Ivar All Set for Next Chapter in Argentina

Ivar's dam May Be Now produced a filly by Uncle Mo on Mar. 11 Sara Gordon


Argentinian champion and U.S. Grade I winner Ivar (Brz) (Agnes Gold {Jpn}) is preparing for his Southern Hemisphere homecoming next month, when he will take up stud duty at Haras Carampangue in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The 7-year-old, who was campaigned by Kentucky-based Bonne Chance Farm and its South American partner Stud RDI, began quarantine shortly after his second-place finish in the GI Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational S. and will depart for his new home at the end of April, leaving him plenty of time to adapt to his second career before the breeding season begins in August.

While the Southern Hemisphere breeding season is still months away, breeders in Argentina are already eager to send their mares to millionaire Ivar. Bonne Chance Farm CEO Alberto Figueiredo estimated that the new stallion will breed around 140 mares in his first season.

“All the good breeders and important names in the industry in Argentina are interested,” Figueiredo said. “There is general excitement about the horse. When you are in the stallion business, you have to pray that everything keeps going as you hope, but at least we are providing him with the best support he can have.”

Ivar's breeder and co-owner Stud Rio Dois Irmaos (Stud RDI) has retained a 55% ownership share in the stallion, but the syndicate also includes Haras Carampangue–the farm where he will stand–as well as Haras Abolengo, Gran Muneca, San Benito, La Nora and Santa Maria de Araras.

Haras Carampangue is home to four other stallions including 2013 GI Frank E. Kilroe Mile S. winner Suggestive Boy (Easing Along) and 2013 GI Hollywood Derby victor Seek Again (Speightstown).

Argentinian breeders are already more than familiar with Ivar from his undefeated 2-year-old season there in 2019, where he claimed two Group 1 victories and was named champion 2-year-old colt before shipping to the U.S. Under the tutelage of Paulo Lobo, Ivar was a winner in his second start in North America and then claimed the GI Turf Mile S. at Keeneland four months later. He ran third the following season in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile and last year, won the Jonathan B. Schuster Memorial S. and placed in two additional Grade I competitions.

Following his second-place finish in the GI Pegasus Turf in January, the decision was made for Ivar to retire. Figueiredo said that, had the horse won the Pegasus, they might have considered a trip to the Saudi Cup or keeping him in training for one last Keeneland spring meet, but ultimately they chose to give Ivar plenty of time to get through quarantine and let down before the fall breeding season.

Ivar wins the 2020 GI Turf Mile S. at Keeneland | Coady

“He ran in 11 Grade I races in his career and was so competitive, so we needed to look toward his second career,” he explained. “Since his first race in Argentina, he showed that he had a ton of potential and that he was a freak. He was a different horse. He won on the dirt and the turf and he ran until he was a 6-year-old, so he showed versatility, durability and soundness. He ran in three Breeders' Cups in a row. He was a tough boy.”

Figueiredo said that a stud fee is not yet set for Ivar's first year, but noted that he believes there is a good space in the Argentinian market for a stallion with his credentials. Ivar's sire Agnes Gold, a son of Sunday Silence who stood in Japan and Florida before making his mark in Brazil as a three-time leading sire, passed away in 2019.

Ivar was one of the first top-level performers to bring attention to Bonne Chance Farm, which is located off Pisgah Pike in Versailles and was founded by Brazilian businessman Gilberto Sayao Da Silva. Silva is a partner in Stud RDI, a breeding and racing operation established in 2008 with locations in Brazil and Argentina. In 2015, he launched Bonne Chance as his own boutique commercial farm in Kentucky.

Bonne Chance Bloodstock Manager Leah Alessandroni spoke on the significance of Ivar carrying the farm's silks to Grade I success so soon after the operation was off its feet.

“To have a horse like Ivar come up here and do what he did, holding his own against some of the best in the world on the turf and really showing up at the biggest stage every time, it's kind of hard to quantify what that means for a young organization like us. It's definitely something that we're thankful for every day and the significance is not lost on us.”

Of course Ivar is not the only success story of South American-breds performing at the top of the game in the U.S. for the Bonne Chance and Stud RDI partnership. Top performers include In Love (Brz), a gelding son of Agnes Gold who followed Ivar to victory in the GI Keeneland Turf Mile S. in 2021, and Imperador (Arg) (Treasure Beach {GB}), winner of the 2021 GII Calumet Turf Cup S. Now back at Stud RDI, Imperador bred over 80 mares in his first book and is expecting his first foals to hit the ground this year.

“There is a pipeline of these outstanding racehorses coming from the programs in Brazil and Argentina,” Alessandroni said of the Stud RDI operation. “The program that they've built there is so underappreciated on a global scale. When you look at the numbers and what they've done in South America with groups of horses that arguably aren't as respected as much as they should be, they have kind of forced people to look at the South American product and respect it.”

“To have even a little bit of that influence through Bonne Chance is awesome,” she continued. “I feel like we're sleeping on a giant because I'm so excited to see the future for Ivar as a stallion, but also for the future of the partnership of Stud RDI and Bonne Chance.”

At Bonne Chance, Ivar's dam May Be Now (Smart Strike) is creating her own pipeline of future broodmares for the Kentucky operation. Her 2-year-old Open Heart, a May-foaled daughter of Yoshida, was retained by the farm and is in the early stages of training under Paulo Lobo.

This year she produced a filly by Uncle Mo. Alessandroni said that they will take a few months to let the Mar. 11-foaled filly develop before deciding if she would be pointed toward the racetrack or the sales ring.

“She definitely favors Uncle Mo, which is one of the reasons why we bred the mare to him because we were looking for that type. She's a good mover out in the field and is a very quality filly. We're really excited about her.”

May Be Now was acquired as a yearling by Stud RDI and was a Group 2 winner in Brazil. She spent her first few years as a broodmare there before returning to the U.S. shortly after producing Ivar. She was sold in foal to Hard Spun in 2017, but was bought back by Bonne Chance as Ivar was making a name for himself.

In a few years, the team at Bonne Chance hopes to be represented by sons and daughters of Ivar. Because Southern Hemisphere horses are at a disadvantage early in their racing career as they are born in the later months of the year, Figueiredo said that Stud RDI's Ivar babies will likely race as 2-year-olds in Argentina and those that show promise will ship to the U.S. after their juvenile season.

“We would be really excited by that,” Figueiredo said enthusiastically.

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Saturday Insights: Matareya Half-Sister Favored on Debut
  2. Uncle Mo Filly Takes Dirt Bow at Churchill
  3. 'Worldwide' Breeze-up Demand Fuels Bumper Arqana Edition
  4. Uncle Mo Colt Takes The Lead at Arqana at 600,000 Euros
  5. Princesa Celina Opens Up Belmont Meet With Debut Win

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.