2023 Mating Plans, Presented by Spendthrift: Woodford Thoroughbreds

Graded stakes-placed Message will visit Flightline in 2023 | Thorostride

With the breeding season underway, the TDN staff is continuing the '2023 Mating Plans' series, presented by Spendthrift Farm, to find out what stallions breeders have chosen for their mares this year, and why. Here Woodford Thoroughbreds shares their plans for the breeding season.

As a commercial breeding farm, Woodford Thoroughbreds operates with two principles in mind when choosing our matings. 1) We are producing racehorses. In 2023, Woodford is the breeder of Mimi Kakushi (City of Light), a Group 3 winner on the Oaks trail; Rocket Can (Into Mischief), the winner of the GIII Holy Bull S. who was recently second in the GII Fountain of Youth S. on the Derby trail; SW Drew's Gold (Violence) and 'TDN Rising Star' Sunday Shoes (Pioneerof The Nile). 2) We are bringing a horse to the market that the buyer's bench is excited to purchase based on pedigree and conformation.

With these goals in mind, here are a few of the matings we have picked out for 2023.

HOT CASH (m, 8, Ghostzapper – Collect the Cash, by Dynaformer) and MESSAGE (m, 7, Warrior's Reward – Song'n Dance, by Carson City) to be bred to Flightline.

When you are playing at the upper level, you have to breed to a horse like Flightline although it goes against two of our basic rules. First, he's very expensive at $200,000 which means the fall could be steep if the resulting foal doesn't hit the commercial mark. Second, we are breeding two young mares to him when we would rather breed to a more established horse.

However, we think Grade III-placed Hot Cash will benefit from Flightline's leg and scope. The mare has also already proven her first two efforts, a Curlin filly and Quality Road filly, to be standouts.

Woodford only purchased Message at Keeneland this past November. She was wicked quick on the racetrack, but she's also a scopey mare with a lot of length, leg, power and class to her. We think she'll fit the stallion nicely in a like-to-like way. Her first foal by Charlatan was born in January and he's an exceptional package already.

LASKARINA (m, 9, Distorted Humor – General Jeanne, by Honour and Glory) to be bred to Tapit.

This is really a no-brainer breeding. Besides being by a top broodmare sire, she's a half-sister to the prolific producer Justwhistledixie (Dixie Union), the dam of three sons of Tapit–multiple Grade II winner Mohaymen, Grade III winner Kingly and Grade III winner Enforceable. Laskarina's best-looking individual so far is a Tapit filly that Woodford sold at Fasig-Tipton in Saratoga in 2022. We don't mind going back to the well.

MACHA (m, 13, Majestic Warrior – Giant Leap, by Giant's Causeway) to be bred to Good Magic.

This mare who finished third in the GII Honeymoon H. as a 3-year-old has produced a stakes winner. We also hear some great things about her 3-year-old Dime (Curlin), but that filly has yet to make a start. We're still hopeful!

Her 2-year-old was purchased from the 2022 Keeneland September Sale by Amy Moore, who is the breeder of champion 2-year-old colt and leading Kentucky Derby favorite Forte (Violence). We know the filly now named Wayward (Into Mischief) will get a great start with Amy.

We have been terribly impressed by Good Magic's start to stud and think he's great value. He has better numbers than some other higher-priced horses that started his same year at stud.

PROJECT WHISKEY (m, 6, Tapizar – Over the Moon, by Malibu Moon) to be bred to Uncle Mo.

You can't look at this mare without the thought “pretty” crossing your mind. She's a beautiful mare that won the GIII Delaware Oaks as a 3-year-old and the Parx Juvenile Fillies S. as a 2-year-old. We love that she had speed and class early on.

Uncle Mo is a horse that consistently gets a top racehorse prospect and we think he is ready for another upswing in the market. At $150,000 he's expensive, but he gets you that Saturday afternoon horse and that's what we're looking for. The cross of Uncle Mo with the A.P. Indy line is a strong one.

MAEVE THE BRAVE (IRE) (m, 4, Invincible Spirit {Ire} – Liscune {Ire}, by King's Best) to be bred to Oscar Performance.

You may be wondering how we acquired this particular broodmare. In 2019, Woodford purchased five weanlings at Tattersalls. We re-sold three, retained one who is a stakes winner still running in the U.K. and brought this filly to the U.S. She was bought for nearly $600,000 U.S. dollars, being a full-sister to three black-type horses including Music Box (IRE), whose race earnings total $1.19 million.

Oscar Performance was the clear choice when looking at the stallions standing in Kentucky who are unequivocally grass horses.

LUCY N ETHEL (m, 10, During – Kid Silver, by Silver Ghost) to be bred to Life Is Good.

“Lucy” has one of the strongest race records in our broodmare band having won the GII Prioress S. at Saratoga and the GIII Old Hat S. at Gulfstream Park. She bankrolled nearly $400,000 on the track and she is an athletic and supremely balanced mare.

Lucy gave us a beautiful foal right off the bat, a Quality Road filly that brought $600,000 at the 2021 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. Lucy is currently pregnant to Into Mischief. Breeding to his son Life Is Good will be the same cross.

We're excited to be breeding to Life Is Good. His speed was his weapon and he was much the best when winning the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile as a 3-year-old. He continued his winning ways with three Grade I races at four.

VIVA VEGAS (m, 9, The Factor – Viva Vega, by Cobra King) to be bred to Munnings.

The Factor is one of those conundrums where he has the ability to get a quality racehorse, but his commercial appeal is underrated. Viva Vegas is a big, scopey mare and you can imagine how lovely she is knowing she brought $190,000 at OBS as a short yearling. On the racetrack she won a stakes race and is multiple graded stakes placed.

Munnings will make a nice physical compliment, giving her a little substance and some additional speed. He also has a liking for the turf which will benefit this mare's sire line.

Cedar Hall will visit Woodford-bred Independence Hall in 2023 | photo courtesy Woodford Thoroughbreds

DON'T LEAVE ME (m, 11, Lemon Drop Kid – See How She Runs, by Maria's Mon) to be bred to Not This Time.

Don't Leave Me is a multiple Grade III winner and is out of a Grade I-winning dam. Woodford is proud to have purchased this mare out of the Pin Oak Dispersal in 2021 carrying an Authentic colt and she's currently pregnant to Into Mischief. We were very impressed with the year Not This Time had in 2022 and when looking for proven stallions, he has become a standout. We think he'll be a nice physical match for the mare.

CEDAR HALL (m, 6,  Bayern – Dahteste, by Majestic Warrior) to be bred to Independence Hall.

In hindsight, Cedar Hall might have been a value play, being stakes placed, when we purchased her pregnant to Volatile for $95,000 in 2021. She probably would have brought twice that this past November! This is a really pretty mare and we actually purchased her with the purpose of breeding her to Independence Hall.

Woodford bred Independence Hall, sold him as a yearling, bought back into him during his race career and now owns a considerable number of shares in the horse, which means we will support him. His first crop of foals are hitting the ground now and from photos we have seen, they look to be very racey individuals.

RITE MOMENT (m, 19, Vicar – Moments of Joy, by Lost Code) to be bred to City of Light.

Rite Moment is one of the oldest and most proven mares in the band. She herself was a multiple Grade II winner and has produced two previous black-type horses, but her standout produce is current graded stakes winner Mimi Kakushi (City of Light). Mimi Kakushi won a stakes race and then followed that up with a win in the G3 U.A.E. Oaks. She is potentially being pointed to the GI Kentucky Oaks. It only makes sense to go back to the well and should the mare have a filly, we'll likely retain her as a broodmare prospect.

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