Reigning GI Kentucky Derby winner Country House (Lookin At Lucky-Quake Lake, by War Chant) has been secured for stud duty by John Phillips’s Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Country House will be participating in Darby Dan’s “Share the Upside” program, and his fee for the 2021 season has been set at $7,500 S&N.
“We are excited to stand Country House and to provide breeders the opportunity to breed to a Kentucky Derby winner through our “Share the Upside” program,” said Ryan Norton, Darby Dan Farm’s stallion director. “There is a lot to like about Country House, hailing from the influential Smart Strike sire line, and we encourage breeders to come out to the farm and see him.”
Bred by J. V. Shields Jr., the chestnut, who was initially campaigned by a partnership consisting of Shields’s widow, Maury and his nephew Guinness McFadden, graduated in his sophomore debut in his third career start at Gulfstream Park, resulting in LNJ Foxwoods to jump into the fray and secure an interest in the Derby prospect. Runner-up behind subsequent GI Preakness S. winner War of Will (War Font) in the GII Risen Star S. at the Fair Grounds, he was fourth in the GII Louisiana Derby and capped off his Derby preparations with a third behind winner Omaha Beach (War Front) in the GI Arkansas Derby. On the first Saturday in May, the Bill Mott trainee finished behind favored Maximum Security (New Year’s Day), however, was promoted to first following his rival’s disqualification. Country House retired with two wins and two seconds from seven career starts and earnings of $2,120,175.
“Country House is an absolutely gorgeous horse that was just coming into his own when he ran in the Kentucky Derby,” Mott said. “We always felt the best was yet to come.”
Country House is out of winning Quake Lake, a half-sister to graded stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Breaking Lucky, who is also by Lookin At Lucky. Quake Lake and Breaking Lucky are out of the Grade I-placed Sky Classic mare Shooting Party. Country House is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Mitchell Road, winner of the 2019 GIII Gallorette S. at Pimlico and an earner of $469,370.
To earn a lifetime breeding right to Country House through Darby Dan’s “Share the Upside” program, breeders are required to pay a $500 non-refundable enrollment fee and breed one mare in the first year (2021) at the reduced stud fee of $5,000 S&N. Breeders are entitled to breed one mare in 2022 at the reduced fee of $5,000 S&N. Following two live foals and with both stud fees paid, the lifetime breeding right begins in the stallion’s third year (2023) at stud.