12/21/2017 1:16PM

Stay Thirsty may be game-changer for Lovingier

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Barbara D. Livingston
Stay Thirsty will continue his stallion career in California after previously standing in Kentucky.

When California owner Terry Lovingier left Kentucky in mid-November, he was bound for home with a renewed breeding operation.

Lovingier had reached an agreement to stand Stay Thirsty at his Lovacres Farm in Warner Springs, Calif. To support the young stallion, Lovingier purchased 10 broodmares at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale alone.

“By the time I left to come back, I made the deal,” Lovingier said of the acquisition of Stay Thirsty.

Lovingier has numerous stallions based at his farm in California, but said Stay Thirsty was the first stallion previously based in Kentucky he has acquired.

Stay Thirsty, who will stand for $5,000, previously stood at Ashford Stud, where he had his first season at stud in 2013. Stay Thirsty has had fair results. Through Dec. 15, the son of Bernardini was fourth among second-crop stallions with earnings of $3.57 million. Bodemeister led the list with earnings of $4.96 million. Lovingier is banking on that success to attract attention from California breeders.

“I think I had 20 agreements go out and I’ve had 10 come back signed,” Lovingier said. “I’ve never had a stallion with this much response.”

Lovingier said his goal is for Stay Thirsty to be bred to at least 80 mares in 2018.

“I’ll probably limit him to 80 or 90 mares, but we’ll see,” he said. “I’ll breed 30 to 40 that I have myself and in partnership with others.”

:: CALIFORNIA STALLIONS: More newcomers for 2018 ::

At Keeneland, Lovingier paid $276,500 for 10 broodmares, with prices ranging from $90,000 down to $4,500. The most expensive of those mares was Sweetpollypurebrd, a 5-year-old by Parading who was third in two stakes in New York and earned $264,914. Sweetpollypurebrd was sold in foal to Distorted Humor.

Lovingier has focused extensively on California-bred racing and breeding, but has had some of his best mares in Kentucky in recent years. The acquisition of Stay Thirsty will allow Lovingier to breed some of those mares to Kentucky-based stallions and have the foals delivered in California. They can be registered as California-breds if the mare is bred back to a California-based stallion, such as Stay Thirsty.

The California-bred Lost Bus, who won the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes at Santa Anita in 2016, is expecting a foal by Will Take Charge in 2018 and will be bred to Stay Thirsty.

The California-bred My Fiona, who won three stakes for 2-year-olds in 2014, is expecting a foal by American Pharoah. She, too, will be bred to Stay Thirsty next year.

One Smokin’ Lady, the dam of the stakes-placed Smokem, and Cause I’m Tricky, the dam of Willa B Awesome, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks in 2012, will be bred to Stay Thirsty, Lovingier said.

Stay Thirsty’s leading 3-year-old this year has been Coal Front, who won the Grade 2 Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga in July and the Grade 3 Gallant Bob Stakes at Parx Racing in September. Coal Front, who has won 4 of 5 starts, has earned $411,000.

Stay Thirsty is the sire of Princess Karen, a candidate for the Group 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita on Tuesday.

Overseas, Stay Thirsty has been represented by Golden Leaf, a Group 1 winner in Peru, and Dubai stakes winner Cosmo Charlie, who has earned $236,268.

Lovingier is hoping Stay Thirsty’s current weanlings and yearlings will show enough ability to impress California mare owners.

“He’s got 150 weanlings and yearlings,” Lovingier said. “He’s got a good group of horses coming up.

“He’ll do well. He’ll be a productive California sire.”

Lovingier, 61, is a longtime owner and breeder. Willa B Awesome, who earned $648,896, is his most successful runner, while Lost Bus is his latest graded stakes winner. Lovingier frequently owns horses in partnership. Willa B Awesome was sold for $875,000 in 2013 and exported to Japan.

Lovacres has eight stallions at a farm about 40 miles inland from Del Mar.