Hill 'n' Dale

Catching Up with 2004 Breeders' Cup Classic Winner Ghostzapper

Horses aren't supposed to be able to do what Ghostzapper did. The Hall of Famer was so dazzling that the 128 Beyer Speed Figure he registered in the GIII Philip H. Iselin H.--still the highest figure in the history of American racing at a route--isn't even remembered as one of his top races. Some people might count his GI Vosburgh sprinting at three against older horses as one of his best, others might prefer his GI Woodward battle over eventual Horse of the Year Saint Liam, and still others might...

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Curlin's $250,000 Stud Fee At Hill 'n' Dale A Match For Into Mischief's

Hill 'n' Dale Farms multiple leading sire Curlin will have a stud fee equal to Spendthrift Farm's Into Mischief at $250,000 LFSN, as the breeding operation published its roster for the 2024 season in a press release Thursday morning. Farm stalwart Curlin, who has defined himself as one of the most preeminent sires at stud today, had his fee raised from $225,000. The 19-year-old is the sire of five individual Grade I winners this year, including Idiomatic, Cody's Wish, Clairiere, Elite Power and Bright Future. Curlin's champion son Good Magic...

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Catching Up with 2017 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Winner Good Magic

Good Magic entered the GI Juvenile a maiden; he came out a Breeders' Cup winner. He's making an even bigger splash at stud. A little more than six weeks before his first crop turned up GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage, he had this year's priciest OBSMAR 2-year-old. That $2-million colt is now GISW Muth and will be one of the favorites for this year's Juvenile. "The odds are rare to buy a horse and have it become an important stallion," said Hill 'n' Dale's John Sikura of Good Magic. "Intuitively...

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Curlin, from Breeders' Cup Winner to Breeders' Cup Sire

Celebrating 40 Years of the Breeders' Cup with Living Legends There are great racehorses and there are great sires. One doesn't always equal the other. Sometimes, but not always, a horse is equally adept at both. "It's rare for world-class racehorse to become a world-class sire. It's two different resumes, two different achievements," said John Sikura, owner of Hill 'n' Dale. Rarely, ever so rarely, a top racehorse becomes a sire so good and so prolific in generating top-class horses that his own championship race record becomes almost an afterthought....

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Sikura: No Simple Solutions for a Fractured Sport

At a time that so plainly demands leadership, where better to come than the desk of John Sikura? A man of notably independent outlook, the owner of Hill 'n' Dale can be relied upon for a perspective that combines candor and detachment with flair and imagination. And those are all assets that appear to be in short supply right now. For while our community's emotional response to the traumas at Saratoga this summer was one of shared horror and grief, the polarization of opinion since has been emotive. Much as...

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Lookin At Lucky Accounts For Top Sellers On Penultimate Day at Keeneland September

Coolmore's Lookin At Lucky was responsible for the top-selling colt and priciest filly as the Keeneland September Sale reached its second-last day of trade Friday afternoon in Lexington. Robert Clay's Grandview Equine signed for a pair of seven-figure yearlings--colts by Into Mischief and Curlin--during the select Book 1 and 2 sessions early last week, and the operation remained focused on the task at hand all the way through Book 6, going to $120,000 for hip 3910. The Apr. 27 foal was consigned to the sale by Hill 'n' Dale at...

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Magic Formula for Curlin Succession

With barely a dozen race days to be eked out of its remaining two years, the Steve Pini Memorial S. of September 2017 formed part of a pretty low-key bookend to the history of Suffolk Downs. The Boston track's opening era, after all, had been propped up by Seabiscuit himself. But it turns out that this race, honoring the late track superintendent, deserves a rather lengthier footnote than anyone might have imagined at the time. Over an extended mile of turf, a 5-year-old daughter of Big Brown overtook Queen Caroline...

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All Rise: Army Mule's Federal Judge Drops the Gavel on Debut

Angel of Empire (Classic Empire) and Wet Paint (Blame) weren't the only 3-year-olds to impress on Oaklawn Park's loaded GI Arkansas Derby program. WinStar Farm and Siena Farm's Federal Judge (c, 3, Army Mule--Congarette, by Congaree) announced his presence with authority on the undercard, kicking off his career for trainer Rodolphe Brisset with a razor sharp, front-running performance, good for a flashy 97 Beyer Speed Figure. He broke sharply from post five beneath Ricardo Santana, Jr. and quickly cleared his six rivals, including a trio of older horses, at debut...

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First Foals by Charlatan Reported

Hill 'n' Dale's Charlatan (Speightstown), a multiple Grade I stakes winner, was represented by his first two foals this past week. On Jan. 17, a bay colt out of Inventive (Dixie Union) was born at Seclusive Farm. Inventive is already the dam of GISW Klimt (Quality Road) and of GSP West Coast Chick (Malibu Moon). "This colt has strength, power, substance, and great bone," said Seclusive's Chris Baccari. "Excited to have other mares in foal to Charlatan and will plan to breed back to him after seeing this colt. I...

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Jockeys And Jeans Stallion Season Sale Begins Tuesday, Jan. 10

Bidding opens for the Jockey and Jeans Stallion Season Sale, benefitting the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, on Tuesday Jan. 10 at 9 am ET and ends Thursday, Jan. 12 at 9 pm ET with a preview beginning Jan. 9. The sale features over 70 stallions from Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York, California, Texas and Oklahoma and has raised over $500,000 for the PDJF to date. "Big farm or small, we thank them all," said Jockeys and Jeans President Barry Pearl. "There are many other valuable seasons and one for every pocketbook....

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Value Sires for '23: Part V, First Sophomores

Today we finally come to a group that has at least had some initial opportunity to show whether or not they can replicate their own racing prowess. By the same token, of course, this means that their level of support--which in many cases will already have declined through each preceding year, as racetrack exposure draws perilously closer--may now fall off a cliff. If the stampede to unproven sires is ludicrous, then so is the haste with which they are abandoned. Stallions whose stock should plainly be granted time to mature...

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Value Sires for '23, Part IV: First Runners Due

No getting away from it, the young stallions we assess today have already completed their service to many breeders. They've processed a debut crop of yearlings, often on an industrial scale, and many have obliged with the kind of averages that vindicate the familiar, self-fulfilling commercial cycle that so favors new sires: demand generating supply, and the quality incidental to that increased supply in turn increasing demand. That leaves us with another tricky podium. You can't just congratulate those who have "won" on this system, topping out the first-crop yearling...

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