Horse of the Year, Curlin's Book Stacked With Major Mares

Curlin, the 2007-08 Thoroughbred Horse of the Year, made a good showing when he covered the first of the mares booked to him for his first season at stud at William S. Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky. Maggy Hawk, the dam of champion and classic winner Afleet Alex and stakes winner Unforgettable Max, was bred Feb. 13 "in a very professional manner," according to Lane's End stallion manager Bill Sellers. Maggy Hawk is owned by Jess Jackson, the majority owner of Curlin.

Maggy Hawk is one of about 25 mares that Jackson figures to breed to Curlin, whose earnings of $10,501,800 is a North American record. Curlin, who boasts the year's highest fee for a newcomer, $75,000, is expected to cover a total of 125 to 130 mares.

"I'ts a good mix of mares, with good racemares and stakes producers,' said Farish, who also stands Curlin's sire, Smart Strike, at Lane's End.

Curlin's book also includes Candytuft, dam of champion sprinter and two-time Breeders' Cup Sprint winner Midnight Lute, and Jackson's grade I winner/producer Hookedonthefeelin.

Five-year-old Curlin is the fourth Horse of the Year to enter stud this decade at Lane's End. The others have been Charismatic (in 2000), Mineshaft (2004), and Saint Liam (2006). Current Lane's End stallion A.P. Indy entered stud at the farm in 1993 following a Horse of the Year season.

Farish has booked 10 A.P. Indy mares to Curlin. A.P. Indy, a Bold Ruler-line stallion by Seattle Slew, serves as the premier outcross to the pervasive Mr. Prospector and Northern Dancer male lines. Smart Strike, the leading sire by progeny earnings in 2007-08, is by Mr. Prospector, and Curlin’s dam, Sherriff's Deputy, is by Northern Dancer's grandson Deputy Minister. By Vice Regent, Deputy Minister topped North America’s leading broodmare sire by progeny earnings in 2007 and ranked second in 2008.

Curlins book also includes the grade I stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Sweet Symphony, plus Private Status, dam of grade I winner Secret Status (by A.P. Indy) and her graded stakes-winning full brother Alumni Hall.

Curlin, who occupies the same stall where major sires Fappiano and Summer Squall formerly resided, measures 16.2 hands.

"He's is a well-balanced horse, and he will be able to handle just about any mare regardless of her conformation," Farish said. "Some people will breed medium-sized mares that are lightly made to Curlin to get more bulk and strength in the foal."

(Originally published on

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David Schmitz

David Schmitz is a Senior Staff Writer for The Blood Horse.

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