11/09/2007 12:00AM

Maryland Stallion Station isn't giving up

EmailRumors to the contrary, Maryland Stallion Station is running full steam ahead into 2008. The state's newest large-scale breeding operation, which opened its doors for the 2005 breeding season in Glyndon, Maryland Stallion Station is out to prove the doomsayers wrong.

"We bred more mares this year than in 2006," said the Maryland Stallion Station president, Don Litz. "But we still didn't meet the goals we had hoped to meet. We have really struggled to reach our projections, primarily due to the decline of the mare population in the region and the climate in the state."

But after a recapitalization in the company, which currently has 25 investors - some on board for the first time - Litz noted that "we're set to go forward."

Of the 47 stallions standing in Maryland in 2007, as reported to The Jockey Club, seven stood at Maryland Stallion Station. The seven stallions covered a total of 357 mares, a quarter of the number of mares (1,384) bred in Maryland this past season.

The most active of the Glyndon stallions was Rock Slide, Maryland's current leading freshman sire who is a stakes-winning full brother to Horse of the Year Mineshaft. Rock Slide had the biggest book of his career, 101 mares, this past season.

A 9-year-old son of A.P. Indy, Rock Slide is represented by the stakes-placed runner Body Rock and three-time winner Happy Hailey, and also hit high marks on the auction front. This past spring, he had 2-year-olds sell for $170,000 and $120,000, and his current crop of yearlings yielded a $120,000 colt well into Day 10 of the massive Keeneland September sale. Rock Slide will stand the 2008 season for $5,000.

Another plus for Maryland Stallion Station has been the continued production of Outflanker, an impeccably bred son of Danzig who ranks second this year in progeny earnings among all stallions in Maryland, behind only Not for Love.

Outflanker, whose first Maryland-sired crop of 2-year-olds includes stakes-placed Kosmo's Buddy and My Little Josie and eight other winners, has more than $2.7 million in progeny earnings this year. From seven crops to race, he has sired 25 stakes horses. Somewhat overlooked in 2007 - he covered 20 mares - Outflanker has been generating more interest, noted Litz. The 13-year-old stallion is from the same family as leading sire A.P. Indy and stands for $4,000.

Maryland Stallion Station has been the state's only operation to send stallions out for Southern Hemisphere breeding seasons.

"Not only do we derive revenues from the additional breeding season, but it exposes our stallions to an entirely new group of mares," Litz said.

Seeking Daylight, a son of Seeking the Gold whose first crop of runners are at the races this year, is in the midst of his third season at stud in Argentina. He is due back in Maryland before Christmas. St Averil, by Saint Ballado, had been in Australia this summer for his first season outside of the U.S., but was shipped home before he covered a mare because of the outbreak of equine influenza.

"He's back and looks good," said Litz, who added that a return to Australia is being planned for next year.

Litz is excited about the farm's young stallions Fantasticat, Gators N Bears, and St Averil, who will have weanlings from their first crop offered at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale in Timonium on Dec. 2 -3. Among the weanlings in the catalog is a Fantasticat half-brother to graded-stakes-winning sprinter Dream Run, and a filly by St Averil out of stakes winner Sadler's Sarah. Sadler's Sarah's only foal of racing age is 2007 juvenile stakes winner Casanova Jack.

Litz also reported that one of Maryland Stallion Station's first stallions, Jazz Club, had been sold to the Philippines and left for that country on Nov. 9. A diminutive son of Dixieland Band, Jazz Club stood his first season in Maryland in 2002.

On the same day that Jazz Club left, the farm signed a contract for a new stallion. Greek Sun, a son of Danzig who won three stakes, including the Grade 2 Oak Tree Derby and Grade 3 Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap, and was second in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes will stand his first season in 2008. The 6-year-old stallion is from the immediate family of Grade 1 winner Mea Domina. Greek Sun won 4 of 7 starts and $342,652.

Greek Sun and the other residents of Maryland Stallion Station will be available for viewing at the farm's annual open house and stallion show, to be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 17-18. Those attending will be eligible to participate in a drawing for a free stallion season.