02/16/2012 3:48PM

Ohio: Mercer Mills's reign ends after nine years


This year’s survey of the Midwest stallion market and the corresponding broodmare population reflects the pragmatic attitude regional breeders have adopted since the nation’s economic downturn that preceded the 2009 breeding season. While returns at the major Thoroughbred sales this year are registering increases compared with the last several years, stallion and mare populations in the Midwest have remained constant, even in states where purses are supplemented by added gaming revenue.

Despite several legal challenges, it would appear 2012 will be the year video lottery terminals are finally switched on at Ohio’s three Thoroughbred racetracks, but the state’s Thoroughbred population continues to decline. Only 119 mares were bred to stallions standing in the state in 2011, marking a decrease for the ninth consecutive year since 882 mares were bred in the state in 2002.

Last year was the first time in nine years that Mercer Mill did not lead the state’s stallion rankings. That honor went to Tropical Storm, who transferred to the state before the start of last year’s breeding season, with his progeny winning $206,307. A son of Storm Cat, Tropical Storm stands at Raimonde Farms in Wooster for a $1,500 fee.

Mercer Mill finished second in the state’s rankings in 2011. A son of Forty Niner, he stands at Fair Winds Farm in Waynesville for a private fee.

Transferring to Ohio from Indiana for the 2012 season is Lightnin N Thunder, a son of Storm Cat who will stand for $1,200 at Frontrunner Thoroughbreds in West Alexandria.

New to state for 2012

Lightnin N Thunder Storm Cat-Things Change, by Stalwart Frontrunner Thoroughbreds, West Alexandria $1,200