The purchase of multiple G1 winner Einstein by Frank Stronach guarantees that the son of Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck will go to stud at one of Stronach’s Adena Springs stallion farms.
None of the Kentucky farms were bidding on the stallion. He simply represented too much risk in a time of economic contraction. And, Einstein is currently 7, will be 8 before he covers a mare, was bred in Brazil, lacks much commercial appeal in his pedigree, and is primarily a turf horse (who is also top class on synthetics).
Therefore, the farms who stand stallions as a business proposition (and that’s nearly all of them), immediately see all the “don’t” signs and go to the next animal.
That said, Einstein’s promise as a stallion is entirely as a sire of racehorses, not sales horses, and the Adena Springs program is geared around that apparent paradox by finding value where others will not spend money.
Stronach stands stallions that may or may not be commercially appealing and stands them at a fee that he prefers, not that the market dictates. As the owner, Stronach is entirely free to do so because he doesn’t answer to anyone for cash flow. It’s his show. So if one of his stallions is not popular, Adena may provide 50 percent to 90 percent of the book from year to year.
Nobody else in breeding is approaching the game like that. And Adena has made stallions and had some astonishing successes doing it their own way, and they probably make money along the way, or at least break even most of the time.
To stand Einstein in a commercial environment so that he could draw a book of mares, he would not stand for more than $5,000, perhaps would be even cleverly placed at $3,500. And he would not get 50 live foals annually at those prices for PAID seasons. So Einstein’s commercial value is clearly not more than $500,000 to $750,000, and frankly, the upper level of that appraisal would be an utter gift to the seller.
If Stronach chose to pay more than that, he might be the only one who could justify such a practice, by selling mares in foal to the stallion, selling yearlings and 2-year-olds by the stallion, and coming out OK over the long term.