at Keeneland by DWF Inc. for $135,000 in foal to Congrats.

Machmer Hall bought Not For Love’s only weanling offered at either sale, a colt out of the Point Given mare Magical Point and from the family of Grade 1 winner and good sire Include.

At Laurel Park on Nov. 16, the battle-tested Maryland-bred gelding Eighttofasttocatch rolled to a six-length win in the one-mile Jennings Handicap to become the all-time leading earner for Not For Love. The nine-time stakes winner took his third Jennings in a row and boosted his earnings to $854,585 for owners Sylvia and Arnold Heft, who purchased Eighttofasttocatch for $47,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale in 2007.

In addition to his Jennings trifecta, Eighttofasttocatch is one of many Not For Love progeny to shine during the annual Maryland Million racecard, as he captured his second edition of the Maryland Million Classic on Oct. 19.

Eighttofasttocatch is by the stakes-placed Nice Catch mare Too Fast to Catch and is a three-quarter-brother to stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Storm Punch, by the late and prominent Northview sire Two Punch, and a half-brother to stakes winner Bayonne, by Dance With Ravens. The Midlantic fan favorite is typical of Not For Love’s best runners through the years in that he is clearly at his best on dirt and is the epitome of a sound racehorse, having made 45 starts over six seasons and racing from seven to 10 times in each of his past five campaigns.

Not For Love’s own racing career numbered 29 starts over four seasons during the mid-1990s, resulting in six wins, seven seconds, and five thirds and earnings of $178,870. Bred and originally owned by Ogden Mills Phipps, Not For Love was trained by Shug McGaughey and ran creditably in the New York allowance ranks without ever winning a stakes race.

The key moment in the horse’s career, however, which set him on a path to Maryland, occurred when Phipps sold Not For Love to Richard Golden, a successful businessman in women’s apparel who became part-owner of Northview Stallion Station in the 1980s and subsequently emerged as a leading figure in the region’s horse industry.

Not For Love finished his career racing at Laurel and Pimlico before beginning his stud career at Northview for a fee of $3,500.

Despite being only stakes-placed as a racehorse, Not For Love’s pedigree guaranteed that he would receive a good amount of interest, even as an unproven regional sire, and his family tree has only grown in stature in recent years. Out of Grade 1 winner Dance Number, by Northern Dancer, Not For Love is a full brother to two racehorses who had already proven their ability by the time he retired: champion Rhythm and Grade 3 winner Get Lucky.

Rhythm would have a modicum of success as a sire, mainly in Australia and New Zealand, before dying in 2007, but Get Lucky started a highly productive female branch during the early 21st century as the dam of graded stakes winners Girolamo, Daydreaming, and Accelerator, and of daughters who have produced Haskell winner Bluegrass Cat and Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.

That bloodline, plus Not For Love’s own physical presence, sold Golden on his potential as a sire, and he drew interest from Midlantic breeders from the outset. The returns came quickly, and by the early 2000s, Not For Love was ensconced at the top of Maryland’s general sire list, a position he held for nine years (2003-11) before finishing second to fellow Northview stallion Orientate last year.

He currently ranks second to Orientate again, although it must be mentioned that Orientate’s numbers for both years are derived from his time spent in Kentucky before moving to Maryland. Not For Love’s annual book and fee have both been reduced in recent years due to his age, and he will stand the 2014 season at a fee of $15,000 after reaching $25,000 at its peak.

Money paid for Not For Love’s daughters at recent auctions are a far cry from his peak as a commercial sire, but a $78,000-plus average indicates that his stock is still in demand, especially his daughters, and he has eight offspring cataloged for Fasig-Tipton’s Midlantic mixed sale Dec. 9 (four broodmares or racing/broodmare prospects and four weanlings).

Eighttofasttocatch is finishing his best racing season yet at age 7 and has a chance to further enhance the legacy of one of Maryland’s greatest sires.