Mark Valeski, Magna Graduate to Woodford
Recently retired multiple graded stakes winner Mark Valeski joins young sire Magna Graduate as newcomers on the stallion roster at Woodford Thoroughbreds in Ocala, Fla.
Relocating from Darby Dan Farm near Lexington, Magna Graduate is among this year's third-crop sires. His top offspring include 2014 Iowa Derby (gr. III) winner and $335,000 earner Jessica's Star and Blueeyesintherein, winner of the 2012 Debutante (gr. III) at Churchill Downs. His progeny have earned more than $1.2 million this year, and he has three 2014 stakes-placed 2-year-olds. He will stand for $3,000 as property of Eutrophia and Phillips Racing Partnership.
A 12-year-old son of Honor Grades—Peacock Alley, by Fast Play, Magna Graduate posted a 10-6-6 record from 35 starts over five seasons and bankrolled $2,582,816 for Elisabeth Alexander and trainer Steve Asmussen. He captured seven graded stakes—and eight stakes overall—including the 2005 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill. His record also includes a second in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at the Louisville track and a third in the 2006 Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) at Meydan Racecourse.
Mark Valeski retired at age 5 with earnings of $658,452 on a record of 4-4-0 from 10 starts for trainer Larry Jones, including victories in the Peter Pan Stakes (gr. II) at Belmont Park and Mineshaft Handicap (gr. III) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. He was campaigned as a homebred for Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, owner of Airdrie Stud in Midway, Ky.
The 5-year-old son of Proud Citizen out of the multiple stakes-winning Fortunate Prospect mare Pocho's Dream Girl was second in three group II races at Fair Grounds: the 2012 Risen Star Stakes, by a nose, and $1 million Louisiana Derby, by a half-length, and the 2013 New Orleans Handicap. He also was fourth in the 2013 Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont.
Mark Valeski is a half brother to Albano, winner of the Pegasus Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park in June and second in the July 27 William Hill Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I).
Mark Valeski will stand for $2,500 as property of Woodford Thoroughbreds and Airdrie Stud.
"If you believe in a stallion then it makes sense to support them," Jones said. "We believe in Mark Valeski and will be sending at least 15 quality mares of our own down to Woodford each year to breed to him. We think he has what it takes and we're committed to helping make him the successful stallion we believe he can be."
Added Matt Lyons of Woodford Thoroughbreds: "Mark Valeski and Magna Graduate were both racehorses of the highest caliber. Woodford is dedicated to make them successful and we look forward to working with the Airdrie team and Mrs. Alexander to make it happen."
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