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Friday, March 1, 2013

Stallion Relocation and Tumbling Stud Fees

VFTRG contributor Joe F takes a look at the breeding industry with regards to the game of musical chairs being played and the declining of stud fees.

It’s no surprise that stud fees are falling, but I thought I’d break down the gory details, just to give you a feel for exactly how difficult the present environment is.
Relocation seems to be the theme for 2013, particularly to Ohio and Pennsylvania, and away from Ontario. In the former, VLTs have been well received at Scioto Downs and the state’s five other racetracks expect similar results. And although the politicians in Pennsylvania have been dipping their hands into the cookie jar,  it’s still one of the better states to race in.

New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, wants to see full service, non-Indian casinos in his state, and this has folks on edge. But all things considered, New York is still one of the more lucrative venues for horsemen and breeders, so expatriates from Ontario have been trickling in.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence would like to eliminate the racing subsidy entirely, a la Ontario, however the Indiana Senate just voted for a bill which will permit expanded gaming at racetracks, so a signature from the governor could give a boost to those intent on revitalizing the breeding industry in the state. As it is, already dirt cheap stud fees have been lowered and there has been an exodus of some of the better stallions to neighboring Ohio.

Rocknroll and Muscles have been spirited off to Pennsylvania, leaving the New Jersey sire stakes program to Muscle Hill and If I Can Dream. Although, with the offspring of the Perretti stallions being eligible to the NJSS for a few more years the competition could be fierce in the trotting division—Muscles versus Muscle. Still, a residency format is a must to sustain that program.

Stallions showing stud fee increases from 2012 to 2013

·       SBSW has jumped 25% to 20K. Then again, that’s where he was in 2011.

·       Crazed, the Credit Winner stallion, has moved from Blue Chip to Hanover. His fee has risen 42% to 6K. On the other hand, Crazed stood for $7,500 in 2009, so he’s actually down 20% since then.

·       Cantab Hall, Hanover’s mighty twelve year-old son of Self Possessed, and the sire of Wheeling N Dealin, Tamla Celeber, Uncle Peter and Explosive Matter, is up 25% to 10K. However, as was the case with SBSW and Crazed, Cantab stood for 12K in 2007, so he’s actually down 17% since then.

·       The marginal pair that is up without any qualification are Justice Hall, the sire of Intimidate and Canadian Justice, and Art’s Chip, who has been moved from Indiana to Ohio. Twelve-year-old Justice Hall, who has been splitting his output between Quebec and Indiana, now commands a $3,500 stud fee, while thirteen-year-old Art’s Chip gets the same in Ohio. That’s it, Justice Hall and Art’s Chip.

·       The wild card is Muscle Hill, who entered the market at 30K but now stands in that breeding waste land, New Jersey, at an unadvertised fee. I guess we can safely assume that he commands the highest price in NA. Muscle Hill is a GC stallion in the tradition of Meadow Skipper, who commanded a 30K fee at the close of the 1970s in Kentucky. Sire stakes money didn’t factor into the equation. Of course the difference is that Muscle Hill’s progeny have yet to set foot on a track for a money race. Details, details. But they sold for a ton; that makes him GC worthy doesn’t it? Or, will he go down the same road as the discounted Ds: Dewey and Donato. Stay tuned.


Stallions Sporting For Sale Signs

·       Here are a few of the stallions standing for fees that have been reduced 50% or more from 2012 to 2013: Dewey, Santana Blue Chip, Armbro Deuce and Mister Big. Glidemaster, the sire of Maven and Blue Porsche, just misses the cut at 48%. His fee has been reduced a whopping 78% since 2009. Tell All is down 40% since his arrival in Ontario in 2011. He’s down 60% since 2009. Twelve-year-old Western Terror, the sire of Drop The Ball, Economy Terror, Western Silk and Up The Credit, is down 50% since 2011.
·       Other stallions standing for between 20 and 50% less than they did in 2012 are: Camluck, Jereme’s Jet, McArdle, Lucky Chucky, No Pan Intended, Shanghai Phil, Conway Hall, The Cincinnati Kid, Palone Ranger, Art Official, Artistic Fella, Federal Flex, Holiday Road, Conway Hall, Credit Winner, Delmarvalous, Donato Hanover, Explosive Matter, Jailhouse Jesse, Master Glide, Western Ideal, Quick Pulse Mindale, Rock N Roll Heaven, Sand Vic, Shadow Play, Shark Gesture and Angus Hall. And many of those reductions are closer to 40% than they are to twenty.

·       It’s telling how many young stallions with no offspring old enough to have raced have been discounted: Lucky Chucky (-33%), Art Official (-28%), Holiday Road (-22%), Delmarvalous (-22%), Explosive Matter (-20%), Palone Ranger (-33%), If I Can Dream (-17%), MOMM (-14%), Mister Big (-53%), Rock N Roll Heaven (-29%), Roll With Joe  (-7%), Shadow Play (-20%) and Sportswriter (-16%). Winning Mister is standing his first season and he’s already had 44% knocked off of his original 8K fee. What happened? Is this akin to driving a new car off the lot?

  • Where is 2011 Hambletonion winner, Broad Bahn? He was standing at Winbak, NY, for $7,500 last year, supposedly. There were rumors about him returning to the track? He seems to have disappeared.

·       New to Ohio: McArdle, No Pan Intended, Santana Blue Chip, Keystone Savage, Art Official, Big Rigs, Break The Bank, Foreclosure, Amigo Hall, Dejarmbro.

·       New to Pennsylvania: Lucky Chucky, Rocknroll Hanover, Muscles Yankee, Crazed, Winning Mister, Bettor’s Delight, Ponder.

·       Hats off to those stallions that at least held their own in the stud fee department. Kadabra got hammered at the sales but he’s holding fast at 15K in Ontario.…..Rocknroll is down 40% since 2010 and Muscles is off 50% during the same period but they held on at 15 and 10, respectively….Here Comes Herbie, Ponder, Always A Virgin, Big Jim, BBJ, Mach Three, Yankee Glide and Well Said are a few others.


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