Aldebaran, the leading contender for a sprint championship whose 122 Beyer Speed Figure is the second-highest of any runner this year, arrived for stallion duty the afternoon of Oct. 28 at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington and will be housed in the same stall that once was home to Honor Grades, Sailor, Sword Dancer, and the great farm homebred Roberto.
Darby Dan will hold the son of Mr. Prospector's book to 125 mares, according to bloodstock services director Davant Latham, and those already booked include Darby Dan champion turf filly Soaring Softly. The owners of grade I winners Listening and Memories of Silver, among others, also have expressed an interest in sending those mares to Aldebaran, whom Latham referred to as "the farm's most promising stallion prospect since Roberto."
Aldebaran, named for a red star of the first magnitude in the constellation Taurus, closed out of his career with a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) and enters stud with wins or placings in 23 of 25 starts. He won five graded stakes this year and earned a career total of $1,739,186, about $6,000 more than his stakes-winning half-brother, Good Journey. His dam, European champion Chimes of Freedom (by Private Account), produced two other stakes winners.