02/01/2018 12:16PM

Mr Speaker back at Lane's End after unplanned year abroad

Barbara D. Livingston
Mr Speaker missed the 2017 Northern Hemisphere breeding season.

As Kentucky breeding sheds open this month, Lane’s End faces the challenge of reintroducing a young stallion to breeders.

The well-bred Grade 1 winner Mr Speaker entered stud in 2016 at Lane’s End, covering 117 mares, according to The Jockey Club’s Report of Mares Bred. Later that year, the young stallion shuttled to Haras Cordillera in Chile for the Southern Hemisphere season, covering 100 mares. However, upon arriving in Miami for mandated quarantine while re-entering the U.S., Mr Speaker tested positive for piroplasmosis, a tick-borne protozoa that can have a variety of symptoms – none of which the horse displayed. He was forced to return to Chile, thereby missing the 2017 Northern Hemisphere season. After undergoing treatment for the protozoa, he covered 90 mares in his second Southern Hemisphere season before making a successful return to the U.S. for the upcoming 2018 season.

Bill Farish of Lane’s End said Mr Speaker is in outstanding physical condition following his year-plus abroad.

“He’s just a gorgeous horse,” Farish said. “He’s back now, and he looks like he’s come from some warmer climates than here for sure. He looks great, and we’re hopefully getting him restarted.”

:: DRF BREEDING LIVE: Real-time coverage of breeding and sales

Mr Speaker was represented by 13 offspring from his first crop sold for an average of $31,862 between the Keeneland November breeding stock sale and Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. That group was led by a $70,000 filly sold to Hidden Brook in November.

By Pulpit and out of the Grade 2-placed Unbridled mare Salute, Mr Speaker is bred on the same cross as perennial leading sire Tapit. Mr Speaker, whose second dam is unbeaten champion and blue hen Personal Ensign, was a graded stakes winner each year he raced, highlighted by a triumph in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby in 2014.