Breeding News

First-crop sires well represented in Derby, Oaks

Barbara D. Livingston
Union Rags will be represented in the Kentucky Derby by Patch.

Bodemeister and Union Rags were major factors on the 2012 Triple Crown trail, and five years later, both are expected to have starters from their first crops in the Kentucky Derby.

Bodemeister, who finished third on last year’s freshman sire list for WinStar Farm, won the Arkansas Derby before finishing a hard-fought second to I’ll Have Another in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. His first crop is highlighted by Always Dreaming, expected to be among the favorites in the Kentucky Derby after a five-length romp in the Florida Derby.

Unbridled's Song's classic swan song

Barbara D. Livingston
Battalion Runner could do what Arrogate and Will Take Charge haven't, make Unbridled's Song sire to a Triple Crown event winner.

Unbridled’s Song was a successful stallion throughout his life and has accomplished more posthumously than many stallions do in their whole careers, with two popular champions among his runners in the past four years.

But there is one hole in his résumé that he has a chance to fill next week. Kentucky Derby contender Battalion Runner, from his final crop of foals, represents his best, last chance to sire the winner of a Triple Crown event.

Oxley's rebuilt team back in Kentucky Derby with Classic Empire

Alternate title: 
Oxley's rebuilt team back at Kentucky Derby with Classic Empire
Barbara D. Livingston
Owner John Oxley will try for his second Kentucky Derby victory with the Mark Casse-trained colt Classic Empire.

John Oxley remembers his father gathering the family around a tiny radio in his hometown of Tulsa, Okla., to listen to Clem McCarthy’s call of the 1946 Kentucky Derby, where Assault launched his successful quest for the Triple Crown.

Eight years later, Oxley was in Louisville as the gray colt Determine won the spring classic. After methodically building a racing stable throughout his adulthood, Oxley won the second Kentucky Derby he ever entered, as the gray colt Monarchos carried his powder-blue and gold silks to victory.

I'm a Chatterbox retired, will be bred to Medaglia d'Oro

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I'm a Chatterbox retired, will be bred to Medaglia d'Oro
Barbara D. Livingston
I'm a Chatterbox won 8 of 19 starts and $2.3 million during her racing career.

Three-time Grade 1 winner I’m a Chatterbox has been retired, her connections reported this week.

A daughter of Munnings who raced as a homebred for Fletcher and Carolyn Gray, I’m a Chatterbox will visit Darley stallion Medaglia d’Oro before this breeding season concludes.

Grade 1 winner Private Zone retired to Old Friends

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Grade 1 winner Private Zone retired to Old Friends
Barbara D. Livingston
Private Zone won 10 of 33 starts and $2.9 million during his racing career.

Private Zone, a standout runner in the United States and Panama, has been retired to Old Friends Equine Retirement in Georgetown, Ky.

An 8-year-old Macho Uno gelding, Private Zone finished his ontrack career with 10 wins in 33 starts for earnings of $2,924,620.

Bred in Ontario by Adena Springs, Private Zone sold for $15,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale and was exported to Panama, where he began his racing career. He was named the country’s champion 2-year-old male in 2011, highlighted by a win in the Group 3 Clasico German Ruiz B.

Kentucky Derby pedigree analysis: McCraken

Barbara D. Livingston
McCraken, training at Churchill Downs on Monday, is a son of Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, who won the Breeders' Cup Classic at the Derby distance of 1 1/4 miles.


Ghostzapper-Ivory Empress, by Seeking the Gold

(Bred in Kentucky by Janis Whitham)


McCraken suffered the first loss of his career when he finished third in the Blue Grass Stakes, but he has turned in two solid works since returning to his home base at Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby looms ever-closer. The son of 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper sports some variety in his pedigree, but overall has a solid lineage for middle distances and beyond.

After five years, Tapit atop Kentucky Derby points list

Barbara D. Livingston
Tapwrit, by Tapit, has earned 54 Kentucky Derby points.

The Kentucky Derby’s points system, which replaced graded stakes earnings as the method for sorting out contenders, completed its fifth year of prep races this spring.

The system’s half-decade in existence has provided an interesting snapshot of which stallions were most proficient in siring the archetypical Derby prospect – precocious colts who run on the dirt, consistently win or place in points races, and peak in the key Derby preps during the spring of their 3-year-old season.

Lady Foghorn leads Indiana honorees

Churchill Downs/Coady Photography
Lady Foghorn wins the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap last November.

Lady Foghorn, who concluded last season with a victory in the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs, has been named the Indiana Horse of the Year by the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.

Lady Foghorn, owned and bred by The Elkstone Group, was also named the outstanding Indiana-bred-and-sired older mare, while her dam, the Northern Spur mare Titia, was named the state's Broodmare of the Year. Lady Foghorn won the Florence Henderson Stakes and Frances Slocum Stakes at Indiana Grand before taking the Falls City by 1 1/2 lengths over Streamline.

In Derby, Fast and Accurate running to bring sire home

Coady Photography
Fast and Accurate earned a spot in the Kentucky Derby with this win in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes.

Kendall Hansen has only one shot to win the Kentucky Derby with a son of his namesake stallion, and there is more on the line with Fast and Accurate’s performance than the Hansen name.

Clearsky Farms to be well represented in Kentucky Oaks

Barbara D. Livingston
Abel Tasman will likely represent Clearsky in the Kentucky Oaks.

Clearsky Farms has progressed farther and faster than many other major breeding and racing entities. In less than a decade, the operation has bred and raised several Grade 1 winners, including the champion Arrogate, North America’s richest racehorse.

Clearsky, an Eclipse Award finalist for outstanding breeder of 2016, is now expected to have two homebred fillies in next week’s Kentucky Oaks.

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