Strong support for Curlin and Good Magic from Stonestreet's star mares
Michele MacDonald speaks to Barbara Banke and John Moynihan about sire choices
With the breeding season now at a midpoint, Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farms has revealed that it is sending around 50 of its more than 100-strong broodmare band to stallions in which it holds major investments, including more than 18 to leading sire Curlin and at least a dozen to his champion son Good Magic.
A leader among North American breeders in several categories, Stonestreet is also supporting proven stallions Medaglia D’Oro, Tapit, Quality Road and Into Mischief with several mares each and will also send two mares who have produced champions to Triple Crown winner Justify.
Grade 1 winners Rachel’s Valentina, Tara’s Tango, Cavorting and Dreaming Of Julia are joining 2016 European champion juvenile filly Lady Aurelia at the court of Curlin, for whom Stonestreet envisions even more accomplishments ahead.
Raced by Stonestreet to two Horse of the Year titles, Curlin stands for $175,000 at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms.
“As we’ve continued to learn about what suits him from a pedigree and physical standpoint, we’ve been able to fine-tune the types of mares that we send to him," said Stonestreet bloodstock adviser John Moynihan. "The yearlings coming to the sales this year will elevate him to the stratosphere - he’s going to slay it.
“He's proven, versatile and gets top-class juveniles that develop into elite older performers - perfect for launching a broodmare career,” Banke observed of Curlin, adding: “I considered every leading sire throughout the world. In all respects, I feel Curlin is the perfect choice to get Lady Aurelia off to a great start.”
Banke paid $7.5 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale to buy out partner Peter Leidel in now five-year-old Stonestreet homebred Lady Aurelia after previously acquiring the interest of another racing partner, George Bolton.
Rachel’s Valentina, another highly prominent member of the Stonestreet band since the six-year-old Bernardini mare is the only daughter of Stonestreet-raced Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra, delivered a Curlin colt as her first foal in 2018.
That colt’s auspicious development is a primary reason Rachel’s Valentina will return to the stallion.
“He's one of our top [yearling] colts,” Banke said. “We hope to replicate that.”
Homebred Dreaming of Julia, by A.P. Indy, has a yearling Curlin filly, as does Cavorting, a daughter of Bernardini. Tara’s Tango, by Unbridled’s Song, has produced two colts to date, a yearling by Medaglia D’Oro and a foal by Tapit.
Other Stonestreet mares going to Curlin include:
- Eleven-year-old Goldfield, a daughter of Yes It’s True and dam of Curlin’s Graded stakes-winning daughter Valadorna in addition to Grade 1 winner Complexity, the latter by another Stonestreet-raced stallion at Hill ‘n’ Dale, Maclean’s Music.
- Forest Music, the 18-year-old Unbridled’s Song dam of Maclean’s Music, who gained instant fame as a sire with Preakness Stakes winner Cloud Computing in his first crop.
- Grade 2 winner and multiple Grade 1-placed Authenticity, a 12-year-old by Quiet American.
The Stonestreet band is full of high-profile mares, and last year those mares were responsible for runners that earned over $6.9m in racing as well as 64 yearlings that sold for over $20.4m at four key American auctions.
One of the most celebrated of the Stonestreet mares is D’Wildcat Speed, the 19-year-old daughter of Forest Wildcat who produced Lady Aurelia and her two-year-old half-sister, Lady Pauline, a Munnings filly who recently impressed in her Keeneland racing debut.
Trainer Wesley Ward has indicated Lady Pauline could follow her sibling’s path and compete at Royal Ascot.
D’Wildcat Speed, who produced a Medaglia D’Oro filly on February 13, is booked to Justify, along with 12-year-old Bella Jolie, the Broken Vow mare who produced 2015 champion sprinter Runhappy and who was a $1.6m acquisition by Stonestreet that year.
Choosing Justify, the best son of the late Scat Daddy who is standing his initial season at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud for an advertised fee of $150,000, was particularly easy when it came to mating D’Wildcat Speed.
“After the tragic loss of Scat Daddy, this is an obvious choice for the dam of Lady Aurelia as the foal will be a three-quarter sibling,” Banke said of the match.
Bella Jolie has a yearling colt by Uncle Mo and delivered an Into Mischief colt on February 21.
While those two top-producing mares are going to Justify, Stonestreet-bred Good Magic, who was raced in partnership by the farm, has been chosen as the recipient of many other distinguished female residents.
“We will support him with a group of mares proven to produce, both in the sales ring and on the racetrack. We are supporting him with Graded stakes winners and producers that have already proven successful with our great sire, Curlin. We really believe in Good Magic, and the calibre of mares in his first book belies his $35,000 fee,” Banke said.
Grade 1 winner Hot Dixie Chick, a 12-year-old Dixie Union half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming, leads the group going to Good Magic, along with multiple Grade 1 winner Ask the Moon.
Hot Dixie Chick has a yearling Tapit filly and was bred to Curlin last year, while Ask the Moon, a $1.8m acquisition by Malibu Moon, has a yearling colt by Stonestreet-raced Grade 1 winner Carpe Diem and was bred back to More Than Ready for this season.
Other mares going to Good Magic are:
- Multiple stakes producer Belle of Perintown, by Dehere
- Grade 2 winner and Del Mar track record setter Potesta, by Macho Uno
- Stakes-placed Stormin Maggy, a Storm Cat half-sister to champion and sire Afleet Alex
- Missile Bay, by Yes It’s True and dam of Curlin’s multiple Graded winner Terra Promessa
- Le Relais, dam of multiple Graded winner Soldat
Stonestreet homebred multiple stakes winner Glinda The Good, a ten-year-old Hard Spun mare who produced Good Magic as her second foal and who was bred back to Curlin last year after delivering her now yearling filly by Pioneerof the Nile, is among five elite Stonestreet mares booked to Quality Road.
Standing at Lane’s End for $150,000, Quality Road counts Bob Baffert’s Kentucky Derby contender Roadster and the Simon Callaghan-trained Kentucky Oaks favourite Bellafina among his best progeny.
Joining Glinda The Good in Quality Road’s book are:
- Stonestreet homebred 2011 champion juvenile female My Miss Aurelia, a ten-year-old by Smart Strike who has a yearling filly by Tapit and filly foal by Medaglia D’Oro
- Catch the Moon, a ten-year-old by Malibu Moon whose second foal was Grade 1 winner Girvin
- Multiple Graded winner Fantastic Style, by Harlan’s Holiday
- Multiple Graded winner Kauai Katie, by Malibu Moon.
The matings of Catch the Moon and Kauai Katie with Quality Road replicate the cross that produced Bellafina, whose victory in the recent Santa Anita Oaks marked her third at the Grade 1 level, Moynihan noted.
Another top stallion that Stonestreet is endorsing with elite mares is Darley’s Medaglia D’Oro, who is standing for $200,000.
“We’ve had great racetrack and sales success with Medaglia D’Oro, and, as a commercial breeder, he’s an obvious choice,” Moynihan said.
Two mares whose Medaglia D’Oro yearling colts of 2018 were sale ring home runs for Stonestreet will go back to the stallion. They are Dayatthespa, the 2014 champion turf female by City Zip whose son was purchased by Godolphin for $1.6m, and Exotic Bloom, whose son that is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Stopchargingmaria sold for $2.1m to Phoenix Thoroughbreds.
Bounding, the New Zealand champion by Lonhro acquired by Stonestreet in Australia for A$1.9m, also will visit Medgalia D’Oro after producing a yearling Curlin colt and a War Front filly foal delivered on March 17.
Multiple Graded winner and Grade 1-placed Fiftyshadesofhay, a $1.3m Stonestreet purchase by Pulpit, will go to Medgalia D’Oro along with Coral Sun, the A.P. Indy mare who has produced Graded winner and Grade 1-placed Champagne Problems. Banke noted that the Medaglia D’Oro cross with A.P. Indy line mares has done “phenomenally well,” producing the likes of Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty and Grade 1 winners Bolt D’Oro and Dickinson.
Comedy, the Theatrical mare who produced Grade 1 winner and millionaire Taris and who was a $1.5m buy in 2015, also will go to Medaglia D’Oro. She has a juvenile colt by Curlin and a yearling filly by Bernardini.
Other leading commercial stallions Tapit and Into Mischief, standing for $225,000 and $150,000 at Gainesway and Spendthrift, respectively, also will benefit with top Stonestreet mares in their books.
Grade 1 winner Molly Morgan, a $1.35m purchase by Ghostzapper who more than paid for herself when her first foal, a colt by Curlin, sold as a yearling in 2018 for $1.8m to Larry Best’s OXO Equine, will visit Tapit.
Also going to Tapit will be Grade 1 winner Dream Rush, by Wild Rush and dam of Dreaming of Julia. A mating between Tapit and Dream Rush in 2014 produced the filly Dream Pauline, who was retained by Stonestreet and now is a multiple Graded winner in the farm’s red and gold colours.
Among those going to Into Mischief will be Curlin homebred Grade 1-placed Graded winners Terra Promessa and Valadorna. Canadian champion sprinter Hillaby, by Distorted Humor, also will visit Into Mischief on the same cross that produced Grade 1 winner Practical Joke, Moynihan said.
Graded winners Keen Pauline, by Pulpit, and Street Story, by Street Cry, have been booked to Into Mischief, along with Graded stakes-placed Mannerly, by Unbridled’s Song.
In other matings, Stonestreet, which has supported Ghostzapper and purchased good Ghostzapper mares for the farm’s band, has booked six mares to the Adena Springs denizen. Included in this group are Graded producers Bella Dorato, dam of champion sprinter Trinniberg; Cat Dancer, dam of Grade 1 winner Drill, and Emerald Gal, dam of multiple Grade 2 winner Sarah Sis.
Other stallions that were raced by Stonestreet and now stand at Hill ‘n’ Dale, Maclean’s Music and Kantharos, also will be strongly supported. Stonestreet disclosed seven mares in the book for Maclean’s Music and ten for rising force Kantharos, sire of recent Dubai Golden Shaheen winner X Y Jet.
Steely Magnolia, a More Than Ready half-sister to Stopchargingmaria; Argentine Grade 1 winner Misty Lady; South African Group 2 winner Sally Bowles, and multiple stakes producer Clay’s Rocket are among those headed to Kantharos, a son of Lion Heart.
Banke praised Maclean’s Music and noted that the stallion has a son on the Classic trial this year in Stonestreet-bred Complexity, who, like Cloud Computing, is trained by Chad Brown for Klaravich Stables.
Mares she will send to the son of Distorted Humor include Cowboytakemeaway, a daughter of Street Cry and Hot Dixie Chick; Grade 1-placed multiple stakes winner River’s Prayer, and multiple stakes winner Ullapool, by Langfuhr.
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