Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms Stands Most Breeders Cup Winners
Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms Stands Most Breeders Cup Winners: The Breeders’ Cup looms large as it draws closer. Horses, owners, trainers, and fans alike are preparing themselves from one of the biggest events in horse racing! The Breeders’ Cup is set to take place in Lexington, Kentucky, at the historic Keeneland Race Course. While horses are breezing, trainers are clocking, owners are mingling, and fans are studying, another entity in the race world is quickly establishing a top-notch stallion roster.
Hill ‘n’ Dale has recently illustrated a fantastic exhibition of purchasing stallions for their farm, hoping to regularly compete at the top level. They now have five Breeders’ Cup winners. They already had stallions Midnight Lute, the Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner in both 2007 and 2008, and New Years Day, winner of the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile after only a maiden win. While New Year’s Day just entered stud in 2014 and will see his first foals become yearlings of 2016, Midnight Lute has had more time to establish himself. He has had a Breeders’ Cup runner in Holy Lute, but that horse finished a disappointing tenth in the 2013 Dirt Mile won by Goldencents. Midnight Lute also had Breeders’ Cup Distaff participant Tiz Midnight. The filly finished sixth behind Kentucky Oaks winner Untapable. So far, Midnight Lute does not have a Breeders’ Cup winner to his credit, but he continues to sire quality horses that are both fast and sound. Midnight Lute stood for $25,000 in 2015.
Recently, Hill ‘n’ Dale purchased twenty percent of the 2007 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, Curlin, along with four annual breeding rights to the horse, all of which cost Hill ‘n’ Dale $6.2 million. Stonestreet Stables retains the majority interest of eighty percent in the horse. Banke moved Curlin due to Hill ‘n’ Dale purchasing a minority share in the 11-year-old stallion. Curlin began his stud career at Lane’s End farm next to his sire, the late Smart Strike. Curlin is one of three top stallions sired by Smart Strike, along with English Channel and Lookin at Lucky. Curlin sired a very tough Classic winner in his first crop, Palace Malice, who won the 2013 Belmont Stakes, defeating Preakness winner Oxbow and Kentucky Derby winner Orb. Curlin was a top racehorse but has evolved into a top stallion. In 2015 alone, Curlin has multiple graded stakes winners, including juveniles Exaggerator and Off the Tracks and sophomores Curlina, Stellar Wind, and Keen Ice, who defeated American Pharoah and Frosted on his way to a Travers Stakes win. Curlin has also sired Diversy Harbor, Moulin de Mougin, Ocean Knight, and Ride On Curlin. Curlin stood for $35,000 in 2015. Owner John Sikura has a quality broodmare band and promises his best mares will visit the son of Smart Strike.
“An opportunity to invest in a proven stallion is rare, so we are honored by Barbara’s trust in us to stand Curlin,” Sikura said. “Of course, his addition to our roster is a huge boost for us.”
Following the addition of Curlin was a second Breeders’ Cup Classic winner. Bayern, a controversial winner of the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic, was recently retired by owner Kaleem Shah and acquired by Hill ‘n’ Dale. Before what would be his final start in the Awesome Again, Kaleem Shah announced that the colt by Wild Again would stand the 2016 breeding season at Hill ‘n’ Dale. Following that announcement, Bayern finished a distant third in the Grade I Awesome Again, remaining winless in his 2015 season. The colt hosts quality that breeders look for in young stallions. He has beautiful conformation, and is proven at distances from 6 furlongs to 1-¼ miles. Bayern is the full package.
“Bayern was a super talented horse. He had tremendous speed and carried that speed to win the Breeder’s Cup Classic over a very good field and won the Woody Stephens wrapped up in near track record time,” Baffert said in a statement. “He is a great looking horse and a rarity in that he could beat the best sprinters and carry his speed a mile and a quarter. Not many horses can do that. On his day he was a super brilliant horse. Something was bugging him this year that we could never figure out even though he trained great. It’s time to retire the horse and be thankful of all he has accomplished.”
Finally, Hill ‘n’ Dale completes their Breeders’ Cup winner list with the newest addition, Secret Circle. Secret Circle is a rarity in himself as he is the only horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint, Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and the Golden Shaheen, all Grade/Group I races.
“We are insistent that Secret Circle be ultra-competitive with all the incentive-laden programs in place for breeders. With that in mind, we have set his fee at $5,000 stands and nurses or $7,500 payable out of proceeds. Any breeder that breeds a mare in the first two years will breed for free in his third year at stud. We think that’s a lot of horse for the price,” said co-owner Mike Pegram.
Hill ‘n’ Dale has a fantastic stallion roster that consists of talented young horses, including Flashback (by Tapit), Violence (by Medaglia d’Oro), Power Broker (by Pulpit, ¾ to Trappe Shot), and Atreides (by Medaglia d’Oro). Most of Hill ‘n’ Dale’s stallion roster includes horses who still have something to prove in the breeding shed, aside from Stormy Atlantic, Curlin, and Midnight Lute. Hill ‘n’ Dale also has a lot of racing history on its side as it is the final resting place of the great Seattle Slew, winner of the 1977 Triple Crown (doing so while unbeaten), and they also have had quality mares like Azeri, Silverbulletday, Better Than Honour (produced Belmont winners Jazil and Rags to Riches and sold for a world record price of $14 million in 2008), and Canadian Triple Crown winner Dance Smartly (a half-sister to Smart Strike, sire of Curlin).