07/25/2008 12:00AM

Tiznow's stature as a sire continues to grow


LEXINGTON, Ky. - With an increasing number of graded stakes horses, including Belmont Stakes victor Da' Tara and Santa Anita Derby winner Colonel John, Tiznow is having a career-high season with his stock at the racetrack.

A son of Cee's Tizzy, Tiznow ranks second among North American sires by progeny earnings for 2008, and he had another pair of major victories last weekend when Well Armed won the San Diego Handicap on Saturday and Bear Now won the Ontario Matron the following day.

Well Armed is one of the most prominent developments in the older horse division, as the 5-year-old was not a stakes winner until this year. From the first crop by Horse of the Year Tiznow, Well Armed has become a great advertisement for the athletic qualities and sound constitution that the sire is passing on to his offspring.

Those qualities are resulting in above-average success for the sire, and success is the long-term payoff for the program that WinStar Farm and Taylor Made Farm put into place when they agreed to purchase, stand, and manage Tiznow near the end of his racing career.

"Tiznow was the first new stallion acquisition for WinStar after its purchase of the Prestonwood Farm property and breeding stock," said Doug Cauthen, president of WinStar Farm. "And the alliance with Taylor Made was one of those things that developed by happy coincidence.

"As it happened, I was up in New York watching Tiznow train and walking around watching him come off the track to look at his foreleg conformation. While I was doing that, I noticed that Frank Taylor [from Taylor Made Farm] was doing the same thing.

"At the time, I thought 'Uh-oh, here we go again,' but nodded to Frank as we watched the horse walk past us. He was certainly a grand animal."

Cauthen thought that the competitive pressure to purchase Tiznow might send the horse's value too high to stand the young stallion for a reasonable fee, but after Tiznow won his second Breeders' Cup Classic, Cauthen felt more determined than ever to secure the horse for the farm, if possible.

To accomplish that goal, Cauthen said, "I got to thinking about what each organization could bring to the table in acquiring the horse and setting about our primary goal, which was making him a long-term stallion success."

Only a small percentage of stallion prospects retired to stud are long-term successes, and those that make it need both good management and good mares, in addition to the stallion's own natural talent and sound physiognomy.

Cauthen consulted with other members of the WinStar organization to consider these factors, then made his pitch.

"I approached Frank with the suggestion that maybe working together on a joint venture could be beneficial to all of us," Cauthen said. "There was already some familiarity with our operation because of common interests in Kris S., and I said that WinStar was committed to making stallions, providing them with high-quality mares for support, and having a balanced portfolio of racing and sales.

"Likewise, Taylor Made brought significant management skills to the venture and a client base that could help support the stallion.

"When Taylor Made saw the value in that approach, we put it together as a proposal and presented it to Michael Cooper, who was managing the Cee's Stable that owned the horse. And to their credit, they saw the benefits of the approach and let us go forward with it."

Taylor Made's Duncan Taylor said it was a "straightforward deal with benefits for everyone. WinStar bought a quarter, we bought a quarter, and Michael Cooper and his group stayed in for half."

As a result, Tiznow went to stud at WinStar as a joint venture between the two farms, and the results have been a hearty endorsement for cooperative management in the stallion business.

With the quality of mares available to the horse from WinStar, Taylor Made, and their clients, Tiznow has had solid books of mates with potential to produce very good athletes, and the resulting foals have been welcomed by the marketplace.

Overall, Tiznow got good-looking foals that were accepted at the sales. They looked like athletes, had good size and conformation, and the best of them brought good money.

"We had priced him right in the market, and a lot of breeders made money with him," Cauthen said.

Taylor said: "We had the dam of Folklore here on the farm at Taylor Made, and everybody's contributed to making the stallion."

Tiznow proved that he could get horses with speed from his first crop, siring champion juvenile filly Folklore, who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, and his 2-year-olds have made a lot of difference in the way breeders assess the stallion.

"A colt like Colonel John, who came on in the fall, can be a top-class 2-year-old and train on for the classics at 3," Cauthen noted. "Aside from Folklore, who was a medium-sized filly out of a Storm Cat mare, most of the Tiznows have plenty of size, and as a consequence, they can benefit from some time to mature. We're seeing that with some of them, such as Well Armed, and even the top 3-year-olds like Da' Tara and Colonel John have come forward with maturity."

The approach in mating the horse has been to breed him to a cross-section of mares by pedigree and type, "to give the horse the broadest opportunity to succeed," Cauthen said. "We have bred him to perhaps 40opercent early-maturing mares with speed, with other mares in the book being more classic or bigger and scopier like him."

The proof of his success is that Tiznow seems to be working well with all types to get racehorses that stay sound and can win the most important races.