NEWS: breeding

Star sire Laoban dies at 8

Thursday, May 27th, 2021
Laoban winning the Jim Dandy at Saratoga. Credit Coglianese Photos.

Laoban winning the Jim Dandy at Saratoga. Coglianese Photos.

By Evan Hammonds

Laoban, a star from the first crop of Uncle Mo and the leading freshman sire in New York in 2020, died unexpectedly at WinStar Farm in Central Kentucky, it was reported May 24. Laoban, winner of the 2016 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga and the sire of two graded stakes winners in his first crop, was just 8.

Laoban, out of the Speightstown mare Chattertown, was bred in Kentucky by Respite Farm and was a $40,000 purchase by Milfer Farm at the 2013 Keeneland November sale. GEM Stables bought him from the Legacy Bloodstock consignment at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale for $260,000. He was campaigned by McCormick Racing and Southern Equine Stables and trained by Eric Guillot. His lone win from nine starts came in the Jim Dandy, but he was well regarded—all seven of his starts at 3 came in graded stakes company. He placed in Santa Anita’s Sham Stakes (G3) and Aqueduct’s Gotham Stakes (G3).

One of 27 black-type stakes winners from the first crop of Uncle Mo, Laoban was a perfect fit for the New York market, he was syndicated in a joint venture among Southern Equine Stables, Sequel Thoroughbreds, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, and Woodford Thoroughbreds. He stood his first three seasons for $7,500.

“Outstanding physical, son of a freaky sire, speed to burn, and a great ownership group,” said Woodford Thoroughbreds’ Matt Lyons. “A no-brainer.”

“He looks just like Uncle Mo. He’s gorgeous,” said Sequel Stallions’ Becky Thomas in late 2016. “The mares that will be presented to him will be second-to-none as we intend for him to follow in the footsteps of current leading freshman sire Mission Impazible. Laoban offers a unique breed-back option to our Kentucky clients as well as a perfect reason for your New York breeders to stay home.”

She was spot on. Laoban had 79 foals from his first crop. Last year he was represented by 13 winners from 36 starters and had three stakes winners. His $1,559,748 in progeny earnings ranked him second on the national first-crop sires list and that total was good enough for him to rank fifth on the overall New York sires list.

The star of the crop has been Simply Ravishing, who was bred by Meg Levy and raced by Harold Lerner, Magdalena Racing, and Nehoc Stables. After winning the P. G. Johnson Stakes at Saratoga in early September, she made the big time with her 61/4-length score Oct. 2  in Keeneland’s Darley Alcibiades Stakes (G1). Later that month Laobanonaprayer won the first of two stakes races for New York-breds. In late November, Keepmeinmind scored in the Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) after finishing second in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (G1).

Such a stellar performance by a first-crop sire had Kentucky farms inquiring, and a deal was announced in October 2020 to move Laoban to WinStar Farm, where he stood for $25,000.

“My phone lit up before the filly crossed the wire at Keeneland,” said Becky Thomas of Sequel Stallions. “In the following days we were overwhelmed with calls from all of the very top stallion farms in Kentucky.

“Laoban is stamping his foals and proving to be a cookie-cutter of the Uncle Mo style of stretch and athleticism. Since receiving the foals from New York, they certainly looked the part, but once we started training them at Winding Oaks, I knew he was going to be something special. Then, for him to become the first New York stallion to sire a grade 1 winner in his first crop is absolutely incredible. It is truly a humbling experience to be a part of what is becoming such an important young stallion.”

This year Laoban ranks second on the second-crop sires list.


A chemist and a dentist bred a Derby horse

Wednesday, April 28th, 2021

Cheryl Prudhomme and Michael Gallivan, breeders of Kentucky Derby contender Brooklyn Strong, at Saratoga Race Course. Photo provided.

By Paul Halloran

Cheryl Prudhomme and Michael Gallivan had lengthy professional careers that had nothing to do with horse racing – Prudhomme as a chemist and Gallivan a dentist. Yet, horses were part of their lives since their youth and they couldn’t ignore what Gallivan calls a “passion” for equines, nor would they ever try.

Their paths first crossed at a New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.’s Awards Dinner in 2005. They have been working together for 15 years and were married in 2015. They are the quintessential small breeders, keeping about 10 broodmares on their Shamrock Hill Farm in Fort Edward, about 15 miles northeast of Saratoga.

They do almost all of the work themselves – from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year – tending to the horses and everything else that comes with running a farm, from replacing fencing to repairing sheds. At least one of them is there virtually at all times.

“We haven’t left the farm together in five years,” Prudhomme said.

That will change this weekend.

Prudhomme and Gallivan will make the 800-mile trip from Fort Edward to Louisville, dropping off and picking up a few mares and foals, with a very important stop Saturday to watch their wildest dream come true.

Brooklyn Strong carries hopes and dreams of small breeders and their community in Saturday’s 147th Kentucky Derby. Photo provided.

When Brooklyn Strong breaks from the starting gate in the 147th Kentucky Derby, he will be carrying more than the 126 pounds assigned to the horses in the Run for the Roses. The gelding that Prudhomme and Gallivan bred and foaled will be bearing the hopes and dreams of his small-town connections who, for one day at least, will be playing in the biggest of leagues.

“We were a nervous wreck before the Wood Memorial,” said Prudhomme. “I’m still trying to figure out what the Kentucky Derby will be like. It’s going to be so exciting. It’s almost surreal.”

“It’s a dream but that’s all it is – a remote dream,” said Gallivan, who was a practicing dentist for 47 years and retired from his “real” job only a few months ago. “People spend millions trying to get a Derby horse.”

It cost Mark Schwartz only $5,000 to buy Brooklyn Strong at the 2020 OBS Spring sale of 2-year-olds in training; he spent 10 times that to enter the Derby. Prudhomme and Gallivan shelled out $10,000 to breed their mare Riviera Chic to Wicked Strong, resulting in the birth of a bay foal on Jan. 20, 2018 at Shamrock Hill. Three years later, he will be one of 20 horses from the 2018 crop of 19,664 North American foals to run in the biggest race in the world; that’s .1 percent.

“We don’t have expensive mares and we can’t afford expensive stallions. But we do a good job and our horses always run,” said Prudhomme, who grew up in the Greater Boston area, went to a small Catholic high school (Saint Clement, now closed) and earned a full scholarship to Regis College, where she majored in chemistry.

They have bred stakes horses, including Meriwether Jessica, who won the 2010 Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga Race Course and ran second in the Grade 3 Tempted Stakes in 2007 at Aqueduct; and Bellacourt, who ran third to My Miss Aurelia in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga in 2011. They chose to breed to Wicked Strong with the idea of producing a horse that could run long. A Kentucky Derby starter? That’s another story altogether.

Cheryl Prudhomme and Michael Gallivan hosted a group of nuns from the Daughters of Mary order at Shamrock Hill Farm in Fort Edward. Photo provided.

“A million things can go wrong,” said Gallivan, who grew up in Guilderland and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy, Providence College and Temple University’s Kornberg School of Dentistry. “This horse happens to have a good owner and an up-and-coming trainer (Danny Velazquez).”

For the breeders, the road to the Derby has been one marked with elbow grease and endurance. Prudhomme cashed in her 401K to buy the farm, but still commuted back and forth to Massachusetts to work for a few years in order to make ends meet. Gallivan, who got his equine education from champion show horse trainers Joe Stewart and John Bell, recalls struggling through dental school with the support of his first wife, Margaret.

“That’s when I learned about poverty,” he said. “If you don’t experience the valleys, you never appreciate the peaks.”

A friend convinced Gallivan, who has five children and seven grandchildren, to attend that New York Breeders event, hoping to cheer him up after Margaret’s death in 2003. He saw Prudhomme again at a horse auction a month later, took her to dinner at the Anvil Inn in Fort Edward for their first date, and they went to the Travers together (surviving a pungent ride caused by Gallivan stepping in dog excrement at the farm). They were together 10 years before formalizing the arrangement in a ceremony on the farm.

On Saturday, they will pull into Churchill Downs in their Dodge pick-up truck and take their place among blue-blood breeders including Juddmonte, Stonestreet, Phipps, Godolphin and Calumet. Prudhomme said she typically cries at “My Old Kentucky Home” when she is watching on TV. She has no idea what state she will be in when she hears it live, but she knows she will never forget it.

“For a horse from Fort Edward to make it to the Kentucky Derby is unbelievable,” she said.

But not impossible.


First mares in foal to Honest Mischief

Thursday, March 11th, 2021

Honest Mischief (outside), standing his first season in 2021 at Sequel Stallions New York, has first mares checked in foal. Coady Photography.

Stakes winner Honest Mischief, who started his stud career last month at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson, has his first mares in foal.

The mares in foal include the winning Exchange Rate mare Tradeable and Caragh Queen, an unraced daughter of Hard Spun and half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Always Dream, for breeder William J. Butler.

Others are Dobra, a Smoke Glacken mare who won nine races and $202,681 for Ron Lombardi’s Mr. Amore Stables and Delta Delight, a Union Rags half-sister to graded stakes winner and $463,340-earner JJ’s Lucky Train for breeder Allen Poindexter.

“We are happily overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of support that we are getting for our exciting new sire,” said Sequel’s Becky Thomas. “And we are thrilled that the first mares sent by some of our favorite breeders are in foal so early. We hope they get another Firenze Fire and A Freud of Mama to run here in New York.”

Honest Mischief, a 4-year-old son of Into Mischief out of the Grade 1-winning Seattle Slew mare Honest Lady, stands for $6,500 LFSN for a syndicate. Honest Lady is a half sister to classic winner and top sire Empire Maker, along with sires Chester House and Decarchy.

Bred and campaigned by Juddmonte Farms, Honest Mischief won four of nine starts with three seconds and a third for $287,464.


Naughty New Yorker back to Empire State for retirement

Thursday, March 11th, 2021

Naughty New Yorker, New York-bred Horse of the Year and champion 4-year-old and up male in 2007, returned to the Empire State after being pensioned in Canada. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Graded stakes winner and champion New York-bred Naughty New Yorker recently returned to his home state after being pensioned from stud duty in Canada.

The 19-year-old son of Quiet American arrived at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center just outside Saratoga Springs this week after standing at Chris Blake’s Ascot Stud in Port Colborne, Ontario. Naughty New Yorker entered stud at Ascot in 2012 after a 67-start career that saw him win 11 stakes and earn $1,089,884.

“We have great news,” Old Friends posted on its Facebook page. “Naughty New Yorker has arrived. He has retired from stud duty at Ascot Stud in Ontario and we wanted him to come back to New York!! He’s beautiful. We look forward to opening back up for tours soon. Stay tuned for details!!”

Naughty New Yorker finished 83rd on Canada’s general sire list in 2020 and had his best showing on that table in 2017 when he ranked 66th. He sired Dirty Dozen, a Pennsylvania-bred who compiled a record of 6-8-5 from 45 starts and earned $121,245; New York Mint, an Ontario-bred two-time winner and earner of $29,855; and Almost Dancer, another Ontario-bred winner who earned $14,293.

Bred by Dr. William Wilmot and Dr. Joan Taylor of Stepwise Farm, Naughty New Yorker was purchased by Fox Ridge Farm for $145,000 at the 2004 OBS March sale of 2-year-olds in training. Campaigned by Fox Ridge and trained throughout his career by Pat Kelly, Naughty New Yorker compiled a record of 12-10-10 over eight seasons.

Naughty New Yorker won three of 11 with one second and two thirds, earning $271,799, in 2007 en route to being named New York-bred Horse of the Year and champion 4-year-old and up male. He also helped his dam, the Known Fact mare Naughty Natisha, earned New York Broodmare of the Year honors in 2007.

Stepwise purchased Naughty Natisha, in foal to champion and Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled, for $150,000 at the 1998 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. She produced eventual stakes winner Pupil on that mating and later produced stakes-placed winner Deceived and Unavenged, a five-time winner and earner of $861,747 in Japan.

Naughty Natisha also produced winners Thin Disguise, Carthon, Elusive New Yorker, Fast and Furious, Jacob’s Arch, all bred or co-bred in New York by Wilmot and Taylor. Thin Disguise is the dam of multiple stakes winner and 2018 champion New York-bred 3-year-old filly Midnight Disguise and Grade 3 winner, $662,774-earner and 2018 champion New York-bred older dirt female and female sprinter Holiday Disguise.


Windylea Farm looks to maintain momentum into 2021

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021

Windylea Farm’s Jemography, a 5-year-old New York-bred gelding by New York sire Big Brown, wins Feb. 4 allowance at Aqueduct. NYRA Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

When Phil O’Neill thought about buying another farm to expand his Vermont-based Windylea Farm operation, it only made sense to expand into New York.

A mainstay in New York racing for more than 40 years, O’Neill found a perfect property just a few miles from the original Bennington, Vt., farm in nearby Hoosick Falls, N.Y., in 2017. That move saw Windylea’s New York farm take over as the home of the operation’s broodmares.

“When you look back at the stability of the New York program and the longevity of it, it made perfect sense [to buy the New York farm],” said Kip O’Neill, Windylea Farm’s controller. “Where we’re located in Vermont is only about eight miles from the New York border, so back in 2014-2015, my father started looking for property over there where we could still utilize the same staff and grow our business over into New York state.

“As we grew the breeding operation, outsourcing mares for that longer period of time to stay compliant with the New York program was just getting cost prohibitive.”

Kyle Willard, already an important member of the Vermont team, was named farm manager of the new farm and the expanded Windylea was up and running.

Windylea Farm’s New York division, a commercial breeder and breed-to-race operation, houses approximately 20 mares and the O’Neills keep about 25 percent of each foal crop. But it was one of the horses they sold in 2016 that brought them the most success in 2020.

Sold for $35,000 as a weanling then $200,000 as a yearling, the Windylea-bred Lead Guitar made a huge splash in the New York-bred program in 2020 with a four-race win streak that included two stakes victories. Her domination of the New York female turf division in the second half of the year earned her a spot as a finalist for the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ championship honors in the female turf and female sprinter divisions.

Lead Guitar, finalist for New York-bred championships in female turf and female sprint divisions, is product of Windylea Farm breeding program. NYRA Photo.

“Lead Guitar was always a very forward filly, we still own the mare (Eleadora) and she actually is being bred back to Maclean’s Music this year. She just had a Mo Town colt [Jan. 19],” said Kip O’Neill. “So seeing Lead Guitar on the track as really a follow up to [Windylea Farm-bred] Runaway Lute, he was really one of the first really good homebreds that we had, but more recently with her success and knowing that we still have a young mare that’s producing is very gratifying and just helps our program overall.”

Primarily based at Finger Lakes for most of its time in operation, Windylea has expanded into other states in recent years both with horses it breeds and buys. The farm currently runs in New York, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Minnesota with plans to send some of its horses to other jurisdictions to run in 2021.

“In 2021 we’re looking to expand over the border into Canada and we’ll be racing up there at Woodbine and we’re looking to expand some of our footprint in different jurisdictions here in the U.S. as well from a racing standpoint.” O’Neill said. “Our breeding population is pretty stable, we have over 20 mares and that’s a good number. We’ll continue to invest in better mares and retire some of the older ones but that number is pretty stable for us. Then we’ll continue to look for opportunities to purchase within the New York sales and other sales.”

Windylea Farm is also focused on providing aftercare to racehorses in its stable with the operation purchasing a retraining farm in Naples, Fla., to provide their horses the training needed to find new careers after racing.

“Any time you invest like we have in this breed or really anything else you have to look at the whole picture,” O’Neill said. “Once we grew our program to a point where we could no longer continue to retire them just as pets, we looked to see how we could find a second career for horses.

“The obvious with mares if they’re bred well enough is to put them in the breeding shed, but when you’ve got colts and geldings, and mares that aren’t that well-bred, then really to be a good custodian to the sport you’ve got to find a second home and a second life for them. These animals, they want to be active and they do better when they’re active so that was why we invested in that. We’ve been fortunate enough over the last year or so up in this area, finding a couple of different venues who have done great work with the few horses that we’ve provided them and we continue to get videos of past [Windylea] Thoroughbreds in the hunter-jumper world and in the dressage world and that’s gratifying to us.”

Even though Windylea is focused on expanding into other racing areas, the O’Neills have no plans to move the main operation elsewhere. In addition to the area being their longtime home, O’Neill also points to the New York-bred program’s support of both owners and breeders as another reason they base their breeding program in the Empire State.

“There really isn’t one out there that supports owners and breeders top to bottom like the New York program,” he said. “When I say top to bottom, from a breeders’ standpoint you can win money whether you’ve got one of your homebreds in a state race at Saratoga or a $5,000 claimer at Finger Lakes. That really has kept the program afloat because we do have a lot of small breeders and the program really needs to continue that support, otherwise you’re going to see it become very top heavy.”

Ranked ninth among New York owners last year by earnings with nearly 50 percent of their horses hitting the board, Windylea is already making an impact in 2021 as the leading New York-bred owner through March 1 by earnings ($226,546) and winners (seven from 18 starts). Windylea’s winners in 2021 include Jemography, a New York-bred gelding by Big Brown who won his third straight race Feb. 4 at Aqueduct.

 

Read more about Windylea Farm

 


First foal out of Midnight Disguise arrives

Friday, February 12th, 2021
Constitution - Midnight Disguise filly at Gallagher's Stud as photographed by Barbara Livingston.

Constitution – Midnight Disguise filly at Gallagher’s Stud. Barbara Livingston photo.

By Susie Raisher

Midnight Disguise, 2018’s New York-bred Champion Three-Year-Old Filly, delivered her first foal just after midnight on January 11 at Gallagher’s Stud. The filly is by Constitution, best known in the New York-bred community and beyond as the sire of the reigning state-bred Horse of the Year Tiz the Law.

The newest addition is a multi-generational homebred for the proprietors of Stepwise Farm, Dr. William B. Wilmot and Dr. Joan M. Taylor. They acquired Naughty Natisha at the 1998 Keeneland November Sale – less than ten years later, she was honored as New York’s Broodmare of the Year. She produced Thin Disguise for the couple in 2006 and although she only won once, her exploits in the breeding shed have been outstanding. Her daughters Midnight Disguise and Holiday Disguise combined for three year-end trophies in 2018. The half-sisters earned more than $1.1 million and have nine stakes victories between them. Both were trained by Linda Rice. Midnight Disguise was campaigned by Wilmot, Taylor, and their son, Devin T. Wilmot, winning the Busanda, Busher, and Bouwerie during her championship year. The trio co-bred the big mare’s foal.

Midnight Disguise and her Constitution filly at Gallagher's Stud. Barbara Livingston photo.

Midnight Disguise and her Constitution filly at Gallagher’s Stud. Barbara Livingston photo.

Holiday Disguise, owned by Lady Sheila Stable and stabled at Edition Farm, is also expecting her first foal this year. She was bred to Uncle Mo. Thin Disguise is back in New York and stabled alongside Midnight Disguise at Gallagher’s Stud. She is due to foal a Ghostzapper in early April. Midnight Disguise is booked to Candy Ride.

Four-time Eclipse Award winning photographer Barbara Livingston, the chief photographer for the Daily Racing Form, is based in the Saratoga Springs area and visited with mare and foal February 11. She can be reached here for your photo needs. New York Thoroughbred Breeders encourages you to submit your foals at nytbreeders.org/foals.


Disco Partner sires first foal at Rockridge Stud

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

Disco Partner’s first foal, a filly out of Plenty of Chrome born at Rockridge Stud. Photo provided.

Multiple graded stakes winner and world record holding turf sprinter Disco Partner recently sired his first foal.

The filly out of the winning Big Drama mare Plenty of Chrome was born at Rockridge Stud in Hudson, where Disco Partner stands for $5,000. Bred by John Graziano Sr. and Patricia Generazio, the filly is the first foal out of the seven-time winner and earner of $76,610.

Disco Partner, a New York-bred son of Disco Rico who raced for his owner and breeder Patricia Generazio, won 11 of 33 starts with six seconds and eight thirds during his six seasons on the racetrack and earned $1,487,560.

Trained by Christophe Clement, Disco Partner won his debut in late October as a 2-year-old and went on to win stakes at ages 4, 5 and 6. His biggest stakes score came in the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational on the 2017 Belmont Stakes Day undercard, winning the 6-furlong stakes in a world and course record 1:05.67.

Disco Partner also won the 2018 Jaipur, upgraded for that running to a Grade 2 stakes, along with the 2017 and 2018 Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational along with back-to-back thirds in the 2017 and 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

 

The NYTB encourages farms and breeders to submit their new foal arrivals to nytbreeders.org/foals.


War Dancer’s team rewarded for confidence

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

War Dancer meets one of his sons at Sugar Plum Farm in Saratoga Springs. Barbara Livingston photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

When $1 million earner and Grade 2 winner War Dancer was ready to retire, his owners knew there was only one place he was going – their home state of New York. Three years later, that decision paid off in spades when his first crop catapulted him to the top of New York’s freshman sire list in 2020.

“We didn’t even think twice,” said Robin Malatino, managing member of War Dancer LLC. “We own [Sugar Plum Farm] in Saratoga, we’re very tied to the community in Saratoga, we used to own Saratoga Water so there were three options for him – Saratoga or Saratoga or Saratoga. This is a journey for us, we’re brand new at [standing a stallion], we’ve never done it before and probably will never do it again so we’re kind of learning as we go and trying to do the best that we can do.”

Told that War Dancer needed to breed 100 mares a year in his first two seasons, Malatino and the rest of War Dancer LLC got to work. They created multiple unique programs to attract those numbers with the hype from his first crop as foals also helping him along. But knowing how much of a stallion’s success comes from luck and how COVID-19 delayed his runners’ debuts made his New York freshman title and his No. 14 ranking on North America’s freshman sire list even sweeter for his owners.

“You think about anything you do in life and if you put in a lot of effort, you should have a pretty good result,” Malatino said. “But in this business, you can put in a tremendous amount of effort and end up with a goose egg. It’s out of your control, because do the genes get passed on or not and you need some luck and other things. So I would say we are over the moon, he actually exceeded our expectations as a first-year sire.”

War Dancer got off to a fast start once his runners hit the track with son Step Dancer leading home a 1-2 finish for the stallion in his debut at Saratoga Race Course. The first of six winners from the stallion’s first crop, Step Dancer also won the Awad Stakes at Belmont Park. One of two stakes horses for his sire alongside the stakes placed Ms. Wicked, he also finished third in the Grade 2 Pilgram Stakes for War Dancer’s first graded stakes placing as a sire.

The road to making War Dancer into a successful stallion was full of learning curves from the start. As one of War Front’s leading earners and the stallion’s only son standing in New York, his owners thought that attracting 100 mares to him would be easy. They quickly learned that wasn’t the case in the tough New York market and a Plan B was quickly put into place and ‘Breeding With the Stars’ was born.

“Breeding With The Stars meant that if you had a stakes performer or stakes producer, that you could come to New York, breed to War Dancer, pay the stud fee and we paid shipping and board for the first year,” Malatino said. “That brought a lot of really nice mares in from other states … we just pulled them in and brought a lot of people into the New York program.

“The second year we continued Breeding With The Stars and we didn’t offer the shipping up front but we offered it as a concession off the stud fee on the back end. So we basically had 100 mares each of the first two years and that was due to this program.”

Considering breeders as part of the War Dancer family, they also created another unique offering to postpone or even cancel the stud fee if a breeder didn’t feel that the foal would ever make it to the track.

Robin Malatino and War Dancer, New York’s leading freshman sire in 2020. Barbara Livingston photo.

“For example, we had one that was contracted and I said ‘don’t pay the stud fee until you know that that contraction is going to go down,’ ” Malatino said. “That’s not what this is about, we want to breed good racehorses. So if they say ‘it’s going to be a pleasure horse or a pet,’ don’t pay the stud fee. We’re partners in this.”

Proving that he can throw juvenile winners who promise to improve with age, War Dancer has seen demand for his foals rise in the past few months. Included in that rise has been the prices paid by buyers with one of Malatino’s friends recently buying a War Dancer privately for $55,000. Malatino expects breeders and owners will be even more pleased this year with a handful of unraced 3-year-olds whose owners are giving her good reports while they approach their debuts.

While there was no doubt War Dancer would be making his home in the Empire State when he retired, Malatino would like to see more races for New York-sired runners in the New York program.

“Why that is important is that if you don’t have a strong sire pool, you’re going to cut down the breeding industry dramatically because everyone is going to have to send their horses out of state and not everyone can afford to or want to,” she said. “In my opinion, they need to offer more maiden special weight New York-sired, New York-bred races. If they do that, the New York sire program will get stronger. If the New York sire program gets stronger it would be better for the state as a revenue base.”

But no matter where they run or what races they’re in, War Dancer runners will always have a fan club behind them with Malatino trying to keep track of every foal. She admits they likely won’t stand another stallion so she’s putting full effort into making War Dancer a top sire and is excited to see what the future holds in 2021 and beyond.

Expecting his fourth crop of foals this year, War Dancer stands at Irish Hill & Dutchess Views Stallions in Stillwater for $7,500 in 2021.


Pensioned New York sire Frost Giant set for next career

Monday, February 1st, 2021

Pensioned New York sire Frost Giant will spend retirement at ReRun in East Greenbush. EquiSport Photo.

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Successful New York sire Frost Giant is preparing for a role heading into the 2021 breeding season – that of ambassador at ReRun Thoroughbred Adoption in East Greenbush after being pensioned from stud duty last month.

The sire of 17 stakes winners that include graded stakes winner Giant Expectations and multiple Australian stakes winner Valor Road, Frost Giant most recently stood at Irish Hill & Dutchess View Stallions in Stillwater. The 18-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway started his career at Vinery New York and shuttled to Australia and Chile for four seasons while also standing at Keane Stud during his career.

ReRun’s program director Lisa Molloy has the unofficial title of “Queen of the Frost Giants” due to how many of his foals have come through the program, but she never expected that the stallion would make his way there.

“I have always had a good relationship with [owner] Andy Cohen and he has always been very supportive of the program but even so, I was still surprised when he asked me,” Molloy said. “I have become known as the ‘Queen of the Frost Giants’ because of the amount that have come through the ReRun program, predominantly via NYTHA’s Take The Lead program that supports NYRA tracks.

“We have had tremendous success with those that we have retrained and placed – they are just so athletic and he really stamps them, there is no second guessing a Frost Giant. Anyone that knows me knows that West Hills Giant is one of my most favorite horses ever – he is just so smart, huge personality and what a performer. It’s very humbling to be entrusted with his sire, Frost Giant.”

Just like West Hills Giant, Frost Giant has already made his home at ReRun’s facility. Molloy was told by Irish Hill & Dutchess View Stallions’ Bill Leak that Frost Giant is a gentleman to be around and she quickly found out they couldn’t be more right. The horse was a little stressed coming off the van, but settled into his routine by the second day and is quickly getting down to the task of enjoying retirement.

While COVID-19 has shut down tours at ReRun, Frost Giant will be there to welcome visitors alongside West Hills Giant and successful New York-bred multiple stakes winners Saratoga Snacks and Fox Rules and others when tours reopen.

The stallion will stay intact but support the New York breeding flag in other ways – such as raising money for Thoroughbred aftercare.

“When you come to ReRun to see the horses, it’s a very personalized experience – very much a one-on-one tour,” she said. “It’s a great privilege to be able to show off the New York best of the best and let the fans get up close to them. Frost Giant will continue to wave the flag for New York breeding and racing. He may also like to show his artistic flair by painting a Moneigh for ReRun, which raises funds for horses in the program.”

Frost Giant won’t be available for adoption. ReRun adopts out many of his runners and other New York-breds who are looking for new homes after their racing careers.

Visit https://www.rerunottb.com/ for more information.


First Foal Arrives in NY for Multiple G1 Solomini

Tuesday, January 26th, 2021
Solomini - Another Level filly

Solomini’s first foal, born at Hidden Lake Farm.

McMahon of Saratoga Press Release

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds announced the arrival of the first foal from the first crop by Curlin’s son Solomini, a multiple G1 performer.

Out of track record setter and stakes performing Another Level, her first foal is a filly by Solomini. The bay arrived at Hidden Lake Farm in Stillwater, NY on January 15, 2021 and is from the immediate family of Grade 1 winning millionaire Octave, winner of New York’s CCA Oaks and Mother Goose Stakes. Chris Bernard of Hidden Lake Farm said, “Solomini’s first foal out of Another Level is a lovely filly with a lot of body and very nice frame. 3C Stables and Hidden Lake Farm bred 20 mares to Solomini and are committed to his success.”

Solomini covered 123 mares in 2020 standing at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, his stud fee for 2021 is $5,000 live foal. For more information contact Joe McMahon (518) 587-3426.