California Chrome , the 2014 Horse of the Year and North America's all-time richest racehorse, will stand his first season at Taylor Made Farm in 2017 for an advertised fee of $40,000, Taylor Made president Duncan Taylor confirmed Nov. 8 during the opening session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.
The initial stud fee for the 5-year-old son of Lucky Pulpit is at a range Taylor called "fair, maybe even a little lower than fair" and puts the chestnut colt at a level that should give him a competitive book of mares while allowing breeders room to make a profit.
To help get their future stallion off to a strong start, the Taylor Made team has already started purchasing mares to support the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) runner-up, purchasing the grade I placed Eskendereya filly Right There for $325,000 and graded stakes producer Uchitel for $420,000 under the name California Chrome, LLC during Keeneland's opening session.
"Our ultimate goal is, we're buying mares at this sale, we're studying what we're buying and we're going to do everything to make this horse the kind of stallion that he deserves to be," Taylor said. "We've had pedigree people look at it. You never know what goes, but it looks to me that (he has) Seattle Slew in the right place in the pedigree and Buckpasser...we think Empire Maker is a really good (cross), Scat Daddy, Arch, we've got a bunch of them picked out.
"There is a lot you can do with the pedigree so, we're fired up. We're letting the breeders make money and we're wanting to make the stallion."
California Chrome was caught in late stretch by Travers Stakes (gr. I) winner Arrogate in the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park, his first loss in seven starts in 2016. Even with the defeat, the Art Sherman-trainee is expected to take home Horse of the Year honors once more as he previously notched sublime victories in the $10 million Dubai World Cup Sponsored by Emirates Airline (UAE-I) March 26 as well as the Aug. 20 TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) and Oct. 1 Awesome Again (gr. I).
With his career earnings already at $14,452,650, California Chrome is slated to start in the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup (gr. I) at Gulfstream Park Jan. 28—his expected final career outing.
"I never want to say 100% (that is his final start), you don't want to ever say never," Taylor said. "But the plan is right now to retire him and breed him (after the Pegasus World Cup). Is there a 5% chance (he could return) if the right thing happened and Sheikh Mohammed said there was some outlandish figure that he'd raise (the Dubai World Cup) purse to, and he ran and vetted just perfect? And even then we might not do it. You can't predict.
"But our plan right now, barring something unforeseen happening, is to breed him next year."
California Chrome will become the highest priced stallion on the Taylor Made roster with fellow first-year sire Mshawish set to stand for $20,000.