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With the bloodstock market swirling in the general economic malaise and getting no added energy in Kentucky from at least the promise of slots or other forms of funding, breeders have had to turn their attention to finding niche markets where they can greater profitability.

Becky Thomas of Sequel Bloodstock has moved her Sequel Stallions operation in New York and has expanded it this year, rather than contracting, with the addition of the Unbridled’s Song horse Noonmark.

Thomas said that “Noonmark is a horse with exceptional good looks and conformation. With his pedigree and racing ability, he is a horse that I can get behind 100 percent.” Noonmark has the backing of Thomas, who has earned a prominent reputation as a breeder of racing stock, 2-year-olds, and yearlings, and partners such as Chester Broman and Lewis Lakin.

Thomas and her partners in the new stallion for 2010 are committing a large pool of quality mares to Noonmark because “in the New York market, if the horse’s owners don’t support the stallion, the rank and file breeders aren’t going to be there for him. I would never try to stand a stallion there without a strong mare base.”

And despite the challenging economic climate, Thomas said that she is “gangbusters for the stallion market. It’s the area that I’m most convinced is going the right way.”

Other farms are also bullish on the stallion market and the New York program and have moved such solid sires as Posse and Congaree to stand in New York. Thomas said she bought 11 mares this year and expects to purchase another five to 10 in January as part of her “huge commitment to the stallion program in New York.”

With the broodmares they have committed to the horse and their program of raising and preparing young stock, Thomas said she was confident the partners would have “Noonmark stock in every select sale for 2-year-olds in training” in 2013.

That sounds like a plan.