McMahon & Hill Bloodstock Purchaser of over

19 NEW Stakes producers

in just 8 years!

Funny Cide (2000 g by Distorted Humor) Winner of the KY Derby, Preakness and Eclipse Award for outstanding three year old.

Sensibly Chic (2000 f by Distorted Humor) Winner of the G2 Vagrancy and multiple Graded Stakes Placed.

Go Rockin' Robin (2000 c by Distorted Humor) Winner of the Grade 2 Peter Pan. 

Harlem Rocker (2005 c by Macho Uno) winner of the Grade 3 Withers only four months after the purchase of his dam!

A Shin Forward (2005 c by Forest Wildcat) purchased in utero and sold at Fasig Saratoga Select runs 2nd in the G2 New Zealand Trophy in Japan. 

Then She Laughes (2005 f by Distorted Humor) purchased in utero for Edition Farm.  Stakes winner and Graded Stakes Placed.

Cherokee Bliss (2005 c by Cherokee Run out of Brief Bliss) bred by RiverMist Farm on the advice of McMahon & Hill Bloodstock.  One of the least expensive mares to have a yearling represented in the Saratoga Select Yearling Sale.  A Stakes Winner at two and a contender in the inaugural 2007 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf.

Great Point (2003 c Point Given out of Crafty Queen) Purchased in utero for Thorobeam Farm. G3 placed in the Holy Bull and one of Point Given's best selling foals - EVER. 

Light for Regal Purchased barren.  Mated to Regal Classic, produced Executive Search.  Multiple stakes placed earner of $250,000.

Sweet N Sultry (2005 f Kafwain out of A Lady With Appeal) An earner of $120,000 and stakes Delaware Certified Distaff

Blue Burner (1999 c. by French Deputy) Purchased his dam "Haiati" just months prior to Blue Burners's placings in the G1 Florida Derby and G1 Fountain of Youth.  

Tinsel Time (2004 f. by More Than Ready) Purchased in utero for Mast Thoroughbreds.  Stakes Winner at 3.

Ouchy Night (2004 f. by Cactus Ridge) Purchased dam Minetonightsfirst and consulted on mating of Saratoga stakes placed two year old.

Thunder Louie (2005 c by Skip to the Stone).  Home Bred colt racing for Thorobeam Farm winner of the Lord Juban at Calder as a three year old. 

Miss Norman  (2003 f. by Artax out of Cajun Cat) Purchased in utero for Thorobeam Farm.  G1 placed, and the leading daughter of Eclipse winner Artax. 

French Riviera (1999) Purchased her dam Actinella prior to French Riviera winning Keeneland's G3 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes.

Baroness Thatcher (2004 f by Johannesburg) purchased in utero by RiverMist Farm on the advice of McMahon & Hill Bloodstock LLC.  A Gr 3 winner and G1 placed three year old.  The best earning daughter of Johannesburg to date.

Victory USA (2001) Purchased her dam Fordyce in 2002 prior to Victory USA's development into a leading filly of her generation.  A G2 winner and multi G1 pl, including the Breeder's Cup Juvenile Fillies, earner of $615,829.

Love Co (2005) Purchased her dam Cozzekiki in December 2005 prior to Love Co's winning the Glory in the Morning stake at Aqueduct.

Jocasee (2004) Purchased in Utero by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock.  Stakes placed in the Irish Actress at Belmont Park.























































































































































9/22/11- Highs and lows at Keeneland Courtesy of ESPN Mike McMahon prepares for this in the middle of a crowded lunch room, multitasking between roast beef on rye and the reserve on a thoroughbred his partnership will sell later that afternoon. It is 1:18 p.m. at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion in Lexington, session four of the September yearling sale.


7/22/11 - Bold American, purchased at Keeneland November 2011, is flattered by her daughter Valiant Passion's comeback race on opening day at Saratoga.

7/17/11 -Playful Argument puts McMahon & Hill on the cusp of 100 stakes horses.

7/9/11 - McMahon Bloodstock LLC has announced that Jamie Hill has been made a partner in the Lexington bloodstock agency, which will now be known as "McMahon & Hill Bloodstock LLC READ MORE >>


7/9/11- Pinhook Score Indulgence McMahon & Hill's newest G1 horse

7/1/11- Belmont Park - ZOWZERS!! "Zow" a two year old colt by Bluegrass Cat out of Then She Laughs broke his maiden with ease! READ MORE >>

6/10/11 - BIRDRUN, a half brother to Spruce Lane/Hidden Brook mare Atlantic Storm takes the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont for his first Graded Stakes Win. READ MORE >>

5/30/11- Two year old colt Bonaparte wins impressively at Churchill Downs in his first startREAD MORE >>

4/26/11 - Buying a Derby Winner: A Few Rules and A Lot of Luck READ MORE >>

4/12/11- Longtime McMahon Bloodstock client Vivien Malloy was named the 2010 Breeder of the Year READ MORE >>

4/1/11 - McMahon Bloodstock yearling purchase and Turf Paradise Derby winner BEER MEISTER (Pleasant Tap) was supplemented to the Triple Crown.

3/17/11 - McMahon Bloodstock client Rivermist Farm gets $350,000 for their homebred colt by Hard Spun.READ MORE >>

3/16/11 - Spruce Lane Pinhooking's Medaglia d'Oro filly gets a nice update. READ MORE >>

3/09/11 - McMahon Bloodstock stakes winner and pin-hook score IMMORTAL EYES passes the 200kREAD MORE >>

3/09/11 -Spruce Lane Pinhooking grad keeps on rolling READ MORE >>

2/26/11 - 3 year old BEER MEISTER, purchased as a yearling won the TURF PARADISE DERBY. READ MORE >>

2/19/11 - Black type update for Spruce Lane Pinhook LLC's 2010 colt by Malibu Moon  Click here for pedigree

2/16/11 - McMahon Bloodstock is proud to represent "Mast Thoroughbreds LLC", listed among the top racing stables in the country by the T Times. READ MORE >>

2/3/11- McMahon Selected Yearling CHRISTINA D'ORO breaks her maiden impressively READ MORE >>

11/23/10 - McMahon Bloodstock purchase "Wake Up Kiss" became the producer of G1SWREAD MORE >>

8/10 -Clients Craig and Cathy Beam, are TOBA’s newest members of the month. READ MORE >>

Highs and lows at Keeneland

"The Russians are coming"

Courtesy of ESPN
By Claire Novak

Mike McMahon prepares for this in the middle of a crowded lunch room, multitasking between roast beef on rye and the reserve on a thoroughbred his partnership will sell later that afternoon. It is 1:18 p.m. at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion in Lexington, session four of the September yearling sale.

"We could put it at twenty-five; he'll probably bring thirty," the bloodstock agent says. He takes a bite of sandwich. His cell phone buzzes to life.  "Igor? Yeah. Where are you, man?"  Somewhere in the bluegrass, Igor Kassev is driving around wearing a black T-shirt that has "Levis" emblazoned across the front under a black leather jacket with "Cirque" embossed upon the chest. The some-English-speaking escort of the non-English-speaking Khaz (who "is trainer," as Igor puts it) is trying to find the sale and thus McMahon, who will help them pinpoint and bid on promising prospects.  "I'm at Waffle house," Igor says. "Can you help me get to Keeneland?"
* * *
At eight o' clock in the morning, long before the Russians draw near, McMahon's partner Jamie Hill is scrolling through catalogue pages on his iPad outside Barn 33, the Hidden Brook consignment on Keeneland's tidy backstretch. It is the middle of September and these stalls are filled with horses younger than those that will run at the upcoming October meet. This is what Keeneland calls "the most prestigious thoroughbred sale in the world," a 13-day marathon of high hopes and shattered dreams.  It's a world of promise and potential. You can find a runner here -- like Animal Kingdom, who won the Kentucky Derby, or Shackleford, who took the Preakness, or Ruler on Ice, who stole the Belmont. You can also find a bunch of blue-collar thoroughbreds that will spend their careers in claiming or allowance races, far from the spotlight of major stakes.
Most buyers don't try to figure out which is which on their own; they hire advisors like McMahon and Hill to sort through more than 4,000 catalogued prospects. By the end of the sale, these men will have seen them all.

Longtime friends, the two were born and raised in the industry -- McMahon is a graduate of Cornell University, Hill went to Auburn. They began doing business together in their early 20s, but both completed significant accomplishments on their own. McMahon was responsible for moving a mare named Belle's Good Cide to New York; she had 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, the first New York-bred to win the Derby, at his parents' farm. Meanwhile, Hill was heavily involved in the syndication and launch of popular stallion Pollard's Vision, who produced 2010 champion Blind Luck in his first crop.

This June, 39-year-old Hill bought fifty percent of the bloodstock company that 40-year-old McMahon started in 2001 with his wife, Natanya, the resident veterinarian at WinStar Farm. They also sell breeding seasons and shares in stallions through their weekly email flyer, The Bottom Line, and manage Bourbon Lane Stable, a racing partnership whose most prominent runner is Bourbonstreetgirl (her next start is the Oct. 2 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park).

There's excitement, a buzz, around thoroughbred sales and what could be. These young agents exude it. Since 2001, their bloodstock company has sold or purchased 106 stakes horses, including 16 thoroughbreds who were graded stakes earners, and another 20 broodmares who produced graded runners after purchase. Still, they dream of finding "the big horse," one who can win the Triple Crown races or take home a year-end Championship.
* * *
Dr. Jim Hill knows what that's like. The well-known horseman purchased 1977 Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew in partnership with Mickey and Karen Taylor, paid $17,500 back in 1975. Today he carries the traditional sales catalogue, and will scribble brief notations on the pages. He has an IPad, too -- in a shoulder bag, which he leaves in a consignor's office. "I just can't use it," he says with chagrin. "Maybe someday I'll get there."
The elder Hill is shopping for his own partnership, Lake Lonely Racing, but contributes a thought or two on yearlings that are under his son's consideration.  "Too big and clumsy behind," he remarks. "That one? I couldn't afford him even if I liked him, which I don't. How much will she go for? I loved her, but not that much. Yes, that's a really good family, leave him on the list."

From a yearling's conformation, pedigree, poise, and movement while walking, agents hope to determine whether it can cruise to victory in the greatest races in the world. They're looking at bone and muscle and height and build, trying to make an educated guess as to which horses have talent. It's a murky science, like trying to determine if a sixth-grade basketball player has enough talent to make it to the NBA.

From eight to eleven, the Hills listen to sales pitches and study yearlings while McMahon goes off to do the same. With dozens of horses to review before today's session begins, it is vital to split the task of "short listing," determining which Thoroughbreds are worth the investment.
On the sales scene, there's a lot of that -- non-religious horsemen suddenly praying for more money and a smooth transaction.
The agents buy for various clients with various budgets. Some want only colts, some want only fillies. Some are interested in state-bred horses that can compete for higher purses where such programs exist. They also eye yearlings for Spruce Lane Pinhooking, the partnership entity they run, to buy horses and turn them around into the next sale.

Four such yearlings are selling at Keeneland under the Spruce Lane title -- three of them today -- although McMahon and Hill will sell 10 others for separate clients as well. Star of the show is Hip 394, a daughter of Dynaformer, the sire of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Even as the agents consider potential purchases, they're keeping an eye on their filly. She walks back and forth for prospective buyers in a nearby ring, and the buzz is positive. Key agents for big-money operations like Darley, Shadwell, Spendthrift, and G. Watts Humphrey have asked to see her.
McMahon and Hill hope this filly will be the breakout horse, one who could bring as much money as the Bernardini filly McMahon purchased for $205,000 and resold for $725,000 in 2009. This is the sales gamble, even higher stakes than the purchasing side. You worry about setting a perfect reserve, about whether your horse will meet it. You worry about getting what you think the horse is worth, and making back what you've put in.  "You can't do anything about it now, just hope," Hill says.
* * *
Up in the sales pavilion, horses circle and whinny and rear and paw, wide-eyed, taking it in. This goes against everything in their nature, yet here they are -- in various states of trust and panic, composure and fear. The auctioneer's patter rises and falls.  The first horse McMahon and Hill will sell is Hip 261, a colt sired by a stallion named Scat Daddy. He enters the back walking ring well-mannered and alert, and the partners follow him up to the indoor ring, then to the chute where he waits, next on deck. At 12:28 p.m. the colt enters the sales ring and Hidden Brook consignor Sergio DeSousa gives last minute instructions.  "Pray," he jokes.

On the sales scene, there's a lot of that -- non-religious horsemen suddenly praying for more money and a smooth transaction.  The announcer gives his spiel, reciting the colt's pedigree and the accomplishments of runners in his family. Then the bidding starts, jumping by thousands per second. The Spruce Lane partnership bought this colt for $80,000. After less than two minutes, the hammer drops at $220,000. It's a fair price. There are handshakes, sighs of relief, all around.
* * *
Now, the Russians.

Early afternoon outside the sales pavilion, one horse sold and two left to go, McMahon sends a khaki-clad security guard in a golf cart down to one of the far parking lots to retrieve a less-lost but still disoriented duo. He returns with Igor and Khaz in tow.
Some clients are hands-off and will never visit a sale. Others enjoy the social scene but leave the main decisions up to their agents. A select few are knowledgeable horsemen who need help in certain areas.  Khaz fits the latter bill. Short but stately, in his late sixties, he is quiet-mannered with a brilliant white moustache and piercing blue eyes. He reportedly won a big race over there in recent times. He must get back soon to tend to his string.

"He needs not speed horse," Igor says with firm emphasis. "A horse for the long distance, yes?"
The problem here is that Khaz and Igor want to spend about $25,000 per horse on a day when the average price for a yearling is $152,649. Not to worry; McMahon sets up a few farm visits, and eventually the Russians will buy three horses privately. They decide to come back for the November sale as well.

Meanwhile, McMahon and Hill see Hip 349 through the ring. This is the Malibu Moon colt McMahon was trying to set a reserve on earlier in the day, and since interest in him has not been very high, they hustle up business with a good friend and agree to retain a quarter interest, to turn the colt around into a 2-year-old sale. He sells for $50,000.
* * *
Finally, it comes down to the grand finale. The Dynaformer filly enters the ring.  "We always thought this one would bring big money," McMahon says. "The others, it's win or lose, but if she sells as well as we think she could … "

McMahon, his wife, Hill, and their various associates gather in their "lucky spot" near the right side in back of the pavilion. This corner, where five clocks mark the time in Sydney, Tokyo, Lexington, London, and Dubai, is crowded with international types; men who follow the filly's movements with sharp, appraising eyes.  "They're coming in for her," Hill says. "I wasn't nervous before, but I am now."

There is a brief delay while the auctioneer straightens out pricing details of the previous sale. Then, the moment of truth as bidding begins. McMahon and Hill watch the numbers climb: $25,000. $50,000. $75,000. $100,000.  Hill is giving a play-by-play to a partner on his cell phone -- "One twenty-five, one fifty," he says. Natanya looks ill; "I can't handle the pressure, I was about to throw up in the pavilion," she said earlier, recalling their high sale in 2009. They've set the reserve at $250,000, and at $240,000 it sticks, no one bidding despite the auctioneer's coercions.

"Come on, guys," McMahon says. "Oh, we're about to get let down."  Suddenly, a final bidder ups the ante by $10,000. The hammer falls. The filly is sold.  It's hard to be disappointed in $250,000. The partners paid $125,000 for her, doubled their investment. A quarter of a million dollars is a lot of money. You could buy a house. Maybe disappointed isn't the right word; underwhelmed, perhaps?  "I'd been thinking four-to-five all day," Hill admits, as in four or five hundred thousand. "How could you have all those guys on her and not go that high?"  He's still thinking of potential bidding wars that could have ensued, the skyrocketing price they were hoping for.

All-in-all, however, it was a successful day. When the fourth Spruce Lane horse is sold during session six, total sales from the group will reach $590,000. McMahon and Natanya have made back their $50,000 with interest, Hill and his wife, Kathryn, have seen a return on their $25,000, and Hill's parents got back more than the $50,000 they put into the group investment. About twelve other partners will get a check as well.  "We're in the black," McMahon remarks. "We just didn't have the home-run horse this time."
* * *
Even after the final horse sells, McMahon and Hill must make a quick trip through three other barns to look at horses for the next day's session. It isn't until 8:30 p.m. that Hill finally makes his way home and McMahon is back in the nine-stall barn on Spruce Lane Farm, shaking out straw to bed down stalls for the foals his parents are driving down from New York. Grazing in the front pasture are two yearlings that the pinhooking partnership purchased this August at Saratoga; in the side field are three more destined for the Fasig-Tipton October sale.

The end to a long day draws near. Headlight beams split the darkness and a big rig pulls around behind the barn. McMahon's father and mother, Joe and Ann McMahon, climb out of the cab and drop the trailer ramp. They built McMahon of Saratoga, the longest continually-operated thoroughbred farm in New York, and still stand seven stallions and own a sizable broodmare band. Their son continues the tradition.

These thoroughbreds, among about 85 foaled by the McMahons this year, are recently weaned and will be raised here, then sold in Keeneland's January sale. Wide-eyed and innocent, they skitter off the truck. The cycle continues.

The men keep guiding hands on backs and halters, settle the youngsters down in their spacious new home. It has been a 14-hour ride from New York to the heart of the bluegrass. "You guys must be really tired," McMahon says.  He is talking to the foals.




SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced today the election of Peter Willmott as chairman of its Board of Trustees.  Mr. Willmott succeeds Reynolds Bell, Jr.  Also joining Willmott on the Board of Trustees to serve three-year terms as new members are Clifford Barry, Antony Beck, Michael McMahon, Charlotte Weber and Jack Wolf.

Re-elected to three-year terms were current trustees C. Steven Duncker, John Greely IV, Lansdon Robbins, Peter Willmott and Christopher Young.

Immediately following its annual members meeting, the TOBA Board of Trustees met to elect officers for the 2,200-member association.  Officers named for 2011-2012 are: Peter Willmott, chairman, Seth Hancock, vice-chairman; Dan Metzger, president; Dr. J. David Richardson, secretary; and Jack Wolf, treasurer.

“I am honored that I have been chosen by my peers to serve as chairman of TOBA,” said Peter Willmott.  “Owners and breeders are the venture capitalists of this industry and TOBA will continue its efforts to see that the return on their time, effort and treasure invested is improved.”

The TOBA Board also approved the re-appointment of Seth Hancock to the American Graded Stakes Committee. 

TOBA, based in Lexington, Ky., was formed in 1961 and is a national trade organization leading Thoroughbred horse breeders and owners.  TOBA’s mission is to “improve the economics, integrity and pleasure of the sport on behalf of Thoroughbred owners and breeders.”  Projects managed by TOBA include the American Graded Stakes Committee, Sales Integrity Program, The Racing Game, and Claiming Crown.  Thoroughbred Charities of America is the charitable arm of TOBA.  TOBA is the owner of The Blood-Horse, Inc., and is represented on the Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as a founding member.  More information on TOBA appears on


7/22/11 - Bold American, purchased at Keeneland November 2011, is flattered by her daughter Valiant Passion's comeback race on opening day at Saratoga. 

Courtesy of the TDN
VALIANT PASSION (f, 3, Lion Heart--Bold American, by Quiet American) served notice in her debut at the Spa last August, running away with a 9 1/4-length win at 30-1 for co-owner/trainer Ralph Nicks and co-owner Barry Berkelhammer (TDN Feature). Subsequently purchased privately by Team Valor International and transferred to trainer Todd Pletcher, the bay was third as the 2-1 favorite in the GI Spinaway S. at the Spa Sept. 5, a well-beaten fourth in Belmont=s GI Frizette S. Oct. 9, and concluded her juvenile campaign with a third-place finish in the Sweet Patootie S. at Belmont
Oct. 31. Firing bullets for trainer Graham Motion for her sophomore debut, the 2-1 choice led the way through fractions of :22.41 and :44.94, and took off impressively when asked the question in the stretch by Julien Leparoux to score by 6 3/4 lengths over Victoria Lynn (Grand Slam). Abtasaamah (Distorted Humor) was scratched. Sales history: $11,000 yrl '09 KEESEP.

Lifetime Record: GISP, 5-2-0-2, $108,200
O-Team Valor International. B-Chestnut Farm (KY). T-H Graham Motion.


7/17/11 -Playful Argument puts McMahon & Hill on the cusp of 100 stakes horses. 

The three year old breeding recommendation earned black type for her breeder long time client Sally Andersen and her owner new client Bob Clary!  For Mrs. Andersen's Rivermist Farm, Playful Argument is the 4th Black Type horse produced from a mating by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, or a mare purchased by McMahon & Hill.  Others include Baroness Thatcher, French Riviera and Cherokee Bliss - ALL Graded Horses!!

For Mr. Clary the result was his first and only purchase thus far with McMahon and Hill, but his trainer has a long time association.  Trainer Blaine Wright, and his father trainer Richard Wright, have now raced 5 stakes horses purchased by McMahon & Hill.

7/9/11 - McMahon Bloodstock LLC has announced that Jamie Hill has been made a partner in the Lexington bloodstock agency, which will now be known as "McMahon & Hill Bloodstock LLC."

McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, founded in 2001 by Michael and Natanya McMahon, is a regular purchaser at all East Coast auctions, is active pin-hooking in the weanling to yearling market, has become a leader in the seasons and shares market and manages a large portfolio of mares in KY, NY and FL as well as a public racing stable "Bourbon Lane Stable".

Mike McMahon said, "We have made nice steady growth since Jamie came on. Our client service is better and we are doing a lot more deals. Jamie is a big part of that and deserves to participate in the profits. We have been friends for almost 20 years. This was an absolute win - win decision for Natanya and I."

Jamie Hill said, "Mike and I wanted to grow the company. We brought out The Bottom Line last year and had great success. The new products we are rolling out are going to really be exciting and I wanted my name on them. I could not wait to get more involved." For more information contact Mike McMahon at 859 879 3189 or Jamie Hill at 859 983 0515.

7/9/11- Pinhook Score Indulgence McMahon & Hill's newest G1 horse

Indulgence, a 160k yearling purchase to 360k pinhook sale , became McMahon & Hill's 6th G1 horse purchased as a weanling or yearling with a furious rally in Calder's PRINCESS ROONEY H.-GI  ($350,000) The daughter of Macho Uno is a Saratoga purchase, and looks to be improving with age under the skillful training of Marty Wolfson.

7/1/11- Belmont Park - ZOWZERS!! "Zow" a two year old colt by Bluegrass Cat out of Then She Laughs broke his maiden with ease! The public bet him down to a clear favorite and the EDITION Farm home bred did not disappoint. Zow's dam, Then She Laughs was purchased by McMahon Bloodstock for Edition Farm. congrats to the connections, blue sky ahead for this promising NY Bred two year old!

6/10/11 - BIRDRUN, a half brother to Spruce Lane/Hidden brook mare Atlantic Storm takes the Grade 2 Brooklyn Handicap at Belmont for his first Graded Stakes Win.  Birdrun appears to be a serious front runner heading into the championship season.  Check out Atlantic Storm's PA bred City Zip filly at the Keeneland September sale.,

5/30/11 - Two year old colt Bonaparte wins impressively at Churchill Downs in his first start. Bonaparte was purchased in utero by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock for his breeder "Up the Creek Bloodstock". The colt's dam became a grade 1 producer shortly after her purchase and is the dam of a colt by Empire Maker who is headed for the sales this Summer.

BONAPARTE (c, 2, Touch Gold--French Madam {SP,$102,857}, by Rahy), set a the pace through a quarter in :22.90 and opened up a clear lead through a half in :45.72 before sailing home to win by 5 1/4 lengths. Bonaparte, a half-brother to Ginger Pop (El Prado {Ire}, GISP, $172,740). He is now owned by Stoneway Farm LLC and was bred by McMahon client Up The Creek Bloodstock.
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $29,400.

4/26/11 - Buying a Derby Winner: A Few Rules and A Lot of Luck

How in the world do you buy a Kentucky Derby winner?

Predicting a yearling or even a 2-year-old in training purchase has what it takes to win the Kentucky Derby has a ridiculously low probability. There are too many unknown variables at the time of purchase, most importantly how the horse will react to the stress and competition of the racetrack.

You can buy horses with Derby potential. There are hundreds sold every year, and there are a few dozen good trainers and bloodstock agents who can root those prospects out for you.

As good a place to start as any is with Hall of Fame trainer Carl Nafzger, who talked about what it takes in his book “Traits of a Winner.”

“You must remember that you are not shopping for a Derby winner as such,” Nafzger wrote. “You are looking for a yearling [in your price range] that has a good shot at becoming an allowance winner and, if you are lucky, might even graduate into the stakes ranks. And if you get even luckier and catch lightning in a bottle and have a Derby contender, so much better.”

Nafzger won the Derby with auction purchase Unbridled and homebred Street Sense.

Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times. His clients bought Silver Charm and Real Quiet at auction, and bought War Emblem off the track.

“There’s not a book on how you get them,” Baffert said. “In the last 10 or 15 years, I have bought at least 300 horses I thought could win the Kentucky Derby. You never know. You’re just buying something that is made the right way, and you hope it can run to its pedigree and looks.

“The more I buy, the more I can tell this one might have a chance or this one doesn’t, but until you run them a few times you won’t know if they have what it takes to win the Derby. It’s just something that happens.”

Trainer John Ward won the 2001 Derby with 2-year-old-in-training purchase Monarchos and also bought 2000 Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus as a yearling. Ward said some of the things you can do to increase your chances of buying a Derby winner.

“First they have to qualify on pedigree. You’re looking for a horse that has the genetics to go 1 1/4 miles that early in its life,” Ward said. “Monarchos’ pedigree looked thin up close, but it went back to a good Darby Dan family that has produce Derby winner after Derby winner.

“If you want to win the Derby, you need the genetics, and the female family is more important on a Derby horse than the sire. You might be able to win the race by a sire not known for endurance, but I don’t think you can win it without a female side with classic blood.”

Ward said disposition is an important part of a Derby horse.

“You want a horse that is alert and can withstand the rigors of a sale,” Ward said. “It’s a good test because the horses are taken in and out repetitively for three to five days. It shows how much resilience they’ve got if they show as good at the first part of the sale as the last part. For the most part, a very special animal can mentally bounce back. There’s nothing that knocks them down or depresses them.

“The presence is the other factor you have to have. They’ve got to be able to handle their surroundings, wherever they are.”

“You might be able to win the race by a sire not known for endurance, but I don’t think you can win it without a female side with classic blood.”Fusaichi Pegasus cost $4 million as a yearling, the most expensive Derby winner in history. 2003 Derby winner Funny Cide sold for just $22,000.

Bloodstock agent Mike McMahon’s family co-bred and consigned Funny Cide. McMahon continues to search for his own Derby winner on the buying end through McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, based in Versailles, Ky.

“You have a less than 1 in 10,000 chance starting off, but if you take out the obvious sprint horses and mares who haven’t produced good foals, maybe you can get it down to 1 in 1,000,” McMahon said. “Your chances aren’t impossible by any means, but there is a lot of competition for the best chances. The first rule is you rule out all the fillies. Then you look for big, scope-y colts who are bred well enough to be a 1 1/4-mile horse. Then you try to find something in your price range.”

McMahon said it helps if the buyer does not require the horse also to be a good 2-year-old.

“That lets you do a lot more,” McMahon said. “If you’re looking for a 3-year-old, you don’t necessarily have to buy a yearling that’s muscular. You need a well-balanced horse, but you don’t need one that looks precocious and has a hip like a quarter horse. You can buy more leg and give a horse more time.”

At the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale, McMahon’s client Jim Egger told him he wanted a horse to win a Derby, but not the Derby. Egger winters in Phoenix and wanted a horse for the Turf Paradise Derby.

In book nine of the September sale, McMahon found a Pleasant Tap colt out of mare named Nanas Cozy Account, by Langfuhr. He was bred for two turns and had some scope, which means good length and height, McMahon said. McMahon engineered a deal to buy the colt privately for $15,000 after it failed to reach its reserve in the ring.

Named Beer Meister, the colt won the 2011 Turf Paradise Derby, after which Egger and his partner turned down an offer to buy the horse. Beer Meister returned to finish fifth in the Grade 3 Sunland Derby. The horse he beat at Turf Paradise — Twice the Appeal — won the Sunland Derby and earned a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

“Unfortunately we missed the bulls-eye in the Sunland Derby,” McMahon said. “The Derby dream is very present, but the big stables are on it. It’s a big challenge to beat them. It’s very much David vs Goliath. Anybody who goes for it should be commended. It’s a great challenge.”

4/11/11 - Longtime McMahon & Hill Bloodstock client Vivien Malloy was named the 2010 Breeder of the Year at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders (NYTB) annual award ceremony. Monday, April 11th, 2011

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) honored the New York-bred Divisional Champions of 2010, as voted by New York turf writers, chart callers and other eligible voters at its annual Awards Banquet, which took place at the Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs, New York. New York Racing Association track announcer Tom Durkin served as Master of Ceremonies for the presentation ceremony, which also featured video of the nominees.

Vivien Malloy was the 2010 New York Breeder of the Year. Mrs. Malloy’s Edition Farm bred international star A Shin Forward, who became a Group 1 winner in Japan last year and earned more than $2.3 million dollars.

3/16/11 - McMahon & Hill Bloodstock client Rivermist Farm gets $350,000 for their homebred colt by Hard Spun. Sometimes the best advice an agent can give, is not to sell.

Jess Jackson's operation acquired hip 403, a flashy colt from the first crop of Hard Spun, for $350,000 during Wednesday's session. He was a pretty horse, Jackson's bloodstock advisor John Moynihan said out back after signing the docket. We liked Hard Spun--this is the first one we've bought. We liked the horse a lot. Consigned by Scanlon Training Center, Agent VII, the chestnut covered an eighth in :10 flat during the breeze show (video). I'd seen him train at Dave Scanlon's farm, Moynihan continued. He breezed really good. He looks like he'll be a good 3-year-old. I don't know who will train him yet--that's up to Mr. Jackson.

Bred in Kentucky by Sally Andersen, the son of the graded stakes placed mareBrief Bliss (Navarone) is a half-brother to Cherokee Triangle (Cherokee Run), MSW & GSP, $330,294. Consigned by Kaizen Sales at last year's FTSAUG sale, the April foal RNA'd for $80,000.

Congratulations to all of the connections and good luck to Mr. Jess jackson's Stonestreet Stables!

3/16/11 - Spruce Lane Pinhooking's Medaglia d'Oro filly gets a nice update
Bernardini Colt Splashes Home an Easy Winner at the Big A|
Courtesy of the TDN

OPENING MOVE (c, 3, Bernardini - Show Me the Roses, by Storm Cat) set a brisk early pace before yielding to be runner-up to the well-regarded Justin Phillip (First Samurai) in his six-furlong debut at Belmont Sept. 18, but lost his rider at the start when the 2-5 chalk in what was to be his route debut Oct. 22. Missing since a distant third to the subsequent SP Rift (Not For Love) in a six-furlong test on the Aqueduct main Nov. 7, the bay was the preferred part of an entry here at 3-5.

Fastest away, Opening Move set a moderate pace from off the inside on the sealed surface, kicked away into the stretch and reported home 5 1/2 lengths better than Percussion (Bluegrass Cat). The winner's dam, closely related to champion Johannesburg (Hennessy), was purchased carrying this foal in utero for $750,000 at Keeneland November in 2007.
Lifetime Record: 4-1-1-1, $39,220.
O-Darley Stable.
B-Zabeel Racing International (KY).
T-Kiaran P McLaughlin.

3/09/11 - McMahon & Hill Bloodstock stakes winner and pin-hook score Immortal Eyes passes the 200k mark. 

SW IMMORTAL EYES (g, 6, Greatness--Private Eyes, by Private Terms) scored in an allowance race at Charles Town and bumped his earnings to $215,747. He is owned by R Abbo Racing Stb. LLC and was bred by Adena Springs.
Lifetime : 21-5-5-3, $215,747

3/09/11 - Spruce Lane Pinhooking grad keeps on rolling 11 starts 6 wins, and this one against colts. 

Courtesy of the TDN

NINA FEVER (f, 3, Borrego--Impact Now, by Major Impact) finished fifth in a pair of graded stakes last year before winning by daylight when thrown in for a $40,000 tag at Monmouth in September. The winner of her next three starts--most recently a Keeneland allowance Oct. 16--she returned to finish a close-up second in the seven-furlong Glorious Song S. over Woodbine's Polytrack Nov. 14. Seventh in her seasonal finale in the GI Hollywood Starlet S. Dec. 11, the filly kicked off her current campaign with a distant third over the yielding turf in the Jan. 27 Sweetest Chant S. Up to mix things up with favorite Classical Chant (War Chant) in the opening quarter, Nina Fever settled back in third after a half in :43.35. On the heels of the leader turning for home, she battled past that foe late and had enough in the tank to hand closer War for Gus (War Front) a 3/4-length defeat over the boys. Classical Chant held on for third. Nina Fever is expected to contest Woodbine's Apr. 9 Star Shoot S. S
Lifetime Record: 11-6-1-1, $174,779.
O-Gatewood Bell and Wesley A Ward. B-Dennis Foster & John J Greely IV (KY). T-Wesley A Ward.

2/26/11- Beer Meister Brews Big Upset at Turf Paradise
By Jack Shinar
Courtesy of the Blood-Horse

Beer Meister, at 40-1, rallied from last to win the $50,000 Turf Paradise Derby, upsetting the 7-10 favorite Indian Winter at the Phoenix, Ariz., track Feb. 26.

Ridden by Glenn Corbett for trainer Manuel Ortiz and owners Jim Egger and William Burns, Beer Meister closed with a rush from the extreme outside and drew off for a two-length win over Twice the Appeal. The winning time was 1:41.99 for the 1 1/16-mile distance over a fast track.

A son of Pleasant Tap making his stakes debut, Beer Meister registered his first win since defeating a $20,000 maiden claiming field at first asking Dec. 31 at Turf Paradise. He paid $82.40, $20.80, and $6.40 across the board and keyed a $273.20 exacta with the heavy favorite, who returned $2.80 and $2.40. Mr Artistic M D was $2.80 to show.

Beer Meister was 22 lengths behind at the first call as The Great Caper took the lead over Arcadian and Indian Winter. Under pressure from his pace rivals, The Great Caper led the first-half mile while stepping swift fractions of :22.63 and :46.87 before Arcadian put his head in front at the three-quarter mark in 1:10.90.

The Great Caper fought back to take the advantage into the lane and led by two lengths at mid-stretch. Beer Meister, still fifth at that point after making a seven-wide bid, battled with the late-running Twice the Appeal, ridden by Jake Barton, before drawing off for victory. Twice the Appeal drifted in at the sixteenth pole, crowding Mr Artistic M D, who was also rallying late for jockey Scott Stevens.

Indian Winter, winner of the San Pedro Stakes for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in his first start of the year Jan. 17, had a rough trip from his rail post under jockey Juan Rivera. Fractious in the gate, he broke outward and bumped at the start and raced rankly on the backstretch. Stuck three wide while pressing the pace, he drew close to the leaders on the final turn only to drop back and finish at a steady pace.

Twice the Appeal was followed in the official order by The Great Caper, Mighty Buck, Arcadian and Jamaican Memories. Doc Can Dance and Northern Indy scratched.

Bred in Kentucky by Elisabeth Alexander, Beer Meister has two wins and two seconds in four lifetime starts with earnings of $39,620. The dark bay/brown colt is out of Nanas Cozy Account, by Langfuhr.

2/16/11 - McMahon & Hill Bloodstock is proud to represent Henry Mast's "Mast Thoroughbreds LLC", recently listed among the top racing stables in the country by the Thoroughbred Times. The stable is trained exclusively by Robert M. Gorham and races in the Midwest, primarily between Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The focus is on Indiana where slot money has increased purses dramatically. Mast stands CITY WEEKEND a son of Carson City from the family of A P Indy in Indiana. Mast Thoroughbreds raced 6 individual stakes winners in 2010, from a total of 24 starters - a whopping 25%. Congratulations to a fantastic client for a fantastic year!

2/3/11 - McMahon Selected Yearling breaks her maiden impressively
Courtey of the TDN
CHRISTINA D'ORO (f, 3, Medaglia d'Or o--Ionlyhaveeyesforu, by Tunerup), a half to Gaff (Maria's Mon), MGSW-US & MGSP-Ire, $441,451, was fourth in the slop at Aqueduct on debut Dec. 12, and was given an 8-1 chance in her turf bow. The sophomore rated in mid-pack from the two path early behind splits of :21.00 and :43.77, made a move in between horses to race into contention at the top of the lane and outkicked odds-on choice Too Clever By Half (WithDistinction) for a one-length success. It was another five lengths back to firster Exchanging Smiles (Exchange Rate) in third. She is owned by R J Nappi Stables and was bred by Liberation Farm & StonewallFarm (KY).
Lifetime : 2-1-0-0, $25,350.


12/2/10 - Reconnecting - By Rick Gold

(Originally published in the The Blood-Horse magazine.

Rick Gold is CEO of a California high-tech company and a partner in Bourbon Trace Stables

We’re all familiar with the litany of problems facing our sport: declining attendance, wagering, and foal crops—a vicious cycle of key indicators. Recent issues of The Blood-Horse have contained numerous articles analyzing these problems and offering suggestions to fix them. The proposals seem to focus on slots, Instant Racing, higher takeouts, lower takeouts, or national advertising. Most recently, we saw a detailed analysis of regional demographics with implications for targeted advertising to attract new owners.

I respectfully submit that these analyses and proposals completely miss the point. Ultimately, they all treat fans, horseplayers, and owners simply as ATMs to be milked.  The discussions all assume with brighter lights, flashier advertising, and slicker betting options we’ll be able to pull more dollars out of more people.

These are all important topics, but they ignore what sets Thoroughbred horse racing apart from other sports and other gambling options: the beauty of an equine athlete in motion. While our industry snickers at the inaccuracies in the movie “Secretariat,” millions of Americans are coming away with tears in their eyes. While our industry is preoccupied looking down its collective nose at synthetic surfaces, thousands of people who have never watched a horse race before are screaming for Zenyatta.

We will only get this industry moving “upward and to the right” when we begin to help each potential fan, horseplayer, or owner to make that personal connection. The bad news is that we do a horrible job of it today, but there are some relatively simple and inexpensive improvements.
For instance:

• I showed up at Hollywood Park at 8 a.m. on a recent Saturday hoping to see Zenyatta gallop. This was just after her 19th win just as the Breeders’ Cup buzz was starting to build. So what did the guard tell me? “Sorry, sir, I can’t let you in without a (state) license.”

You’ve got to be kidding.

The track has a “railbird” program on Sundays but is otherwise closed to the public in the morning. How much would it cost to open it up? How much Zenyatta swag could they sell? With a little bit of marketing, this could be a great opportunity to get people exposed to the “inside game.” Belmont and Saratoga do a slightly better job than the California tracks, but even there the morning programs are sporadic and poorly promoted.

• Our industry does little to promote our stars: horses, jockeys, trainers. Very few top trainers even have a website or blog with accessible content. Our tracks have lots of online information describing exotic betting options but almost nothing on the sport itself. It is interesting to contrast Thoroughbred racing with sled dog racing, another of my passions. That sport spends a tiny fraction of the dollars, but if you check out the website of the Iditarod Trail Committee, or top mushers Martin Buser or Aliy Zirkle, you’ll see exciting content that puts horse racing to shame. Mike Smith’s “helmet cam” ride on Zenyatta, posted by trainer John Shirreffs, sends a chill down my back every time I see it. I’ve sent a link to this video to friends who have then gone to the track for the first time in their lives.

• Except for big days, the stands at most tracks are all but empty. Yet it is frequently difficult to get a good seat in a box or Turf Club. Baseball and football teams learned several years ago to embrace StubHub! and other resale opportunities to fill unused season-ticket seats in a fan-friendly way. It’s a win-win-win.

• The Iditarod, mentioned above, also makes it easy for fans to sign up as volunteers. In exchange for a VIP pass that lets them get behind the lines, hundreds of people work 4-16 hour days doing everything from security to logistics. Maybe Breeders’ Cup could do something similar on a smaller scale.

I believe the first step is to start treating potential fans and owners not as statistics but as individuals to be welcomed into this amazing game. We have only barely begun to take advantage of the new technology at our disposal to help them make a connection. There is no sport on earth that offers the thrills of Thoroughbred racing. It’s up to us to spread the word.

11/23/10 - McMahon & Hill Bloodstock purchase "Wake Up Kiss" became the producer of a Group 1 winner when her son "A Shin Forward" won the Group 1, Mile Championship at Kyoto Race Track in Japan. 

A Shin Forward was raised at our long time client Vivien Malloy's Edition Farm and became the first Group 1 winner for his astute breeder.  Look for A Shin Forward in the Hong Kong Mile next!! Congratulations to all of the connections!  Wake Up Kiss is only one of the 19 mares purchased by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock to produce a Graded Stakes horse after her purchase.  Some of these 19 were purchased in utero (like A Shin Forward) others are the result of our mating recommendations (like 2010 Graded Stakes filly Amen Hallelujah.  Read more about A Shin Forward by following this link and contact us for all of your breeding season needs. 

8/10 - Congratulations to Craig and Cathy Beam, TOBA’s newest members of the month. TOBA members since 1992, the Beams own and operate Thorobeam Farm, a 220-acre farm outside of Sabina, Ohio. READ MORE>>

(Mike has worked with the Beam’s since 1995 and continues to be their primary consultant.)

Mike was profiled in the inaugural Thoroughbred Times "40 Under 40" feature which appeared in the June 26 issue of the weekly magazine. The class profiled in the feature was determined by a vote of the magazine's editors and writers after a widespread polling of industry participants which yielded nearly 100 nominations.


4/4/10 -Two year old NINA FEVER wins first out at Keeneland by 8 lengths in a romp.

McMahon & Hill Bloodstock weanling purchase NINA FEVER (f, 2, Borrego- mpact Now, by Major Impact) nailed the first race for two year olds at Keeneland, She was pegged as the 2-1 morning-line second choice to get her freshman sire (by El Prado {Ire}) off the mark with his first runner, and was sent off as the 8-5 favorite. Urged along, the bay filly vied for the lead from the inside as the field hooked up with the main track. She disposed of pace-pressing Tristanme (Bwana Charlie) turning for home and put the race to rest, streaking home to score by eight lengths. The final time was three-fifths of a second off the track record.
She is owned by Gatewood Bell & Wesley A Ward and was bred by Dennis Foster &
John J Greely IV (KY).
Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $30,000.


10/24/09 - Sharp Debut for Perfect Soul Colt at Woodbine
Courtesy of the TDN

4th-Woodbine , $66,415, Msw, 2yo, 1 1/16m (AWT) (off turf), 1:46, ft.
PERFECT LOCH (c, 2, Perfect Soul {Ire}--Loch Tay, by Rahy) wasn't given much consideration in this off-the-turf affair at 11-1, but showed a sharp late kick to win going away. Breaking from the 12 hole, the dark bay brought up the rear through the opening six furlongs. He was angled to the outside by jockey Chantal Sutherland coming off the far turn and blew past his rivals en route to convincing three-length success, then galloped out with gusto as Dino Dinaro (El Prado {Ire}) prevailed in a blanket finish for second. Perfect Loch is the first foal from the unraced Loch Tay, an unraced granddaughter of Special (*Forli) acquired by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock for Charles Fipke for $12,000 at KEEJAN in 2006. The mare has a standing date with Fipke's Perfect Soul, producing a filly by the son of Sadler's Wells in 2008 and a colt this past spring, and was bred back to him once more. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0, $37,632. 
O/B-Charles E Fipke (KY). T-Roger L Attfield.

10/23/09 - McMahon & Hill Bloodstock Forms Alliance with Hidden Brook

PARIS, KY-- Lexington-based McMahon & Hill Bloodstock and Hidden Brook Farm in Paris, announced today that they are working cooperatively to bolster their individual companies. 

The initial joint venture will be a weanling-to-yearling pin-hooking syndicate that will commence at the upcoming November sales. McMahon & Hill Bloodstock is owned by Michael and Natanya McMahon, while Hidden Brook is co-owned by Jack Brothers, Dan Hall, Mark Roberts, Sergio de Sousa, and Danny Vella.

McMahon said, “McMahon & Hill Bloodstock has grown significantly since we started in September 2001. Our growth in clientele resulted in increased demand to place horses at premier farms with leading sales consignments at marquee sales.  Hidden Brook is such a farm, offering a premier facility with a management team that in a very brief time has raised and sold dozens of stakes horses and purchased a Derby winner. At the same time, they have maintained a wonderful and honest reputation, combined with a no-nonsense approach to business.  By working together we can effectively grow each others’ businesses without increasing overhead costs.”

Dan Hall added, "This association will allow each of us to better service our existing clientele, while pursuing our common goal of growing our respective businesses.  Simply put, the common denominators of our alliance are the spirit of cooperation and the opportunity to reach out to a broader network within our industry. In the current environment, we both agree it is vital that we continue to recruit and educate new owners that maintain an interest in breeding and racing. Mike is the consummate professional. This union offers us the unique opportunity to align ourselves with a well-respected, highly motivated horseman."


9/17/09 - McMahon Hits One Out of the Park...
Courtesy of the TDN


Bernardini-Listen Now fillyMike McMahon & Hill Bloodstock went to $205,000 to acquire a daughter of Bernardini out of the unraced Storm Bird mare Listen Now (Storm Bird) at last year's Keeneland November sale. Yesterday, he realized a nice return on investment when Elizabeth
Moran's Brushwood Stable purchased hip 744 for $725,000. The dark bay, consigned by Legacy Bloodstock, agent for McMahon's Spruce Lane Farm and Samuel G. Nappi
is a half-sister to GII Amsterdam S. and GIII Nashua S. hero Listen Here (Gulch) and a 3/4- sister to Pennsylvania Oaks heroine Indy Bird (A.P. Indy).

"We were very pleased," McMahon said out back after receiving congratulations from
the Legacy team. "She was a filly that we had high hopes for. You just don't know
what to expect in this market though. I thought we brought a good horse; my wife [Natanya McMahon] did a really good job prepping her. We're very happy with what we saw."

Asked what attracted him to the April foal last November, McMahon said, "I had a lot of confidence in Bernardini and the mare. The filly had a great walk when she was a weanling. She really strided out nicely. I thought she had the sort of walk that would sell well." Eugene Melnyk was the underbidder.

7/23/09 - Mexican Ambassador Ruben Beltran Visits Anna House And The Belmont Race Track

Mexican Connection: By Teresa Genero, Board member of the Belmont Child Care Association and Blogger for The Brooklyn Backstretch Board Member on Wednesday morning, Ambassador Rubén Beltrán, Consul General of Mexico, paid a visit to Anna House. Many of the Anna House families hail from Mexico, and the Consul General came to see for himself the services of the Belmont Child Care Association, and to talk to backstretch families about how the consulate could be of service to them. On hand were Donna and Stuart Chenkin, executive and assistant directors of the Belmont Child Care Association; Anna House director Ingrid Gutierriez; BCCA board member Herb Oster, and Jim Gallagher, executive director of New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and advisory council member of Backstretch Employees Service Team (BEST).

The visit began with a tour of Anna House, with stops in several of the classrooms. The children were anticipating Mr. Beltrán’s visit; whenever a stranger appeared in the doorway, a child would rush up and ask eagerly, “Are you the visitor?” The pre-school students (ages 4 – 6) sang to him in Spanish, and were loath to let him to leave as they regaled him with stories and peppered him with questions, slipping naturally between Spanish and English.


Next stop was the nearby barn of trainer Pastor Mena; as we walked the shedrow, Mr. Beltrán spoke with groom Umberto Hernandez about life on the racetrack. Following our barn visit, we returned to Anna House so that the Consul General could meet with backstretch workers, who had been invited to hear about the consulate’s services and to ask questions. Among the topics discussed were working conditions, health care, and immigration document renewal. In addition to pledging his support where possible, Mr. Beltrán announced that he would donate several collections of books on geography, history, science, and math, along with teachers’ supplementary materials that could be used in the classrooms and library at Anna House.

Official business completed, we headed to the races, where we were joined for lunch by Thoroughbred owners Peter and Eloise Canzone and Mexican-born trainer Ramón Hernandez. The Consul General recalled having attended the track in Mexico, but mostly as a social endeavor; he didn’t appear to have placed a bet on those visits, but immediately perused the program and inquired of our party which of the jockeys might be Mexican. Informed that Jose Espinoza, on the Jimmy Jerkens-trained Queen of Hearts in the second, comes from Mexico, Beltrán made the first bet of his life, and true to racing gods’ form, cashed his first ticket, on a horse that paid $14.20. Not bad for a rookie.

The third race of the day was named the Mexican Consulate; Espinoza was in this race, too, on a hefty longshot. Following a trip to the paddock, Beltrán made a pit stop at the windows before heading upstairs to watch the race named in his honor; on the way to the winners’ circle for the presentation, we learned that he had not put his entire faith in his countryman, supplementing his Espinoza bet with some money on the favorite…who happened to win. Two bets, two wins. On the left, Beltrán with Espinoza and Hernandez.

With time for just one more race before leaving for another engagement, His Honor declared his betting career over…which lasted, oh, about thirty seconds, until he realized that his fellow Mexican and lunch companion Mike Hernandez had a horse in the fourth. Coupled with a John Kimmel trainee, Hernandez’s horse finished fourth…but Kimmel’s finished first. Another bet, another win. Three wins on three bets earns anyone’s respect.

Charmed by the children at Anna House, inspired by the backstretch workers, invigorated by the racing, Beltrán is planning a trip to Saratoga to attend the annual Belmont Child Care Association next month. He’ll continue to work to support the Mexican immigrants who do so much to take care of the horses, and with a little encouragement, maybe he’ll hold a handicapping seminar or two?

7/20/09 - Saratoga Stable IX, LLC purchased hip number 95 for $52,000 at Fasig Tipton July on Monday.  The beautiful filly by freshman sire Congrats is a half sister to graded stakes hopeful Mississippi Hippie who is pointing for the English G1 Middle Park Stakes at the Newmarket Meet.  Click here to see her pedigree and read on below to see trainer Wesley Ward’s comments.

It is also interesting to note that Ward is aiming Crimson Glory (a daughter of Ghostzapper out of our first pinhook to become a Grade 1 winner - - -- -  Buy the Sport!) for the Grade 1 Cheveley Park!!

Ward has three candidates for another British invasion

After winning two races at Royal Ascot last month, trainer Wesley Ward is considering sending another group of two-year-olds to England for Group 1 races on October 2 at Newmarket.  Ward has nominated maiden winner Mississippi Hippie and unraced colt Frankie Cal for the Middle Park Stakes (Eng-G1) and unraced filly Crimson Glory for the Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-G1). Both are six-furlong contests worth $262,993.

“Good sprint races on grass at that time of year are rare here in the [United States] which is why I have made the entries,” Ward said. “It depends on how they do during the summer. If they do as well as I think they will, then I will have to make a decision on whether to ship them to England.”

Ward originally mentioned the Cheveley Park as a possible target for Jealous Again after her victory in the Queen Mary Stakes (Eng-G2) at Royal Ascot on June 17. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum ended up buying her privately.

Ward also won the Windsor Castle Stakes with Strike the Tiger on June 16 at Royal Ascot. Strike the Tiger, a California-bred gelding, is the 9-to-5 favorite for the $50,000 Chenery Stakes on Saturday at Colonial Downs.

“It is pricey to take them over and I will be comparing them to the two-year-olds who did so well at Royal Ascot,” Ward said. “These three are bred better than the Royal Ascot ones.”

Mississippi Hippie, by Dance Master, won a six-furlong maiden race on July 11 at Belmont. Crimson Glory and Frankie Cal are both by freshman sire Ghostzapper. Crimson Glory, out of Grade 1 winner Buy the Sport, by Devil’s Bag, is entered in a maiden race on Friday at Belmont.

Ward said Frankie Cal would probably be renamed Wonderboy Roy prior to his career debut in mid-August.

7/2/09 - More Than Ready Filly Flies at Belmont

MORE TO THE STORY breaks her maiden at Belmont on a firm turf course in 1:07 4/5.

MORE TO THE STORY (f, 3, More Than Ready--Riverboat Miss, by Storm Cat), a $250,000 KEESEP yearling purchase by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, wound up the highest-priced filly at KEEAPR in 2008 when selling for $625,000 to Darley Stable. The chestnut flashed speed in each of her first two outings, a debut third on the Keeneland Poly Apr. 22, and a fade to sixth in a seven-furlong test over this course May 17. Bet down to even-money while cutting back to six panels, More to the Story jumped out quickly from her rail post, turned back a challenge from Out Post (Silver Deputy) after a half in :44.75 and leveled out nicely to defeat that filly by 2 1/4 lengths. She was bred byCorkstown Bloodstock (KY) and is trained by Kiaran P McLaughlin.
Lifetime Record: 3-1-0-1, $30,972.

6/5/09 - QUIET MEADOW in the Eatontown H. (G3)
Courtesy of the Thoroughbred Times Today

Ariege looks for continued success at four in Eatontown Stronach Stables’ Ariege, winner of the 2008 Santa Anita Oaks (G1), will attempt to win her first graded stakes on the turf in the $150,000 Eatontown Handicap (G3) on Sunday at Monmouth Park. The four-year-old Doneraile Court filly was a stakes winner on turf at Saratoga Race Course last summer and also finished third in the Garden City Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. Ariege is out of Kostroma (Ire), a multiple Grade 1 winner on turf. Ariege has won five of 11 career starts and earned $528,485, tops in the Eatontown field, although at 118 pounds she is not the highweight. That distinction belongs to 2008 Eatontown winner Social Queen, who has been assigned 120 pounds. Richard Santulli’s Social Queen, a five-year-old Dynaformer mare, enters the Eatontown off a head victory over All Is Vanity (Fr) in the Gallorette Handicap (G3) at Pimlico Race Course on May 16. All Is Vanity, a Group 2 winner in France now trained by Christophe Clement, will carry 116 in the Eatontown.

The 11⁄16-mile race for fillies and mares drew a field of eight that also includes Hidden Brook’s Quiet Meadow, winner of the L and D Farm Turf Distaff Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs on April 4.

Eatontown H. (G3)
June 7, $150,000, f&m, 3yo & up, 11⁄16mT, Monmouth Park, 4:50 PM ET
P Horse Sire Jockey Wt. Trainer
1. Chestoria Chester House Rajiv Maragh 116 William Badgett Jr.
2. Follow My Dream Freud SD Charles C. Lopez 116 Colum O’Brien
3. Ariege Doneraile Court SD Julien Leparoux 118 Robert J. Frankel
4. All Is Vanity (Fr) Gold Away (Ire) Joe Bravo 116 Christophe Clement
5. Quiet Meadow El Prado (Ire) SD Elvis Trujillo 118 Chad C. Brown
6. Social Queen Dynaformer SD Javier Castellano 120 Alan E. Goldberg
7. Sugar Baby Love (Ger) Second Empire (Ire) Carlos Marquez Jr. 116 Ralph E. Nicks
8. Elusive Lady Van Nistelrooy SD Richard Migliore 116 John C. Kimmel


MICHAEL McMAHON: One of the individuals running who is completely invested in the Thoroughbred industry and its future, McMahon may lack in national industry organizational experience but more than makes up for it in passion. My instinct is he will add a truly independent voice who takes his responsibilities seriously. In his reply to the Paulick Report questionnaire, McMahon repeatedly spoke of the importance of increasing participation at the grass-roots level among breeders, by adding value to the program for nominators. Recommend for election.

5/31/09 - TDN Q & A with the Breeders' Cup Board Candidates

5/30/09 - New Owners Learn About Breeding Process

By Esther Marr

Courtesy of the Blood-Horse

If there’s one thing the horse industry needs, its new blood to fuel the sport. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders’ Association works each year to accomplish just that through its new owner seminars and breeding clinics, the most recent of which took place at Robert N. Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky. May 29. The three-day clinic will also visit Craig Bandoroff's Denali Stud near Paris, Ky. to learn about conformation and pedigrees.

Dozens of eager faces were intent upon the Three Chimneys employees as they orientated the newcomers to the business by walking them through the steps of the breeding process from start to finish.

“The neat thing about the horse business and the stallion business is that nobody knows where the next great stallion is going to come from, so we all have a chance,” said Case Clay, whose father, Robert, founded Three Chimneys in 1972. “It’s a lot like a sports franchise…you try and fill your barn with four or five rookies, one or two which will hopefully hit big; your veterans, which are your bread and butter; and your utility players. We have all those types of stallions.”

Anne Peters, Three Chimneys' seasons and matings advisor, explained how Dynaformer  , sire of 2006 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Barbaro, serves well in his role as one of the farm’s veteran sires. He is also one of the most expensive stallions on the market. Initially standing for $5,000, he now commands a fee of $150,000.

“He’s on the far end of the spectrum in terms of size,” Peters said of the strapping son of Roberto, who is also the most aggressive stallion at Three Chimneys and is required to wear a leather muzzle during breeding sessions. “He’s got incredible bone and is just a big, strong horse.”

Peters explained that Dynaformer crosses best with medium-sized mares that need a little more size and bone, as well as stamina and soundness.

After being introduced to the farm’s other stallions and taught the basics of stallion contracts, clinic participants were walked through the process of a mare being prepared for breeding, and were able to view several mating sessions.

Atlanta resident John Taylor, who recently became a TOBA member, was at the breeding clinic to learn more about his new role in the Thoroughbred world.

“We’ve had horses for years, and we just love them, and this is just something I’ve been wanting to do—it’s a passion,” said Taylor, who recently acquired two Thoroughbred broodmares, one of which has a 10-week-old foal named Edmund’s Boy (by Distorted Humor  ). He keeps his new stock at M&M Farm just south of Atlanta.

Taylor, whose goal is to someday campaign his horses at Keeneland, works full time in the propane gas business. “You’ve got to dream big and wish big,” he said. “I love the animal. Winston Churchill once said, ‘There’s something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.’ This is a business, and you have to realize that and treat it like a business, but also have fun too.”

Beth Daly traveled to attend the clinic from her home base in Windsor, Ontario. She became a fan of horse racing after watching Street Sense   capture the Kentucky Derby in 2007, shortly after which she entered a partnership group with bloodstock agent Mike McMahon. Daly now has an interest in three Thoroughbreds in training: Dutch Striker, Dynamic Force, and Katskill Bay, and spends her vacations traveling around the country with her husband to watch them race.

“I became a fan around three years ago, and a part owner last year,” said Daly, a professor at the University of Windsor. “We have long-range plans to buy a farm down here and get our own horses. (Horse ownership) is fun…even though I only own the nose. But all they have to do is stick that nose out and we win.”



Mike McMahon has been working in the thoroughbred industry for 16 years, principally as a breeder and bloodstock consultant.

He started his career “hands on” after college in 1993, formed McMahon & Hill Bloodstock LLC in 2000, and with his wife Natanya founded Spruce Lane Farm in Versailles KY in 2005.  Currently McMahon serves on the board of the BCCA as Vice President.  He has successfully led the BCCA Scholarship Committee towards a more objective, more efficient scholarship process.  As former President of NYTB (2006-2008), he lobbied effectively for legislation awarding Breeders 1.75% of Slot Revenue in NY.

McMahon is involved with a wide range of Breeders in nearly every region of the US including KY, NY, FL, IL, MI, IN, DE, MA, VA, PA, MD, CA and WA.  His primary role is as a purchasing agent but his involvement with Breeders and Owners is much more than superficial.  McMahon enjoys the debate that surrounds nearly every aspect of our industry.  He believes that nearly every breeder wants the Breeders Cup to grow, but that we all struggle to balance the costs which are inherent with growth.


Personal Statement:
The essential question is, “How do we grow the CUP, but not the COST?”  

The Breeders Cup is a major responsibility that our industry must spend maximum energy on.  I believe that I have input to add to this discussion.  John Gaines’ vision for North America’s Championship Day can’t be lost.  We must strive to improve the Breeders Cup allowing it to develop into a lasting legacy that not only grows more financially stable but that repays the breeders who pay the nominations.  Finally we must allow the Breeders Cup to serve as the vehicle that allows our sport and all of the hundreds of thousands of people involved to prosper.


5/12/09 -The Belmont jockey Maylan Studart visited the Anna House children.  After a morning workout on the backside of Belmont,  Maylan visited with the Anna House Toddlers. 

The Toddlers loved the pink rose on her silks which toddler, Maria thought looked like the rose on her pants.  Before she left the Toddler Room Maylan read a book and the toddlers sang her a welcome song.

Maylan was a big hit in the Anna House Preschool Room. She read, the classic,  Brown Bear and  answered many questions about being a jockey and finally was lucky to spend time drawing with her new friends.


The children loved Maylan and she is welcome anytime and Maylan loved the children and looks forward to returning to Anna House!


5/11/09 - Smart Surprise rallies off strong pace to win Hendrie Stakes

She is the 20th Graded Stakes Horse for McMahon & Hill Bloodstock

Smart Surprise was angled six wide into the stretch by jockey Patrick Husbands, grabbed the lead in midstretch, and outbattled runner-up Proud Heiress for a close victory in the $137,982 Hendrie Stakes (Can-G3) on Sunday at Woodbine.

Sent off as the 2.15-to-1 favorite under leading rider Husbands, Smart Surprise was reserved off a swift pace and accelerated into contention with a sweeping bid entering the stretch. The ive-year-old Smart Strike mare held back stakes winner Proud Heiress to win by a neck and earn her first graded stakes victory.

“My filly had an outside draw [post position eight], so I didn’t really have to worry about anybody,” Husbands said. “There was a lot of speed in the race. It unfolded the way we wanted it to unfold.” Bear Lahaina and Verdana Bold dueled through the opening stages, with Bear Lahaina posting quick fractions of :22.77 for the opening quarter and :44.53 for a half-mile. Proud Heiress tracked just behind the favorite in seventh under Julio Felix. Smart Surprise advanced four wide into an ideal striking position on the turn and had an eager response when Husbands urged her rally approaching the lane. Verdana Bold overhauled Bear Lahaina in early stretch and led by a head, but she quickly folded as Smart Surprise streaked by in the final sixteenth with Proud Heiress on her outside flank. Proud Heiress could not overtake Smart Surprise, who crossed the finish in 1:16.01 for 6½ furlongs on the synthetic Polytrack surface.

Trained by Josie Carroll for owner Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, the half sister to Grade 1 winner Court Vision posted her fifth win and third stakes victory in 18 career starts.
Stablemate Authenicat finished third, two lengths behind Proud Heiress. Smart Surprise powered to a 6¼-length romp in the Chou Croute Handicap on February 14 at Fair Grounds but came up empty in her subsequent start, finishing fifth in the Azeri Stakes (G3) at Oaklawn Park on March 8. She entered Sunday’s race off a runner-up finish to Hendrie fourth-place finisher Dancing Allstar in the Whimsical Stakes (Can-G3) on April 18 at Woodbine, a race in which Proud Heiress finished third.

Bred by William S. Farish and Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership, Smart Surprise is out of the unraced Storm Bird mare Weekend Storm, a half sister to champion, classic winner, and two-time leading sire A.P. Indy as well as classic winner and sire Summer Squall

3/27/09- A Long Way From Home, Moving at Great Speed


The first race at Aqueduct on Thursday unfolded under moody skies and a blanket of mist. It was hard, at the beginning, to discern the jockey in green and white silks astride the chestnut filly Spa Princess in the middle of the thundering pack, until the final turn.

Spa Princess shot forward, overtaking two horses to get neck and neck with the front-runner — and then became the front-runner. She won the six-furlong sprint by three-quarters of a length, nabbing a $22, 000 purse.

The jockey in the green and white silks pulled the horse up and circled back, an ear-to-ear smile on her mud-splattered face.

For fans, it was just one of nine races on a dreary day at the Queens race track, paying $4.60 on a $2 bet. But for the jockey, Maylan Studart, a 20-year-old Brazilian who moved to Queens last fall to compete in a male-dominated sport and send part of her earnings home to her fractured family, it was the culmination of an unlikely, often lonely, journey. It was her 40th win, the one that turned her from an apprentice into a full-fledged jockey.

“The pressure’s over, the pressure’s over!” she yelled, eyes wide, as her horse was led from the track. “I can’t believe it. I’m overwhelmed.”

Ms. Studart has adored horses for as long as she can remember, ever since her father first sat her on one when she was a toddler. Over the years, as her family’s fortunes and relations grew unstable and fraught, horses would become her constant, her solace and eventually her escape.

Her parents split up when she was 3, and when she was 7 she moved from Rio to Los Angeles with her mother, stepfather and older brother, who has fragile X syndrome, a cause of mental retardation. Ms. Studart’s stepfather died four years later, so the family returned to Rio, where her father had bought her a horse, Thunderbolt.

She threw herself into riding, racing through mountain trails, taking lessons and show jumping. But by the time she turned 14, Thunderbolt had died, and her mother, who was not working, told her that the family could not afford to pay for her riding activities.

That year, Ms. Studart attended her first horse race, and was transfixed, her heart pounding, as she watched the jockeys compete. “I fell in love,” she recalled. “I wanted to be part of it.”

There was an apprentice school for jockeys near her home, but it would not take anyone younger than 16, and had dorms for only male jockeys. So Ms. Studart waited for two years, pressing to be allowed to commute, and when officials gave in, she rode whatever mount she could. “I was given no opportunity,” she recalled, “and the worst horses to ride.”

Still, she won a few times and caught attention by posing for a magazine in a bikini. “In Brazil,” she said, “sensual publicity is good for you. It’s the culture.”

John DaSilva, who covers horse racing for The New York Post and did some work connected to horse racing in Brazil, became acquainted with her, and became something of a mentor, too. A trainer friend of Mr. DaSilva’s sponsored a visa to bring Ms. Studart to the United States. She arrived in Miami in April 2008, and was tutored in the nuances of American racing by Manuel Cruz, a Brazilian jockey at the Calder Race Course there.

Her first race was in July 2008, her first win in August. In October, after 10 victories at Calder, she moved to New York, staying at first with her agent and his wife, then renting an apartment with a roommate near Belmont Park.

She was deeply apprehensive about the cold. “I had never seen snow,” she said. “But you know what the secret is? Layers.”

Though they are still something of a rarity, female jockeys have been riding in the United States since 1969; three of the seven jockeys Ms. Studart beat on Thursday were women.

Ms. Studart starts most days at Belmont by 7 a.m. She spends mornings “breezing” — racing parlance for galloping at top speed — horses for various trainers, her braided hair flying behind her. She races most afternoons, and typically hits the gym twice a day.

Rodrigo Ubillo, who trains Spa Princess, said he hired Ms. Studart for her single-mindedness and because she connects with horses. “The most important thing is the horses run for her,” he said.

Aside from Mr. DaSilva, Ms. Studart said she does not have many friends; she had married her longtime boyfriend before leaving Brazil, but the relationship was crippled by the distance. She has not seen her family in a year, though she helps support her mother, who does not work.

Asked whom she felt close to, Ms. Studart named Catskill Bay, a stallion also trained by Mr. Ubillo. “We have a silent conversation,” she said. “I just understand him so much.”

Now that Ms. Studart is no longer an apprentice, her prospects for rides are unclear, especially with more experienced jockeys coming to New York for the summer season. Trainers tend to favor apprentices — nicknamed “bugs” for the asterisks that follow their names on programs — because they get to carry less weight. (Some horses are required to carry additional weight, to make races more competitive.)

Until now, Ms. Studart, who is 5-foot-1 and hovers around 113 pounds, had a 7-pound allowance, meaning she rode 7 pounds lighter than journeymen jockeys .

“It’s like graduating high school,” said Mr. DaSilva, still beaming after seeing Ms. Studart’s win Thursday. “She’s going into the real world now.”

3/18/09 - Macho Uno Filly Nice Score for McMahon...

The sale of the Macho Uno filly for $360,000 represented a nice pinhook for the versatile horseman Mike McMahon, who had acquired her as a yearling for $160,000 at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga sale and sold her at March through regular partner Eddie Woods.

"She was gorgeous as a yearling," McMahon explained after the sale. "The other thing was that she was at Saratoga, where the majority of buyers are shopping for fillies who can be broodmare prospects, and there has to be black-type under the first dam. She was up there because of her physical, not because of her pedigree, so she was a little soft there. We brought her here to stand out."

Mission accomplished, it turns out, especially after the filly put forth an eye-catching breeze in a bullet 9 4/5 for an eighth. "She was enormously popular at the barn," added McMahon. "We knew she was going to sell well. But we were scared of the market, just like everybody else. The first four results sheets had me thinking we were going to get a lot less. We were more confident when we saw a bunch of people lined up to look at her in the back walking ring. It's just a matter of getting those
guys into the pavilion and waving their hands at the auctioneers. But those guys buy nice fillies--both the bidder and the underbidder."

A self-described "farm kid," McMahon took a bit of an atypical route to Lexington--where he now lives--in that he wasn't involved in the Kentucky or Florida scenes.
Instead, McMahon's family runs one of the most-respected stallion farms in New York, McMahon Thoroughbreds of Saratoga. "My parents bought that farm in 1971, and so I grew up working on the farm," explained McMahon. "I've been pretty much a farm kid my whole life."

After completing the program at Irish National Stud and also spending time at Cornell University in Upstate New York, McMahon moved to Kentucky in 1994. AI worked for Equix Biomechanics until 1999 and then started my own company in 2000," said McMahon, whose wife Natanya is the resident vet at WinStar Farm. McMahon does a little bit of everything at his company, McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, including yearling-to-juvenile pinhooking,
buying racing prospects for clients and advising on matings.

"We have an awful lot of mares for clients--50 or 60-- that we do matings on," he said. "We work very hard to research and do the best we can on each horse we
manage. I particularly like buying fillies and mares--I like the upside. But I think everybody dreams of getting a client to buy Derby horses for, and I expect that someday I'll do that."

The Macho Uno filly was one of just four yearlings that McMahon purchased last year to pinhook. "This is our lightest year ever, mostly because in July I was nervous about where the economy was," he explained.

According to McMahon, McMahon & Hill Bloodstock just recently celebrated its 50th stakes winner. McMahon has pinhooked or purchased for clients the likes of Grade I-placed Grace Anatomy (Aldebaran) and graded stakes winner Marcavelly (Johannesburg).
"We've had a really good run so far," said McMahon. "It's been fun."

2/17/2009 - Smart Surprise makes statement

By Abram Himelstein - Fair Grounds

NEW ORLEANS - Smart Surprise became the latest horse in Josie Carroll's barn to prove herself in a recent stakes race as she came home 6 1/4 lengths in front of Rolling Sea in Saturday's Chou Croute Handicap.

Smart Surprise joins Good and Lucky, who finished a strong second in the Mineshaft Handicap on Feb. 7. Carroll is considering her options for each of their next starts.

Smart Surprise has been nothing short of spectacular since coming to Carroll's barn over the summer, with 4 wins and a second from 5 races. Her last two wins have been in stakes, and she has shown improvement in every race.

"She's just a filly that's been steadily growing and improving," Carroll said. "I freshened her up after the summer, and now its time to start gearing her up for next summer."

While Smart Surprise had been impressive in her first four starts for Carroll, all of her races had come over the Woodbine Polytrack and there was some question about how she would take to dirt.

She answered all questions in the Chou Croute with her dominant win, giving Carroll options for her next races.

"We'll see where it takes us," Carroll said. "We're looking at the Azeri at Oaklawn, perhaps."


4/10/08 - McMahon and Partners Ready for More...
McMahon & Hill Bloodstock's Mike McMahon says that when it comes to selecting yearlings, he likes to go after the best representative from a given sire's crop. He thought he found the best filly of More Than Ready's 2007 yearling crop at Keeneland September last year, a handsome chestnut with a big walk, and paid $250,000 for her.

Yesterday, he found a few others who might share his opinion on the filly, namely
Jimmy Bell, who last night paid $625,000 for the filly on behalf of Darley.
"She was gorgeous as a yearling," McMahon said after congratulating Bell. "I like to buy the best by a sire, and she was the best More Than Ready. I love More Than Ready--I think he's the greatest."

McMahon originally purchased the filly as a pinhooking prospect for a pair of East Coast-based clients, Henry Mast and Stephen Wigmore. "Henry's been a client of mine for years, actually," said McMahon. "He had Miss Lodi, who sold for $2 million here a couple years back. Steve is a fairly new client. He's from the Boston area."

McMahon added that he was happy with the price, but said he wouldn't have been surprised if she brought even more for a filly who was a standout from the beginning at consignor Eddie Woods's Ocala training center. "She's always been fast, she's always been quick," he said. "She does things normal horses don't do. But give Eddie Woods credit. He did a wonderful job with her."

Dear Mike,

During the last two years, you served with exceptional distinction as the president of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc., and your presence and leadership were missed at the organizational meeting of the 2009 board of directors. I think it is fair to say that during the last two years you devoted an extraordinary amount of productive time toward advancing NYTB’s interests on a wide variety of fronts. You dealt effectively in the political arena, and with the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, with our membership, with various other constituencies, and with the internal governance of our organization. Despite the geographic distance from your home and NYTB headquarters, you were physically present at every event for which the NYTB president should have been present as well as a large number of other meetings and events at which it was helpful for you to be in attendance. In short, you were a very committed and effective NYTB president and will be a tough act to follow.

You and I haven’t been particularly close, but I want you and all the other members of the board to know that I sincerely respect the dedication and commitment to the NYTB that you exhibited during your tenure as president of the NYTB.

The entire NYTB organization owes you a debt of gratitude, and on behalf of myself, the board members, and the breeders of New York, I want to thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of the NYTB.
This coming year may be the most challenging year our membership has confronted in decades, and we certainly welcome any suggestions you may have about how we can best navigate our organization through this difficult period.

Best wishes,
Barry Ostrager and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders board of directors





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