Breeders' Cup Changes Stallion Nomination Formula

An increase in stallion nomination fees, beginning with the 2006 breeding season, would ultimately result in a substantial purse increase for the 2008 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, said Pam Blatz-Murff, executive vice president of Breeders' Cup Operations and Racing and Nominations Committee chair.

The Breeders' Cup Ltd. board of directors approved an increase in stallion nomination fees for all stallions with more than 50 live foals. Under the old formula, nominated stallions pay one time the advertised stud fee. Under the new formula, for stallions siring 100 or more live foals, the nomination fee will be two times the advertised fee. Stallions represented by 50-99 live foals will be 1.5 times the advertised stud fee. For stallions with less than 50 live foals, the nomination fee will remain one time the advertised stud fee, with a minimum of $1,000.

This is the first increase in stallion nomination fees since the program began in 1983.

Blatz-Murff said Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship day purses would be increased beginning with the 25th anniversary of the event in 2008. "Right now we are evaluating all of the purses, looking at trying to move the event forward substantially between now and our 25th running," she said. "I would like to see $20 million in purses. We would like to have a substantial amount of revenue to put into increasing purses for that running and move forward from there."

According to Blatz-Murff, based on 2003 breeding season numbers, 170 stallions would be affected by the 1.5 times the stallion fee and 23 stallions by the two times the stallion fee.

"The numbers could be a little bit more in 2005 because more stallions are breeding a greater number of mares," she said.

Based on the 2003 breeding season and the 2004 live foal count, the nomination fee increase would generate an additional $2.8 million over the $8,067,000 collected for the 2003 breeding season.

There were 1,095 stallions nominated to the Breeders' Cup in 2005.

Blatz-Murff said Breeders' Cup is in the process of addressing how to predict the amount of nomination fee that is due.

"We are still in the process of trying to come up with a financial model," she said. "But, it looks like we would take the information from the report of mares bred for 2006 and calculate roughly the number of live foals that would result out of that report of mares bred in 2007 and let the stallion syndicate managers know at the end of 2006 what it would be they were paying.

"There is a wide range of stallions that will produce between 50 to 99 live foals, so knowing who will be in the 1.5 times the stallion fee would be easy," Blatz-Murff continued, "But it is the borderline stallions that will be hard to predict. I am sure we will have credits and debits going into the next breeding season. We are still working on this."