El Prado

El Prado

Anne M. Eberhardt

El Prado Slowing Down, But Not Done

His fertility declined in 2009, but he will return to the breeding shed if healthy.

El Prado, who has sired 74 stakes winners, including the hot young stallion Medaglia d'Oro , experienced declining fertility during the 2009 breeding season, but will continue to cover mares in 2010 if he remains healthy, according to Eric Hamelback, who is the general manager of Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs operation near Paris, Ky.

“He’s an older horse, and his fertility is declining, but he definitely is not done,” said Hamelback July 18. “Through mid-April, he had 76% of his mares in foal, but then, of course, as it does in many older stallions, his fertility declined later in the season. We reduced the number of mares in his book, obviously, and we managed him the best we could. He had one mare a day, and we thought he did very well wrapping up. He got two of his last five mares in foal.”

El Prado, a 20-year-old son of Sadler’s Wells, covered 54 mares in 2009, according to Hamelback.

“We want to make sure we do right by El Prado because he definitely has done right by us,” Hamelback said. “He’s very healthy and as sound as any individual we have, but he’ll be 21 next breeding season, and he’s basically just dealing with old age. As of right now, it would definitely be the plan to breed him in 2010, but he will have to be managed both by how many times he’s bred and how many mares he gets. He did very well with a decreased number of mares this year, so, possibly, another reduction of mares might be warranted. Mr. Stronach is always one to take care of the horse first.”

El Prado had a live foal fee of $75,000 in 2009. His offspring include 2004’s champion turf male, Kitten's Joy ; 2005 NetJets Breeders’s Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Artie Schiller; and 2005 Pacific Classic (gr. I) and Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) winner Borrego. El Prado also is the sire of two-time (2001 and 2003) Puerto Rican champion Mi Pradera and 2008 Polish Horse of the Year Ruten.