Into Mischief was one of the first young stallions promoted under an innovative breeding incentive program created by Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes in 2010 called "Share the Upside." Now those breeders who supported the son of Harlan's Holiday are seeing the upside.
"Share the Upside" was designed to attract support during the first two years of a sire’s breeding career by offering a lifetime breeding right as a bonus. Any breeder who signed and completed two stands and nurses breeding contracts, paid the corresponding breeding fees, and paid a program registration fee was eligible to receive a lifetime breeding right once the second contract was completed and paid.
"For people who liked the horse, we weren’t asking them to do anything different than they would have done anyway," said Ken Wilkins, Spendthrift’s stallion manager. "Once they complete the second contract, the lifetime breeding right is theirs to use or sell. If the stallion is hot, the breeding right could have real value."
Into Mischief’s career path shows how quickly that value can grow.
The grade I winner raced by Hughes entered stud in 2009 with a $12,500 stud fee that dropped to $10,000 his second year. Like most stallions, his fee continued sliding to $7,500 by 2012, his tough fourth season at stud, when his first crop would be hitting the racetrack to prove themselves.
Fortunately, Into Mischief had a stellar freshman year. He finished third on the freshman sire list with $1,171,578 in progeny earnings and three stakes winners, including a graded stakes winner named Goldencents, who won the Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes (gr. III). His other two stakes winners, Vyjack and Sittin At the Bar, gave him 7% stakes winners out of 42 named horses of racing age. Into Mischief’s early success justified raising his stud fee to $10,000 for 2013.
Then came Jan. 5, when Goldencents and Vyjack each won a graded stakes. Goldencents took the Sham Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita Park, and Vyjack won the Jerome Stakes (gr. II) at Aqueduct Racetrack. Goldencents is currently atop Churchill Downs’ new point-system leaders list, which will determine the starters in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Now Into Mischief’s fee is $20,000 and his 2013 book is full.
"This is exactly what we envisioned with this program," Wilkins said. "Going forward it is a win-win deal for the people who participated and supported the stallion. It is exciting to have a hot sire."
Wilkins said Spendthrift intends to offer "Share the Upside" opportunities on every new stallion the farm stands.