A new stakes program designed to showcase the progeny of Pennsylvania stallions will be implemented in 2009, according to the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association.
The program, which will have a value of $725,000 its first year, will be similar to the Maryland Million, except it is for horses that are both Pennsylvania-bred and -sired. The Maryland Million, worth more than $2.5 million, is for the progeny of enrolled stallions, regardless of the state in which they were foaled.
The program will require stallions to be enrolled each year in order for their Pennsylvania-bred progeny to be eligible to be individually nominated at a cost of $200 per foal. Purses will come from collected stallion and foal registration fees, plus race nomination, entry, starting fees, and breeders’ fund money.
There will be nine stakes with various conditions, seven with a value of $75,000 and two at $100,000.
“What we’re trying to do is create an added incentive for people to breed to Pennsylvania stallions,” said Peter Giangiulio, president of the PHBA and owner of Castle Rock Farm in Unionville, Pa., where he stands six stallions.
Last year, the PHBA carded two stakes for Pennsylvania-bred and -sired horses on its “Pennsylvania’s Day at the Races” at Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack. This year, as a prelude to its new sire stakes program, the PHBA is offering seasons to 33 Pennsylvania stallions to the first three finishers of each of nine stakes being offered for Pennsylvania-bred and -sired horses.
Each race will carry a purse of $75,000, with four having already been run May 30 at Hollywood Casino at Penn National, three more to follow at Presque Isle Downs & Casino July 11, and the final two at Philadelphia Park Aug. 23 as part of Pennsylvania’s Day at the Races.