Multiple grade 1 winner and Canadian champion Shaman Ghost will enter stud at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds near Santa Ynez, Calif., for the 2018 season, his connections announced Jan. 11.
The stud fee for the 6-year-old son of Ghostzapper will be $10,000, live foal stands and nurses. There will be special consideration for young stakes-winning mares at a reduced fee of $7,500, live foal stands and nurses.
In an exclusive interview with BloodHorse Daily, owner Frank Stronach reiterated his dedication to building up the California-bred program. He said he is sending multiple mares to California to foal and be bred back to Shaman Ghost.
"Basically, as you know, we own two racetracks here in Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita Park," said the founder of The Stronach Group. "We're a little concerned there aren't enough horses, there are small fields, so we want to make sure that we have a good horse population. Naturally, it's also important that we get new owners (involved in the sport)."
Shaman Ghost, an Ontario-bred out of the Gilded Time mare Getback Time, was well-traveled during 17 starts, from which he accumulated an 8-3-2 record and earnings of $3,859,311. He received a Sovereign Award for champion 3-year-old colt in 2015, when he became the third homebred Queen's Plate Stakes winner for Stronach Stables and ran second in the Prince of Wales Stakes.
At 4 and 5, Shaman Ghost won or placed in seven black-type stakes, including victories in the Woodward Stakes (G1), Santa Anita Handicap Presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino (G1), Brooklyn Invitational Stakes (G2), and the Pimlico Special Handicap (G3).
"He won the Santa Anita Handicap, and he also won on Polytrack, and they have a synthetic track at Golden Gate," Stronach said. "I think he's quite a versatile horse. I think conformation-wise he's very correct, and he has a great disposition. Naturally, you always get high on your own horses, but I've been around good horses, and I think he's a very nice horse."
Stronach spent time over the last few weeks in California and visited numerous farms. He said the primary factor for standing the new stallion at Tommy Town Thoroughbreds is that it is centrally located, with a very large mare population in the Santa Ynez area.
"It was a hard decision because there were so many good farms, but I decided to do what is the best for Shaman Ghost," Stronach said. "I think Tommy Town is more central, being in Santa Ynez, and where the mare population is concerned, I think that would be helpful."
Tom Stull, owner of Tommy Town, said he was honored that Stronach chose his farm to handle Shaman Ghost's inaugural year at stud.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for California Thoroughbred breeders to have access to Shaman Ghost, a high-caliber stallion who will be a great addition to the Thoroughbred breeding industry here in California."
In a release sent late Thursday, Stronach added, "We as a family need to demonstrate California racing is very important for the state of California. It is necessary that there are enough quality horses in California. The racehorse industry is very beneficial economically for the state of California. The horse industry currently is responsible for 50,000 jobs, directly and indirectly, and the Stronach family wants to work together with breeders, owners and trainers to increase these values. Together, we can improve horse racing and create thousands of additional jobs.
"The Stronach family's commitment to California is to improve and preserve the beautiful racetracks. By sending Shaman Ghost to California, we want to demonstrate that, besides owning the racetracks, we also will do our share to breed and race in California."