John C. Oxley announced today that he has entered into an agreement to stand his grade I winner Sky Mesa at Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., upon his retirement from racing and that Three Chimneys will acquire an interest in Sky Mesa, who is preparing to return to the races in about two weeks.
"We don't plan to retire him until at least the end of this year," said Oxley. "This is a really special colt, and there has been tremendous interest in him, so I wanted to go ahead and make the commitment to Robert and insure that Sky Mesa will stand at an outstanding stud farm."
A son of Pulpit, Sky Mesa is out of Storm Cat's graded stakes-winning daughter Caress and traces in female family to La Troienne. Undefeated as a 2-year-old, Sky Mesa won the Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga, the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. II) at Keeneland, and a maiden race at Saratoga, from his three career starts. He has earned $416,576.
"Sky Mesa has all the ingredients to make a very important sire," Clay said. "We feel he can influence the breed and he has been our pick of the crop since his win in the Hopeful last August. The question of whether or not we syndicate the horse and his stud fee will be decided down the road.
"He's from the Seattle Slew sire line, his female family is truly gilt-edged, and he's an undefeated grade I stakes-winning 2-year-old. You just very, very seldom find a horse that is the complete package like this."
Oxley said, "Sky Mesa has already proven himself an outstanding racehorse. I believe the sky is the limit for him at stud, and that Robert shares our enthusiasm. We are very pleased that his second career will be at Three Chimneys."
Sky Mesa wrenched an ankle and had to be scratched the day before the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) at Arlington last October and a foot bruise this spring further delayed Sky Mesa's career. The colt is currently stabled at Belmont Park and had a six-furlong work there on Monday morning. According to trainer John Ward Jr., his 3-year-old debut will be in the July 6 Dwyer S. (gr. II), followed by the Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and the Travers Stakes (gr. I).
Sky Mesa was bred by Harbor View Farm and purchased by Oxley for $750,000 at the 2001 Keeneland September yearling sale.