Mating Plans, Presented By Spendthrift: William S. Sparks

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 Williams S. Sparks of Monroe, Louisiana. Originally from Arkansas where he grew up attending Oaklawn races with his grandfather, Sparks has assembled a band which reflects his philosophy of breeding to race. "I'm really deeply committed to breeding a sound racehorse who is going to do what they do best--run," said...

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Value Sires For 2024 Part 6: Reaching The Snowline

Now we're really entering nosebleed altitudes for most breeders, between $30,000 and $50,000: a zone where you should feel that you're improving the odds of coming up with an elite horse. It tells you a lot about our business that the majority of the two dozen stallions operating at this level can only do so because they have yet to send a single runner into the starting gate. A quarter of these we immediately set to one side, as absolute beginners, because those received separate consideration in the opening instalment...

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GISW And Classic-Placed Zandon Retired To Spendthrift Farm

Grade I winner Zandon (Upstart--Memories Prevail, by Creative Cause) has been retired and has arrived at Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky ahead of stallion duty in 2024, the farm announced. The dark bay will stand for $12,500 stands and nurses and will participate in Spendthrift's "Share the Upside" program on a limited basis for a fee of $15,000 for two years. "We are excited about Zandon and the ability to offer a Grade I winner with his physical through our Share The Upside program. He's what they should look like," said...

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Girvin and Upstart Lead the Way at Airdrie on 2024 Roster

Girvin (Tale of Ekati), the sire of three graded stakes winners including Grade I winner Faiza, and Upstart (Flatter), the sire of GI Toyota Blue Grass S. winner Zandon, will both stand for a stud fee of $30,000 at Airdrie Farm in Midway, Kentucky, for the 2024 season, Airdrie announced Wednesday. "We couldn't be looking more forward to the 2024 season as we continue to build momentum in our stallion barn," said Airdrie's Bret Jones. "We believe we have two very special stallions in Girvin and Upstart headlining our roster...

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Taiba, Zandon And Arabian Lion To Stand At Spendthrift In 2024

Grade I winners and 'TDN Rising Stars' Taiba (Gun Runner) and Arabian Lion (Justify) will join Zandon (Upstart) and stand at Spendthrift Farm for the 2024 breeding season. Spendthrift announced the news Saturday. "We are really excited to be bringing in three new stallion prospects of the caliber of Taiba, Arabian Lion and Zandon for the 2024 breeding season," said Spendthrift general manager Ned Toffey. "All three are superior physicals, and all three displayed immense talent in winning some of America's biggest 3-year-old races on dirt. Obviously, the Breeders' Cup...

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Summer Breezes: Rescheduled Del Mar Maiden Caps Thursday Card

Some of the most highly anticipated races during the summer racing season are the 'baby' races during the boutique meetings at both Saratoga and Del Mar and at Ellis Park, which attract its fair share of high-priced offspring from a variety of top national outfits. Summer Breezes highlights debuting 2-year-olds at those meetings that have been sourced at the breeze-up sales earlier in the year, with links to their under-tack previews. To follow are the entries for Thursday at Saratoga and Del Mar: Thursday, August 24, 2023 Saratoga 2, $88k,...

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White Abarrio Dominates Whitney for Richard Dutrow Jr. Barn

Welcome back, Babe. Trainer Rick Dutrow, Jr., on the sidelines for more than 10 years after having his license suspended by New York State racing regulators, enjoyed by far his biggest win since returning in the spring courtesy of White Abarrio (Race Day), a jaw-dropping 6 1/4-length, stalk-and-pounce winner of Saturday's 'Win and You're In' GI Whitney S. at Saratoga. Zandon (Upstart) completed the exacta while the heavily favored Cody's Wish (Curlin), looking for his first career win beyond one mile while drawn widest of all in post six, had...

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Upstart's Prerequisite Wires the Wonder Again

First Row Partners and Team Hanley's Prerequisite went wire-to-wire to take the rescheduled GII Wonder Again S. in just her third career start at Belmont Park Sunday. Sent off at 7-1, the bay filly rushed up to take the lead into the first turn and she was tracked by Spansive (Karakontie {Jpn}) through fractions of :23.67 and :47.94 in a strung-out field down the backstretch. She scampered away into the lane and was clear in upper stretch, but was all out to hold off the late-closing Be Your Best. "I...

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Mitole's V V's Dream Streaks to 'Rising Star'-dom at Churchill

She'd been the buzz horse among the Churchill locals all day and V V's Dream (Mitole) took the first baby steps to making quite a few come true while securing 'TDN Rising Star'-dom in this stylish unveiling. Breaking slowly and asked to race in seventh from two off the rail going into the turn, the grey bided her time as the field watched the other Mitole Cheetah Miss put up all the fractions as :21.90 and :45.59 flashed across the board. Rolling under a full head of steam and splitting...

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Saturday Insights: Zandon Makes His Return

8th-AQU, $84K, OC, 4yo/up, 1m, 5:06 p.m. ZANDON (Upstart), last seen running fourth Dec. 3 in the GI Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, returns to the scene on Saturday in this spot for owner Jeff Drown. Receiving Lasix for the first time, the Chad Brown trainee will be ridden by Flavien Prat and will leave from gate two. Zandon's 3-year-old campaign included a victory in the GI Toyota Blue Grass S., and a pair of third-place finishes in the GI Kentucky Derby and GI Runhappy Travers S. His dam Memories Prevail...

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R.A.C.E. Fund Annual Online Fundraiser May 12-19

The TAA-accredited R.A.C.E. Fund, a 501c3 that stands for "Retirement Assistance and Care for Equines," will launch its 2023 fundraising drive May 12. The online auction will appear on eBay and end May 19. A number of halters--including those of Essential Quality, Serena's Song, Quality Road, Mandaloun, and Upstart--horseshoes, and signed pictures will be part of the auction, as will a VIP farm tour of Three Chimneys. "We have some very exciting and amazing auction items again this year," said R.A.C.E. Fund president Marlene Murray. "We would like to especially...

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Value Sires For '23: Part VI, Earning Their Stripes

And so we come to the abyss: that giddy phase between launching your first juveniles and being able to claim a viable niche in this most unforgiving of marketplaces. Yes, for those few young stallions that do manage to seize their fleeting opportunity, a narrow path can rise rapidly towards lucrative heights. Most of the others, however, find themselves clinging to a crumbling ledge. Whatever you do, don't look down! It's easy to disparage the robotic tendencies of the commercial market. Too easy, certainly, for me to have neglected the...

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