NEWS: breeding

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.”

New York farms offer full slate of open houses / stallion shows in January

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Eight New York farms will be hosting open houses/stallion shows in January, 2015. An alphabetical listing of dates and times follows so breeders can plan their visits.

Dutchess Views, near Pine Plains
Jan. 17, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
Big Brown, Heavy Breathing, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
(518) 398-5666

Keane Stud, near Amenia
Jan. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Frost Giant, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
(845) 373-9601
Click here for invitation.

McMahon of Saratoga, near Saratoga Springs
Jan. 24-25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
(518) 587-3426

Millcreek Farm, near Stillwater
Jan. 24, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
(518) 584-9457

Questroyal Stud, near Claverack
Jan. 24-25, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
(518) 828-0777

Rockridge Stud, near Hudson
Jan. 31, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Drawings will be held for one free season to each stallion.
(518) 851-6616

Saratoga Stud, near Stillwater
Jan. 24-25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
(518) 573-2304
Click here for invitation.

Sequel Stallions, near Hudson
Jan. 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
(800) 925-2913


Rockridge Stud announces 2015 fees

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Lere Visagie’s Rockridge Stud in Hudson has announced 2015 stud fees for its six stallions:

D’ Funnybone: $2,500 LFSN
Giant Surprise: $2,500 LFSN
Honorable Dillon: $5,000 LFSN
Posse: $5,000 LFSN
Soaring Empire: $3,500 LFSN
Trinniberg: $7,500 LFSN

Champion Big Brown to take up residence at Dutchess Views Farm

Friday, November 14th, 2014
Edited Press Release

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown, who ranks among North America’s leading third-crop sires and has nine stakes winners this year, will stand at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains in 2015. His introductory fee will be $8,500.

Currently on shuttle duty at Vinery Stud in Australia, Big Brown is due to arrive at Dutchess Views in late December and will be available for inspection by breeders in the beginning of the New Year.

“We have entered into a synergistic relationship with Dutchess Views,” said Andrew Cohen of Sunrise Stallions, which also stands Heavy Breathing at the farm. “We have been impressed with how owners and managers Michael Lischin and Anya Sheckley have handled Heavy Breathing, and we are looking forward to a great beginning in New York with Big Brown. He is the most accomplished horse ever to stand in the state and he will be an outstanding option for New York breeders.”

“We have been standing stallions in New York for 17 years. Big Brown is as exciting a stallion as I have seen come to New York,” Lischin said. “Not only has he already had numerous quality stakes horses, he also is represented by several very promising young horses that could make an impact on the national racing scene in the coming months.”

Big Brown’s versatile daughter Puca, a fast-closing third to eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Lady Eli in a Saratoga maiden race on grass and a 16-length winner at Belmont Park on dirt, finished well after being blocked in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. Trained by Bill Mott, she wound up only about three lengths behind winner Take Charge Brandi after her troubled trip.

Dortmund, a juvenile colt by Big Brown trained by Bob Baffert, proved much the best in his promising debut at Santa Anita on November 2. Nicky’s Brown Miss, a two-year-old Big Brown filly, won the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes and was third in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Big Brown’s offspring also are making a mark around the world. His son Darwin, a $1.3 million purchase by Coolmore, finished only about a length behind European Horse of the Year Kingman while third in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes. Apollo Sonic, co-bred in New York by Cohen, finished a strong third in Japan’s most coveted race, the Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), last year.

Another son of Big Brown, Big Wildcat, is a group stakes winner and Group 1-placed in Brazil. From his early Australian runners, Big Brown already has sired stakes-placed fillies Wroclaw and Muscovado. In South Africa, Big Brown’s son Masnoon helped international trainer Mike de Kock set a record for juvenile winners for 2014 season.

Sunrise Stallions and Gary Tolchin’s Golden Goose Enterprises recently acquired a majority interest in Big Brown and decided to stand the nine-year-old son of Boundary in New York. Cohen and Tolchin both were principal owners of Big Brown during his racing career, and they also stand 2012 New York record-breaking freshman sire Frost Giant, a full brother to Heavy Breathing, at Keane Stud in Amenia.

Big Brown, the champion colt of his generation after also winning the Florida Derby and Haskell Invitational Stakes, previously stood at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky.

McMahon of Saratoga formally introduces Central Banker, announces 2015 stud fees

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014
(Edited Press Release)

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds formally announced the addition of Central Banker to its stallion roster Tuesday, in addition to the 2015 fees for all the stallions at the farm. The McMahons purchased Central Banker near the conclusion of Monday’s seventh session of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale for a session-topping $400,000 (Hip 2494).

A Grade 2 winner of $598,786 by leading sire Speightstown, Central Banker recorded three triple digit Beyers at 3 and 4, including his lifetime best 107 Beyer in his win in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes over Shakin It Up on Kentucky Derby day 2014. The four-year-old out of multiple stakes winner Rhum, by Go For Gin, is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Gantry ($822,531) and Song of Pirates, multiple stakes placed.

Joe McMahon commented, “Central Banker will be one of New York’s most exciting stallions for 2015. He broke his maiden at two in Saratoga and at three he was third in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes when forced to go five wide. He ran a 105 Beyer when second in the Grade 1 Malibu and a 107 Beyer winning the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on Derby Day.” Joe’s son Mike added, “Central Banker showed his versatility by winning or placing 9 times in 13 starts at 9 different racetracks. We love his 1 3/4 Ragozin. That is freakishly fast!”

Bred by WinStar Farm, LLC, the $200,000 Keeneland September yearling raced for Klaravich Stables, Inc. and William H. Lawrence, and was trained by Albert M. Stall, Jr.

Central Banker will remain in KY for viewing until the end of the November Sale. He is located at Mike and Natanya McMahon’s Spruce Lane Farm, in Versailles KY, and is available for inspection from noon to three with light refreshments available. Central Banker will stand for $7,500 live foal.

2015 stallion roster and fees for McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds:

CATIENUS $2,000 live foal
CENTRAL BANKER $7,500 live foal
HERE COMES BEN $7,500 live foal
JUSTENUFFHUMOR $2,500 live foal
TEUFLESBERG $5,000 live foal
THE CLIFF’S EDGE $2,500 live foal

McMahon of Saratoga goes to $400,000 to acquire Grade 2 winner Central Banker

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
(Edited Press Release)

Grade 2 winner Central Banker will enter stud next year in New York at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, which purchased the 4-year-old son of Speightstown for $400,000 during Monday’s seventh session of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale (Hip 2494). The amount was the highest price paid during the session.

Claiborne Farm, agent, consigned Central Banker, the third-to-last horse offered Monday. He is out of the stakes-winning Go for Gin mare Rhum and is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Gantry and stakes-placed Song of Pirates.

Mike McMahon said the purchase price “was a little higher” than initially planned, “but it’s competitive to buy stallions. He’s a very nice Speightstown, just a beautifully balanced horse.”

Among Central Banker’s four wins in 13 starts was this year’s Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes. In 2013, he was second in the Grade 1 Malibu and third in the Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop. Central Banker earned $598,786.

With the purchase of Central Banker, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds was the session’s leading buyer.

Juvenile Grade 2 stakes winner Santiva relocates to Questroyal North

Friday, November 7th, 2014
(Edited Press Release)

Questroyal North has announced the arrival of Grade 2 stakes winner Santiva to stand in New York. The stakes-winning multiple graded stakes performing son of Giant’s Causeway, the 2014 Leading Sire of 2-year-olds and perennial leading sire and sire of sires, will stand the 2015 season at Questroyal North in Stillwater.

Santiva finished second as a maiden in the Grade 1 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland as a 2-year-old. He then broke his maiden in his next start in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes at Churchill Downs at the direct expense of 7-10 favorite Astrology, who would finish third in the Preakness the next season.

In his first start at three, Santiva finished second in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds behind Mucho Macho Man, who would go on to win the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Classic en route to runner-up honors as Horse of the Year. Santiva rallied from 11th place in a field of 19 to miss fifth by a nose in the Kentucky Derby. He was retired after 10 starts with earnings of $266,097.

Santiva’s dam, the Smarten mare Slide, is out of the 16-time winner Safely Home, and is a half-sister to Champion Sprinter Safely Kept, a 24-time winner (Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1, Test S-G1, etc.), and earner of $2.1 million; and also to Graded stakes-winner Partner’s Hero and multiple stakes-placed Safe At the Plate.

“We are thrilled to add Santiva to the Questroyal stallion roster”, Barry Ostrager said. “New York breeders should welcome the opportunity to breed to one of Giant’s Causeway’s most precocious sons.”

Santiva will stand the 2015 season for $2,500 live foal. His first foals will be yearlings of 2015. For more information call (518) 541-3280, or email

Champion & dual Classic winner Big Brown to stand in NY in 2015

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Big Brown, champion 3-year-old of 2008 when he won the first two legs of the Triple Crown and a leading third-crop sire, will stand the 2015 season in New York.

A majority interest in the 9-year-old son of Boundary, the sire of nine 2014 stakes winners and recent Bob Baffert-trained Santa Anita Park 2-year-old winner Dortmund, has been acquired by Andrew Cohen’s Sunrise Stables and Gary Tolchin’s Golden Goose Enterprises. Both were involved in the ownership of Big Brown during his racing career.

“In becoming the first horse in history to win the Kentucky Derby (Presented by Yum! Brands) (gr. I) from post 20 while earning the best Ragozin number in Derby history, Big Brown showed us what an extraordinary runner he was, and his Preakness Stakes (gr. I) victory was just as impressive,” Cohen said. “As a sire he has given us stakes winners at a wide variety of distances and surfaces, and he has had grade/group I runners in three countries.

“Some of his most successful performers have been New York-breds and/or from New York-bred connections. We believe that between Big Brown and Frost Giant, we are offering New York breeders the best stallion choices for their mares.”

Big Brown will stand his first season in New York for an introductory fee of $8,500. Sunrise and Golden Goose, which developed and stand record-breaking New York freshman sire Frost Giant, will announce the location where Big Brown will stand in the near future.

Also the winner of the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I), Florida Derby (gr. I), and the Monmouth Stakes on grass, Big Brown earned $3,614,500 during his racing career. He has stood his entire stud career at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky.

Currently, Big Brown is tied for second behind Curlin  among all third-crop sires in North America with his nine 2014 stakes winners, and his progeny have earned $3,342,697 this year, ranking him seventh among his peers. His progeny earnings would rank him fourth among all New York-based sires, with the three leaders having significantly more runners on track.

Overall, Big Brown has sired 12 stakes winners in his first three crops of racing age, an additional nine stakes-placed runners, and the earners of more than $7,397,000.

Bred by Gary Knapp’s Monticule, he is out of the Nureyev mare Mien and is from the female family of champion Hidden Lake.

Big Brown, who has also shuttled to Vinery Australia for Southern Hemisphere duty, stands at 16.1 hands.

Honorable Dillon, G2 Winning Son of Tapit, to stand at Rockridge Farm

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
(Edited Press Release)

Honorable Dillon, winner of the 2013 Grade 2 Hutcheson Stakes, will stand in 2015 at Lere Visagie’s Rockridge Farm in Hudson. Honorable Dillon raced in the colors of New Yorker Joe Bucci and is a Grade 2 winning son of Tapit.

Said Visagie,  “We are excited to stand such a high caliber race horse and the son of North America’s number one stallion, Tapit, at our farm in New York. Honorable Dillon very closely resembles his sire in almost every way and we believe that he gives New York breeders every reason to stay in New York and breed into the most prolific sire line in the U.S.”

Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock who brokered the deal between his European clients and Rockridge Farm said, “Honorable Dillon is an absolutely beautiful horse and breeders that come to see him will certainly want to breed to him.”

Metanovic added, “The owners are putting their money where their mouth is and are announcing two ground-breaking incentive programs for New York breeders.”

The first incentive, known as the “REAL Award” program, passes on 100% of the New York Stallion Awards earned to the breeders if their mare is booked to Honorable Dillon prior to January 1, 2015 for the 2015 breeding season. The second, “Real Profit” program, guarantees breeders $20k-$30k for healthy weanlings they breed from graded stakes-winning or producing mares. “Both of these programs provide NY breeders with REAL money if they breed proper babies,” Metanovic said.

Honorable Dillon will stand for $5,000 live foal, payable stands & nurses.

Musket Man to relocate to Waldorf Farm

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
By Sarah Mace

Musket Man, a Grade 2-winning son of Yonaguska, will relocate from Elite Thoroughbreds in Louisiana, where he entered stud in 2011, to Dr. Jerry Bilinski’s Waldorf Farm in North Chatham for the 2015 breeding season. His fee will be $2,500.

Bred by in Kentucky by Jim E. Nelson and Sergio De Sousa, 8-year-old Musket Man is out of Fortuesque, a stakes placed daughter of Fortunate Prospect from the family of Grade 1-winning millionaire Ron the Greek.

Campaigned by majority owner Eric Fein, Musket Man went undefeated in two races at two. During the 2009 Kentucky Derby prep season, after finishing third in the Grade 3 Sam Davis Stakes, Musket Man went on to win both the Grade 2 Illinois Derby Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby. In the Classics, he finished third in both the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby and Grade 1 Preakness Stakes.

Musket Man won two other stakes races at four and placed in six additional graded stakes, including seconds in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap and Grade 1 Carter Handicap, and a third in the Grade 1 Whitney Handicap. He retired with a record of six wins, three seconds and five thirds from sixteen starts and earned $1,236,820.

Fittingly, the first winner and first stakes winner for Musket Man was Ostrolenka, a New York-bred homebred for Eric Fein who followed a blowout fourteen-plus maiden-breaking score at Belmont Park on September 28 with a victory in the Sleepy Hollow Stakes for New York-bred juveniles on Showcase Day. Musket Man currently sits at number eighteen in the first crop sire rankings.

“We are very pleased to have a stallion of his stature coming to New York to complement the stallion power this state deserves with the improvement of the quality of racing and our New York breeding program,” said Dr. Jerry Bilinski.