Mating Plans, Presented by Spendthrift: Machmer Hall

Maximus Mischief is in Machmer Hall's lineup for 2024 | Spendthrift photo

The TDN's popular annual series 'Mating Plans, presented by Spendthrift,' continues today in a conversation with Machmer Hall's Carrie Brogden.

Becca's Rocket, 6, (Orb-Idoitmyway, by Unbridled's Song). To be bred to Elite Power.
Becca's Rocket is currently in foal to Jackie's Warrior. We bred this Orb filly and after the untimely death of her Unbridled's Song dam in a paddock accident, I vowed to buy this beautiful stakes mare back after her racing career. When she was born, I had such high hopes for her because she was just a super model from day one. Even though Orb tanked as a stallion, I was thrilled that she ran to her looks to become a four-time stakes placed mare of over $250,000. I drove the people who owned her so crazy for over a year to buy her upon her retirement. I saw Jackie's Warrior and thought he was beyond stunning so she went to him the first year, figuring the horse version of Angelina Jolie to Brad Pitt certainly has the chance to make a beautiful baby! So, who to breed her to this year? When I was at the Breeders' Cup this year after losing my butt all day since I refused to bet the chalk, and about six drinks in, Elite Power's race was up. I was watching the post parade and all of a sudden Elite Power gallops away from the pony horse like a machine, giving me goose bumps (which I just got again thinking about it!) I turned to my husband and said, `whatever cash or betting funds we have I am putting on Elite Power.' I literally was putting in a dozen single dollar bills into the auto teller at the Little Red Feather suite with two minutes to post. Ha! He wins and happy, happy! How could one of my favorite homebred yearlings not go to one of my favorite racehorses? Becca's Rocket is booked to Elite Power.

Life Well Lived, 17, Tiznow-Well Dressed, b Notebook. To be bred to Constitution.
She is in foal to Constitution and my thoughts are, `if it ain't broke, don't fix it.' We were so lucky to buy this fabulous older multiple stakes producer the morning before her son, Parchment Party (Constitution), became a TDN Rising Star. I'm a huge, huge fan of Stone Farm who had her and raised all her runners, so I knew he had a great chance of being raised big and sound. Valerie de Meric, whose family broke and trained him, had texted me the morning she sold about his incredible talent. My mom and I were in the back ring with a tentative budget of $250,000 to purchase her. As her price climbed, I said to my mom that I did not think our original budget was going to cut it at all. We bid $340,0000 and the bid was returned slowly at $350,000 from whom I found out was her breeder, WinStar Farm. I looked at my mom as Stan the bid spotter is asking me with his gestures from his back ring post, `What do you want to do?' Mom looked at me and I asked her, `What do you want to do?' She said, `I am 76 and I can't take it with me, and I want to buy this mare.' The reference to her being 76 was not lost on me as my mind instantaneously was flooded with the memories of my beloved grandmother (my second mom) and her mother, Betty Machmer, who died in perfect health at 76 asleep on the sofa. Her loss 30 years ago still hurts. Her love, her personality, her life of supreme kindness inspired the name and spirit of what is Machmer Hall.
So we bid again. That afternoon at Keeneland, when his allowance race went off at Churchill Downs, I am sure they heard me cheering him in Louisville. The grand old gal is happily living at Machmer Hall now, a stone's throw from her former home of Stone Farm and, to top it off, I got the most wonderful and amazing congratulatory text from my favorite chef on Beat Bobby Flay after her purchase. Lynn Hancock asked me what I was going to do if he won the Derby and I told her I was going to get drunk. What a life we lead. Hope is the most valuable commodity. She is booked back to the next super stallion in Kentucky, Constitution.

Bunskie, 4, (Speightstown-Layreebelle, by Tale of the Cat). To be bred to Into Mischief.
Many years ago, we bought a top-class older mare when she was 19 years old. She was carrying a Tale of the Cat filly at the time. That mare was Voodoo Lily, who became the granddam of Justify. The resultant Tale of the Cat filly unfortunately injured her shoulder in a field accident so we kept her as a broodmare and named her Layreebelle (after my kids Layne, Reece, and Isabelle). Layreebelle has gone onto be a triple-graded-stakes producer with her most recent filly, Three Witches (Into Mischief) running third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and selling for $1.7 million at Keeneland November.
We retained the now four-year-old Speightstown daughter out of Layreebelle named Bunskie, my youngest brother's childhood nickname. She foaled a fancy Bolt d'Oro filly just last night! In deciding where to go next, we looked to our favorite super sire, Into Mischief. His live-foal stud fee is out of our comfort zone, so we did a package of no-guarantee seasons in him with Spendthrift and she is booked on one of those seasons. We cannot wait to have a handful of Into Mischiefs back on the farm next year!

Stonetonic, 6, (Candy Ride {Arg}-Stonetastic, by Mizzen Mast.) To be bred to Flightline.
We were lucky enough to breed Grade II winner Stonetastic out of our super mare, Special Me. We were anxious to have a filly from that family, so when her first daughter Stonetonic came to auction in foal to Yaupon, we paid an outrageous $400,000 for her. Well, we looked pretty damn crazy until I was in Keeneland November seeing all of these fancy Yaupon babies with incredible physiques selling for big bucks! She has a lovely filly foal and when it came to make a choice of who to breed her to last year it was not lost on me that Flightline's purchaser, David Ingordo, bought Stonetonic's half-sister by Gun Runner for $925,000. David also bought Special Me's Grade I winner, Gift Box, off of us as a weanling so we're thinking it might be a lucky mating to send her to the stellar racehorse Flightline for her second baby, which she is expecting. Figuring that it was a no-brainer to send her first year mating, why not repeat it for $50,000 less for second year? Stonetonic is booked back to Flightline for 2024.

Hailey's Melody, 6, (Can the Man-Miki's Melody, by Aptitude). To be bred to Two Phil's.
Since we have a ridiculous number of mares due to yours truly having a major horse addiction, we have really tried to limit our new acquisitions to stakes mares. I first saw this mare on a Fasig-Tipton digital sale and even though Can the Man fizzled out at stud, she was a gorgeous, stakes-placed mare who failed to meet her reserve at $48,000 as a breeding or racing prospect. I messaged her owner that when she was done racing we would be interested in buying her as a broodmare only. Fast forward five months, and I got a text that her owner would sell her for a price so reasonable I think I choked on the Diet Coke I was drinking. She shipped in and this stunning 16.3 Adonis gets off the van. So, who to breed her to first year for good value but a great physical and price? Two Phil's: what a great price at $12,500! His speed figures were off the charts and he is by such a great, underrated stallion in Hard Spun. She has the big stretchy frame to lengthen out his Quarter Horse type physique and they are both correct with plenty of bone.

Rumandice, 8, (Congrats-Chasethegold, by Touch Gold). To be bred to Practical Joke.
I was walking in the back ring in Keeneland January, 2020 and happened to glance over and see this statuesque Congrats filly literally in the chute to go into the ring to be sold. We had actually had great luck in past with her family both in the sale ring and on the racetrack (which is the holy grail for any Thoroughbred commercial breeder). I decided to watch her sell and see where she went. She waltzes into the ring and I hear music to my bargain-shopping ears: `this mare is a cribber.' `OH!' my brain says. `There might be a chance here!' I bought her for $65,000 as a broodmare prospect and happy! Her second foal turns out to be a magnificent son of Practical Joke we sold to Winstar farm for $500,000 at this year's Saratoga sale. We bred her back to Authentic in 2023. Elliott Walden was kind enough to send me a video last month of said Practical Joke colt training, now named Social Hour, and so far so good! Seemed like a no brainer to us to repeat that mating and hope for maybe a happy hour next time! Her 2024 mating is back to the proven and great value sire in Practical Joke.

Line of Vision, 9, Court Vision-Gold Lined, by Numerous). To be bred to Maximus Mischief.
Line of Vision is a small mare but was a multiple stakes-winning two-year-old with 20 starts under her belt and earnings of almost $250,000. We used to have a rule in our band that all mares had to be at least 16hh but as the years passed we realized that rule needed to be changed with so many big stallions in Kentucky. We bought this mare on the Wanamaker's digital sale platform and bred her in 2023 to Mo Donegal, who is a big, strong horse. She was actually booked to Bolt D'Oro, but that day he was chock a block so we had to call an audible and change stallions last minute. Hopefully it works out like it did when the same thing happened with Vyjack's mating. In deciding where to send her for 2024, we turned to a former Machmer Hall pinhook, Maximus Mischief. What a magnificent foal he was and we have supported him since he went to stud including purchasing multiple breeding rights in him. He seems to throw leg and stretch no matter what mare he goes to. I think that he has had literally three maiden special weight winners in the past two days alone. We are hoping this sound young mare will be a great match with him physically and on the track! 2024: booking Maximus Mischief

Warm Sunshine, 10, (Unbridled's Song-Carolina Sunrise, by Awesome Again). To be bred to Cody's Wish.
We bought Warm Sunshine as a yearling on my never ending quest for Unbridled's Song mares. We already had claimed her full-sister, who became the dam of Grade III winner Fore Left and her other half-sister, Little Miss Macho, who was a Keeneland September session topper. We raced her and even though she is small, Bart Hone told me she “had a heart the size of Texas.” When we were looking who to breed her for a first foal, Constitution was in the middle of the dreaded bubble year as a stallion. I was challenged by Winstar to book five mares to him and get a bonus season. I actually found eight mares for him and we decided to send Warm Sunshine to him. Fast-forward from that 2018 mating; a case of sesamoiditis derailed our vision of a yearling sale. On to the two-year-old sale, where he promptly bucked his shins. So now, we race him. Steal Sunshine (named after the Len song) has now won two stakes and over $350,000 for us and is running in the GIII Hooper on Pegasus day this weekend! His mother is in foal to two-year-old champion Essential Quality on a 2023 breeding and booked to a horse that more happy tears have been shed over then I can remember in my lifetime, Cody's Wish, for 2024.

Vino Rosso is booked for Breakfastatbonnies | Sarah Andrew

Breakfastatbonnies, 6, (Laoban-Right Prevails, by Successful Appeal). To be bred to Vino Rosso.
Breakfastatbonnies is another one of my infamous walking in the back ring and `what on earth is that?' buys. (Better to ask forgiveness than permission from the hubby and mom.) This stakes-placed Laoban mare is the sh$t. I mean big and beautiful in every way of the word. A little flat in her knees if you want to be critical but I think that was found in a lot of the Laoban progeny. Full-sister to a stakes-winner of over half a million, I bought her as a broodmare prospect for $90,000. For a first year foal, we bred her to Cyber Knife. I try to call the people that know those horses best when they were yearlings or two year olds and Susan Montayne had broken and trained him for Al Gold. After speaking to her, I felt this would be a great physical match, but, truth be told , this mare is so good-looking she could probably get bred to a Welsh Pony and have a Pony Finals champion. When looking to breed her for 2024, my eyebrows have been raised at the incredible accomplishments so far of Vino Rosso. We booked three mares to him for the 2024 season and Breakfastatbonnies is one of those mares going to him.

Fancy Kitten, 10, (Kitten's Joy-Endless Fancy, by Ghostzapper). To be bred to Justify.
Fancy Kitten was originally claimed by James Keogh to resell as a broodmare prospect. He called me for a reference on someone who could claim this stakes-placed daughter of Kitten's Joy for him. I told him I knew the perfect person-a 4H conformation judge in a former lifetime and now a hard-working trainer. James calls her and the claim is dropped on `the correct and good-sized filly.' `Grand, grand,' you can imagine James saying in his best Irish brogue. Wait a minute, the phone rings again and the trainer says, `I was so busy making sure she was correct that I might have missed that she is a wee weak in the topline.' James is like, `how weak are we talking?' Too late, claim dropped. I am dying of laughter typing this because to hear James tell the story is side-splitting. James calls me after the mare gets to his farm and he is like, `so much for your former 4H judge!' Fancy Kitten goes to the Fasig-Tipton February sale and if you ever had the Breyer horse as a kid like I did , Fancy Kitten was the chestnut version of the old grey mare Glossy.
She is at the sale and as everyone knows it is impossible to sell a swayback (even though I have never seen a swayback throw a swayback) and she fails to meet her modest reserve. My mother, of course, has heard the entire story of the claim and James is desperately wanting to get her off the books as one of the rare times he does not make a fabulous claim, so we buy her for $10,000. Her first foal is the graded-stakes winning Jasper Krone (Frosted) who ran in this year's Breeders' Cup and her second foal, Ngannou (Mendelssohn) was a graded-stakes-placed two year old of last year. She has never thrown a swayback and throws a lovely baby that can run! She is currently in foal to the beautiful Jackie's Warrior and is booked back to the rising-star stallion Justify. You just cannot make this stuff up and that is why you never know where they are going to come from!

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