Teeth of the Dog Has International Flavor

Preakness contender bred by farm with roots in Azerbaijan.

J.W. Singer’s Teeth of the Dog, rested for the May 19 Preakness Stakes (gr. I) after making his last start six weeks ago in the April 7 Resorts World Casino New York City Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I), has some international roots. The son of Bluegrass Cat  was bred in Kentucky by Royal Pegasus, owned by Azerbaijani businessman Mammad Huseynov.

Huseynov purchased the former saddlebred farm Brookhill Farm in July 2008. Brookhill is located on South Yarnallton Pike in Central Kentucky, just off Old Frankfort Pike and is in close proximity to Blue Water Sales, Three Chimneys Farm, and Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm. The farm purchase came soon after Huseynov bought Don Gato, the $800,000 sale-topper at that spring’s Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Besides Royal Pegasus, which is managed by Azerbaijani Ilgar Mammadov, Huseynov also operates a large breeding and racing operation in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and is the head of the Royal Pegasus Azerbaijan, formerly known as the Azerbaijan Jockey Club.

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Looking to enter the United States market, Huseynov used bloodstock agent Hanzly Albina to assist in acquiring broodmares. One of the purchases was Deputy Reality, a daughter of Deputy Minister—Halo Reality, by Prospector’s Halo. She was in foal to Bluegrass Cat when the hammer fell for $240,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky sale in November 2008.

The foal would drop March 20, 2009 and become "the best foal on the farm,” according to Royal Pegasus spokesperson Karen Glassman. “The horse was very trainable when he was here and is proof of the success of the Northern Dancer/Mr. Prospector cross.”

Bluegrass Cat is a son of Northern Dancer’s grandson Storm Cat, while Deputy Reality traces to Mr. P through broodmare sire Prospector’s Halo.

Teeth of the Dog sold for $80,000 at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. Purchased by Tropical Equine, he was cataloged in the following year’s Fasig-Tipton Florida select sale of 2-year-olds but was an out while part of the Sequel Bloodstock, agent, consignment.

On the track, Teeth of the Dog broke his maiden going 1 1/8 miles Feb. 4 at Gulfstream Park in his third attempt, then rallied to finish third in the Wood behind Gemologist  and Alpha  while a 53-1 chance. He is trained by Michael Matz.

While Teeth of the Dog’s odds may be long -- he’s a 15-1 chance on the Preakness morning line -- the odds are longer that a horseman from Azerbaijani would breed a classic contender.

Meanwhile, back at Royal Pegasus, Mammadov manages the farm’s 20 mares, 20 foals, six yearlings, and two stallions. Both Don Gato and Big Surf  (Storm Cat—Surfside) will begin stud duty for 2013.