First-Year Sire Answer Lively Experiencing Fertility Problems

First-Year Sire Answer Lively Experiencing Fertility Problems
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
First-year stallion Answer Lively is experiencing fertility problems.
Answer Lively, the 1998 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner and that year's Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old male, is experiencing fertility problems in his first year at Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington. Dr. George D. Mundy, the farm's general manager and resident veterinarian, said on Friday only one of the first 12 mares bred to Answer Lively has been pronounced in foal.

Fertility expert Dr. Phil McCarthy has made several recommendations that the farm will follow, effective immediately: limiting the number of mares bred to Answer Lively; limiting the number of covers per day; and breeding mares as close to ovulation as possible. Breeders holding contracts are being excused from those contracts if they desire, though a statement from the farm said both Hill 'n' Dale and Answer Lively's owner, John Franks, will continue to support the horse in hopes the changes will improve his reproductive performance.

"The horse has very good libido and normal size of testicles," Mundy said, "but the job is not getting done. The first step is to give him the best chance we can be breeding right on top of ovulation. We're hopeful if we modify that we can do much better with the horse."

Answer Lively, a son of the Halo stallion Lively One out of Twosies Answer, by Two's a Plenty, won 4-of-14 career starts at two and three, winning the Juvenile and Sport of Kings Futurity and placing in four stakes. He earned $938,296. Answer Lively was brought back to trainer Bobby Barnett's barn to race as a 4-year-old in 2000, but he sustained a fractured sesamoid in his left front leg and was retired with a stud fee of $3,500 live foal.

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