Mike Lauffer

Mike Lauffer

Mathea Kelley

Shackleford Connections Buying Mares at Sale

Eclipse Award finalist will enter stud this year at Darby Dan Farm.

Mike Lauffer, who bred and raced Shackleford  in partnership with Bill Cubbedge, said the partners have a shopping list for the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, looking for mares to mate to the Eclipse Award finalist who has been retired to John Phillips' Darby Dan Farm.

Among the early purchases by Lauffer, who plans to breed 10 mares to Shackleford, was Haylie Brae, a daughter of Bernardini  bought for $115,000.

Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, the 5-year-old mare was produced from the unraced Danzig mare Dance Swiftly.

She is a half-sister to two stakes winners and descends from a strong female family that includes grade I winner and leading sire Smart Strike, Canadian champions Classy 'n Smart (Canadian Broodmare of the Year), Dance Smartly, Regal Classic, Sky Classic, and Grey Classic.

"She's beautiful," Lauffer said of the acquisition. "She had some talent and could run. But she flipped in the paddock and was injured and was never the same when she returned to the track.

"I love Bernardini as a sire and I think the A.P. Indy line will match up well with Shackleford (a son of Forestry)."

Initially raced by Lauffer and Cubbege and later by Phillips Racing Partnership, Shackleford was a major factor on the Triple Crown trail, winning the Preakness Stakes (gr. I). At 4, in 2012, Shackleford transformed into a leading sprinter, winning the Metropolitan and Clark handicaps, both grade I, and is one of three finalists for champion male sprinter honors.

Shackleford will stand his initial season at Darby Dan for $20,000.