NEWS: breeding

Laoban sires first New York-bred winner

Monday, August 3rd, 2020

Simply Ravishing rolls in debut to become first NY-bred winner for Laoban. NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Simply Ravishing followed her sire’s lead Sunday, breaking her maiden at Saratoga Race Course to become Laoban’s first New York-bred winner.

While Simply Ravishing’s win came in an actual maiden race instead of the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes like her sire, she showed a similar running style when racing second most of the way in the 1 1/16-mile turf race. Simply Ravishing proved a little green in the lane but with Luis Saez keeping her focused took over the lead at the top of the stretch. Saez stayed busy on the filly and she scored by a length over favorite Mrs Frankel in 1:44.76.

Simply Ravishing is the second winner for Laoban from eight runners, with half those runners placed in the top three in at least one of their starts. The filly is a third generation Saratoga winner, following the lead of her sire with grandsire Uncle Mo also winning on debut at this track in 2010.

Saratoga success runs on both sides of her family with damsire More Than Ready winning both his starts at Saratoga – including the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes.

Standing at Sequel New York, Laoban finished in the top three in four of his nine starts with a pair of placings on the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby trail when third in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes at Santa Anita Park and second in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct.

Laoban retired later that year with $526,250 in earnings and bred 122 mares in 2017 with 80 live foals according to The Jockey Club’s Live Foal Report. The stallion bred 91 mares in 2018 and 72 last year.

Bred in New York by Meg Levy, Simply Ravishing is the second foal for Four Wishes, who was purchased as a yearling for $28,000. Nearly doubling her dam’s purchase price, Simply Ravishing sold for $50,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling sale.

Added success for Fresco’s breeder Waterville Lake Stable

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Fresco, winner of last week’s Statue of Liberty division of the New York Stallion Series, is latest success for Waterville Lake Stable. Susie Raisher/NYRA

By Joe Clancy

When Dick Leahy and partner John Meriwether jumped into Thoroughbred racing, their Waterville Lake Stable bought 20 yearlings – and soon decided that was not the right business model.

“We had 16 colts and four fillies and after a couple years we asked ourselves, ‘What are we doing?’ If you have a well-bred colt that can’t run very fast, his value is close to zero,” Leahy said. “A filly that is well-bred that can run a little, you have some equity. You don’t have the home run, the stallion prospect, but you stay around for a longer period.”

So they thought a bit more long term, and changed strategies – a plan that lined up with Leahy’s profession in the investment world. He co-founded Episteme Capital, a global investment manager.

“What I do (for work) is quantitative and fundamental, both,” he said Thursday. “I think of racing and breeding as having some similarities where you’re digging into the data and not just making intuitive decisions but trying to look at as many pieces of data as you can.”

The result has meant racing and breeding success for Waterville Lake (Leahy and partners) and Oak Bluff Stable (Leahy, solo). They’ve bred or owned such New York-bred luminaries as Sea Foam, Therapist, Audible, Hessonite, Strike It Rich, Miss Valentine, Mariensky, Akilina and a $775,000 yearling of 2019 named Brattle House among others.

Add last week’s Statue of Liberty winner Fresco to the portfolio.

Owned by Oak Bluff, and trained by Christophe Clement, the 3-year-old filly lived up to her 1-2 odds with a score in the $100,000 Statue of Liberty Stakes – a division of the New York Stallion Series. The daughter of Freud came into the race a maiden, but that did little to discourage anyone from touting her quality off three prior starts – a third and a fourth in open company at Gulfstream Park and a second against New York-breds at Belmont Park in June.

“They were pretty salty races she was in, I was pleased every time she ran,” said Leahy. “Her last race (a nose defeat) I think she did hang, at least to me it seemed like she did. I even talked about it with Christophe. In training, I always wonder if we’re teaching some horses to stay with the other horse too much. Some horses want to put their heads in front. Others might not. They might think they’re being trained to stay with the other horse all the time. I’m not a trainer, so I don’t know . . . she ran away from them this time so maybe some just take a little longer to learn about it.”

There was no hanging Thursday. Fresco sat fifth of six early for Irad Ortiz Jr., angled outside off the turn and ran past Dixie Cannon to win by 1 ¾ lengths in 1:45.43 for 1 1/16 miles on the inner course. Nick Scissors was third.

A full-sister to $534,345 earner Therapist, Fresco is out of Lady Renaissance. The daughter of Smart Strike raced for Waterville Lake and Clement in 2006 and 2007 before being bred and offered for sale in 2009. Leahy paid $15,000 for her. Her first three foals to race (by Bernstein, War Front and Gio Ponti) won two races combined. The next, Therapist, picked up the slack with eight wins (seven stakes) including the open-company First Defence at Belmont June 7.

“She never won a stakes and only ran in one, but she had stakes caliber numbers and her career was cut a little short so we didn’t get there,” Leahy said of Lady Renaissance. “I just thought she looked pretty interesting and bought her. The program in New York is very attractive, Freud was there, he’s a full-brother to Giant’s Causeway and I thought that was an interesting match. We got Therapist.”

And now Fresco. The dark bay was part of a fast start to the meet for Clement, who won with nine of his first 21 starters to take a narrow lead in the standings. To Leahy, the success is much-deserved, as Clement has long been a key part of the breeder’s success. And the Clement barn was rocked by the death of 10 horses in a van accident on the New Jersey Turnpike June 7. The tractor trailer was on its way to New York from Florida when it struck a concrete divider and caught fire.

Waterville Lake runner Apogee died in the fire, and Leahy won’t forget the phone call from Clement afterward.

“When he called me he was in tears, and it wasn’t because he was concerned about my reaction,” the owner said. “It’s one thing to be the owner/breeder but you don’t live with them day in and day out. They’re like children to them. On that day, Therapist won the open stakes which was pretty exciting for me, yet it just didn’t have the same excitement that it otherwise would have had.

“Having success has hopefully been a little bit of a distraction from the devastation. I’m happy for him and everyone in the barn.”

Effinity rolls for Effinex’s first winner

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Zilla Racing’s Effinity rolls in second start to give the late sire Effinex his first winner. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Zilla Racing Stable’s Effinity improved off a runner-up effort in his debut to break his maiden Sunday at Saratoga Race Course and provide his late sire with his first winner.

Effinity, a son of Grade 1 winner and 2015 New York-bred Horse of the Year Effinex, won the second race, a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight for state-breds on the main track. Trained by Brad Cox, Effinity won by 4 lengths in 1:06.36.

He’s a member of the lone crop sired by Effinex, who stood his lone season at Questroyal North in New York and relocated to McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds in the latter half of the year. He died in October 2017 due to a ruptured pulmonary artery.

Effinex bred 110 mares in his lone season and was the sire of 41 live foals according to statistics from The Jockey Club’s Live Foal Report.

Bred in New York by Dr. Russell Cohen and raced by his Tri-Bone Stables, Effinex won nine of 28 starts with three seconds and four thirds and earned $3,312,950 over three seasons.

Effinex won stakes at 3, 4 and 5 – the Empire Classic Handicap in 2014, Grade 3 Excelsior, Grade 2 Suburban and Grade 1 Clark in 2015, and the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap and a second edition of Suburban in 2016. He also finished second to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland.

Bred in New York by Barry Ostrager, Effinity was foaled at Ostrager’s Questroyal North in Stillwater. Effinity is out of the Freud mare Letshootpool, who is also the dam of a yearling filly by Majestic City and a weanling colt by Majestic City. She was bred to Courageous Cat in 2020.

Tiz the Law to Stand at Ashford Stud Upon Retirement

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Credit Nancy Rokos

Courtesy of

Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Tiz The Law will stand at Coolmore America’s Ashford Stud upon his retirement, it was announced June 25. The son of Constitution  will continue to run for owners Sackatoga Stable throughout his racing career.

“Tiz The Law is the outstanding colt of his generation so we are obviously delighted he’ll be coming here,” said Coolmore America manager Dermot Ryan. “From day one when he broke his maiden at Saratoga, we have been watching him closely, and he has everything one looks for in a stallion prospect. We are grateful to Jack Knowlton and his partners in Sackatoga Stable for letting us be a part of such an exciting horse, and also to (trainer) Barclay Tagg, Robin Smullen, and their team who have done a tremendous job with him. He’s a grade 1-winning juvenile and is now a classic winner. Combined with his near perfect race record, he’s very good-looking and is a very well-bred individual.”

Constitution was second only to American Pharoah  on the freshman sire table last year and leads the way in 2020, while Tiz The Law’s dam Tizfiz was the winner of seven races, including the 2008 San Gorgonio Handicap (G2) carrying top weight of 118 pounds.

Bred in New York by Twin Creeks Farm, Tiz the Law was a $110,000 purchase by Knowlton from Sequel New York’s consignment to Fasig-Tipton’s New York-Bred Yearling Sale in 2018. He broke his maiden at first asking Aug. 8 at Saratoga Race Course and went on to race exclusively in graded stakes company, with a victory in the Oct. 5 Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park next out. His lone loss, a third in the Nov. 30 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) at Churchill Downs, was followed by a three-race win streak: the Feb. 1 Holy Bull Stakes (G3) and the March 28 Curlin Florida Derby (G1) at Gulfstream Park, and the June 20 Belmont Stakes in his most recent start.

Sackatoga Stable plans for Tiz the Law to run in the Aug. 8 Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1) at Saratoga, the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1), and the Oct. 3 Preakness Stakes (G1) en route to the Nov. 7 Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland.

“Tiz The Law is such a pleasure to be around. He impresses me every day with how easy he does everything; nothing is out of reach for him,” Tagg said of the grade 1 winner at 2 and classic winner at 3. “I have been training horses for such a long time, and I have never had a horse like him. He makes my life very easy. We are looking forward to running him in the Travers then on to the Derby and Preakness. He has achieved so much already and is a very exciting horse for the future, I wouldn’t change him for the world.”

“Sackatoga Stable is pleased that Tiz The Law will stand at Coolmore America’s Ashford Stud,” said Knowlton, operating manager of Sackatoga Stables. “It is an honor that he will become a part of the world’s largest breeding operation of Thoroughbred racehorses. We are excited to see what Tiz The Law has in store on the track for the remainder of his 3-year-old year and beyond, and then look forward to his career as a stallion at Ashford.”

From the Fund: Mare Movement, Your Foal’s Eligibility Depends on It

Friday, June 5th, 2020

From the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund

Dear Breeders and Farm Owners/Managers,

It is more important than ever that you inform the NYS Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund of the movement of mares into and out of the state. Failure to provide movement information to the Registrar in a timely manner could affect your ability to register your foal as a NY-bred.

Whether your mare is leaving the state to be bred or for a sale, we need to know about her location. Even for movements between farms within the state, please use the forms below to provide the Fund with information on the new location of your mare.

Since the rules regarding eligibility require that the broodmare be seen at her New York residence by our Registry Compliance Team (Tom Reynolds and Amanda Roberts), you must report a change in your mare’s location within 30 days of the move or within 30 days of her arrival in NYS.

  • New Mare Form – For new mares placed into service

This form is used to register new mares being placed into service in New York. After your mare has been entered into our database, a field inspector will be in contact with you to arrange a visit for identification purposes and assistance with any questions you may have regarding the guidelines for making the mare’s foal eligible to become a registered NY-bred.

  • Broodmare Leave of Absence Form – For protecting in-foal broodmares’ NY resident status when they leave the state for bloodstock sales

To protect their New York State “resident mare” status, in-foal broodmares may be granted a “leave of absence” when leaving the state for bloodstock sales. If returned to New York State within the guidelines of the leave of absence, the mare will be considered a resident mare regarding her in-utero foal.

“Leave of absence” – A mare may be removed from the state up to fifteen (15) days before the first day of the sale and must be returned to New York State no longer than fifteen (15) days after the last day of the sale.

  • Mare Movement (Departure) Form – For notifying of mare movement (departures)

Tell us the date the mare left her current farm and provide the name, location and contact information for her destination farm.

  • Mare Movement (Arrival) Form – For notifying of mare movement (arrivals)

Tell us the date the mare arrived at her new in-state farm and provide that farm’s name, location and contact information.

It should be noted that failure to provide this information within 30 days could result in a finding that the resulting foal is not eligible to be registered as a NY-bred. At the very least, it would necessitate providing transportation bills, board bills and/or vet bills to establish where the mare was previously located and to establish whether she returned to New York within 90 days of her last cover.

  • Foaling Form – For notifying us that a mare has given birth to a live foal

This helps us maintain an accurate count of foals and does not eliminate the need to inform the Jockey Club about the birth.

We hope this information will make it easier for you to use our website. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail or call me or Registrar Adam Lawrence.


Tracy Egan, Executive Director
Phone: 518.388.0174

Fund website:

Todd Yaeger, 50, passes unexpectedly

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020

Todd Yaeger (2nd from left) celebrates NY Champion Midnight Disguise with Stepwise Farm et al in 2018. Photo: Skip Dickstein.

(Obituary, courtesy Flynn Brothers Inc. Funeral Home)

Todd L. Yaeger, 50, a resident of Duncan Rd., [Gansevoort,] passed away unexpectedly Sunday, May 24, 2020 at home.

Born June 9, 1969 in Saratoga Springs, he was the son of Lawrence and Charlene Cramer Yaeger of Saratoga Springs. Todd was a graduate of Saratoga Springs High School and Hudson Valley Community College where he found his passion for manufacturing. He began working at Sandy Hill Manufacturing and was currently employed at AngioDynamics in Queensbury.

He discovered his love of horses working with his father and grandfather at the harness track and then at Stepwise Farm in Saratoga Springs. He continued his love of horses and racing by becoming an owner, assisting with training, and sharing his passion for horses with his family.

Todd was predeceased by his grandparents, Charles and Jeanne Cramer, Lucy Belle and Anton Yaeger; and his father-in-law, Edward Blonkowski.

In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife of 30 years, Nancy Yaeger of Gansevoort; 2 daughters, Stephanie and Morgan Yaeger of Gansevoort; his sister, Kelley (James) Weed II and their children, Collin and Madeline of Middle Grove; cousins, Sharon, Roy, and Ryan Cornelius of MA, Linda, Dan, Steven, and Greg Mohan of TX, and Gary and Wendy Craig of PA; sister-in-law, Joanne (Peter) Romano of Latham and their daughter Brittany (Jesse) Siminitz and great niece Eliose of VA;brother-in-law, Paul Blonkowski of FL; and his mother-in-law, Dolores Blonkowski of Ballston Spa.

A private service for the family will be held at Flynn Bros. Inc. Funeral Home, 13 Gates Ave., Schuylerville. Burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Schuylerville.

Memorials can be made in his memory to the Backstretch Employee Service Team of NY (B.E.S.T.), 2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Gate 6, Cottage 28B, Elmont, NY 11003 or at

There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by planting a tree in memory of Todd Yaeger.


Champion Sprinter La Verdad succumbs to colic

Monday, May 11th, 2020

Grade 2 Distaff (Coglianese Photos)

(via NYRA Communications)

ELMONT, N.Y. – Lady Sheila Stable, nom de course of Sheila Rosenblum, reported that Eclipse Award-winner La Verdad was humanely euthanized on Sunday due to complications of colic at the age of 10.

A statement from Lady Sheila Stable said, “The Eclipse Award winning champion gave birth to a healthy colt by Into Mischief on Monday, May 4th. After a few days of medical attention, she was humanely relieved of her distress this afternoon.”

The bay daughter of Yes It’s True was bred in the Empire State by Eklektikos Stable, who also campaigned her for her first four starts. La Verdad was named Champion Female Sprinter in 2015 after winning five-of-eight starts, including graded scores in the Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct Racetrack and the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom and Grade 3 Vagrancy at Belmont Park. She completed the memorable campaign with a runner-up effort in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Keeneland.

She also earned New York-bred honors in 2015 as Champion Older Female & Champion Female Sprinter.

“She was more than my Champion mare, who was full of class. She was more than a horse to me. I loved her,” said Rosenblum. “I am broken hearted.”

Trained throughout her career by Linda Rice, La Verdad raced almost exclusively in New York, venturing outside of the Empire State just twice in a 25-race career that saw the talented bay post a record of 16 wins and three seconds with purse earnings of $1,563,200. She was piloted through 23 of those starts by Jose Ortiz, while his brother, Irad Ortiz, Jr., guided the mare on two occasions.

A winner at second asking on April 7, 2013 at the Big A, La Verdad won nine of her first 11 starts. Her four career graded wins also included a victory in the 2014 Grade 2 Distaff Handicap at Aqueduct.

La Verdad with 2020 Into Mischief colt foaled 5/4 (Kathy Landman)

She recorded seven non-graded stakes victories in her four-year racing career starting in 2014 when she captured the Broadway at Aqueduct, along with the Critical Eye, Dancin Renee and Iroquois at Belmont Park. In 2015, La Verdad defended her title in the Dancin Renee and Iroquois at Belmont Park and she completed her career on January 9, 2016 with a victory in the Interborough at Aqueduct Racetrack.

“La Verdad was not only a racehorse. She was a symbol,” said the statement. “She represented women in racing. As a mare. As a horse trained by Linda Rice and owned by Sheila Rosenblum. And she represented our state and our tracks, as a NY bred never hesitating in the face of competition.”

The New York Racing Association, Inc., (NYRA) named a stakes race in La Verdad’s honor in 2018 offered at a distance of seven furlongs on the Aqueduct main track where the mare won on eight occasions.

La Verdad has produced four foals including three fillies along with the recent Into Mischief colt. Her first foal, La Kara Mia, a 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, is in training with Rice at Belmont Park.

McMahon of Saratoga announces stallion open house to celebrate fiftieth anniversary

Thursday, February 27th, 2020

(Edited McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds press release)

Saratoga Springs, NY—McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds is celebrating 50 years of Equine Excellence in 2020. To kick off the golden anniversary the farm announced it will host a Stallion Open House on Sunday, March 8 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Breeders will be able to inspect McMahon’s 2020 leading NY Stallion Central Banker and the latest stallion addition, Solomini, a multiple Grade 1 two-year-old by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.

Joining them for his first season at McMahon is Redesdale, who stood at Hidden Lake Farm in 2019, his first year at stud. “Redesdale bred 81 mares in 2019,” said Joe McMahon. “With his breeding, being by Speightstown and out of a graded stakes-winning full sister to Danehill, there is just loads of upside to him.”

Attendees are encouraged to arrive with broodmare pedigrees as the farm will be offering Open House-Day Deals, including foal shares, mare share, and co-breeder contracts for approved mares. Bonus seasons with signed contracts, and loyalty discounts will be offered.

Central Banker, the second leading North American third crop sire by cumulative dirt earnings leads the roster in stud fee at $7,500, Solomini stands for $6,500, Redesdale at $5,000 and champion sire Teuflesberg is $3,000. All fees are live foal.

Light refreshments will be served.

For details contact McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds (518) 587-3426.

Sequel announces Arindel Farm’s support for Union Jackson

Friday, February 7th, 2020

© Barbara Livingston

(Edited Sequel press release)

Arindel Farm, a leading Florida based owner/breeder,  has joined Sequel Stallions New York in support of Union Jackson. Twelve mares from the farm in Florida will go to New York to be bred to the Stonestreet son of Curlin.

“The exceptionally speedy Union Jackson is not only by two-time Horse of the Year and exceptional sire, Curlin, he is out of Hot Dixie Chick, who was not only the fastest two-year-old filly of her crop but is also half-sister to Grade 1 Kentucky Derby victor Always Dreaming. He presents the perfect opportunity for us to really double down on the New York program,” explains Arindel Farm’s Brian Cohen. “I can’t imagine a better team than Sequel New York and Stonestreet who have already been supporting the stallion with very nice mares.”

“We couldn’t be more excited about the Arindel mares coming to Union Jackson this year. Many of them are by their stallion Brethren which is a perfect cross. Not only are they physically a good match for him, but they are also from some very nice families,” said Becky Thomas. “There are stakes winners and stakes producers including the full-sister to Grade 1 stakes winner Bustin Stones and current multiple stakes winner Cookie Dough, a half to multiple Grade 1 stakes winner and millionaire Lava Man and a half to Grade 1 stakes winner Dialed In.”

A son of two-time horse of the year and champion sire Curlin, out of Grade 1 stakes winner Hot Dixie Chick, half-sister to Grade 1 Kentucky Derby Winner Always Dreaming, Union Jackson was bred in Kentucky by Barbara Banke’s Grace Thoroughbred Holdings, campaigned by her Stonestreet Stables, and trained by Steve Asmussen.

Union Jackson broke his maiden by 7 3/4 lengths going six furlongs at Keeneland becoming a TDN Rising Star. He went on to win an 8 1/4-length score in the Sam Houston Sprint Cup Stakes and a victory in the Iowa Sprint Handicap, which he took while running six furlongs in 1:08.75. On the board in 9 of 11 starts, he won 6 races by over a combined 27 lengths with earnings of $273,874.

Union Jackson was New York’s most popular first crop sire in 2018 by number of mares bred (78) and his first crop are yearlings of 2020. He stands at Sequel Stallions New York for a 2020 fee of $5,000.

The Lieutenant’s first foal is a filly

Wednesday, February 5th, 2020

Photo courtesy Sequel Stallions

By Sarah Mace

The first foal by late stallion The Lieutenant is a filly born Saturday, February 1 at Keane Stud for breeder Meadow Hill Lane Farm.

She is out of Keysong, a Kentucky-bred winner by Songandaprayer who has already produced a winner. Keysong’s second foal, Kentucky-bred Song of the Nile by Pioneerof the Nile, brought $575,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September yearling sale. Keysong is a half-sister to Pebble Stakes winner Miss Catalyst and from the family of 1978 Eclipse champion 3-year-old filly Tempest Queen.

“We will cherish every foal we get by The Lieutenant and are very happy that the first one came to one of our favorite New York breeders, Meadow Hill Lane Farm,” said Sequel owner Becky Thomas.

A talented, graded stakes-winning miler, The Lieutenant by Street Sense was a half-brother to Triple Crown winner Justify. Tragically, he was among four stallions killed at Haras Barlovento in Cañete, Peru after farm invasion on Dec. 21.