NEWS: breeding

Swale winner and classic contender Sharp Humor dies in South Korea

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015
Sharp Humor, 2003-2015 (Photo courtesy Horseracing in Korea)

Sharp Humor, 2003-2015 (Photo courtesy Horseracing in Korea)

by Sarah Mace

Let’s Run Stud Farm on Jeju Island has reported that New York-bred sire Sharp Humor, who relocated to Korea from WinStar Farm in February 2011, died at age 12 as the result of an accident on March 18.

Bred in New York by Patricia S. Purdy, Sharp Humor was a son of Distorted Humor and one of two winners out of the unraced Kentucky-bred Hansel mare Bellona (Hansel). Trained by Dale Romans, Sharp Humor raced for a partnership of Purdedel Stable and WinStar Farm, who acquired an interest in the horse when he was a classic contender in late April 2006.

Sharp Humor won four of ten career starts, including three stakes. At two he followed up 2005 victories in the Bertram F. Bongard and Sleepy Hollow with a third in the New York Breeders’ Futurity. The following year he won the Grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream Park and ran second to Barbaro in the 2006 Florida Derby. After fracturing a knee in the Kentucky Derby a month later, he ran twice more later in the year, when he finished second in the Hudson Handicap facing older horses.

Sharp Humor’s final start came in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. Having aggravated his knee injury, he was retired at the end of his three-year old season with earnings of $490,410 and entered stud for $12,500 in 2007 at WinStar Farm as a Taylor Made/WinStar Venture stallion.

At 12-years-old, Sharp Humor was in his third breeding season in Korea, having been purchased by the Korea Racing Authority in November 2011. He covered 97 mares in 2013 and 85 in 2014, with another full book in progress this year. His first Korean 2-year-olds are set to debut this year.

Credited with 17 black type progeny winners, Sharp Humor’s top-earning offspring include graded stakes winner Hero of Order ($747,822) and multiple graded stakes placed Angelica Zapata ($649,845).

New York breeders continue to up the ante with 2015 foals from top-flight first crop sires

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
Orb / Black Escort (Photo: Kelly McCombs)

Orb / Black Escort (Photo: Kelly McCombs)

by Sarah Mace

As the snow recedes from the landscape in upstate New York, this year’s crop of foals is taking its place. Even on the heels of a benchmark year for the New York State breeding and racing program in 2014, it is clear that New York breeders are continuing to up the ante with each cohort of foals, and the 2015 crop is no exception. A review of The Jockey Club’s “Report of Mares Bred” for 2014, which flags the home state of mares when that information is available, shows scores of matings by state-based breeders between high-quality mares and top-flight first crop sires.

New York breeders of course jumped at the chance to take advantage of multiple opportunities to breed to accomplished first crop sires with deep pedigrees close to home. They account for the vast majority of mares bred to the state’s five first crop stallions: Darley’s Grade 1 Forego winner Emcee (Sequel Stallions New York), multiple Grade 2 winning sprinter Forty Tales (Sequel Stallions New York), Heavy Breathing (Dutchess Views Farm), who is the graded placed full brother to smashing young New York sire Frost Giant, multiple graded stakes winner and 2012 New York-bred Horse of the Year The Lumber Guy (Keane Stud) and champion sprinter Trinniberg (Rockridge Stud).

The Jockey Club “Mares Bred” reports also show that New York breeders did not hesitate to go further afield to explore racetrack achievers who retired to stud in 2014 elsewhere. To single out a few headliners, last year mares reported to be New York-owned were bred to: Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup winner Animal Kingdom (5), Grade 1 winner Graydar (4), triple Grade 1 winner Flat Out (8), triple Grade 1 winner Fort Larned (4), Grade 1 Wood Memorial winner and morning line favorite for the 2009 Kentucky Derby I Want Revenge (1), Kentucky Derby winner Orb (2) and five-time grade winner and turf star Point Of Entry (4). Especially popular with New Yorkers were juvenile phenom Shanghai Bobby (16) and Take Charge Indy, a Grade 1 winning millionaire and son of three-time Grade 1 winner and 2013 broodmare of the year Take Charge Lady (17).

Obviously not all of these matings of New York-owned mares will necessarily produce New York-bred foals on the ground. By the same token, other mares not flagged in these reports as New York-owned may have been bred to top-flight first crop sires and be preparing to drop New York-bred eligible foals. Taken as a whole, however, the reports paint a broad picture of New York breeders looking for fresh blood and quality both at home and out-of-state.

Two prime examples can be seen from a visit to Questroyal North near Stillwater, which already has foals on the ground by Kentucky Derby heroes Orb and Animal Kingdom, both out of well-bred mares owned by Questroyal’s majority owner Barry R. Ostrager. Orb, a $2.6 million dollar earner and winner of the 2013 Grade 1 Kentucky Derby, Grade 1 Florida Derby and Grade 2 Fountain of Youth bred 122 mares last year according to The Jockey Club. Champion Animal Kingdom, an extraordinarily versatile son of Leroidesanimaux out of a Grade 3 winning German mare, won the Kentucky Derby his dirt debut and came back from injury to capture second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and win the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup on synthetic. He earned over $8.3 million before retiring to stud and in 2014 he bred 148 mares.

Orb / Black Escort (Photo: Kelly McCombs)

Orb / Black Escort (Photo: Kelly McCombs)

The Questroyal Orb foal is a bay colt with a small star born March 16 out of Black Escort, a daughter of Southern Halo out of a Nureyev mare. Black Escort was a juvenile stakes winner and Grade 2 placed on turf in France. The pedigree of the new foal runs deep. The colt’s third dam Sigy (FR) was a champion 2-year-old filly and champion sprinter in France as well as a graded stakes producer. Black Escort has produced three winners, including Black Snowflake, a multiple stakes placed runner by Elusive Quality. Her Orb foal, who is bred on the same cross as Kauai Katie, is given an A+ rating by TrueNicks.

Questroyal Stud was not alone in selecting the 2013 Kentucky Derby winner for a mating. SF Bloodstock’s Charlie’s Legacy, an unraced Virginia-bred by Indian Charlie from the family of multiple champion Indian Blessing, whom they purchased for $245,000 at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton winter mixed sale, was also bred to Orb last year. No foal is reported to date.

Animal Kingdom / Dynamite Cocktail (Photo: Kelly McCombs)

Animal Kingdom / Dynamite Cocktail (Photo: Kelly McCombs)

Another well-bred foal on the ground at Questroyal is a filly by Animal Kingdom born March 11 with distinctive facial markings and a white half stocking on her left hind. Her color has yet to be determined. The filly’s dam is Dynamite Cocktail, a Kentucky-bred multiple winner of over $100,000 by Dynaformer who has produced three winners. Her top foal is Hollinger by Black Minnaloushe, multiple stakes winner, champion 2-year-old colt in Canada (2009) and earner of over $700,000. The filly’s third dam is stakes placed Luck’s Fancy, who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes placed stakes winner Fancy ‘N Fabulous and two other stakes winners. The new filly, an outcross, receives an A++ TrueNicks rating.

In the many decades of the New York breeding program, 2014 saw unprecedented racetrack achievements by products of that program: Derby contenders, Grade 1 winners, a record number of Breeders’ Cup participants and an Eclipse champion. The year before set its own milestones. Breeders seem determined, however, not to rest on their laurels. As they push the ceiling higher for the program year by year, it would seem to be only be a matter of time before the foal crop of 2015 manages to set new benchmarks of its own, perhaps only to be superseded by the crop of the following year.

Centennial Farm loses Alex’s Pal to colic

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Alex’s Pal by Valid Expectations out of the winning Fortunate Prospect mare Successful Dancer was euthanized March 11 due to colic at age 16. A half-brother to Grade 2 winner and successful stallion Successful Appeal, he stood at Centennial Farm of New York near Gilbertsville, where his 2014 fee was $2,500.

Alex’s Pal, who won six of 19 races and earned $163,680, began his career at stud in Florida and stood in Pennsylvania and New Jersey before relocating to New York in 2013.

The progeny of Alex’s Pal, have earned more than $3.9 million to date, led by multiple Grade 2 winner C C’s Pal.

Sequel New York releases mobile app

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015
(Edited press release)

Sequel Stallions New York announced on Tuesday that it has released a mobile application for New York breeders. The application enables breeders to easily access information on all the stallions, submit mares, run nicks and much more from their phones, ipads and tablets.

“At Sequel, we are passionate about quality customer service,” said owner Becky Thomas. “Many of our breeders in NY also have regular jobs. They are school teachers, nurses, doctors, accountants and business owners who don’t have time during regular work day to focus on their mare’s matings. This communication tool will put the information in their hands whenever and wherever it is convenient for them.”

The Sequel Mobile App can be downloaded at as well as App stores at Itunes and Google Play.

Schosberg mare Tim’s Lady, dam of Mellow Roll, euthanized at 29

Monday, March 2nd, 2015
Tim's Lady, courtesy the Schosberg family

Tim’s Lady, courtesy Paul Schosberg

by Sarah Mace

Stakes-placed Tim’s Lady, a 29-year-old Oh Say mare, who was bred and owned by Jane Schosberg, trained by her son Rick and became a stakes producer as a broodmare, was euthanized on February 23 at Jane and Paul Schosberg’s Pine Lane Farm in Katonah due to the infirmities of old age.

Foaled on April 7, 1986, Tim’s Lady is out of Dot in Spot, a producer of nine winners from nine foals to start. Dot in Spot, a 1967 foal, was also the Schosbergs’ very first thoroughbred – an anniversary gift from Paul to Jane.

Tim’s Lady won three races and finished second twice. At three, the blaze-faced chestnut was the runner-up to Proud Puppy in the 1989 Bouwerie Stakes. She retired after seven starts with $69,426 in earnings.

As a broodmare, Tim’s Lady (or “TL,” as she was known to the family) produced four winners, led by Mellow Roll (Distinctive Pro), a bay colt campaigned by Anita and Stuart Subotnick’s Anstu Stables, Inc.

A $67,000 juvenile purchase, Mellow Roll won five of seven starts at two, including four stakes: the Aspirant in his stakes bow, the New York Breeders’ Futurity next out, the Sleepy Hollow and the Great White Way Division of the New York Stallion Stakes; that year Mellow Roll also finished second in the Bertram F. Bongard. For these achievements he was voted 1997 New York-bred two-year-old champion.

The following year Mellow Roll won the Empire Classic Handicap and Alex M. Robb, and finished second in the Grade 2 Riva Ridge Stakes at Belmont. He retired with $555,772 in earnings.

Tim’s Lady’s last offspring was a winning filly by Maria’s Mon named Maria’s Muse foaled in 2004.

Paul Schosberg said, “TL [Tim’s Lady] lived her entire life with us at Pine Lane Farm. We would like to acknowledge the wonderful care given her by our farrier, Ray Galluscio, and our veterinarian, Dr. Chris Koch.”

Added Schosberg, “Rick, of course, did a superb job as her trainer and visited her regularly.”


Emcee’s first foal: filly out of a Street Cry mare

Thursday, February 12th, 2015
Emcee out of Picketline

Emcee out of Picketline

(Darley press release)

The first foal sired by G1 Forego winner Emcee was born at Becky Thomas’s Sequel Stallions New York on February 10th. A filly, she was produced from the winning Street Cry mare, Picketline, a half-sister to seven Stakes horses, including Graded winners Valid Expectations and Little Sister. The foal is co-owned by Becky Thomas and Lyn Burleson.

A son of Unbridled’s Song, no other winner of the G1 Forego has run a faster time than Emcee’s 1:21 flat for the seven furlong event. Emcee’s Beyer Speed Figure of 108 in the Forego was the highest of any runner in 2012 at less than a mile. On his dam’s side, Emcee’s half-brother Surfer won the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge Round 1 last month, and half-sister Baffled is the dam of Constitution who won the G1 Donn Handicap on February 7th.

Emcee stands at Sequel Stallions New York for a 2015 fee of $7,500.

First foals by Heavy Breathing arrive, naming contest announced

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
(Edited press release)

The first foals by Heavy Breathing, the full brother to New York record-setting sire Frost Giant, arrived recently on consecutive days at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains.

Pylortes, a daughter of Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner Silver Train, delivered a bay filly on February 2. Parrish Queen, by Johar from the family of champion Princess Rooney, foaled a chestnut colt the following day.

“Both foals are very lively and strong,” said Dutchess Views owner and manager Michael Lischin. “The filly is very well conformed with good bone and a nice looking head. The colt is bigger than average, with long legs, a nice head and good bone.” Both the filly and the colt were bred by the partnership of Sunrise Stables and Golden Goose Enterprises.

Heavy Breathing, who was campaigned by Starlight Racing with trainer Todd Pletcher, stands for Sunrise Stallions at Dutchess Views along with Sunrise’s champion Big Brown, sire of Kentucky Derby (G1) candidate Dortmund. Sunrise also owns Frost Giant, who stands at Keane Stud in Amenia, New York.

To celebrate the first foals by the cleverly named Heavy Breathing (by Giant’s Causeway out of the Gone West mare Takesmybreathaway), Sunrise Stallions is conducting a contest for the best name suggestions for members of his first crop. Names of the mares who have delivered foals by Heavy Breathing this season will be listed on the Sunrise Stallions website along with fans’ suggested names for their foals, and voting will be conducted on the site.  The winner will receive an original cartoon by renowned racing artist PEB.  To enter the contest or obtain more information, check the website at

Heavy Breathing is standing his second season in 2015 for a fee of $2,500 live foal. The six-year-old is from the prolific female family that has produced Kentucky Derby (G1) winner and hot young sire Super Saver, champion Rhythm, and Grade 1 winners such as Bluegrass Cat, Girolamo and Imagining, as well as influential sires Private Account, Mutakddim and Not For Love.

For more information, contact: Sunrise Stallions General Manager Eric Bishop at 516-606-9768 or

Pylortes Filly

Parrish Queen Colt

Trickmeister at Tomorrow Bloodstock

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Trickmeister, a grade II-placed multiple stakes winner, has been retired and will take up stud duties in 2015 at Tomorrow Bloodstock near Thompson Ridge, N.Y.

The 8-year-old son of Proud Citizen  will stand privately.

Trickmeister compiled a 6-1-3 career line from 16 starts and earned $437,965 while racing through age 7. His record includes four stakes victories: the 2010 Barbaro Stakes at Delaware Park and Pleasant Colony Stakes at Saratoga Race Course,  2011 Harlan’s Holiday Stakes at Gulfstream Park, and 2012 Vanlandingham Stakes at Belmont Park.

Trickmeister also was competitive in graded stakes at Belmont Park. Following his Vanlandingham victory, he finished third to Mucho Macho Man   and Hymn Book in the Suburban Stakes (gr. II) and third behind Jersey Town   and Preakness (gr. I) victor Shackleford   in the Kelso Stakes (gr. II).

Trickmeister was bred in Kentucky by Brereton C.  Jones and Timothy T. Thornton. His dam is the winning Afternoon Deelites mare Afternoon Trick, a half sister to stakes winner Jenny’s Prospector. Second dam Gatap is a half sister to grade I winner Zoonaqua. The extended family includes champion filly and blue hen Quill.



Millionaire Thunder Rumble dies following colic

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Courtesy DRF, by DRF Breeding Staff (Press release from Cabin Creek below [1/7])

New York-bred millionaire and Travers Stakes winner Thunder Rumble died on Jan. 6 following complications from an episode of colic at Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division in Greenfield Center, N.Y. The son of Thunder Puddles was 26.

Thunder Rumble, who was trained for the majority of his career by the late Richard O’Connell, captured three stakes races in the winter and early spring of 1992 at Aqueduct before a virus sent him to the sidelines during the spring classics. He returned for the major summer events at Saratoga Race Course, sweeping the Jim Dandy and the Travers.

An injury sustained while finishing seventh in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Classic cost Thunder Rumble the 1993 season. He returned in 1994 to win the Saratoga Cup Handicap, retiring at the end of that season with eight wins from 19 starts and earnings of $1,047,552.

Thunder Rumble entered stud in New York, where he stood his first four seasons before moving to Albemarle Stud in Free Union, Va. He returned to New York in 2002 to stand at Keane Stud in Amenia, N.Y., until he was pensioned in 2006. He arrived at Old Friends at Cabin Creek, a satellite for Georgetown, Ky.-based retirement organization Old Friends, in December 2009.

Thunder Rumble has sired 56 winners who have earned more than $3.9 million combined, led by stakes winner Frisky Thunder and stakes-placed winners On the Fan, Rumbling Girl, Deputy Shaker, Burning Rambo, December Thunder, and The Roscoe Rumble. He also sired Real Charmer, a champion in the Dominican Republic.

Thunder Rumble was buried at Old Friends at Cabin Creek.

“He was the most magnificent stallion I have ever met and am so thankful to have known him and loved him,” Cabin Creek’s JoAnn Pepper wrote in a statement on the farm’s Facebook page. “He is buried here, in his favorite place, under his pines. Be free, my friend, till we meet again.”


Press release from Cabin Creek:

Greenfield Center, NY–After 6 years of happy retirement at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, NY, Thunder Rumble, the 26 year old New York bred stallion and 1992 winner of The Travers passed away today with JoAnn and Mark Pepper and his loving family of caretakers and volunteers by his side. His passing was due to complications from colic. Thunder Rumble was the Alpha stallion at the farm and left an enduring impression on everyone he met. His illness and death was very sudden and JoAnn, Mark and all the volunteers who loved and cared for him during his last years are grieving his passing.

Thunder Rumble was the first stallion to call Old Friends at Cabin Creek his forever home and arrived in late 2009 during the retirement farm’s first year. He was foaled on March 31, 1989 at Braeburn Farm by breeder, Konrad Widmer. He was trained by Richard O’Connell, who always had many stories to tell about the feisty stallion. On Dec. 23, 1991 at Aqueduct, the 2 year old Thunder Rumble broke his maiden by 12 ¾ lengths . His winningest year was 1992 when he won the Jim Dandy Stakes, and the famed Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse with Herb McCauley aboard. To date Thunder’s time of 2:00 4/5 has not been beaten. Thunder Rumble was the first New York bred to win The Travers since 1867. He also won the Montauk Stakes, the Gate Dancer Stakes, and the Count Fleet Stakes. In 1994 Thunder won the Saratoga Cup Handicap with Richie Migliore aboard. In all, Thunder Rumble had 19 races with 8 firsts, 0 seconds, and 1 third. At stud he sired 10 small crops; his best foal was Frisky Thunder.

In 2012, during the 20th anniversary year of his Travers win, his beloved Ursula Widmer journeyed from Switzerland to visit him. They had a wonderful reunion. The Peppers and all the volunteers at Old Friends at Cabin Creek feel extremely honored to have cared for Thunder Rumble in his retirement years at the farm. The many visitors and fans who loved him made his last years very happy.

At the 6th Annual Birthday Party held last Saturday at the farm, Thunder Rumble greeted guests in all his beauty, glory and majesty showing everyone the striking horse who gave so much joy to those who visited him and cared for him.

Disco Rico Euthanized After Laminitis Battle

Saturday, December 20th, 2014
By Eric Mitchell

New York stallion Disco Rico was euthanized Dec. 18 after fighting a battle with laminitis for a couple years.

“He had such a will to live; it was amazing,” said owner Joe DiRico of the 17-year-old Disco Rico. The multiple graded stakes winner had repeated fought back from close calls with the disease particularly over the past year.

“I thought we would lose him three months ago, so I went to visit him and gave him peppermints and carrots, and we just hung out,” DiRico said. “When I got home, the vet called me and said he had improved and was walking much better.”

The son of Citidancer—Round It Off, by Apalachee, was deeply admired and respected by DiRico, who bought the colt with his father, Alfred, as a 2-year-old for $82,000 at the 1999 OBS March 2-year-olds in training sale.

Disco Rico would go on to win nine of his 17 starts and finish in the money 15 times. He won seven stakes, including the Maryland Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Pimlico Race Course and the Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. III) at Monmouth Park. He also placed second in the grade II General George Handicap and second in the grade III Amsterdam Stakes. The colt retired after three seasons of racing with $532,244 in earnings.

DiRico had Disco Rico enter stud in Maryland, where he had been bred by C. Oliver Goldsmith. He stood at Murmur Farm for six years, and then DiRico moved him to Keane Stud in New York in 2008 based on the growing state-bred program there. Out of 190 starters, Disco Rico sired 11 stakes winners and a total of 23 stakes horses.

His most successful progeny included multiple stakes winners At the Disco, who was his leading earner with $545,658, and six-time stakes winner Pure Disco. Both were homebreds raced by Patricia Generazio.

“The horse never owed me anything,” said DiRico. “He was a cool horse. He liked jelly donuts, and he liked to drink beer. My trainer could lie on his stomach when he was resting. They are all heartbroken at Keane.”