The continuing great challenge for any farm or stallion manager in standing and managing a young sire with a lower-price stud fee is getting enough mares, especially getting enough of the right mares. The challenge of getting sufficient volume to less-known or less-popular stallion prospects has been there since the days of Eclipse, but Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes, self-made billionaire, came up with a solution.
That was to send a young horse of this description to stud and offer breeding rights for the production of a live foal and then payment of the fee. This was labeled the “share the upside” program and struck gold with one of the first stallions that Spendthrift stood under the program: Into Mischief (by Harlan’s Holiday).
Approximately 10,000 people in Central Kentucky nearly bought a breeding right in the horse. Not that many decided to go through with purchasing a breeding right contract, however, and Into Mischief now stands for $175,000 live foal. You can’t buy that kind of advertisement for your program. It has also been a source of continuing grief for farms that do not operate a program similar to Share the Upside.
Many of Spendthrift’s subsequent stallion purchases have been wildly popular, and the farm has branched out into more expensive stallion purchases that stand for larger fees, such as Omaha Beach (War Front), $40,000; Vino Rosso (Curlin), $30,000; and Mitole (Eskendereya), $25,000. These seasons are not offered with a breeding right.
Also for 2020, the farm has a pair of lesser-priced prospects, including a son of Into Mischief, that stands available for the purchase of a breeding right. The son of Into Mischief is Maximus Mischief, unbeaten at 2 and winner of the 2018 Remsen Stakes (G2). The big bay was third in the G2 Holy Bull, his only subsequent start, and stands for $7,500 live foal.
Standing for $5,000 live foal is six-time stakes winner Coal Front (Stay Thirsty), who was a stakes winner each year he raced (3 through 5). A two-time winner at the G2 level (Amsterdam Stakes and Godolphin Mile), Coal Front won a trio of G3 races (Gallant Bob, Mr. Prospector, and Razorback) that helped push his earnings to more than $1.8 million.
A grand-looking dark brown, Coal Front is inbred 3×3 to A.P. Indy through champions Bernardini and Mineshaft.
Another striking dark brown colt out of a Mineshaft mare is Darley‘s Enticed (Medaglia d’Oro), who stands for $10,000 live foal. A winner of the G2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at 2, Enticed was third in the G1 Champagne, then came back at 3 to win the G3 Gotham and finish second in the Wood Memorial.
Enticed is out of one of the very best Mineshaft daughters, three-time G1 winner It’s Tricky, who showed her best form in winning the CCA Oaks, Acorn, and Ogden Phipps.
One of the attractions of Enticed is his resemblance to his famous father, leading sire and racehorse Medaglia d’Oro (El Prado). Grandsire El Prado is also sire of leading turf producer Kitten’s Joy, whose son Divisidero enters stud at Airdrie for 2020 ($7,500 live foal).
A G1 winner twice in the Turf Classic at Churchill Downs, Divisidero won a half-dozen stakes over five campaigns from 3 through 7, earning more than $1.6 million.
A medium-sized and sturdy horse who showed great consistency and soundness, Divisidero was a turf performer at a high level through a long career. He is also one of a handful of turf performers who have found a spot at stud this season, in contrast to the general trend over the past 20 years, when turf horses have had an uphill battle to find support at stud.
In addition to Divisidero, turf horses entering stud for 2020 include Demarchelier (Dubawi), Heart to Heart (English Channel), Lost Treasure (War Front), and Qurbaan (Speightstown).
Entering stud at Claiborne, Demarchelier is a beautifully balanced son of leading international sire Dubawi (Dubai Millennium). Great-grandsire Seeking the Gold stood at Claiborne, and the farm bred and sold the dam of Sadler’s Wells, who is Demarchelier’s broodmare sire.
Like Divisidero, Crestwood Farm’s new sire Heart to Heart had a long career, racing from 2 through 8, and won 13 stakes, including a pair of G1s, and earned more than $2 million. Inbred to Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer, Heart to Heart was a fan favorite because of his dramatic racing style and the distinctive heart-shaped marking on his forehead.
A strongly made horse, Heart to Heart is cast in the mold of his famous sire English Channel, one of the best sons of leading sire Smart Strike on the racetrack and at stud.
Out of the Silver Deputy mare Ask the Question, Heart to Heart traces to the top-class 2-year-old Fair Astronomer, who was top-weighted filly on the Irish and English Free Handicap. He stands for $5,000 live foal.
Lost Treasure stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale for $5,000 live foal and was covered in greater depth in a previous story about his entering stablemate World of Trouble.
Unbeaten at 2 and a stakes winner each year from 3 through 6, Qurbaan won the G2 Bernard Baruch at 5 and 6. A winner of four stakes, Qurbaan also placed in nine more, earning $854,408. Purchased at the 2013 Keeneland November sale as a weanling by Shadwell for $300,00, Qurbaan comes from the thriving international family of Japan’s champion Bubble Gum Fellow (Sunday Silence), Japan Derby winner Deep Brillante (Deep Impact), and classic-placed Candy Stripes (Blushing Groom), who is the broodmare sire of leading sire Candy Ride.
Qurbaan is the second jet-setting son of Speightstown standing at Shadwell, which also stands Tamarkuz, winner of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. With that gaudy G1 in his career finale and other high-class dirt-track performances, Tamarkuz stands for $10,000, compared to the $5,000 fee for Qurbaan.
A stakes winner on turf who also shone on dirt, Flameaway (Scat Daddy) is by a stallion who sired a Kentucky Derby winner out of a mare by Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, and that alone could have created some Derby fever. But the dashing chestnut won the G3 Sam Davis early in his 3-year-old season, defeating both Catholic Boy and Vino Rosso, then finished second to champion Good Magic in the G2 Blue Grass Stakes.
That was smart form, especially considering that Good Magic next ran second in the Kentucky Derby, but the colt’s only subsequent start that put him within 10 pounds of that rating was a second in the G2 Jim Dandy at Saratoga.
As a result of that decline in form, Flameaway enters stud at Darby Dan for $7,500, a fraction of the fees commanded by subsequent G1 winners, such as Catholic Boy and Vino Rosso.
In contrast to that early form is Airdrie’s other new stallion for 2020, Preservationist (Arch), who found his best form at 6 with victories in the G1 Woodward and the G2 Suburban. A big, rangy horse, Preservationist is by a stallion from an outlier among contemporary sire lines (the Turn-to line through English Derby winner Roberto). Arch sired 70 stakes winners, including champion Blame, and comes from the family of Courtly Dee.
Preservationist looks like his male line, showing the ruggedness typical of Hail to Reason and Kris S., in particular. Yet despite their size and growthy type, both those sires could sire exceptional juveniles, as well as outstanding classic prospects and older horses.
So each of these new sire prospects for 2020 offers breeders hopes of success and unheralded athletic potential. Hope not only reigns supreme among the value-oriented breeder; it is a vital and constructive force. From the ranks of horses in this price range have come leading sires, including Into Mischief, War Front, and Mr. Prospector.