Mating Plans, Presented By Spendthrift Farm: Blue Diamond's Stonereath Mares

Blue Diamond's Imad Al Sagar shares several of his mating plans featuring American stallions

As we approach the opening of the 2024 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. Today we caught up with Imad Al Sagar of Blue Diamond Stud, who added a Kentucky base, Stonereath Farm, in August.

   “The acquisition of Stonereath Farm in Kentucky last summer has allowed us great opportunity to diversify,” Al Sagar said. “A handful of Blue Diamond mares already resided in Kentucky but with the addition of Stonereath, which covers 252 acres near Paris, we have increased that number; several have been sourced specifically with an eye on breeding and racing in the US while others will continue to switch to and from our base in Newmarket in order to take advantage of the differing bloodlines available in Kentucky. We are lucky to have an excellent team of people overseeing Stonereath, including farm manager Jenn Laidlaw, office manager Erin Dilger and Walter Nathaniel Lobato.”


DAWN OF HOPE (IRE) (11, Mastercraftsman {Ire}–Sweet Firebird {Ire}, by Sadler's Wells), in foal to Lope De Vega (Ire) and visits Justify
Dawn Of Hope was a high-class filly for us, winning the Listed Prix Petite Etoile, and her first three foals are winners. Her first foal, Kind Gesture (GB) (Decorated Knight {GB}), came close to gaining black-type in Britain and is currently running well in Australia, and we are hopeful there is more to come from her 3-year-old Blown Away (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) with John and Thady Gosden. We have retained her 2-year-old Sea The Stars (Ire) filly Gaugamela (GB), who goes to Andre Fabre.

Like everyone else, we have been impressed with what Justify has achieved with his first two crops–we bred one of his early stakes winners, Wonderful Justice (GB). It is notable how well he has done with Danehill line mares, particularly in Australia–Storm Boy (Aus), Learning To Fly (Aus) and Legacies (Aus) spring to mind.

Dawn Of Hope's family goes back to Native Street via the Fire The Groom branch, so it has had its share of success in America as well. With so much currently going on in the family and her own talent to take into account, we took the decision to ship Dawn Of Hope over from Newmarket specifically to send to Justify.

Also going to Justify is Floret (Ire), a Galileo (Ire) half-sister to Moonlight Cloud (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) from the Doff The Derby family. She is in foal to Blame and by sending her to Justify, we are repeating the Galileo cross responsible for City Of Troy, Unless and Buchu among others.

Dawn Of Hope and her '23 Pinatubo (Ire) colt | Equuis Images


FREE LOOK (4, Tapit–Wild Mint, by Medaglia d'Oro) to be bred to Gun Runner
Tapit is such a good broodmare sire and we were trying for some time to add a daughter to our broodmare band. Free Look was second in the GII Miss Grillo S. and fifth in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf as a 2-year-old, plus she's a very good-looking individual from the immediate family of Violence. So we were delighted to buy her at the Fasig-Tipton July Sale and she went on to win on her first start for us on dirt.

We were keen to start her off with a proven stallion at the highest level and Gun Runner fits the bill with his immense success with Tapit in mind–even allowing for the level of opportunity given the fact both are Winchell horses, it's very notable that Gun Runner already has six stakes winners out of Tapit mares.


I'M WONDERFUL (8, Giant's Causeway–Rebridled Dreams, by Unbridled's Song), had a colt by Blame and visits Tapit
I'm Wonderful is out of Coffee Pot Stable's excellent producer Rebridled Dreams and therefore a sister to Carpe Diem. One of our first mares to be based in Kentucky, her first foal, Wonderful Justice (Justify), won last year's Black Gold S. for us at Fair Grounds. She just had a colt by Blame as part of our strategy to tap into Roberto blood and now heads to Tapit. This mating produces inbreeding to Unbridled, similar to the pattern found in the backgrounds of Tapit's Grade I winners Unique Bella, Sweet Loretta, Valiance and Tapit Trice. However, the key here is to also make use of Tapit. He's become such an important influence, both through his sons and daughters, and we are keen to utilise him while we can.


MANASAROVA (11, More Than Ready–Manaahil, by Mr. Greeley), in foal to Not This Time and visits Blame
From the Ballade family, Manasarova was listed-placed as a 2-year-old and has already produced a really good filly in France called Sicilian Defense (GB) (Muhaarar {GB}), who won a pair of listed races and was Group 2-placed. We have retained her 3-year-old filly by Zoustar (Aus), Yusra, and she is with Andre Fabre. Manasarova is one of three mares we are sending to Blame this season. We hold the Roberto line, with its propensity for throwing sound and talented horses, in high regard. So one of the ideas behind using Blame is to tap into one of the remaining Kentucky-based representatives of that sire line and hopefully produce some fillies for the broodmare band down the line.

Also heading to Blame is Jousi (GB), a homebred Dubawi (Ire) granddaughter of Irish 1000 Guineas winner Classic Park (GB) who won an Ascot maiden as a 2-year-old for us, and Star Of Bristol, a Speightstown half-sister to Mastercraftsman (Ire). Star Of Bristol's first two foals have both won and we have retained her Wootton Bassett (GB) 2-year-old filly, who goes to Christopher Head. Given Blame's affinity with mares carrying Mr. Prospector, we hope that she will be a good fit.


OCEAN SAFARI (5, Temple City–Media Access, by Devil's Bag) to be bred to Not This Time
One of two stakes-winning Temple City mares we bought last November, Ocean Safari won the Honey Ryder S. Not This Time has been extremely impressive to date and his progeny seem versatile as well, which suits an operation like Blue Diamond that races on turf and dirt. We have two mares due to foal to him this year in Grade I winner Abscond, who is back in Newmarket ahead of a visit to Frankel (GB), and Manasarova.

In the case of this mare, Not This Time has already been effective with the Hail To Reason/Roberto line, to whom Ocean Safari is inbred; Cogburn, Simplification, Midnight Stroll, Howling Time being examples. The cross also produces inbreeding to Ballade, a pattern which we've seen behind several stakes winners by Giant's Causeway and his brother Freud. Not This Time is very much on the rise, with his versatility in the mould of his sire Giant's Causeway; all things considered, he should be a very good starting point for a young mare like Ocean Safari.


QUEEN OFTHE TEMPLE (6, Temple City–Queenameina, by Read The Footnotes) to be bred to Uncle Mo
Another hard-knocking daughter of Temple City who won the Santa Barbara S. and was multiple graded stakes-placed. Like Ocean Safari, we were keen to start her off with a proven sire. Uncle Mo is so reliable, he's a good option for starting off a young mare, and he's also versatile when it comes to dirt and turf. Although he's out of an Arch mare, he's had good results when bred back to the Hail To Reason/Roberto line–runners like Bast, Bye Bye Melvin, Mo Ready and Royal Mo for example.

Stonereath Farm in Kentucky was acquired in August of last year and is now an American base for the operation | Blue Diamond Stud

ANGLE OF ATTACK (7, Maclean's Music–Bourbon Warfare, by Colonel John) to be bred to Bolt d'Oro
It's hard not be impressed by Bolt d'Oro's early results, especially his statistics. Angle Of Attack, a young stakes-winning mare who is owned in partnership with Kuwait Racing Syndicate, already has a yearling filly by him and we've decided to send her back; Bolt d'Oro's early success with the mares from the Distorted Humor line, highlighted by Major Dude, certainly adds weight on paper.

Joining Angle Of Attack on a return trip to Bolt d'Oro is New Jazz. She is a winning daughter of Scat Daddy and that particular cross has already produced Bobby O.


ARWA (IRE) (10, Holy Roman Emperor {Ire}–Another Storm, by Gone West) to be bred to Elite Power
Arwa is a winning half-sister to six stakes horses including Order Of St George (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and out of a daughter of Storm Song so it's a versatile family with championship form on dirt and turf under the first two dams. For us, Elite Power is an extremely appealing package; a brilliant sprinter who retired sound with the looks and pedigree to support his talent. We are looking forward to supporting him at Juddmonte.


DANCING KIKI (7, Blame–Justenufappeal, by Exchange Rate), in foal to Medaglia d'Oro and visits Violence
A tough stakes-winning daughter of Blame who was effective on dirt and turf. She is in foal to Medaglia d'Oro and we are staying on the same theme by sending her to Violence, who of course sired Forte out of a Blame mare.

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

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