2023 Mating Plans, Presented by Spendthrift: Bobby Flay

First Captain (Curlin), out of Flay's America, wins the Pimlico Special | Jim McCue photo

As we approach the opening of the 2023 breeding season, the TDN staff is once again sitting down with leading breeders to find out what stallions they have chosen for their mares, and why. First up: Bobby Flay.

AMERICA (m, 12, A. P. Indy–Lacadena, by Fasliyev), booked to Gun Runner

As she continues to produce quality foals, including MGSW First Captain (Curlin), the co-sales topper at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale for $1.5 million, and his full-sister, who sold for $2 million at Saratoga last August, I'm excited to see what the hottest new sire can provide for this mare.

DAME DOROTHY (m, 12, Bernardini–Vole Vole Monamour, by Woodman), booked to Gun Runner

This mare's natural speed should fit well with this sire's staying quality. Although this stud fee is not inexpensive, Dame Dorothy deserves the caviar of the crop. Her first foal, Spice is Nice, brought $1.05 million as a yearling and is a Graded stakes winner. In 2021, her yearling Uncle Mo colt brought the most ever paid for that sire's yearlings at $1.6 million. Now named Sgt. Pepper, he is all-out training with Todd Pletcher and is one to keep an eye out for on the track.

AMERICAN CAVIAR (f, 4, Curlin–America, by A. P. Indy), booked to Justify

She is the full-sister to First Captain. I'm excited to see Justify making some noise in important two-year-old races in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. There's a good chance he'll be an important force as a young stallion. The Scat Daddy influence gives me confidence that Justify will continue to produce not just winners, but winners with quality.

AMAGANSETT (m, 6, Tapit–Twirl {Ire}, by Galileo {Ire}), booked to Not This Time

I bought Amagansett as a yearling because I liked her sire and she comes from the illustrious Coolmore family headed by Misty for Me. Not This Time is one of the most exciting stallions in the market. He had tons of speed and his progeny are winning at classic distances on both surfaces. My kind of stallion.

LIFE WELL LIVED (m, 16, Tiznow–Well Dressed, by Notebook), booked to Constitution

Already the Grade I producer of American Patriot (War Front), she will go back to Constitution, as he is showing he can be a top player in the game. He's now being booked to some of the top pedigrees in the book, which he truly deserves. Last season's yearling colt brought over $400,000.

RUBY LIPS (m, 13, Hard Spun–It's a Ruby, by Rubiano), booked to Constitution

The dam of MGSW Lone Rock and GII winner Gerrymander throws good foal after good foal. I acquired her in foal to Constitution and I liked what I saw. It made this year's decision easy: back to the well!

STREET STRUT (m, 10, Street Cry {Ire}–Lacadena, by Fasliyev), booked to Not This Time

Not This Time should fit the pedigree well to this half-sister to America, from the family of Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister) and Rags to Riches (A. P. Indy). It's a cross that can produce anything.

TIZAHIT (m, 16, Tiznow–Never a No Hitter, by Kris S.), booked to Constitution

The producer of GI winner Come Dancing, she's ready to produce another. Last season's Constitution out of this mare sold for over $400,000 and could be a serious horse. These Constitutions are showing themselves well on the racetrack and at the sales. Why make it a tough decision??

VERONIQUE (m, 12, Mizzen Mast–Styler, by Holy Bull), booked to Curlin

As the dam of the super-fast Nashville (Speightstown), she deserves a turn to the big dog. Curlin is the epitome of a proven sire. Year after year, he plays an important role in the country's most important races. Curlin has been very good to my program and I'm excited to see what he produces with this proven mare.

SUPER ESPRESSO (m, 16, Medaglia d'Oro–Amizette, by Forty Niner), booked to Nashville

I almost never employ unproven stallions. In this case, I'm making a calculated guess that Nashville's unreal, natural speed is just what this mare needs. She has the stamina up and down her Helen Alexander pedigree. Since I have the dam (Veronique), I'm taking a shot with her best runner.

WHITE HOT (IRE) (m, 10, Galileo {Ire}–Gwynn {Ire}, by Darshaan {GB}), booked to Into Mischief

The dam of Pizza Bianca is going back to this top sire. Although this is a very fancy Coolmore family by Galileo, I believe this mare has the possibility of turning her purple bloodlines to dirt greatness and Into Mischief is the man for the job! If I'm wrong and grass is this mare's preferred surface, then this sire can do that too. Basically, the risk here is low. Serious sire power.

SINGING SWEETLY (IRE) (m, 6. Galileo {Ire}–Sing Softly, by Hennessy), booked to American Pharoah

This Galileo mare from a good American family may be the best value buy I've made in a long time. Her first foal by Study of Man brought enough at the Keeneland yearling sale last year to pay for her own price tag. Speaking of value, this sire at $60,000 may be the bargain of the decade. Somehow the market has turned its attention to other young studs, but I'm thrilled to book this young mare to this Triple Crown winner.

COVER SONG (m, 10, Fastnet Rock {Aus}–Misty for Me {Ire}), by Galileo {Ire}), booked to Into Mischief

She may be the best family I currently have with the possibility of it getting better. Her first two foals, Contemporary Art (Dubawi) and Sbagliato (Quality Road) are gearing up to have black-type seasons. This mare, a half-sister to U.S. Navy Flag (War Front) and Roly Poly (War Front) only deserves the best. Back to Into Mischief it is!

POTION (m, 5, Ghostzapper–And Why Not, by Street Cry {Ire}), booked to Justify

I bought this mare out of Helen Groves's dispersal in November. She certainly was not on discount, but getting into a family by one of the world's greatest breeders in the history of the sport will always have value. Justify gets the nod for this young Ghostzapper mare. Can be dirt, can be grass. Either is fine with me.

AULD ALLIANCE (IRE) (m, 12, Montjeu {Ire}–Highland Gift {Ire}, by Generous {Ire}), booked to Sea the Stars (Ire)

After employing the great Frankel four seasons in a row, I thought I'd give him a break this year. He's thrown beautiful foal after beautiful foal. After getting a private audience with Baaeed in Mr. Haggas's yard, something told me that Sea the Stars was the key to this mare's entry to a European Classic. Check back in four years…I have a feeling!

OLD SCHOOL (GB) (f, 4, Frankel {GB}–Auld Alliance, by Montjeu {Ire}), booked to Uncle Mo

A Frankel daughter of Auld Alliance will remain in America and be bred to a sire that can produce champion dirt horses. I'm convinced that making this happen is slightly more possible than most people think. My philosophy is that good blood is good blood. It always shows up. The surface is just a speed bump.

GLINTING (IRE), (Galileo {Ire}–One Moment in Time {Ire}), by Danehill), booked to Wootton Bassett (GB)

I was thrilled to secure this Galileo mare from this Coolmore family at Arqana in December. She was offered in foal to Wootton Bassett, which is a valuable coupon that came with the mare. The Coolmore team has made a big bet on this cross and I have no problem following their lead.

Interested in sharing your own mating plans? Email [email protected]

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