Trainer Todd Pletcher completed a 3-year-old stakes triple Feb. 20 when favored Connemara, ridden by Russell Baze, captured the $150,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III) at Golden Gate Fields.
Broodmare prospect is the highest-priced horse sold so far at the Kentucky winter mixed sale.
Son of Giant's Causeway stands at Empire Stud near Hudson, N.Y.
Argentina, the fourth-leading producer of Thoroughbreds in the world, has enjoyed having Giant's Causeway shuttling to farms there for the second straight breeding season.
Many breeders anticipate that Giant's Causeway will become a powerful sire of sires. Paired with the sire-producing Missy Baba family genes, recent graded winner Neko Bay is likely to attract interest as a sire prospect.
Seven-year-old Neko Bay earned the first graded stakes victory of his career in the San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II), winning a dash to the wire in the final sixteenth of a mile at Santa Anita Jan. 9.
Mark Stanley's grade I-winning millionaire Swift Temper, the 5-2 second choice in the morning line for the Nov. 26 Falls City Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs, has been scratched from the race because of an injury and has been retired.
Not even a No. 1 ranking on this year's leading sires list and 23 stakes winners could keep Giant's Causeway's fee from going down for 2010.
The 26th World Championships got off to a thrilling start in the $500,000 Breeders' Cup Marathon when Man of Iron hung on to defeat 9-year-old Cloudy's Knight by a nose Nov. 6 at Santa Anita Park.
The Visualiser, a son of Giant's Causeway who originally sold as a yearling for $1 million, has been retired and will stand in 2010 at Dr. Warren Center's Mighty Acres Farm near Pryor, Okla.
Versatile Cowboy Cal went gate to wire to win the $150,000 Oak Tree Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf course Oct. 10, and earned the right to advance to the $2 million TVG Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) next month.
A Giant's Causeway filly, the second foal out of 2005 Boylesports Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) winner Saoire, was the star of Goffs Orby yearling sale's opening session in Ireland Sept. 29. She commanded the highest price of 475,000 euros ($695,124 in U.S funds) from bloodstock agent Hugo Merry, who was acting on behalf of Dr. Jim Hay.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
It seems appropriate that the once-perennial leading commercial sire, Storm Cat, bow out while the Thoroughbred market redefines itself.
A $260,000 colt by Giant's Causeway out of the millionaire Smoke Glacken mare Smok'n Frolic highlighted the Sept. 22 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale, which has continued to be negatively affected by the downturn in the Thoroughbred market. Bought by All the Rage Partners, the dark bay or brown colt was consigned by Adena Springs, agent.
Mark Stanley's Swift Temper, returning to action off less than two weeks rest, upset odds-on favorite Seventh Street in the $300,000 Ruffian Handicap (gr. I) Sept. 12 in the mud at Belmont Park. The 1 3/4-length victory earned the 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway an automatic berth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) Nov. 6 at Santa Anita.
Internallyflawless, making her second start of the year for trainer Bob Baffert, took the lead into the stretch and held off challenges from heavy favorite Well Monied and outsider Nan to win the $350,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) on turf Aug. 22.
Antrim County captured his second consecutive Claiming Crown event, this time turning in a gritty performance to win the $150,000 Claiming Crown Jewel by a neck July 25 at Canterbury Park.
Swift Temper dictated the pace for jockey Alan Garcia and kicked away in the stretch to post a surprisingly easy 2 1/4-length upset in the $1-million Delaware Handicap (gr. II) July 19 at Delaware Park.
Stanjames.com One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) heroine Ghanaati demolished a stellar field to capture the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) at Royal Ascot June 19.
With his victory March 21 in the Lane's End Stakes (gr. II), WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back answered one big question but raised three more. Whether he has the class to be competitive with this year's better 3-year-olds is no longer in doubt.
WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back overcame a poor break to win the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park in his first start of 2009 for trainer Bill Mott March 21.
Although she is little more than a week old, Rags to Riches' first foal is already displaying the same independent streak her mother was known for.
The first foal produced by champion and classic winner Rags to Riches was born on Monday, March 9, at 9:30 pm, at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Cowboy Cal is headed to the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in one month following his hard-fought win in the $250,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Peachtree Stable's course record setter and grade I-winning millionaire Red Giant will begin his stud career for the 2009 breeding season at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington, where he will stand for a fee of $7,500.
Elusive Diva, a grade III winner on turf and dirt, provided a bright spot early in the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in Lexington, bringing $825,000 as hip No. 9 Jan. 12.
Front-running Cowboy Cal, one of the few horses that Robert and Janice McNair kept after they sold Stonerside Stable to Darley last year, nipped 28-1 shot Informed by a nose to win the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 10.
Michael Paulson said that although he considers Azeri "part of the family," he will sell the champion mare at Keeneland January to help wrap up his father's living trust.
In a departure from the first four sessions of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, in which broodmares or broodmare prospects were the session sale toppers, the highest-priced offering sold Nov. 7 was a weanling, a son of Giant's Causeway out of the winning Dixieland Band mare Queen's Music, who brought $310,000.
The 2009 stud fees for Ashford Stud stallions were announced Nov. 7, including the fees for their newest additions, Henrythenavigator and Majestic Warrior. There was a decline in fees for many of the stallions at Ashford, a division of Coolmore located near Versailles, Ky.
Diamond Necklace, carrying a foal by Giant's Causeway, brought $1.3 million to get the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale off to a good start Nov. 3 at the Central Kentucky auction house.
Carriage Trail comes into the Oct. 24 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita off a dazzling performance in the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I). The 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway rolled to a 7 3/4 length victory in that race while setting a track record for 1 1/8 miles of 1:46.77 over Keeneland's Polytrack.
A $310,000 son of Giant's Causeway topped the second session of the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale at the sale company's Newtown Paddocks near Lexington. Despite six horses bringing six figure prices, the overall statistics for the sale continue to slide.
Intense Focus survived a three-way photo finish to provide Jim Bolger with his third consecutive winner in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Oct. 18.
The Jockey Club released the Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics Oct. 16 for 2008 that show a continued decline in North American Thoroughbred breeding activity.
Favored Cowboy Cal gained victory in the $150,000 Bryan Station Stakes (gr. IIIT) when Keeneland stewards disqualified the original winner, Seaspeak, for interference in the stretch Oct. 12.
East Coast invader Red Giant nipped Out of Control in a tough stretch duel to win the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) by a head in world record time during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park.
Grade I winners Panty Raid and Honey Ryder, along with La Comete, the dam of grade I-placed Munnings, will be offered during the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select mixed sale Nov. 2 in Lexington.
Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell is taking two straight days of declines in the 2008 September yearling sale in stride by saying it is just a factor of the economic world we are living in today. "This establishes what the market is," Russell said at the close of the Sept. 9 session. "Everybody is here and they have now set the table. This is what the world is today, and they have established the value of these horses."
Gustav Schickedanz's homebred Marlang, winner of the 12-furlong Breeders' Stakes (Can-IRT) in his last effort, offers plenty of intrigue as he takes on seven rivals in the Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) Aug. 31 at Saratoga.
Heatseeker established himself as the favorite for this year's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) with a scintillating victory as the even-money choice in the $245,000 Californian (gr. II) over the Cushion Track surface May 31. The 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway defeated his rival Tiago by 5 1/4 lengths while setting a record for the 1 1/8-mile distance on the Inglewood track.
Fresh off being named the 2007 champion juvenile male by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Preakness Stakes (gr. I) hopeful Giant Moon will be looking to get back to his winning ways in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Storm Cat, North America's premier sire for years, has been pensioned from stallion duty because of declining fertility at the Young family's Overbrook Farm near Lexington.
Before the running of last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Keeneland Race Course was overrun with trainers whose potential contenders were squeezing in final works prior to shipping up to Churchill Downs. This year, Todd Pletcher cut a lonely figure along the rail at the Lexington oval as he sent Behindatthebar to gallop and then watched Monba and Cowboy Cal complete their final preparations April 26.
One year ago, Rags to Riches was a superstar on the racetrack and the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Today, she is an expectant mother spending her retirement days at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Giant's Causeway, who ranks third on this year's general sires list, will stand the 2008 Southern Hemisphere breeding season at La Mission stallion station near Buenos Aires.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out two of his charges for works March 30 on the fast training track at Belmont Park. Both Stonerside Stable's Texas Wildcatter and Peachtree Stable's Spurrier are nominated to the April 5 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on Aqueduct's main track.
Long disappointing on the turf, Niagara Causeway has found a home on synthetic racing surfaces after tallying a game score over Church Service by a nose for his first graded stakes win in the $108,200 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 29.
It was announced March 24 that 2007 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner and 2007 champion 3-year-old filly Rags to Riches has been retired from racing and will head to Ashford Stud where she will be bred to leading sire Giant's Causeway.
Trainer Richard Schosberg, who has been preparing his New York-bred Giant Moon for the March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, is anxious to see if the colt will continue to show an affinity for long distances as he looks toward the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
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