WinStar Farm's homebred Hold Me Back overcame a poor break to win the $500,000 Lane's End Stakes (gr. II) at Turfway Park in his first start of 2009 for trainer Bill Mott March 21.
Although she is little more than a week old, Rags to Riches' first foal is already displaying the same independent streak her mother was known for.
The first foal produced by champion and classic winner Rags to Riches was born on Monday, March 9, at 9:30 pm, at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Cowboy Cal is headed to the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in one month following his hard-fought win in the $250,000 Strub Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 7.
Peachtree Stable's course record setter and grade I-winning millionaire Red Giant will begin his stud career for the 2009 breeding season at John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington, where he will stand for a fee of $7,500.
Elusive Diva, a grade III winner on turf and dirt, provided a bright spot early in the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in Lexington, bringing $825,000 as hip No. 9 Jan. 12.
Front-running Cowboy Cal, one of the few horses that Robert and Janice McNair kept after they sold Stonerside Stable to Darley last year, nipped 28-1 shot Informed by a nose to win the $150,000 San Pasqual Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 10.
Michael Paulson said that although he considers Azeri "part of the family," he will sell the champion mare at Keeneland January to help wrap up his father's living trust.
In a departure from the first four sessions of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, in which broodmares or broodmare prospects were the session sale toppers, the highest-priced offering sold Nov. 7 was a weanling, a son of Giant's Causeway out of the winning Dixieland Band mare Queen's Music, who brought $310,000.
The 2009 stud fees for Ashford Stud stallions were announced Nov. 7, including the fees for their newest additions, Henrythenavigator and Majestic Warrior. There was a decline in fees for many of the stallions at Ashford, a division of Coolmore located near Versailles, Ky.
Diamond Necklace, carrying a foal by Giant's Causeway, brought $1.3 million to get the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale off to a good start Nov. 3 at the Central Kentucky auction house.
Carriage Trail comes into the Oct. 24 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic (gr. I) at Santa Anita off a dazzling performance in the Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I). The 5-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway rolled to a 7 3/4 length victory in that race while setting a track record for 1 1/8 miles of 1:46.77 over Keeneland's Polytrack.
A $310,000 son of Giant's Causeway topped the second session of the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale at the sale company's Newtown Paddocks near Lexington. Despite six horses bringing six figure prices, the overall statistics for the sale continue to slide.
Intense Focus survived a three-way photo finish to provide Jim Bolger with his third consecutive winner in the Darley Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-I) at Newmarket Oct. 18.
The Jockey Club released the Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics Oct. 16 for 2008 that show a continued decline in North American Thoroughbred breeding activity.
Favored Cowboy Cal gained victory in the $150,000 Bryan Station Stakes (gr. IIIT) when Keeneland stewards disqualified the original winner, Seaspeak, for interference in the stretch Oct. 12.
East Coast invader Red Giant nipped Out of Control in a tough stretch duel to win the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship (gr. IT) by a head in world record time during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park.
Grade I winners Panty Raid and Honey Ryder, along with La Comete, the dam of grade I-placed Munnings, will be offered during the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select mixed sale Nov. 2 in Lexington.
Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell is taking two straight days of declines in the 2008 September yearling sale in stride by saying it is just a factor of the economic world we are living in today. "This establishes what the market is," Russell said at the close of the Sept. 9 session. "Everybody is here and they have now set the table. This is what the world is today, and they have established the value of these horses."
Gustav Schickedanz's homebred Marlang, winner of the 12-furlong Breeders' Stakes (Can-IRT) in his last effort, offers plenty of intrigue as he takes on seven rivals in the Saranac Stakes (gr. IIIT) Aug. 31 at Saratoga.
Heatseeker established himself as the favorite for this year's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) with a scintillating victory as the even-money choice in the $245,000 Californian (gr. II) over the Cushion Track surface May 31. The 5-year-old son of Giant's Causeway defeated his rival Tiago by 5 1/4 lengths while setting a record for the 1 1/8-mile distance on the Inglewood track.
Fresh off being named the 2007 champion juvenile male by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Preakness Stakes (gr. I) hopeful Giant Moon will be looking to get back to his winning ways in the second leg of the Triple Crown.
Storm Cat, North America's premier sire for years, has been pensioned from stallion duty because of declining fertility at the Young family's Overbrook Farm near Lexington.
Before the running of last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), Keeneland Race Course was overrun with trainers whose potential contenders were squeezing in final works prior to shipping up to Churchill Downs. This year, Todd Pletcher cut a lonely figure along the rail at the Lexington oval as he sent Behindatthebar to gallop and then watched Monba and Cowboy Cal complete their final preparations April 26.
One year ago, Rags to Riches was a superstar on the racetrack and the favorite to win the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I). Today, she is an expectant mother spending her retirement days at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky.
Giant's Causeway, who ranks third on this year's general sires list, will stand the 2008 Southern Hemisphere breeding season at La Mission stallion station near Buenos Aires.
Trainer Todd Pletcher sent out two of his charges for works March 30 on the fast training track at Belmont Park. Both Stonerside Stable's Texas Wildcatter and Peachtree Stable's Spurrier are nominated to the April 5 Wood Memorial (gr. I) for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on Aqueduct's main track.
Long disappointing on the turf, Niagara Causeway has found a home on synthetic racing surfaces after tallying a game score over Church Service by a nose for his first graded stakes win in the $108,200 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 29.
It was announced March 24 that 2007 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner and 2007 champion 3-year-old filly Rags to Riches has been retired from racing and will head to Ashford Stud where she will be bred to leading sire Giant's Causeway.
Trainer Richard Schosberg, who has been preparing his New York-bred Giant Moon for the March 8 Gotham Stakes (gr. III) at Aqueduct, is anxious to see if the colt will continue to show an affinity for long distances as he looks toward the May 3 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
Heatseeker gave Northern California kingpin Jerry Hollendorfer a win with the conditioner's first starter in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in a mild surprise March 1.
With exercise rider Cesar Correa in the saddle, Giant Moon, a son of Giant's Causeway, worked in company with New York-bred maiden Mighty Morris. The workmates finished on even terms. Giant Moon's final time on the fast track was the third-fastest of 27 at the distance.
Derby prospect Cowboy Cal will start in the Feb. 16 Hallandale Beach at Gulfstream Park instead of taking a traditional route.
Angliana held off a late surge from 10-year-old Evening Attire to win the $81,600 Aqueduct Handicap by one length on Jan. 19.
The eight horses entered in the Jan. 19 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita are not lacking talent, but which runner will show the best turn of foot in the 1 1/4-mile turf event remains to be seen.
- By Claire Novak
The eight horses entered in the Jan. 19 San Marcos Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Jan. are not lacking talent, but which runner will show the best turn of foot in the 1 Â¼-mile turf event remains to be seen.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Giant Moon displayed a lot of heart in winning The Count Fleet Stakes over a stubborn Spanky Fischbein and shows he should be a key contender among the East Coast 3-year-olds this year. One thing that shouldn't be a question regarding Giant Moon is his potential to stay the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) trip.
The $100,000-added Fort Harrod Stakes, to be run at 1 5/8-miles for 4-year-olds and up, has been added to the 2008 spring stakes schedule at Keeneland, the racing association announced Jan. 11.
Trainer Richard Schosberg's Derby dreams didn't come to fruition with Maria's Mon, the champion 2-year-old male of 1995, after an injury kept the colt on the sidelines for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Thirteen years later, however, Schosberg can start dreaming again with the undefeated Giant Moon.
The 3-year-old colt Wise Answer will make his turf debut in the Jan. 1 Tropical Park Derby.
The 30-1 shot Heatseeker, group I placed in Ireland as a 2-year-old in 2005, broke through with his first graded victory while registering a giant surprise in the Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Hollywood Park Dec. 8.
Trainer Christophe Clement ambushed California once again when Naissance Royale proved a convincing winner of the $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap (gr. IIT) Nov. 4, the final day of the five-week Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
Ashford Stud, a division of Coolmore located near Versailles, Ky., released its 2008 stud fees Nov. 1. The list includes Fusaichi Pegasus seeing another significant drop, Van Nistelrooy a sizeable jump, and a fee announced for new stallion Scat Daddy.
The Jockey Club found both an increase in breeding activity in Kentucky and a slight decline in the number of North American stallions covering at least 100 mares.
With a world-record yearling filly in the mix, business during the final session of Book One of Tattersalls' 2007 October sale is strong with an 18% upswing in gross over last year's total.
Noble Causeway, second-place finisher in the 2005 Florida Derby (gr. I), will enter stud in 2008 at Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm in Lexington, Ky., McLean announced Oct. 3.
Storm Cat, the leader of American commercial sires for most of the last decade, is still strong commercially and is slated to continue in stud service in 2008. But for the second consecutive year, Storm Cat finished second rather than first among leading sires by average at the Keeneland September select yearling sale, and this year, Storm Cat averaged less than half what he did in 2006 ($559,773 vs. $1,270,208). As a result, speculation as to who will assume the old king's mantle is off and running.
The Jockey Club reported that 3,881 stallions covered 63,629 mares in North America during 2006, according to statistics compiled through this Sept. 6.
- By Ron Mitchell
Senior staff writer Ron Mitchell identifies the top ten offerings on the first day of the 2007 Keeneland Yearling Sale.
There is a school of thought that hold that the type of horse to look for as a potential broodmare sire is a good-sized, scopey kind of horse, one whose conformation suggests that he will get mares with plenty of room to carry their foals.
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