10/19/2010 2:22PM

Woodford looking to fill hole left by mare deaths

Barbara D. Livingston
La Gueriere, the dam of stakes winner Icon Project (above) is one of two top broodmares who died this season belonging to Woodford Thoroughbreds.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Woodford Thoroughbreds has had a roller-coaster year. The Versailles, Ky., farm has a stellar broodmare band but lost two of its top mares earlier this year when Icon Project’s dam La Gueriere and Canadian champion and Grade 1 producer Wavering Girl both died after hemorrhaging.

On the other hand, farm owner John Sykes also is majority owner of Congrats, currently leading the freshman sire list with such runners as Grade 1 winner Wickedly Perfect to his credit. Congrats, by A. P. Indy, stands at Vinery Florida. In addition to Wickedly Perfect, he’s also the sire of I’m Steppin’ It Up and Jordy Y, both Grade 1-placed this year.

“La Gueriere was a couple of weeks away from foaling,” Woodford Thoroughbreds general manager Matt Lyons said from Ocala Fla., where he was attending the fall mixed sale and meeting with Sykes. “Wavering Girl died after foaling.”

La Gueriere, 22, died in foal to Big Brown, but Wavering Girl, 23, left a Repent colt who could be a racing prospect for the Woodford operation. He is a half-brother to Wavering Girl’s Grade 1-winning son, Military.

“He’s doing great and is a nice colt,” Lyons said. “We could race him or sell him. We’ll see how he develops. It hurts when you lose two like those mares. We’ve got a nice daughter of La Gueriere to keep the line going, Alta Love (by Gone West), and she has a Medaglia d’Oro filly this year. Hopefully, the next generation will take up the baton for the mare.”

Meanwhile, Lyons said, the OBS auction might help them find some new stock for the broodmare bands, which are located at Woodford Thoroughbreds in Kentucky and Sykes’s CloverLeaf Farms II operation in Reddick, Fla., near Ocala. After announcing in 2007 that he would relocate to Kentucky, Sykes reopened that facility in August partly due to Congrats’s success.

“We’re looking, and we’re always in the hunt for nice mares,” Lyons said. “We’re always looking for the next one.”

Mack pays $267K for son of Dylan Thomas

American racehorse owner Earle I. Mack gave a boost to the first day of Arqana’s four-session Deauville October yearling sale Monday. Mack paid 195,000 euros, or about $267,150, for the session-topper, a first-crop yearling by Dylan Thomas. The colt is the third foal out of the unraced Galileo mare Gabare.

Mack is developing a French operation and also paid a sale-topping 310,000 euros, about $424,700, for a 2-year-old Shirocco colt at the Saint-Cloud juvenile sale earlier this year. That colt, named Hail to the Chief, is in training with Jonathan Pease.

Monday’s opening session ended with 98 yearlings sold for about $5,012,830, for an average price of about $51,151 and a median of about $36,990.

Dam of Go Go Shoot sells for $85,000

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s fall mixed sale kicked off its Tuesday consignor-preferred session with the $85,000 dam of Go Go Shoot the most expensive horse at 2:30 p.m. Eastern.

Salior Pluto, a 12-year-old You and I mare, was cataloged in foal to Zensational and sold to David Ingordo. In addition to multiple stakes winner Go Go Shoot, she is the dam of that runner’s full brother, stakes-placed Songofthesailor. Both Songofthesailor and Go Go Shoot are by Songandaprayer.

Barbara and Francis Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield agency sold Sailor Pluto as part of the Westbury Stables dispersal.

Also as part of the Westbury dispersal, Rustlewood Farm paid $65,000 for Hip No. 39, the 4-year-old Lion Heart broodmare Cameron Crazies. A Grade 3-placed runner, Cameron Crazies was cataloged in foal to Songandaprayer and is a daughter of the Defensive Play mare D Hail Mary. She is from the family of Grade 1 winner Nostalgia’s Star.

◗ The Old Friends equine retirement facility, home to 21 retired Breeders’ Cup performers, will host a Breeders’ Cup celebration on Sunday, Nov. 7, at its Dream Chase Farm in Georgetown, Ky. The event will feature live music, barbeque, farm tours, and live and silent auctions. For ticket information, contact Old Friends at 502-863-1775 or on the web at www.oldfriendsequine.org.