John Sikura

This Side Up: The Vital Quest for New Joy

Polite but perfunctory. That was pretty much the tone in which people tended to praise Kitten's Joy while he was with us, and I guess it should be no different now that he's gone. Even so, it strikes me that his loss has been inadequately lamented. Not just in his own right, as an avowed turf stallion who freakishly contrived two general sires' championships in North America; but also, virtually unremarked, as a final straw in what has over the past nine months become an outright catastrophe for the enlightened...

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This Side Up: The Vital Quest for New Joy

Polite but perfunctory. That was pretty much the tone in which people tended to praise Kitten's Joy while he was with us, and I guess it should be no different now that he's gone. Even so, it strikes me that his loss has been inadequately lamented. Not just in his own right, as an avowed turf stallion who freakishly contrived two general sires' championships in North America; but also, virtually unremarked, as a final straw in what has over the past nine months become an outright catastrophe for the enlightened...

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Taking Stock: Justify Moving Early

Coolmore America's Triple Crown winner Justify, a son of Scat Daddy, never raced at two, and he famously became the first unraced 2-year-old since Apollo in 1882 to win the Gl Kentucky Derby. Midway through July, however, Justify is already represented by a Group 2 winner in Europe and a Grade III winner in North America from his first crop of 2-year-olds, and through Monday he sat second by less than $30,000 on the first-crop sire list by progeny earnings behind Spendthrift's Bolt d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro), a rival he defeated...

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Charlatan's First Mare Pronounced in Foal

Inventive, a multiple graded stakes-producing mare, has been pronounced in foal to Charlatan. By Dixie Union, Inventive is the dam of GI Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt. "It's only fitting that Charlatan's first in foal mare is the dam of a Grade I winner. The mare has a wonderful pedigree, hailing from the family of GI Test S. winner Fara's Team, the dam of Breeders' Cup Classic winner Concern. She is representative of the quality book Charlatan has attracted," said John G. Sikura, President of Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa....

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Momentum Builds In Keeneland January Opener

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY - The Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale, delayed a day due to last week's blizzard, took some time to find its footing, but gained in strength throughout Tuesday's opening session to end the day with figures up compared to its 2020 opening session. "We are very pleased with the way things ended up," said Keeneland's vice president of sales Tony Lacy. "We were expecting a very solid day. There was some nice quality, especially towards the end. And that is...

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Charlatan Attracts Quality First Book for 2022

Hill 'n' Dale President John Sikura couldn't be happier with the book of mares that multiple Grade I-winning 'TDN Rising Star' Charlatan (Speightstown-Authenticity, by Quiet American) has amassed for his first season at stud in 2022. Sikura said the quality embodied in this initial book is unlike many he's seen for a first-year sire. "The compliments we've received from people who have come out to see him have been remarkable," he said. "Eclipse Award-winning breeders are sending Grade I-winning and Grade I-producing mares to him, which is something that is...

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Letter to the Editor: John Sikura

The case of Bob Baffert has been, sad but fascinating to watch. It has served to be the perfect foil for agenda-driven companies and organizations to attach a face to 'the cause.' Due process and the right to defend oneself with veracity is the foundational tenet of this country. It protects citizens from overreaching by entities such as Churchill, NYRA and others banning Baffert from running at their tracks until adjudication is reached--not dictated. The actions of Churchill Downs clearly prioritize what we already know, which is that the value...

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MGISW to Hill 'n' Dale's Charlatan

Guarana (Ghostzapper--Magical World, by Distorted Humor), purchased from Fasig-Tipton's November sale for $4.4 million (TDN Nov. 10 edition), will visit MGISW Charlatan (Speightstown), the farm's most recent addition to Hill n' Dale's roster at Xalapa. Awarded TDN Rising Star status after breaking her maiden by 14 3/4 lengths, she followed up that victory in her next start with a stakes record performance in the GI Acorn S., winning by six lengths before adding a score in the GI Coaching Club American Oaks. She subsequently added a victory in the GI...

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Dorman Returns to Fasig November as a Seller

Matt Dorman made an immediate impact when he entered the bloodstock sales last fall looking to build a new broodmare band at his Determined Stud. The Maryland native opened his buying spree at the Fasig-Tipton November sale where he purchased four mares--including the $1.1-million Desert Isle (Bernardini) in partnership with John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa--for a total of $2.125 million. Dorman returns to Fasig-Tipton Tuesday, but this time as a seller as he offers three weanlings through Scott Mallory's consignment. "It's mixed emotions," Dorman said of Determined Stud's...

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Hill 'n' Dale '22 Stud Fees led by Curlin

The roster and fees for Hill 'n' Dale Farm's 2022 season is led by the nation's leading sire in number of Grade I winners, dual Horse of the Year Curlin (Smart Strike--Sheriff's Deputy, by Deputy Minister). He will return in 2022 for a fee of $175,000 LFSN. Also remaining unchanged is fellow Horse of the Year Ghostzapper (Awesome Again--Baby Zip, by Relaunch). The Hall of Famer will stand for $75,000 LFSN in 2022. Included among the operation's up-and-coming sires, Good Magic (Curlin--Glinda the Good, by Hard Spun), whose fee also...

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The Brilliant Guarana and Her Dam Magical World at Fasig-Tipton

An elite group of broodmares owned in partnership by Three Chimneys Farm and Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency will go through the ring at the upcoming Fasig-Tipton November Sale on Nov. 9. Among them, Grade I winner Guarana (Ghostzapper - Magical World, by Distorted Humor) and her dam Magical World (Distorted Humor - Pleasant Home, by Seeking the Gold) offer a rare opportunity for buyers on the 'Night of the Stars.' "I've been doing this a long time and I don't ever recall having an opportunity to offer a mother...

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Undefeated Army Mule in Demand with First Yearlings

The first yearlings from GISW Army Mule (Friesan Fire-Crafty Toast, by Crafty Prospector) may have surprised a few people when they proved to be a hot commodity at the first three major yearling sales of the year. Army Mule began his stud career in 2019 at Hill 'n' Dale Farms with a modest $10,000 stud fee after just three career starts, but at this year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, two representatives from his first book of mares brought $400,000-first a colt out of stakes winner Made Me Shiver (Maclean's Music) and...

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