06/12/2003 11:00PM

Three farms devise creative deal, and all parties benefit


Three prominent commercial stallion farms in New York recently formed an unusual partnership.

Questroyal Stud in New Hampton will relocate its stallion operation 80 miles north to Metropolitan Stud - until recently called Silvernails Farm - in Pine Plains on July 15.

Jim and Lorna Mack, the owners of Metropolitan Stud, have leased their 300-acre farm to Michael Lischin, the owner of nearby Dutchess Views Farm. Lou Salerno and Barry Ostrager, partners in Questroyal Stud, have made arrangements with Lischin to board stallions and mares at Metropolitan.

The Questroyal stallion roster this year included six of New York's leading sires in 2003 progeny earnings: American Chance, Gold Fever, Captain Bodgit, Signal Tap, Gold Token, and Abaginone.

"We hope and expect to expand our stallion operation," Ostrager said, calling Metropolitan Stud "a vastly better facility, and that was a big part of the thinking behind the move."

Salerno said moving the Questroyal stallions to a farm managed by Lischin will allow him and Ostrager to concentrate on promoting the stallions.

"We can focus on what we do best - marketing and promotion," Salerno said.

Lischin said the six-horse stallion barn at Metropolitan Stud will be expanded to accommodate 12 horses. In addition to Questroyal's stallions, Williamstown, who is owned by the Macks, and a few of Dutchess Views's stallions will take up residence in the renovated barn.

Nine stallions stood the 2003 breeding season at Dutchess Views, which is located a few miles down the road from Metropolitan, including American Standard, the sire of Bluesthestandard, the winner of this year's Grade 2 Potrero Grande Breeders' Cup Handicap and Grade 3 Texas Mile.

"I was looking to expand Dutchess Views and the Macks were looking for someone to manage their farm," Lischin said. "Questroyal had a need for a new place, so it all came together. We hope to attract a couple of new stallions for next year and would like to make the farm a first-class stallion station."

New stallion operation to begin in 2004

Kurt Butenhoff, who owns Denlea Park, a 300-acre farm in Columbia County in the town of Hillsdale, will begin leasing the property in New Hampton that had been home to the Questroyal operation for the last several years on July 16.

Butenhoff and his partner, Jamie Lamonica, a bloodstock consultant based in Kentucky, will put together a stallion operation for the 2004 breeding season.

"We don't have any stallions as of yet, but there have been plenty of phone calls," said Butenhoff, a senior managing director at the New York City investment firm Bear, Stearns & Co.

Butenhoff, 43, said he is interested in attracting stallions like the New York-based sire City Zip, who had a solid race record as well as an attractive pedigree.

"I would like to replicate that model of success with other types of stallions, as opposed to bringing in retreads to New York that can't make it in Kentucky," Butenhoff said. "I want a stallion that might make it in Kentucky, but would be stellar in New York. It's proven to be practical with City Zip, who covered 121 mares his first year."

Farm manager takes job at Mill Creek

Mike Tobin recently left his job as farm manager at Silvernails and accepted the position of stallion manager at Mill Creek Farm in Stillwater, effective Sept. 1.

Mill Creek Farm, located about five miles east of Saratoga Race Course, is owned by Anne Morgan and Tim Little. The stallions who are currently at Mill Creek are Lycius, Mayakovsky, Storm of Angels, and Phantom Jet.

Mayakovsky, who owns the Saratoga track record for 5 1/2 furlongs, was retired in the spring after he was bought privately by Phil Birsh, a New York breeder. Mayakovsky will stand his first year at stud in 2004.

Morgan said when people heard the news that Mayakovsky was at the farm, she was inundated with calls about breeding to him this year.

"The interest has just been phenomenal," Morgan said.

Lycius, who previously stood in Europe and Florida, was involved in a major win last Sunday in France at Chantilly. Nebraska Tornado, the winner of the Group 1 French Oaks, is out of the Lycius mare Media Nox.

"Lycius has done very well and has pulled a lot of nice mares in the state," Morgan said.

Lycius's first crop of American runners, who are Florida-breds, are 2-year-olds this year. His first New York foals hit the ground this year.