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Major push to add stallions in Pennsylvania
The gold rush east of the Mississippi continues to be a race to Pennsylvania. The lure of slots-enriched purses and the growing breeders' program have stallion owners from across the country eager to stand their horses in the Keystone State.
A total of 20 stallions new to Pennsylvania have already been committed to stand the 2008 season - with additional prospects announced nearly daily. That is more than the number of new stallions to surrounding states of Maryland, New Jersey, and West Virginia combined.
The influx of sire power into Pennsylvania has never been more evident. All it takes is a glance at the leading sires in the state by progeny earnings in 2007. Of the top 10 Pennsylvania sires, only one, Patton, had foals of racing age sired in Pennsylvania.
Six of the top 10 by 2007 earnings are standing their first seasons in Pennsylvania this year. Leading the way is Albert the Great, the multimillionaire son of Kentucky Derby winner Go for Gin who has moved to William Solomon's Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom after previously standing at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky.
Albert the Great was campaigned by Tracy Farmer through a career in which he won five graded races, including the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at 3, and earned $3,012,490. With progeny earnings in excess of $2.8 million in 2007 (ranking him third in the state behind Real Quiet and Lite the Fuse), Albert the Great is represented by three graded stakes winners in his first two crops, including one of last year's top 3-year-olds, Nobiz Like Shobiz, a millionaire who won multiple graded stakes. The 11-year-old stallion stands for $4,000.
Service Stripe and Buddha, ranked seventh and ninth among Pennsylvania sires last year, have also moved to Pin Oak Lane. The veteran Service Stripe, a 17-year-old son of Deputy Minister, has sired 13 stakes winners in his career, including Grade 1-winning juvenile filly Cashier's Dream. He previously stood at Crestwood Farm in Kentucky, and his stud fee is $3,500.
Unbridled's Song's Grade 1-winning son Buddha, who has been extremely popular since entering stud in 2003 at Hill 'N' Dale Farms in Lexington, Ky., is offered for $5,000 in 2008. Owned by Gary and Mary West, Buddha won the 2002 Wood Memorial after an epic duel with Medaglia d'Oro in his stakes debut. Now 9, Buddha has sired a total of 246 foals in his first two crops, and had progeny earnings in excess of $1.6 million last year.
Partner's Hero, a son of Danzig, is making the move north from Maryland. The graded-stakes-winning and track-record-setting sprinter, now 14, had by far his best year ever in 2007, as the sire of eight stakes horses and the earners of more than $2.7 million, topped by graded winner Heros Reward. The stud fee for Partner's Hero, a half-brother to champion sprinter Safely Kept, is $2,500. He is standing at the Giangiulio family's Castle Rock Farm in Unionville.
Regal Heir Farm in Grantville is back in the stallion business in a big way, with four new arrivals, including a proven sire, Joe Davis's Grade 1-winning sprinter Snow Ridge. A 10-year-old son of Tabasco Cat, Snow Ridge earned $711,989 before being retired to Padua Farm in Florida in 2004. The sire of 116 foals of racing age in his first two crops, Snow Ridge has progeny earnings of more than $2 million. Snow Ridge is offered for $5,000.
Another top-class sprinter to move to the state is Delaware Township, who also previously stood in Florida. Now at Land of Believe Farm in Annville and standing for $4,000, Delaware Township won the 2001 Grade 1 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash and six other stakes, earning $996,950. With three crops of racing age through 2007, he has sired eight stakes horses and the earners of more than $3.5 million lifetime.
Young sires also make up a large contingent and include six graded stakes winners, including two millionaires - Request for Parole, standing his first season, and Freefourinternet, who previously stood in Florida - both joining the growing stallion barn at Fox Tale Stud in Coopersburg. Millionaire Fastness, who has stood in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey since moving to the region in 2003, is also a new arrival at Fox Tale Stud.
The versatile Request for Parole (by Judge T C) won the 2004 Grade 1 United Nations and four other stakes, earning $1,372,224. Competing successfully at distances from six furlongs to 1 3/8 miles, he was also a stakes winner on the main track. Jeri and Sam Knighton, who campaigned Request for Parole over seven seasons, retain ownership. The 9-year-old stands his first season for $3,500, or $2,500 for mares producing registered Pennsylvania-bred foals.
Freefourinternet, by Tabasco Cat, earned $1,106,136 and was a graded stakes winner on turf and dirt. Owned by Ron Peltz, 10-year-old Freefourinternet stands for $4,000, with discounts are available for foals who are registered as Pennsylvania-breds.
The Lyman family's Maui Meadow Farm in West Chester offers two first-year stallions, Senor Swinger and Play Nineteen.
A multiple graded stakes winner of $964,537, Senor Swinger is a son of leading sire El Prado. Excelling on the turf, he won stakes each year from 3 to 5. Now 8, Senor Swinger is the property of a syndicate, and stands for $4,000, or $2,500 for mares foaling in Pennsylvania, with special consideration to approved mares.
The 4-year-old Play Nineteen is the first son of Malibu Moon to retire to stud in the region. His stud fee is $1,500, or $1,000 for mares foaling in Pennsylvania.
Kentucky-based Walmac Farm has expanded to Pennsylvania by sending Ecclesiastic, a multiple graded stakes winner by Pulpit, to stand under the banner of Walmac Pennsylvania at Regal Heir Farm. Ecclesiastic stands for $5,000 in his first season at stud.
The 7-year-old Ecclesiastic, one of three stakes winners from three foals of racing age for his dam, Starry Dreamer (by champion sprinter Rubiano), is a half-brother to War Front (by Danzig), a graded-stakes-winning sprinter and earner of $424,205, and multiple graded winner and $618,276-earner Teammate.
Ecclesiastic twice scored in Belmont Park's Grade 3 Jaipur Handicap, taking the 2005 and 2007 runnings, both in eye-catching times. In the first, he finished seven furlongs on the turf in 1:20.71, and captured the second when going six furlongs in 1:07.64. He garnered $346,728 during his career.
Michele Madonna, who owns and operates Regal Heir Farm, has two other newly retired runners at stud - Artemus Sunrise and Apalachian Thunder. Both stand for $1,500.
Artemus Sunrise, a 7-year-old son of Tale of the Cat, earned $361,130 and captured the Grade 3 Turfway Park Fall Championship Stakes.
The 8-year-old Apalachian Thunder, the leading earner among stakes winners for his sire, multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Wekiva Springs, won Calder's Whippleton Stakes and was graded stakes placed, earning $298,378.
Other stakes winners standing their first season are More Smoke (by Smoke Glacken), at Pin Oak Lane Farm; Chips Are Down, the first son of leading sire Distorted Humor to stand in the Mid-Atlantic region, at Godstone Farm in Pine Grove; and Southern Success (Dixieland Band), standing at Xanthus Farm in Gettysburg.
Maryland stallions held their position in 2007 as having larger average books of mares bred than stallions in the surrounding states. Last year, 53 stallions covered a total of 1,394 mares, for an average book size of 26 mares per stallion. Maryland once again ranked third in the nation by average number of mares bred, behind only Kentucky (with an average of 62 mares per stallion) and Florida (28 mares per stallion). Based on figures found in the most recent Jockey Club Fact Book, New Jersey stallions covered an average of nearly 16 mares, West Virginia approximately 13, and Pennsylvania slightly more than 12.
The three busiest farms in Maryland also landed new stallions for 2008, all graded stakes winners. Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City is the new home to Medallist, who previously stood at Three Chimneys Farm in Kentucky; Maryland Stallion Station in Glyndon has added Greek Sun; and Murmur Farm in Darlington offers Scipion.
Medallist, a brilliant sprinter, won or placed 8 times in 12 starts at 3 and 4 and earned $421,375. He stands for $5,000. A three-time graded stakes winner, he is by Touch Gold and is a half-brother to 2008 graded stakes winner Air Commander. His dam is juvenile stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Santaria, by sprint champion Star de Naskra. Medallist's first foals are now yearlings.
Greek Sun stands his first season for $3,500 as the property of Peter Angelos's Marathon Farm. A multiple graded stakes winner of $343,097, with 4 wins from 8 starts, Greek Sun is by Danzig out of the stakes-winning Trempolino mare Sunlit Silence.
Scipion is a graded-stakes-winning three-quarter-brother to champion 2-year-old Vindication. Now syndicated, the 6-year-old son of A.P. Indy stands his first year for $6,000. A $1.9-million Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select sales yearling, Scipion is one of four stakes horses out of Strawberry Road's graded-stakes-winning daughter Strawberry Reason.
The three new stallions standing in New Jersey boast impressive credentials.
Park Avenue Ball, a millionaire and 2005 New Jersey-bred horse of the year, has been retired to Colonial Farms in Colts Neck. A graded stakes winner from 2 to 4 who earned $1,049,360, 6-year-old Park Avenue Ball stands for $3,500. He is one of three millionaires by the now-pensioned Citidancer, a top regional sire.
Don Six, a graded-stakes-winning sprinter by Wild Escapade who previously stood in Florida, has been moved to Greenfields Farm in Colts Neck. Owned by his breeder, Patricia Generazio, the 8-year-old stands for $2,500. From 29 career starts, Don Six won 10 times and recorded 13 triple-digit Beyer Speed Figures, while earning $612,123.
Hydrogen, a multiple stakes winner closely related to top-class handicap horse Behrens, stands at Starting Line Stable in Colts Neck for $2,500. By classic-winning champion Pleasant Colony, 9-year-old Hydrogen earned $582,269 over six seasons of competition, winning or placing in 31 of his 48 starts.
The durable multiple stakes winner and graded-stakes-placed Papua (by Louis Quatorze) is the top performer entering stud in Virginia in 2008. Racing from 2 to 8, Papua reaped $700,324 from 57 starts, with 14 wins, 10 seconds, and 10 thirds. The 9-year-old was recently retired to Moonstar Farm in Emporia and stands for private contract.