B. Wayne Hughes

Spendthrift Breaks Ground On Hughes Visitor Center

Spendthift Farm has broken ground on what is to be an 8000 square-foot tourism facility that will be named the B. Wayne Hughes Visitors' Center in honor of the farm's late founder. "We take it on as our responsibility now to continue to build on the vision Wayne had for Spendthrift and the sport of horse racing," said Eric Gustavson, owner of Spendthrift and son-and-law to the late B. Wayne Hughes. "It's only fitting to name the new visitors' center after him because it largely represents his love for the...

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Kiaran McLaughlin Talks Saez, Saratoga Training Memories On Writers' Room

Kiaran McLaughlin surprised much of the racing world last year when he abruptly decided to halt his massively successful training career in order to become the jockey's agent for Luis Saez. But it shouldn't surprise anyone to see the success McLaughlin has had handling Saez's book, as the 29-year-old Panamanian is poised to win his first Saratoga riding title. Wednesday, McLaughlin joined the TDN Writers' Room presented by Keeneland to talk about why he made his career shift, the booming results of his partnership with Saez, memories of triumphs in...

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This Side Up: Tiz the Story of a True Magician

Nothing, it seems, will help you see through the vanity of materialism quite like a $4.1 billion fortune. A few summers ago, I was sitting alone in the baronial boardroom at Spendthrift, waiting to interview the farm's owner. It was a hot day, but here all was panelled cool, the venerable furnishings slumbering through the prosperous drone of a lawnmower. I was thinking about this apt conflation of heritage and modernity when startled by the entry of a tanned octogenarian whose casual apparel, in the round, must have cost rather...

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Gormley Takes up Twin Legacies

While it's obviously an extremely poignant day to be reflecting on a breakout success for one of the youngest stallions at Spendthrift, then at least those now mourning the farm's owner know that his own legacy to the breed could scarcely be more secure. For the same cannot quite be said of the horse who started it all for B. Wayne Hughes, Malibu Moon, whose loss earlier this year has now obtained a tragic symmetry. Between the farm's consecutive bereavements, there's no denying that the equine patriarch cannot yet match...

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Statement from Breeders' Cup on the Passing of B. Wayne Hughes

"We were very saddened to learn of the passing of B. Wayne Hughes, who has left an indelible impact and legacy on our sport as a breeder, owner, and industry innovator for the past 20 years. Foremost of his many achievements was his restoration of Spendthrift Farm to its grandeur and success as an internationally preeminent breeding operation, led by such prolific stallions as Malibu Moon and Into Mischief. Moreover, Mr. Hughes believed that breeders were the 'backbone of our industry,' and created programs that re-established the owner/breeder relationship, such...

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Racing Stalwart B. Wayne Hughes Dies

B. Wayne Hughes, the billionaire businessman and philanthropist who resurrected Spendthrift Farm and turned it into one of the leading stallion farms in North America, died Wednesday at his residence on the farm surrounded by his family. He was 87 years old. Born Bradley Wayne Hughes on Sept. 28, 1933, in the small town of Gotebo, OK, he was known by his middle name since childhood. The son of a sharecropper who fled Oklahoma's Dust Bowl and resettled in California shortly after he was born, Hughes grew up poor in...

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This Side Up: Mourning Two Exceptions, Lamenting the Rule

The shocking loss this week of the young gun Laoban, preceded just days earlier by that of the venerable Malibu Moon, could not fail to renew the kind of questions we should all keep asking themselves about how a stallion can make an enduring reputation. Both had started out in a regional program, having shown only marginal eligibility for a stud career on the racetrack, before quickly earning migration to Kentucky. If that was just about all they had in common, then their different roles on two of the biggest...

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Malibu Moon Passes Away

Spendthrift Farm's foundation stallion Malibu Moon (A.P. Indy--Macoumba, by Mr. Prospector) passed away Tuesday in his paddock at the Lexington farm he has called home for the past 13 years. The 24-year-old, who was still in active stud duty, died of an apparent heart attack. "It's a sad day for us. This is our first loss of this kind. It's tough," said Spendthrift owner & president, Eric Gustavson. "You really develop a love for these beautiful, majestic animals. Even with Into Mischief taking over the mantle as 'top stallion' at...

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This Side Up: Like It or Not, All in this Together

This time, it's not just the Susans that have a black eye. You'll forgive me a little hesitation before addressing the 146th running of a race that can seldom have been staged in so febrile a context. Two weeks ago, I was incautious enough in this column to hope for just a nice, boring Derby, after the rancour of 2019 and the dismal postponement of 2020. Then, last week, I asked why even his own industry had been so ungenerous to a trainer who had now won four of his...

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Homebred 'Stars' in the Making for Spendthrift

A pair of Spendthrift Farm homebreds stamped themselves as 3-year-olds to watch for the second half of the season with recent jaw-dropping 'TDN Rising Star' performances. Following Sea (c, 3, Runhappy--Quick Flip, by Speightstown) earned his 'Rising Star' badge with a flashy maiden win at second asking for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert on the GI Arkansas Derby undercard, good for a gaudy 97 Beyer Speed Figure. The bay was hustled to the front by Joel Rosario in the six-furlong affair and was pressed on his inside through an...

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From OBS March Juvenile 'Into' Leading Sire

The buying team at Spendthrift Farm had it down to two different 2-year-old colts from the first crop of the late Harlan's Holiday at the 2007 OBS March Sale. Did they ever pick the right one. Into Mischief (Harlan's Holiday--Leslie's Lady, by Tricky Creek), winner of the GI CashCall Futurity and the back-to-back reigning champion general sire, got the final nod of the pair, bringing $180,000 from B. Wayne Hughes's operation following a :10 2/5 breeze. The striking blaze-faced bay--standing the 2021 season for $225,000 at Spendthrift Farm--graces the cover...

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Stud Farms Sue Over 140-Mare Cap, Allege 'Blatant Abuse of Power' by The Jockey Club

Spendthrift Farm, Ashford Stud and Three Chimneys Farm are suing The Jockey Club in federal court over the "stallion cap" rule that went into effect in 2020, alleging that the 140-mare breeding limit now being phased in amounts to a "blatant abuse of power" that acts as an "anti-competitive restraint" and threatens to disrupt the free-market nature of the bloodstock business. The plaintiffs contend that the stallion cap "serves no legitimate purpose and has no scientific basis" while alleging that the nine stewards of The Jockey Club who voted to...

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