Updated on 09/17/2011 10:50AM

Stick to Beauty euthanized at 30


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Stick to Beauty, dam of 1982 champion sprinter Gold Beauty and four other stakes winners, was euthanized Friday at the age of 30. The mare will be buried at Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Ky., where she had resided since 1999.

"She was having a hard time getting around, and with the weather getting hot, we didn't want her to suffer," said Frank Taylor.

Stick to Beauty, a daughter of Illustrious and the Hail to Reason mare Hail to Beauty, was a homebred for the late Georgia Hofmann's Wycombe House Stud. She won 3 of 18 career starts, most notably the Busanda Stakes at Aqueduct in 1976, a record that did not suggest the kind of success she was to have in Hofmann's broodmare band.

Stick to Beauty produced 17 foals, the last of which was the Theatrical filly Discovering Beauty, foaled in 1998. Her produce record is famous throughout the breeding world not only for longevity but also for quality. Stick to Beauty produced five stakes winners and three stakes-placed runners. Her Mr. Prospector filly Gold Beauty was the best of those and went on to be a superior broodmare in her own right as the dam of champion Dayjur and Grade 1 winner Maplejinsky. Maplejinsky, in turn, produced 1994's champion older mare, Sky Beauty.

In addition to Gold Beauty, Stick to Beauty's other stakes winners were Grade 2 winner The Prime Minister, Majestic Venture, Miraloma, and Storm Beauty. Her stakes-placed runners were Hello Beauty, Green Knight, and Felix the Cat.

Hofmann sold her at auction in 1984 for $1.1 million. The mare passed through the hands of Calumet Farm and Due Process Stables before Hofmann bought her back privately from bloodstock agent Mike Ryan in 1991. When Hofmann dispersed her stock in 1999, she held on to the pensioned Stick to Beauty for sentiment's sake. She moved Stick to Beauty to Kentucky from Florida in 2000, and the mare lived out her last years at Taylor Made.

"She threw more toward the sire," Frank Taylor said Friday. "If you bred her to Storm Cat, the foal looked like Storm Cat. If you bred her to Mr. Prospector, the foal looked like Mr. Prospector. She was 15.2 or 15.3, not real big, but very balanced, and she threw a lot of soundness in her foals. They were all pretty high-strung, tough horses, even though she wasn't like that. They all have a lot of spirit and fire to them.

"A lot of people say that old mares can't have good foals, but just look at her record," he added. "She was a real class act."

Argentine marketing push

Argentina's infamous financial downturn may be promoting a shift in the Thoroughbred business there. Stallion stations like Haras de la Pomme, near Buenos Aires in San Antonio de Areco, are eying new opportunities as commercial, rather than private, breeders.

Haras de la Pomme's veterinarian, Dr. Santiago Pigratti, said that the Argentine economic crisis has made for a favorable exchange rate between dollar and peso, leading some of Argentina's top farms to consider promoting their horses more aggressively to American buyers. Haras de la Pomme, traditionally a homebreeding establishment, will hold its own 2-year-old auction on July 3 to test the commercial waters, and at least one American-based agent, Margaret "Sissy" Woolums, will be there.

"There are some good opportunities to buy racehorses right now," Woolums said. "because due to the economy some people are selling at reasonable prices. I think there will be good opportunities to buy younger horses, too."

"It has been the culture in Argentina not to sell yearlings and 2-year-olds in training before they run," said Pigratti, who is visiting Lexington this week to accompany Honour and Glory from Ashford to Haras de la Pomme for the southern hemisphere breeding season. "People think if you sell a horse before it races, you're selling it because it's no good."

That's a traditional image homebreeders anywhere must face when they decide to enter the marketplace regularly. But Woolums believes the Argentines are serious in their marketing efforts, especially now that $1 equals about three pesos. And shuttle stallion programs have increased Americans' familiarity - and comfort level - with at least the male side of Argentine pedigrees. It doesn't hurt that Argentine breeding has produced some good advertising in the States in the past decade with runners like two-time champion Paseana and multiple Grade 1 winner Gentlemen.

It is too early to know what the long-term effects of all this will be on Argentine breeding and sales, but Pigratti hopes that an increase in commercial activity - and a much-needed improvement in the country's economy - eventually will prompt more Argentines to buy, too. "We need to improve our domestic sales, too," he said. "We need owners racing in Argentina to win money with their horses there. But now we are exporting a lot of horses."