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New stallions bolster local roster
The lure of stallions to the Mid-Atlantic region remains strong with more than 30 new stallions joining the ranks in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia for 2003. A number of the region's new recruits began their careers in other states and bring solid credentials to the regional market.
Two of Pennsylvania's major stud farms, Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom and Reigle Heir Farms in Grantville, have boosted their rosters for the 2003 breeding season.
Dr. William Solomon has added Miner's Mark and Fastness, both former Kentucky stallions, to stand at his Pin Oak Lane Farm. The newest arrivals immediately made an impact on the Pennsylvania sires list as Miner's Mark's 2002 progeny earnings of $2,273,580 placed him atop Pennsylvania's list. Fastness appears sixth in the rankings. Of Pennsylvania's top 10 sires of 2002, five currently stand or completed their careers at Pin Oak Lane. The farm's other top 10 stallions are Deposit Ticket (second), Corporate Report (fifth) and the deceased Peteski (seventh).
Miner's Mark arrives in the region just one year after his younger full brother Our Emblem had his famous stay in Maryland. Our Emblem returned to Kentucky after surging to the top of the nation's sires lists thanks to classics winner War Emblem. A Grade 1 winner, Miner's Mark was an even more accomplished runner than Our Emblem, earning $967,170 while capturing such races as the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup and Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes.
A more impressive pedigree would be hard to find, since the 13-year-old Miner's Mark is by Mr. Prospector out of an undefeated champion and broodmare of the year in Personal Ensign (by Private Account). Miner's Mark is also a full brother to Grade 1 winner Traditionally and graded-stakes-placed Proud and True. A half-sister, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Stakes winner My Flag, is the dam of undefeated 2002 champion 2-year-old filly Storm Flag Flying.
Miner's Mark has sired the earners of more than $7 million and eight stakes winners in his first five crops, including Brazilian champion Medalha Milagrosa and graded or group winners Undermine, Call Me Up, and Mahi.
Fastness was one of the nation's most impressive middle-distance runners on the turf when competing in this country during the mid-1990's. The gray son of French champion miler Rousillon captured back-to-back runnings of the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap. He also set a course record at Hollywood Park in winning the Grade 2 Citation Handicap, completing 1 1/8 miles in 1:44.78. Fastness won six stakes races, five graded, and placed in seven others, the most important being a second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Mile. He retired with earnings of $1,581,165.
Fastness has sired three stakes winners in his first three crops and the 13-year-old stallion has total progeny earnings exceeding $2 million, nearly $1.3 million amassed last season. His son Le Cinquieme Essai was named champion 3-year-old colt in Canada in 2002 and stakes winner Make the Bend placed third in last year's Grade 3 Pennsylvania Derby.
Tom Reigle has also routinely brought stallions to Pennsylvania who have dominated the state's sires lists - he stood Judge T C, Pennsylvania's leading sire of 2001, until that stallion's relocation last summer. He also has three stallions on Pennsylvania's top 10 sires list of 2002. Reigle has added three new stallions to his arsenal for 2003, including Caller I.D., Pennsylvania's second-leading stallion, who stood in New Jersey a year ago.
Reigle Heir Farms also stands the fourth-ranked sire, Patton, and had stood De Niro (10th) until that stallion's death last year.
Caller I.D. has had a solid stud career, siring 17 stakes winners since retiring to stud in 1993. His lifetime progeny earnings total more than $11 million. The 14-year-old son of Phone Trick was a top juvenile who won three graded stakes races and earned $380,958 in his only season of competition.
He passes on his precociousness to his offspring and leads all Pennsylvania sires by lifetime 2-year-old earnings.
Cat's Career, a 10-year-old son of Mr. Prospector out of the stakes-placed Exceller mare Comical Cat, has also relocated to Pennsylvania after standing previous seasons in Kentucky and Texas. A graded stakes-winning sprinter, Cat's Career earned $195,265 from 12 starts, topped by a victory in Churchill Downs's Grade 3 Ack Ack Handicap. From his first two crops to race, Cat's Career has sired three stakes horses, including winner Ragin T Rex.
Reigle also stands first-year stallion U So Bad, a son of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Skywalker. A stakes-winning juvenile who later placed in graded company, U So Bad retired after earning $210,430 from 22 starts. The 6-year-old stallion is out of Regal Heart (by Sensitive Prince).
Peter Alafoginis has brought Ponche from Florida to stand this season at his Northern Tier Farm in Lawrenceville. A five-time stakes winner who excelled at sprint distances, Ponche is a son of leading Mid-Atlantic sire Two Punch. With three crops to race, the 14-year-old Ponche is represented by three stakes winners and earners of $1.6 million.
Also coming to Pennsylvania by way of Florida are My Favorite Grub and Broadway Beau, who take up residence at Vince Tucciarone's Blue Moon Equestrian in Hellertown. Both stallions stood their first seasons in 2000.
Ten-year-old My Favorite Grub, by Mr. Prospector's son Grub, was a track-record-setting sprinter who captured the five-furlong Calder Turf Sprint.
Broadway Beau (Beau Genius-Been Dazzled, by Broadway Forli), a stakes winner of $266,083, won the Crown Royal American Turf Stakes. The 10-year-old stallion is a full brother to Frazee's Folly, a stakes-placed earner of $339,066.
Caroline and Helen Stearns have first-year stallion Turnofthecentury standing at their Justaplain Farm in Cochranville. A son of Horse of the Year Holy Bull, the 6-year-old Turnofthecentury won six of his 17 career starts, with three stakes victories, including the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Handicap. Among his five stakes placings, three came in graded stakes. Out of the Greinton mare Greening, Turnofthecentury is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Best Friend Stro and graded stakes-placed Noteasybeingreen.
Nureyev's son Tekken stands his first season at Lojeski Farms in Pipersville. A stakes winner of $258,494, the 9-year-old Tekken is out of graded stakes winner Shannkara, by Akarad.
Maui Meadow Farm in West Chester is now home to Westminster, a 10-year-old son of Deputy Minister and Alycette, by Alydar. Westminster, who previously stood in Kentucky, is from the family of Breeders' Cup Mile winner Val Royal and French champion Vahorimix. Westminster's oldest full crop is now 3-year-olds.
The second most active state in the region in terms of new stallions is West Virginia. An indication of how much the breeding program has grown in the state is reflected in Jockey Club numbers. Since 1999, the number of reported mares bred by West Virginia stallions has nearly doubled, and the new influx of stallions virtually guarantees the growth will continue.
Farms throughout the state are adding stallions, but the two highest-profile horses moved to Naylee Farm in Summit Point.
The first to arrive was 12-year-old Valiant Nature, a Grade 1-winning juvenile and full brother to champion Tight Spot. The son of His Majesty entered stud after a career in which he won or placed in five of his eight races. He captured the Grade 1 Hollywood Futurity and placed in four graded stakes, including a second to Holy Bull in the Blue Grass Stakes. Out of stakes winner Premium Win, Valiant Nature descends from champion 2-year-old filly Mira Femme.
In his first four crops, Valiant Nature has sired five stakes winners and seven stakes-placed runners. He has total progeny earnings of more than $4.7 million and he ranked second among West Virginia stallions by 2002 earnings, with $1,065,090.
Run Softly, by Deputy Minister out of the stakes-placed Riverman mare River Lullaby, was a graded stakes winner of $214,187. From two crops of racing age, 12-year-old Run Softly is represented by undefeated graded stakes winner Running Tide and multiple-stakes-placed Elm Grove. A half-brother to two group winners, Run Softly is from the family of classics sire Cryptoclearance.
Randy Funkhouser has added Western Cat, a son of Storm Cat, to the roster of the family's O'Sullivan Farms in Charles Town. From his first three crops to race, 10-year-old Western Cat has sired stakes-winning juvenile Cat Genius and the earners of nearly $1 million.
Blue Spruce Farm, a new facility near Charles Town owned and operated by Joe and Kate Painter, is set to stand two new stallions - Devon Deputy and Reparations.
Devon Deputy, a son of Deputy Minister who recently retired after placing in graded stakes races in California, is out of Devon Diva, a daughter of The Minstrel. Devon Deputy earned $263,195 during his career which began in France. He placed second, beaten a head, in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Handicap and also finished second in the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap. Devon Deputy is a half-brother to four stakes horses, including millionaire and multiple Grade 1 winner Tinners Way. His second dam, Devon Ditty, was a champion 2-year-old filly in England.
Reparations is by Forty Niner out of the top-class race mare Versailles Treaty, a daughter of Danzig who earned $1,271,154 during her career while winning four Grade 1 races - the Alabama and Test Stakes, and the Ruffian and Gazelle handicaps. Versailles Treaty is also the dam of graded stakes winner Saarland. Seven-year-old Reparations previously stood in Florida - his oldest foals are yearlings.
Mahar Farm in Kearneysville has brought in two stallions to stand their first seasons this year.
Predicta, a 4-year-old son of Gone West, is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner and $658,085-earner Fleet Renee, multiple graded stakes winner Future Quest, and stakes winner Alzora. Their dam, Darien Miss (by Mr. Leader), also was an accomplished runner, earning $600,409 while winning or placing in 12 stakes races.
Joining Predicta is 8-year-old Dance Dude, by Deputy Minister out of the Damascus mare Shy Dame, who has also produced Cadillac Women, an earner of $319,270 who was third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies. Dance Dude is from the same family as champion Heavenly Cause, Breeders' Cup Mile winner Opening Verse, and top Mid-Atlantic sire Two Punch.
Make Your Mark, a son of Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Sheikh Albadou, stands his first season for Andrea Wilson at Gallop-Away Farm in New Cumberland. The 7-year-old Make Your Mark, out of Pima, by Cox's Ridge, won the $250,000 U.S.A. Stakes at Lone Star Park and was stakes placed multiple times, earning $268,388. His graded-stakes-winning dam also produced Bosque Redondo.
Bolstering the New Jersey sire ranks are additions to the rosters of Walnford Stud, Tee-N-Jay Farm, and Sleeter Farm.
Walnford Stud, in Allentown, looks to have the busiest season in New Jersey by bringing in three new stallions - two standing their first seasons plus New Jersey's newest leading sire, Defrere.
A stakes-placed full brother to champion and top sire Dehere, Defrere offers impressive credentials. The 11-year-old stallion had over $2 million in progeny earnings in 2002, more than double that of the next stallion on the top sires list, Sleeter Farm's deceased Northern Idol. Defrere has sired six stakes winners, including President Butler and Souris. Souris was graded stakes placed last year at 2 and ranked on the Experimental Free Handicap.
With only three crops to race, Defrere dominated the New Jersey sire standings based on year-end totals. In addition to leading the state by earnings, he topped both the 2002 and lifetime juvenile ranks by earnings, and led both the general and 2-year-old lists of 2002 by number of winners and wins. By Deputy Minister, Defrere is out of stakes-placed Sister Dot, a daughter of Secretariat.
Joining Defrere and standing his first season at stud is multiple graded stakes winner Mr. Sinatra, a son of Grade 1 sprinter Mining. While racing for six seasons, Mr. Sinatra made 62 starts and won 13 of them, earning $728,046. His five stakes victories were all Grade 3 races in New York. He also was stakes placed eight times and won at distances from six furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.
Mr. Sinatra is out of stakes-placed Midnight Stroll (by Private Account), a half-sister to two stakes winners who are also stakes producers.
Walnford's third new stallion Gerosa, is a 6-year-old by champion sprinter Cherokee Run. Out of the Conquistador Cielo mare Sky Meadows, Gerosa is a half-brother to multiple graded stakes winner and millionaire Dixie Dot Com and to the dam of juvenile Grade 1 winner Siphonic. Others in Gerosa's family include top sires General Meeting and Carson City. Gerosa showed promise by winning his first four starts and retires with earnings of $88,300 from seven starts.
Tom Swales has added two new horses to his stallion barn at Tee-N-Jay Farm in Monroe, with the additions of Unlimited Sky and Godolphin Cat.
Unlimited Sky, a full brother to Northern Idol, stands his first full season this year. The 14-year-old stallion has had an eventful stud career, in which complicated estate litigation kept him out of the breeding shed. His oldest foals, a crop of two, are now 3-year-olds.
By Northrop out of La Soufriere, by Explodent, Unlimited Sky is a winning half-brother to graded stakes winner Well Selected and Grade 1-placed Explosive Dancer. Their graded-stakes-winning dam is a full sister to graded stakes winner and sire Explosive Bid.
Godolphin Cat is a 5-year-old son of Storm Cat out of multiple stakes producer Lady Godolphin (by Son Ange). Among Godolphin Cat's siblings are group winners Sri Pekan, sire of highweighted Italian 2-year-old Blu Air Force, and Daylight in Dubai.
Carolyn and Gerald Sleeter are standing Funny Frolic, a 6-year-old son of top sprinter and sire Mt. Livermore, at their farm in Clementon. A winner of $49,183, Funny Frolic is out of Cherokee Frolic (by Cherokee Fellow), a $352,613-earner who won 10 stakes races, including the Grade 2 Test. Cherokee Frolic has produced five stakes horses, topped by Funny Frolic's full sister Lindsay Frolic ($422,665, Grade 3 Sabin Handicap), the dam of three stakes horses, plus additional graded winner Fabulous Frolic.