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Remaining Vinery stallions, including More Than Ready, relocate to WinStar
By Nicole Russo
The remaining stallions at Vinery Ltd. in Lexington, Ky., including leading sires More Than Ready and Congrats, have relocated to WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky. Also making the move are Kodiak Kowboy, Pure Prize, and Street Hero. They join former Vinery stallions Pioneerof the Nile and Maimonides, who both relocated to WinStar last month.
The new additions bring the number of stallions at WinStar to 22. The farm is planning to open a new stallion complex in early February, prior to the start of the breeding season. Last year, WinStar stallions covered more than 1,700 mares, and the farm expects that number to exceed 2,000 this year.
“These are exciting times at WinStar, and we’re thrilled to be able to welcome these terrific stallions to the WinStar family as we get set to open the doors on our new state-of-the-art stallion complex,” WinStar President and Chief Executive Officer Elliott Walden said. “We've already enjoyed overwhelming response from breeders since adding Maimonides and Pioneerof the Nile, and we're thankful that the shareholders of these five stallions have shown confidence in WinStar, too.”
In August 2012, Vinery owner Tom Simon announced that he would sell his U.S. operations, which include his 440-acre breeding and boarding facility near Lexington, Ky., and a 220-acre training facility in Summerfield, Fla. Vinery purchased Sugar Maple Farm in Poughquag, N.Y., in 2011 to expand its stallion operations into that state and also invested in Empire Stud in Hudson, N.Y., as a boarding facility. The Vinery Australia operation is a separate business, owned in partnership, and is not on the market.
Simon initially indicated that he was primarily interested in selling the entire operation as a package but would consider offers on individual properties. In December, Vinery announced that Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm operation had purchased the Florida operation.
"With the announcement of the selling of the farm earlier this year, we knew this day would come," Vinery CEO Tom Ludt said. "I am proud of what we accomplished with these stallions, and am excited to see them continue their careers at a place like WinStar."
More Than Ready, a 16-year-old Southern Halo horse who entered stud in 2001, has sired 994 winners, including 46 graded stakes winners, for progeny earnings of $91,962,802. The leading sire of 2-year-olds in 2010, he has sired Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Pluck, Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner More Than Real, and Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint winner Regally Ready. A leading shuttle sire in Australia, his top progeny Down Under include champions More Joyous, Phelan Ready and Sebring.
Congrats, a 13-year-old A.P. Indy horse, is the sire of three Grade 1 winners from his first three crops to race—millionaire Turbulent Descent, Emma's Encore and Wickedly Perfect. Turbulent Descent and Wickedly Perfect helped propel him to the leading freshman sire title in 2010.
Pure Prize, a 15-year-old Storm Cat horse, has sired the earners of $33,024,696, including 22 graded stakes winners. He is the sire of Ollagua, a champion in Argentina, and two other Group 1 winners in that country. His daughter Pure Clan was a multiple Grade 1 winner in the U.S. His most recent Grade 1 winner is Pure Fun, who took the Hollywood Starlet Stakes in December.
Street Hero, a 6-year-old son of Street Cry who was a Grade 1 winner as a juvenile, sired 10 winners from his first crop to race in 2012, including stakes winner Gabriel Charles.
The first foals by Eclipse Award champion sprinter Kodiak Kowboy, an 8-year-old son of Posse, will race this year.
“Vinery has done a terrific job with these stallions, and we will strive to be good stewards of all of their careers," Walden said. "What a great way to baptize our new stallion facility with proven horses like More Than Ready, Congrats and Pure Prize, as well as promising young stallions like Kodiak Kowboy and Street Hero. They complement our roster extremely well, and we look forward to our greatest days ahead of us.”