Calling for Fewer Private Stud Fees in 2010

Stud farms have two main reasons for advertising their stallions as "private fee."

Some stallions have so many conditions, terms, fee reductions, and special offers that it's meaningless to post a fee:  no breeder would actually pay the listed fee, and posting one would only serve to dissuade the mare owners who might be interested in sending mares but who would be frightened off by a high listed price. Here's an example:  a farm might offer a fee reduction for in-state mares, another for stakes winners, and one for black type producers; the farm might tie in a lowered stud fee to a boarding/foaling contract; or the stallion manager might wish to attract foal share arrangements with owners of mares that meet specific pedigree requirements.  Advertising a $7,500 fee when the "right" mares would actually be charged $1,500 probably ends up losing prospective clients, but indicating a $1,500 fee will likely attract the wrong type of mares.

The second -- and by far most common -- reason that stallions are listed as "private fee" is to avoid stating publicly that a stallion's fee has dropped precipitously. Say a farm decides to drop one of its horses from $60,000 to $20,000 to reflect the stud's actual marketplace demand. Making the new fee public is the kind of news that no stallion manager wants to announce; it reflects negatively on both the horse ("Is he worth even twenty thousand?") and the stud farm ("Why didn't they know a year ago that he wasn't worth anywhere near sixty grand?!?"). It also upsets breeders who patronized the stallion a year previously at an inflated fee. By listing the horse as available for "private fee" for a year or two, farms hope to avoid the direct numbers-to-numbers comparison that is possible when dollar figures are ascribed.

While there will continue to be situations where a private fee is appropriate, the truth is they're rare.  And they really don't apply to larger commercial stallion farms. 

Well, stallion managers have the perfect opportunity in 2010 to start off with a relatively clean slate.  A stallion standing in 2009 for $75,000 but whose actual market value was $20,000 or even $15,000 would normally pose a public relations problem for the stud farm, and would be a prime candidate for a private fee notation in 2010  This year, stallions all over the place are being reevaluated. Many farms are dropping profitable stallions' fees by 50% or greater. So there's no reason this year to hide behind a "private fee" cloak. Go ahead, stud managers:  price your stallions fairly. The industry expects it this year. A drop in fee by half or more barely makes a blip in the breeding news these days. If you've already settled on "private fee," there's time to change it to an announced price.

The industry is giving you a pass right now to "rightsize" without too many repercussions. I don't think you'll have the same chance next year.

39 Comments

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Cgriff

I think transparency is a great idea on this and all racing issues.

It gives the industry participants a blunt, no spin look at who's available and at what fair market price.

And let's be candid - no one except real outsiders to the breeding industry are ever fooled by the old "make the fee private because we need to save face that the stallion is tanking" move.  

In your article - you could have put Smarty Jones as the definitive illustration beside the description of "private fee as face saver."  And really - who was fooled?  Everyone had already seen the writing on the wall once his runners started hitting the track - so the only ones outraged would be the original $100K investors in those first 4 seasons.  As I recall, it even leaked as to what the actual fee was under Smarty's "private" contract.  So what breeder was ever really fooled?

Even with the private fee bridge between $100K and $10K, do you think that those original breeders feel any less burnt now? Unlikely.

Private or not - people always know - so why go through the ritual and just acknowledge not every stallion is going to produce at a 6 figure level?  It serves more as a cautionary tale to anyone breeding to an unproven stallion at such an over-the-top initial fee.

07 Dec 2009 1:50 PM
Julie L.

Once syndications/corporations became involved with stallion ownership the writing was on the wall. Profit over sensibility took over. Once a stallion is retired a true introductory fee should have been listed as we don't know how well these new stallions will reproduce. Once they have several crops running then you begin getting a real assessment of whether this stallion is in the top echelon of sires or a decent,good or useful sire or a dud. Just because his sire line or a full sibling are top producers does not necessitate that he will be. I hope that stallion owners start climbing down from cloud nine and get back to the reality of breeding Thoroughbreds.

07 Dec 2009 2:36 PM
Adele Maxon

Cgriff - couldn't have said it better myself!

07 Dec 2009 3:14 PM
da3hoss

Cgriff,

You can't feel burned if you pay a big stud fee on an unproven stallion...you get to choose who you want to breed to. ;-)

I think owners can do what they want with their own horse & market them however they see fit.

No one's making anyone breed to 'em.

I can't believe it took a drastic down turn in the economy to finally get the guarantee "stand and nurses"...how did TB mare owners put up with that NOT being a standard part of their contract?

Absolutely amazing.

07 Dec 2009 3:41 PM
Jennie

Cgriff, congrats on telling it like it is on Smarty.  You hit the nail on the head.  Bravo.

07 Dec 2009 3:42 PM
Stephanie

I thought the same thing to myself as I read the article. Smarty Jones.... Then I see I wasn't the only one who felt that way. I was never on the Smarty Bandwagon but I do feel a teeny tiny bit sorry for Three Chimneys. What a disapointment.

07 Dec 2009 5:09 PM
Stephi S.

I think that the private contract can cover a multitude of sins, or be a way the stallion owners can set fees that fit the mare owners. I knew a stallion owner, back in the day(70's)who had the leading stallion in the state...not KY, CA or FL...and he was a private contract stallion. Since I knew the owner, a friend of mine asked if I would look into what the stud fee actually was. Imagine my surprise when the stallion owner told me that they set the fee based on what the mare owner could afford and  accepted mares based solely on their pedigrees. My friend had an Ambiorix mare, somewhat aged but still breeding sound. Ambiorix mares were like gold, and he had gotten her at a dispersal sale where she didn't go for a lot because she was older. She was his foundation mare, and the stallion owner was thrilled to have her come to his horse. The fee charged was minimal, and the foal ended up earning good money and getting breeder bonuses for the stallion owner, as well as boosting the stallion even more. So while private contracts are often used to disguise a severe drop in the fee, they are also used to enable mare owners with well-bred mares and not a lot of capital to breed to a good stallion. I have no problem with that, if the stallion owner picks good mares, he will get paid in breeder bonuses instead of stud fees. And he will get a lot of good runners on the ground. And that is the idea, after all, right?

I personally despise the "breed for the sales" mentality, I feel it has undercut the purpose of Thoroughbred breeding, which is to breed the best race horse. These days they just want to breed and make a huge profit on the foal as a yearling. Never mind if the stallion or mare is sound and can run. Never mind if the horse ever gets to the races, as long as the breeder gets his profit. I miss the old days when it was breed to get the best horse you can, rather than breed to get the best price you can.

07 Dec 2009 5:53 PM
Cgriff

Da3hoss,

I totally agree- people can breed to whichever stallion they wish.  

But my main point was the use of "private fee" as a face saver - it fools no one - so why not just man up and admit the sire is not panning out and the fee is dropping?  

It's just silly to think that they are disguising a failed stallion behind a year or two of "private fees."  It may forestall the inevitable - but it's just a poor attempt at damage control for a sire that was hyped (and more importantly - priced) as something much more than what he was. Nobody's fooled - so why do it?  

I feel that these major farms SHOULD be a little ashamed - they are the ones who put together these syndication deals and set the price, right?  Why shouldn't they have to wear a "scarlet "D" (for Dud) for a little while?  Maybe next time - they will be more realistic about a stallion's potential.

But as you said - people still choose to pay the price and breed - so I guess whatever the market will bear, huh?

Julie L is right on the button - the better approach would be to set a reasonable fee and let the sire prove himself - it's much better to raise a fee than to have to drop one.  

But syndication deals are skewed to earn the investors money back (and more)in the first few seasons - then let the chips fall where they may. If the horse is a failure- well - they already have their cash and are theoretically out the door.  It's a bit like carpetbagging, actually.

The ironic thing is - I can't think of many of the legendary sires who started off at top price.  There are a few (Giant's Causeway) - but most of the really influencial sires have started in the moderate price range and - as they've proven to be a great sire - their fees have increased accordingly.

If stallion owners would operate on that business model - the need to save face with "private fees" wouldn't exist.

07 Dec 2009 7:49 PM
truthman

Very accurate blog.  Also, the stud fees announced are a joke.  They dropped them 10-20% and they needed to drop them 50%.  I know "deals" are getting done like last year but it would be better if they came clean and just dropped them to their real mkt value, like the stock mkt does every day.  I am thinking some stallion farms are in trouble and can't drop to the real fee or their banks will come a callin'.  There is some big heat out there.  Buyer's market.

07 Dec 2009 8:45 PM
sceptre

The stallion owners/syndicates have become a too easy target for much of the present and past woes. Standing for "private fee", I see nothing terribly wrong with this practice...I also tend not to agree with most of the posters. As far as the "guarantee, stands and nurses", rather than a fee payable earlier (and later returnable)-breeders are fortunate that either absurd practice still exists. They should receive no more than a conception guarantee at best (and even here, the mare is often the cause when there is failure to conceive). If stud fees are what they are in part because of these guarantees, then the more appropriate course would be to lower stud fees and eliminate all, but conception, guarantees. Such would more conform with reality, and at the same time require mare owners to better care for and monitor their band. Why should the stallion owners sustain a loss when the cause lies solely with the mare?        

07 Dec 2009 9:32 PM
ponies01

Cgriff-very interesting comments on several fronts. May I enquire on your comments re "Smarty" and his offspring "writing" on the wall. Could you explain more "signs" for novice breeder. The best thing anywhere is the "stands and nurses" any other terms are ancient history, like some of the farm owners globally.

08 Dec 2009 6:01 AM
Gulchfan

"Julie L is right on the button - the better approach would be to set a reasonable fee and let the sire prove himself - it's much better to raise a fee than to have to drop one."

In addition to that, remember the good old days, when a stallion had to *earn* black type and stakes producing mares?  When great producers only went to proven sires, and new sires had low fees and second or third tier mares to start with, and then, and only then, if those babies ran well, then the more top level mares would visit?  Nowadays, top ‘name’ (which is to say, by racing record first, followed by pedigree) stallions start out at a high fee and get black type producers and ‘name’ mares right from the start, without the breeders having any idea whether the stallion can produce good runners or what types of crosses work well.  This goes on for several years, until the first couple of crops hit the auctions and the track.

On another note, I understand and agree with the analysis here about ‘private’ stud fees, but I also used to think that they were also in the category of, ‘if you have to ask, you can’t afford it,’ since, in the recent past, many big-name, top sires also had ‘private’ fees.

I also agree, to an extent, with sceptre, that fees could be lowered to reflect only a guarantee of conception, but for an additional reason.  I have (and hate) to wonder how many foals are killed or left to die soon after birth each year, when it is decided that their legs are too crooked or they are too sickly to make good racehorses?  But I worry that extreme methods may be used to at least get the mare in foal, and mares who stallion owners can tell shouldn’t (and possibly can’t) be carrying a foal to term, would accept them for breeding, as long as they can catch, just to get the fee.  Also, sometimes it’s no one’s fault, even the mare’s, that the pregnancy doesn’t end in a live foal, so I think it’s unfair to make either party be punished for that.  Maybe instead, there should be a ‘service’ fee, that being, if the mare is covered, that costs x dollars, and if you want a conception guarantee, than you pay more (presumably for more covers), and a live foal stands and nurses, more still (not sure what the stallion owner can do about that, maybe it should be more of a promised partial refund?).

08 Dec 2009 6:45 AM
Kerry Fitzpatrick

I've always felt that the private fee announcement hurt a stallion and wasn't very wise. It generally said that he's still overpriced and we don't want to admit it publicly and be ridiculed. Even stallions with posted fees are often subject to negotation.

08 Dec 2009 6:54 AM
TC

What on earth are you all on about ? how many fees are "Private "... three, four ? Call the farm and ask what the fee is if you want to know: If someone owns something they can do what ever they want to with that property - you have the right to ignore them.

08 Dec 2009 9:49 AM
kbp

Interestingly, they are no comments from stud farms!

08 Dec 2009 9:52 AM
pNewmarket

I'm guessing from this thread that a "Private" fee means something completely different in the US to Europe.

Over here it pretty much means "if you have to ask, you can't afford it"!

Stallions currently listed as Private in Europe:

Danehill Dancer

Galileo

Monsun

Montjeu

Normally if a stallion is having his fee cut or has been a disappointment he is listed as "POA" (price on application).

Two nations divided by a common language and all that :)

08 Dec 2009 10:47 AM
pNewmarket

Me again!

I meant to add that there are many different types of terms on offer in Europe and I have often wondered why the same does not apply in the US:

1st October Terms - fee payable if mare is in foal at 1st October following covering, regardless of whether or not a live foal is produced.

Live Foal - similar to "Stands and Nurses"

Special Live Foal - fee payable at 1st October, but refunded if no foal is produced, or the foal dies within 48 hours of birth.

Less common, but still available with the smaller stallions are:

NFFR - No Foal, Free Return

FFFR - Filly Foal, Free Return

Just wondering if anyone knows why these terms are not seen in the US and if they would be attractive to US breeders?

08 Dec 2009 10:52 AM
sceptre

To Gulchfan-Yes, your "additional reason" (not adequately caring for the "blemished" newborn), is another reason why the guaranteed live foal contract should be discarded. I don't understand your point relating to "extreme methods". As to your "sometimes it's no ones fault" argument- same could be said about some racetrack, etc. breakdowns, etc. There is such a thing called insurance-it is available for conception, live foal, what have you.  

08 Dec 2009 11:29 AM
Cgriff

Ponies01:

It's a combination of following the first two or three crops of Smarty's foals and the accompanying "buzz" from the inside of the industry.  His first weanlings and yearlings sold well enough, but there was already an undercurrent of opinion (never on the record, of course) that they were not meeting the standard of a 100K fee.  

When those first two year olds started hitting the training tracks - and then began to race - the numbers spoke for themselves.  He was producing some solid runners at the lower levels - but the few to break through to stakes conditions were mostly unable to keep pace at that level.

There was hope that they might be slower to develop and would really kick on as they entered the 3-yr-old season.  But very few left a mark (Backtalk) and none have been competitive consistently beyond allowance conditions.  

That's pretty telling, IMO.

So now he's at 10K and won't be getting the top mares.....I fully expect him to move back to PA in the next couple of years.  That or be sold overseas, as Silver Charm was when his profitability was past.

If I were new to the industry and wanted to do things right - I'd go old school.  Find a proven stallion at an affordable price that would compliment my mare.  I would look at a new stallion with a great race record - but not at 100K.  

Most of all - I'd listen a lot, read everything I could get my hands on and try to learn the basics from the best.  And I'd be patient.  If you want to breed to a new stallion priced out the door - just wait two or three years.  If he doesn't pan out - you can have him for a song, and if he proves himself - well - it's not like you would have gotten in on the ground floor with a super deal since he was already priced through the roof.  

08 Dec 2009 11:37 AM
El Angelo

I know that Sadler's Well used to be a "private fee" and I believe the primary reason for that is that most of his stud arrangements were large-scale negotiations--i.e., you didn't just arrange to have Sadler's Well bred to one horse this year, you worked out breeding him to multiple horses over multiple years.  Given that Coolmore had every reason to make sure only top mares had access to him, it made sense.

08 Dec 2009 12:00 PM
Karen in Indiana

There is one current stallion whose fees have followed Julie L's comments and that's Tiznow. He didn't get a lot of respect when he first started his stud career, so his fees were relatively low. But his progeny started proving themselves on the track and his fees have gone up accordingly. Isn't it better to have the first few years of breeders and owners who appreciate having received a good deal?

08 Dec 2009 1:07 PM
Anne

I will not breed to a stallion if I dont have a LFSN contract. I am not sending my mare to a stallion for a pregnant mare, Im sending her to him for a live foal.  Thats what Im paying for.  Fortunately it seems stallions owners now understand this concept.

08 Dec 2009 2:04 PM
Jennie

Re: Cgriff's comment expecting Smarty to end up either in Pa. or overseas eventually - three Pa. farms were in the mix to stand him for 2010, and it almost came to fruition, but the numbers weren't quite right.  Perhaps in 2011.

08 Dec 2009 2:06 PM
keenelandcat

Enough with the Smarty smack-down.  These are difficult times for our industry-I understand the point of the article, but what was the real purpose?  Basically, it seemed only to take pot shots at the policies of Three Chimney's Farm.  For those of us that still remember when Secretariat's first SEVERAL crops hit the track, the same cry went up. "He's a dud, he's overpriced, blah,blah, blah.  As is now common knowledge, tincture of time proved otherwise.  I believe if you look at Smarty's pedigree, you'll find Secretariat there.  Also, if you are an outsider(which I'm not), your opinion is considered worthless based on the article & comments.  I think a definition of "outsider" is in order. Now, you've pretty much insulted small breeders who frequently have very good broodmares. With all the problems our breeding industry is facing, I am SO SO glad you brought this most critical issue to the forefront.

08 Dec 2009 2:06 PM
sceptre

To Anne,

You brought out my point fairly clearly. With almost no exceptions, once your mare conceives the stallion has no causal relationship to whether or not your mare produces a live foal. Isn't this point obvious? So why then should the stallion owner(s) take partial financial responsibility for your loss should your mare (once impregnated) not later produce a live foal? The stallion fulfilled his obligation when he impregnated your mare-what happens later is completely beyond any stallions' abilities/control. One way or another we are all paying for those mares who fail to conceive or produce live foals-we pay for it in the form of higher stud fees. To some extent this is a form of socialized horse breeding, and not something that any of us have bargained for (it has simply gone unnoticed). Again, one can, instead, purchase insurance against such events. The premium would be determined relative to each mare's risk. Stud fees would then be lower, and the total cost of producing (or not producing) a foal would be lower for some, higher for others dependent solely upon the perceived ability of one's mare to produce a live foal. This rationale is in keeping with priciples of basic free market commerce, not to mention all other areas of thoroughbred business. The guaranteed live foal provision may appear to be an added "gift", but in reality it isn't. We ALL pay for it.          

08 Dec 2009 11:47 PM
Cgriff

Keenelandcat,

If you read back through the thread of comments - you'll see that no one is "smacking down" Smarty - he just is one of the more recent examples of using a private fee to save face.  That's the topic - that's the issue.  Smarty's situation is illustrative only. Any response detailing why he fits the mold was to a post requesting reasoning.  No one is out to get either Smarty or Three Chimneys.

Both do fit the illustration, and while you talk about the problems in our industry, you fail to acknowledge that rabidly overpriced stallion fees and front end greed built into syndication deals is a component.  It's why no good colt stays on the track for more than a year or two - it's one of the reasons why the bubble finally popped when the recession blew into the sales.

So again let me clarify - this was about the use of private fee labeling to cover a disappointing stallion. The practice fools no one who has a brain and even a toehold in the industry.

Since you are obviously concerned about the troubles in our industry, please read Dan Leibman's latest piece that indicates 2009 as the first year in a long time that more colts are staying in racing than are being syndicated.  And what did it take to make that happen?  It was only because there is no money in syndicating stallions right now.  

So where's the foresight and vision to improve the industry as a whole when It takes the bottom falling out of the market to make people do the right thing?

Oh, and Karen In Indiana - I totally agree.  Tiznow is the perfect example of pricing a stallion the right way and letting him succeed or fail on his own merits.  They even lowered his fee from the original price a couple seasons in.  Very, very smart - and look at him now!

09 Dec 2009 11:29 AM
Julie L.

Another good example of pricing a stallion right is Mr. Prospector, he initially stood in Florida and then once his foals after several crops showed how good they were then he was grabbed up and sent to Kentucky where they figured that he would get better mares and of course his fee grew. Right now here in California we have Unusual Heat who has shown that no matter the mare he can throw good racehorses running at the high caliber graded races. I'm surprised that a Kentucky farm hasn't tried to buy him yet. Also usually when a stallion throws excellent runners he ends up being an excellent broodmare sire. I think in time Smarty Jones will start proving to be a very useful sire and broodmare sire.

09 Dec 2009 4:33 PM
Dennis A

I really don't understand all this jibrish.  It is still a free market industry.  Stallion owners are free to handle their stallions as they see fit and mare owners their mares as they see fit.  The market will balance it out if meddling fools will get out of the way.  I have been on both sides of this discussion.  A university study found that of  mares confirmed pregnant at 45 days only 1/3 of those pregnancies resulted in a live horse at the end of their 2yr old year.  Most of that loss comes during pregnancy and the first 6 months of a foals life. As a breeder having invested money and time breeding my mare I am going to do everything I can to ensure my mare stays bred and delivers a healthy foal.  I'm willing to bet most breeders take the same attitude towards breeding.  As a stallion owner I give a 6 month post foaling guarantee.  It is my way of helping a mare owner carry the risk inherent in breeding.  Breeding horses is a very very high risk venture.  The industry is in a real mess and there is plenty of blame to go around for everyone as to why that is, mare owners breeding to many mares, stallion owners standing stallions that have no business covering mares.  There needs to be a huge correction in this industry.  A lot of both stallion  and mare farms need to fail.  The small 2010 stallion directory is a good indication of the beginning of that correction.

10 Dec 2009 2:13 AM
Jennie

Julie L., I guess you could say that, with his AEI of 1.24 and progeny earnings this year of just over $1.6 million, that Smarty is a "useful" sire.  But that is open to debate.  Take Smarty right now and plop him in Pennsylvania, and he wouldn't even rank among the top 5 stallions according to progeny earnings... would barely make the top 10. And these are runners conceived on that $100K stud fee.  

10 Dec 2009 9:48 AM
NOLEYBOY

LET THE MARKET DICTATE STALLION PRICING,WHAT NEXT? ASKING THE GOVEREMENT FOR TARP MONEY TO SUBSIDIZE BREEDING.  

10 Dec 2009 3:31 PM
Julie L.

Jennie - I said "useful sire" not great. I have seen in the past a few stallions not start out producing great runners in their first few years at stud and then they get moved or get the right mares and suddenly it all comes together. Smarty Jones and others that initially stood at $100,000 never should have started at those fees they had nothing to back it up other than their race record which does not always mean success in the stud which is what I said at the beginning of this blog. I love Curlin but even for me a $60,000 stud fee without knowing what he will produce is so iffy. I know it's a free market but how many times have we seen a free market get an industry into trouble. Common sense before greed.

11 Dec 2009 1:01 AM
katethegreat

To me a horse has more merit as a breeding horse if he successfully

produces runners from mediocre

pedigrees.  A great stallion should

be able to improve a donkey, and

there lies the truth.  After a couple of seasons of producing at

affordable stud fees to all, he has earned his increased stud fee.

12 Dec 2009 10:52 AM
Sm Breeder

  Everyone forgets who sets the stud fees...The stallion farms.. If a Stud farm has that much confidence to buy and stand that stallion, let them take part of the risk with the mare owner on selling the foal... I think the private fee is just a way to be able to make more deals for the breedings... Many top horses were produced from deals made on seasons.... One to mind was Charismatic-a foal share with Lanes End and Parish Hill.. Smart Strike stood on mare share and foal share deals for a couple of years to fill his book and look at him now... Each mare owner has their own decision of who they breed to and what they pay..  Just like shopping at Wal-Mart or The Gap.. THe stud farms shouldn't take all the blame... The stallon business became so lucrative lately that the bidding war (same as Keeneland sales) drove up the price of the sallion, hence higher stud fees to recover their cost...  We the industry (mare owners, agents, pinhookers. and stud farms)let that happen because everyone got too greedy... The outrageous money made at the sales by first crop sires drove all this... As Cot Campell said everyone is trying to catch lghtning in a bottle... The industry, all of us, got too greedy... Now we all have to regroup and rethink... Insted of blamng each other, work things out the is good for each side and help each other to survive in this hard economic time...    

12 Dec 2009 12:19 PM
sceptre

Many blame "GREED" for our present woes. I can't find any evidence to support this. It is, rather, lack of knowledge/perspective that has tended to drive this industry. The stud farms and the yearling/weanling/ 2 yr. old breeders/sellers are forced to offer what the breeding/buying public wants. If that public were better informed, availablity and pricing would conform more to reality.

12 Dec 2009 8:20 PM
keenelandcat

I should know better than post when I get irritated.  I'm a small breeder of some very good horses, not a published columnist.  If you look at Kentucky alone, there are a multitude of stallions standing representing some of the best farms in the world. You can find the bloodline you want at prices that range from extravagant to reasonable.  Of all the stallions standing in Kentucky alone, only 5, maybe 6, are private fee.  With that percentage being so minute, I fail to see how so much significant damage can be caused.  Breeding for quantity not quality is what worries me. We are breeding horses that aren't sound and sending them to the track.  I took offense to the negative comments regarding Smary Jones. In a time when our sport was longing for a hero to revitalize its image.  Along came Smarty. Of all the near triple crown winners we have had, he was the best.  After he was retired, his connections were drug through the mud for doing what was best for them and their horse. A grateful industry showed its true colors. The bottom line is its an owners & farms decision to establish fees.  If you don't like it, move on to anouther.

13 Dec 2009 11:24 AM
Allez

Don't forget about the No Guarantee.

If you don't want or need the reassurance that you'll end up with a live foal that the "Stands and Nurses" contract offers, then you can negotiate or find a "No Guarantee" option for less money.

13 Dec 2009 6:39 PM
Pedigree Shelly

      I'll comment on the so called "Smarty" controversy ! I never really thought of him as an attractive stallion . He was awfully plain looking , he had alot of spirit , which he definately showed on the track !! But, from a pedigree and conformation standpoint he was definately overrated ! I'm not saying he may never throw a few decent stakes horses but, things dont look too good so far !

15 Dec 2009 8:59 PM
Pedigree Shelly

      I'd like to add a few positive comments about " Smarty "  He brought alot of new fans to the sport and generated alot of excitement ! His pedigree does have some interesing features as well . His female family decendes from the great mare La Troienne also he is inbred to one of my favorite stallions , Bold Ruler 5s x 5d x 5d !

15 Dec 2009 9:26 PM
JMcM

I agree regarding the too high (I thought) beginning stud fee for a fast but unproven Smarty. I was  disappointed he was retired so quickly. Were they afraid he'd not continue to win as other 3 year olds matured? Altho' I think he's visually unremarkable, he may eventually have some who are great in some way,racers or producers.   When still racing,I favored Lion Heart even tho'Smarty won and am glad he's proven better in producing runners, starting at a fairer price.  

15 Apr 2010 3:09 PM

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