Housebuster Returning to U.S.

Eclipse Award winner Housebuster, who was sold to Japanese breeders following the 1998 breeding season, has been purchased by Donna Hayes' Virginia-based The Stallion Co. and is expected back in the U.S. by the end of September. Hayes has received offers nationwide to stand Housebuster, but said the 14-year-old stallion probably will stand either in Virginia or Kentucky.

The wheels to purchase Housebuster (Mt. Livermore--Big Dreams, by Great Above) were set in motion following the death of Virginia stallion Lost Code in February. The Stallion Co. bought Lost Code in late 2000 and sent him to Legacy Farm. Lost Code died right before he was going to cover his first mare of the year. Soon after, Hayes went looking for a replacement.

"Housebuster had been on our radar screen with Lost Code when we first went looking for a stallion," Hayes said. "After Lost Code died, we went looking again, but couldn't finding anything over here. So we looked to Japan and got Housebuster.

"He was a stallion that I think they gave up too quickly on. He's always had good numbers."

Housebuster, who entered stud at John A. Bell III's Jonabell Farm near Lexington, was represented by only a handful of stakes winners when he was shipped to East Stud on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. The sale came as no surprise because two of his offspring had been sent to Japan and developed into graded stakes winners. Since then, Housebuster is up to 24 stakes winners and has progeny earnings of $19 million. His last U.S. crop before his departure, 2-year-olds of 2001, has yielded grade II winner Buster's Daydream.

Hayes, who relied on U.S. bloodstock agents Rollin Baugh and Ned Moore to help negotiate the deal, said The Stallion Co. will retain an interest in Housebuster wherever he goes. "We worked too hard not to be a part," she said.