10/31/2008 12:00AM

Tomahawk moves to Firestone Farms


Canada's leading freshman sire, Tomahawk, who sits 11th on the North American first-crop list, has been moved from Park Stud in Orangeville, Ontario, to Firestone Farms Ltd. in nearby Caledon.

D. Morgan Firestone, who owns the 50-acre farm, owns 75 percent of the Seattle Slew stallion and wants to expand his breeding business after some 20 years in racing, according to manager Hugh Graham.

"We want to focus on making this a business in all aspects," said Graham, a former Olympic equestrian rider who has been associated with Firestone since 1974. "It's not the easiest thing to do in the racing industry, but we are looking to the future."

Tomahawk is the first stallion to stand at Firestone Farms, which is undergoing construction to accommodate a stallion division and a larger broodmare band.

Firestone, who is 79 and in failing health, comes from a long line of horse people - fox hunters, show jumpers, and racehorse owners.

His mother, Dorothy Firestone Galbreath, was co-owner of the famed Darby Dan Farm in Kentucky with her husband, John Galbreath. The Darby Dan operation is responsible for such world-class horses as Ribot, Chateaugay, Proud Clarion, and Roberto.

Firestone himself got involved in owning racehorses in the early 1980s while creating successful businesses in construction, plastics, and motor homes. He is now retired from his high-profile company Glendale International Inc., located in Oakville, Ontario.

Firestone has long enjoyed the thrill of buying horses at auction for big money and racing them.

But it was one of his first homebreds, Mike Fox, a son of Giant's Causeway, that provided him and his wife, Julie, with their biggest moment in racing when the colt won the 2007 Queen' s Plate.

"We had a very good year last year," said Graham, who has gravitated from the show world to racing in recent years. "Morgan was buying horses for fun and entertainment, but the profit margin was slim for years."

Moving Tomahawk to stand at the farm is seen as the first step of many that the Firestone empire will take to grow the business.

A Group 1 winner at age 2 in England, Tomahawk was purchased by Firestone and Mike Byrne's Park Stud to stand in Ontario.

The attractive horse quickly became popular with local breeders, and his first crop of runners, which includes stakes winner Win and Reign plus seven other winners from 24 starters (through Thursday), has validated that popularity.

Graham indicated that Mike Fox, currently on lay-up at the farm in Caledon, will resume training in Florida and race next year before being retired to stud alongside Tomahawk.

"We are breeding five mares next year and are looking at having 12 to 15 mares in our broodmare band," said Graham.

There are 30 stalls at the Ontario farm and another 24 being constructed at a farm in Ocala, Fla.

Tomahawk will stand in 2009 for $8,500, the same fee as 2008.

Windfields stallions relocated

Windfields Farms is shutting down its commercial operation this month, and most of its stallion roster has been relocated.

Best of the Bests, by Machiavellian, and Weather Warning (Storm Cat), will join the stallion roster at Rene and Darlene Hunderup's Norse Ridge Farm in King City.

The stallions will be managed by Bernard McCormack through Cara Bloodstock Agency. Two other Norse Ridge stallions, Alumni Hill and Paynes Bay, will also be marketed by McCormack.

Mobil, owned by Gus Schickedanz, has moved back to his birthplace at Schickedanz's Schonberg farm in Schomberg.