New York Stallion Focus: Bucchero & Provocateur new to McMahon for 2024

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2023

Multiple graded stakes winner Bucchero will relocated to McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds for the 2024 season. Serita Hult Photo.

*This is the first article in a new series from NYTB highlighting New York Stallions heading into the 2024 breeding season.

By Teresa Genaro 

Two black-type runners have joined the already prodigious stallion ranks at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, one with two crops of progeny on the ground, one who will begin his stud career in 2024. 

Multiple graded stakes winner Bucchero arrived at McMahon after standing for five years at Pleasant Acres Stallions near Ocala, FL. The Indiana-bred is the sire of three stakes winners this year, one on dirt, one on synthetic, and one on turf.

“As I see our business evolving over the next five to 10 years,” said John McMahon, manager of his family’s farm, “we’ve got to be thinking about synthetics, performance at the racetrack, and versatility with offspring. Bucchero ticks all those boxes.” 

Purchased in 2014 for $43,000 as a two-year-old by Southern Chase Farm for Ironhorse Stables, Bucchero debuted that year and finished first or second in six of his first seven races. In a career that would span five years, the chestnut son of Kantharos earned nearly $1 million and won seven stakes races, including consecutive wins in the Woodford Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select (G2). A winner on both dirt and turf, he is stakes-placed on synthetic, and he finished in the top three in 67% of his races. 

So far, he has passed on both his versatility and his precociousness to his progeny. 

“His foals tend to run early, and that’s what gets breeders attention,” said McMahon. “He’s a package that we can put in front of breeders that’s going to be appealing.”

Bucchero Stallion LLC, an entity that comprises the ownership that campaigned him, has retained ownership of Bucchero (pronounced boo-CARE-oh) and will be moving the mares they have in Florida to New York. They also recently purchased six mares to breed to him.

“We’ve lived the lives of small breeders,” said Harlan Malter, managing partner of Ironhorse Stables and Bucchero Stallion LLC. “We felt deep down that Bucchero had a lot that he could pass on to his progeny. He’s an old-school, put-me-in-the-gate kind of horse. He won a Grade 2 in October of his six-year-old year. He ran at 13 different tracks. He’s a sprinter that won two open Indiana-bred stakes at a mile and a sixteenth. He’s the kind of horse that anyone would want to own.”

Among Bucchero’s stand-out offspring is Book’em Danno, a New Jersey-bred gelding trained by Derek Ryan. After breaking his maiden by 9 1/2 lengths on debut at Monmouth Park in August, he won the Smoke Glacken Stakes at Monmouth, then targeted graded company in the Futurity Stakes (G3) at the Belmont at the Big A meet. He won the off-the-turf contest (thus downgraded to listed status) by 6 ½ and most recently ran second in the listed Nashua Stakes at Aqueduct, his lone loss in four starts. He’s earned $230, 625. 

“New York has such a fantastic program,” said Malter. “It’s been built to let everyone have a piece of the pie, and once Bucchero started to produce at the level he has, it made all the sense in the world to bring him to New York. I think New York deserves to get sires that small breeders can breed to and look forward to serious breeder awards.”

Bucchero will stand for $7,500.  

Provocateur takes the Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Lauren King/Coglianese Photos.

A year ago, McMahon and Hill Bloodstock purchased Provocateur for $200,000 at the Keeneland November sale of breeding stock. With his parents Joe and Anne, Mike McMahon raced the five-year-old four times this year before retiring him to their farm to stand. A $600,000 yearling purchase, Provocateur (Into Mischief) won the listed Hutcheson Stakes at Gulfstream Park at two and was third in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens Stakes presented by Mohegan Sun, running for MyRacehorse and Spendthrift Farm the following year. In a 14-race career, he compiled a record of 3-2-2 and earnings of $240,000.

Provocateur will be the second son of Into Mischief to stand in New York, following Honest Mischief’s arrival at Sequel Stallions for the 2021 breeding season. 

“He’s a very, very good-looking horse, very correct,” said Joe McMahon. “And of course everyone knows Into Mischief–he’s the leading stallion in North America. This is an exciting horse that ran in top company.” 

McMahon pointed to the success of Honest Mischief as a reason to expect success for Provocateur. 

“Honest Mischief is Grade 2-placed and got about 127 mares his first year,” he said. “And we think Provocateur’s race record is just as strong.”  

Provocateur will stand for $5,000.

Also standing at McMahon, Solomini will see his stud fee rise from $6,500 to $7,500 on the strength of his first crop on the track. The son of Curlin rounds out the national list of top 10 first-crop sires. The fees for both Central Banker and Redesale will remain at $7,500 and $2,500 respectively.  


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