As the 2017 foaling and breeding season wraps up, we can’t help but begin looking forward to the spring of 2018. After welcoming five Housatonic-bred foals this year, we will be looking forward to five more next year:
- Akasha is due February 16th with a foal from the first crop of Grade 1-winning juvenile Hit It A Bomb, a son of War Front in whom we are going to Share the Upside at Spendthrift. This foal will be Akasha’s first, after she aborted to the cover of Data Link in 2016.
- I’m Engaged is due February 19th to Declaration of War. Her 2017 filly by The Factor, who we named A Ring Thing, is a very nice foal, and after we were forced to switch I’m Engaged off of Lord Nelson due to his battle with laminitis, we settled on Declaration of War, who is another son of War Front – albeit one for whom we have more classically-oriented expectations, compared with the speedier tendencies of The Factor. We are excited that Declaration of War already has a pair of first-crop winners so far, including the stakes-placed Irish filly Actress.
- Rough Water is due April 22nd to Verrazano, a son of More Than Ready – by whom Rough Water has already produced a pair of winners, and who is also the sire of Daredevil, who fathered Rough Water’s flashy black filly of 2017 (now named Deep Diver). Verrazano and Daredevil are two very different types of physical specimens, and as nice as the Daredevil filly is, we cannot wait to see what Rough Water produces by Verrazano next spring.
- Winning Bet is due May 5th to Munnings, having caught on one cover after delivering her Bodemeister colt (now named Mega Millions) on the Wednesday before Bodemeister’s son Always Dreaming won the Kentucky Derby. We had initially booked Winning Bet to the top-class Australian 2-year-old Vancouver, but the folks at Ashford were nice enough to let us switch her to another of their stallions at the last minute, when we had become worried that we might be “under-breeding” Winning Bet a little bit with Vancouver, given that the sires of her last two foals – Quality Road and Bodemeister – accounted for the winners of this year’s Kentucky Oaks (Abel Tasman) and Derby, respectively.
- Our fifth anticipated foal of 2018 will actually likely be the first to arrive, as Tuxedo Annie is due to deliver her West Virginia-bred baby by Golden Years on January 30th – which is likely to be Golden Years’ first foal to be born as well.
Unfortunately, neither Atlantic Rainbow nor Curlin’s Needle will deliver a foal in 2018. It seems that Atlantic Rainbow is one of those mares that just has a really hard time getting pregnant with a foal by her side, while Curlin’s Needle’s late foaling date this year put her behind the eight-ball, and her foal-heat cover was ultimately unsuccessful. But still, five out of seven is not a bad number, and we are very thankful to the folks at Shawhan Place in Kentucky and GreenMount Farm in Maryland for all of the hard work that they’ve put in with all of our mares and foals!
In addition to the five future foals that we are already dreaming about, and the five foals of 2017 whose progress we will be tracking this summer and fall before they sell at the end of the year, there are plenty of other Housatonic-related horses to keep us busy this summer.
It’s hard to believe, but Atlantic Rainbow’s first foal is already a 2-year-old. After spending the winter and spring at Woodberry Payne’s training center on the grounds of James Madison’s Montpelier, Nautical Nature (by The Factor) is now with trainer Kate Demasi’s string at Monmouth Park, where he continues to work towards his anticipated racetrack debut later this year. He has had an uneventful time of it so far, and gives all the right signals that he might have some talent, so fingers crossed that everything remains smooth for him (after things went not-so-smoothly for us with him before we sold half of him to Kate and her husband Greg’s Pewter Stable).
Littlemissperfect is a mare that we claimed in December of 2016, with an eye towards adding her to our broodmare band eventually. She scored Housatonic’s first ever racetrack victory on Belmont Stakes day at Laurel Park (unfortunately, we were out of town and missed the winner’s circle photo!), and we hope to campaign her the rest of this year with trainer Mike Trombetta before breeding her next spring – but her level is in the claiming ranks, and there’s no guarantee she will still be ours come 2018 (since her latest win was the 11th of her career, and she’s been popular at the claim box in the past).
Other runners we will be watching during the second half of 2017 are several foals out of Housatonic mares, though all we were bred by others before we acquired the mares:
- I’m With Miller is I’m Engaged’s first foal to reach the races – she is a 3-year-old filly by Sky Mesa who was 3rd in a turf maiden earlier this year and most recently ran at Indiana Grand for trainer Brad Cox.
- Jersey Chaser is Rough Water’s 4-year-old daughter by Drosselmeyer, and she won a Mountaineer allowance race last time out.
- Serious I Candy is Rough Water’s 3-year-old filly. Sired by Candy Ride, she cost $325,000 as a yearling, and after a pair of 4th-place finishes in two starts last year, she’s back training in Kentucky for the Lieblongs and trainer Steve Asmussen.
- Tightly Bridled is a gelded son of Unbridled’s Song and Winning Bet. He cost $330,000 as a 2-year-old in training once upon a time, and he returned to the races in 2017 with a winning effort in a turf sprint at Laurel earlier in June.
- Ceejay’s Mister is the 3-year-old colt out of Winning Bet. Sired by Sidney’s Candy, he has won 3 races already in 2017, including back-to-back allowances at Belterra. We hope to spot him in a stakes race before long.
- Tuxedo Annie’s 2-year-old filly, Live Free, by Limehouse, has had her first two official workouts this month at Charles Town, and could debut relatively soon.
And finally, Cleopatra’s Strike and Strike It Royal are both siblings to Curlin’s Needle, both sired by Smart Strike. Cleopatra’s Strike is 4-years-old, and most recently won a turf allowance at Woodbine, while Strike It Royal is 2-years-old and has been training steadily at Woodbine for trainer Gail Cox. If either of them could pick up black-type this year, we would be ecstatic.