During Alysheba's racing career, he became America's favorite horse. The son of Alydar was bred in Kentucky by Preston Madden and was owned by Texans Dorothy and Pamela Scharbauer. He won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I)and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) as a 3-year-old, then finished second to Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand in the Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I). The race still ranks among the top moments in Breeders' Cup history. The following year Alysheba was nearly unstoppable. The big bay won six of his eight starts, then went out on a high note with a 1 1/2-length win over Seeking the Gold in the 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs. Alysheba retired to the heart of the Bluegrass, Lane's End Farm. In the spring of 2000, with only 17 stakes winners in 10 crops, Alysheba was sold to His Royal Highness Crown Prince Adullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia. Now it is like starting over for Alysheba. There are high hopes for the Prince's growing breeding operation, based at Janadriyah Stud Farm outside Riyadh, and high hopes for Alysheba as a sire. Even though Alysheba arrived in the midst of the 2000 breeding season, he covered 30 mares. In 2001 he covered 20 mares. Alysheba lives in a large stall, measuring about 20x20 feet, has his own desert cooler (a necessity in heat that can reach 125 degrees Fahrenheit), and a sand paddock. Another Breeders' Cup champion, 1985 Juvenile (gr. I) winner Tasso, is also at the farm. The whole operation is growing, both in size and stature. Manager David Fitch-Peyton said about six years ago the Prince purchased a group of mares from Europe. Their foals are now of racing age, and some of them are now going to Alysheba and Tasso. "The improvements that have been made over that time have really taken off in the past 10 years," said Fitch-Peyton. "There has been lots of development nearby. It's a beautiful setup. We have two big American barns, a state of the art equine hospital, private pre-training barn, and a private training track for all the 2-year-olds. It's easily 2,000 acres."Another advantage for Alysheba is the fact Saudi Arabia racing focuses less on speed at age two than North American racing. Horses in that country often race past age six. Since he hit what was perhaps his best stride at four, maybe his Saudi Arabian offspring will do the same.
Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) champion and 1993 Horse of the Year Kotashaan has also been doing some traveling. The French-bred son of Darshaan competed in France, Japan, and the U.S. Then he began his stud career in Japan. He left that country in January of 2000 for a new career in Ireland.Now Andrew (Willy) Murphy is proud to own Kotashaan. He purchased the horse privately and brought him from Japan to his Ballycurragh Stud in County Carlow, Ireland. Murphy is hoping to breeding National Hunt Champions by the stallion. During the 2001 season he sent 100 mares to the stallion. Kotashaan's first Irish foals hit the ground this spring. Murphy couldn't have been happier with them."They're brilliant," he said. "I have 10 or 12 of them. They're outdoors constantly...and just look brilliant."
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