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Friday, December 12, 2014

Musical Chairs In The Stallion Ranks

Captaintreacherous and Sweet Lou are the highest profile pacers retiring to the stallion ranks this year. They both head to Pennsylvania.  The Captain will command a $15,000 stud fee, double that of Lou. That’s $5,000 less than Captain T would have gotten if he retired at three and avoided the disastrous four-year-old campaign. His book is already full and closed. And Lou’s fee is $2,500 more than his up and down career would have warranted prior to his 2014 speed explosion. His soon to be fifteen-year-old sire, Yankee Cruiser, has yet to produce a credible stallion.

The Captain’s new stablemate, his daddy Somebeachsomewhere, is the only Hanover stallion to take a pay cut this year, as his fee dropped 17% to $25,000. This is the second time he has experienced a price reduction. Last time his fee went back up the following year. During his short stint at Hanover he has stood at various times for $15,000, $20,000, $25,000 and $30,000—there have been a few zigs and zags along the way. Pennsylvania will also be home to the most prestigious new trotting sire, Father Patrick. The son of Cantab Hall will do duel-duty at Diamond Creek Farm. His fee will be a rich $30,000 for a limited number of mares.

Crazed, who was not well received during his two year stay at Hanover, heads back to Blue Chip Farm in New York at a 20% fee increase; he’ll stand for $5,000. Those buying for the PASS tended to discount his offspring. On the other hand, Gural Hanover and Crazy Wow had very successful seasons in the NYSS, while Tirade Hanover carried on in the aged ranks.

Soon to be fifteen-year-old Broadway Hall is also moving out of Pennsylvania. The sire of Hambletonian winner, Broad Bahn, millionaire trotting mare, Action-Broadway, and the mercurial speedball, Cooler Schooner, was purchased from Fashion Farms by Global Farm of Sweden and will stand in the new “it place” for stallions—Ohio. He’ll be relieved to be out from under Cantab Hall, Andover Hall and Donato Hanover in the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes program.

Along the same lines, the pacing stallions in Pennsylvania won’t miss the peripatetic Bettor’s Delight, who will lead all pacing sires in earnings once again this year. He took a one-year hiatus from the turbulence in Ontario and will head back there now that a stable funding mechanism is in place.

The back from the brink Ontario program also gets local favorite Betterthancheddar, who moves from Winbak New York to Winbak Canada. Tara Hills struck gold with Casie Coleman pupil Sportswriter last year; perhaps Cheddar can also succeed in the OSS program. He stood in New York for one year at a $4,500 fee and Winbak is knocking $1,000 off of that, bringing him to market at an attractive price point that is $1,500 less than Shadow Play and Big Jim and $2,500 less than Sportswriter.

Archangel, who has movie star looks, speed to burn and a mighty thin resume also heads to Winbak Canada for $4,000. He covered 42 mares at Blue Chip in 2013 but the cold shoulder he got from New York breeders sent him back to the track where he only won twice this year, but a world record tying 1:50 mile in a Cashman elimination enhanced his desirability as a stallion. To this point his daddy Credit Winner hasn’t excelled as a sire of sires. The soon to be eighteen-year-old has produced Crazed, RC Royalty and Chocolatier.

North America Cup winner Up The Credit, began his stallion career in 2012, when he stood at Seelster Farms for $5,000. That didn’t last long, as he returned to the track in the spring of that year. He’s been retired for a second time, and stands at Casimir Farm in Ontario for $3,000. He would be the first successful stallion by soon to be thirteen-year-old Western Terror.

Mister Big, who met with little success in Ontario, has been relocated to Abby Stables in Ohio, where he will stand for $2,500, which is $2,000 less than he was available for in Canada. Abby has also added the highly regarded but chronically stymied Western Vintage to its roster for $3,500. And Running Brook will stand there for $2,000.

Last year Midland Acres in Ohio added world champion Pet Rock, who is available for $6,000. There are no high profile pacing newcomers like him on the horizon this year. Although world champion Uncle Peter matches Pet Rock in the fee department, becoming the state’s highest priced trotting stallion at $6,000. He stands at Hickory Lane Farm. And Wishing Stone, the richest and fastest son of Conway Hall in North America, who did double duty for Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey this year, will stand at Sugar Valley for $4,500—that’s $500 less than his 2014 fee.

There isn’t much happening in the way of new stallions in Indiana. Of course Always A Virgin has drawn lots of attention to the program during the last three years and Rockin Image just impressed us with his first crop. The latter’s Well Said half-brother, Tellitlikeitis, who won an elimination to the NA Cup but not much else, will be standing in Indiana in 2015 for $3,000. And a full brother to Rockin Image, Rockin Amadeus, who knocked off Captain T in the BC at two, will stand in Ohio for $3,500. Kikikatie is making her presence felt.

In one of the more curious moves in the breeding realm, Trixton will stand at Deo Volente Farms in New Jersey for $12,000. Muscle Hill began his stallion career in New Jersey but the lack of a stable and lucrative sire stakes program seemed to be holding him back, so he was relocated to Pennsylvania. Like Muscle Hill, Trixton will be perceived by most as a Grand Circuit stallion, so location won’t matter as much as it would for a bottom or middle tier stallion. The gamble is that gaming will come to the Meadowlands and restricted dollars will flow like water from a tap.

Joe FitzGerald


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