Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo and Group 3 winner Hunters Bay — second to champion Wise Dan in the 2012 G1 Woodbine Mile — will headline the first new Maryland stallion operation in a decade.
Heritage Stallions, a new facility on property that formerly was part of Windfields Farm, is a partnership of veterinarian Dr. Brooke Bowman and Louis Merryman, formerly general manager of Northview Stallion Station. Both have long
histories, and deep roots, in the regional breeding industry.
“We chose the name Heritage Stallions to reflect not only our family heritages but the historic heritage of Maryland Thoroughbred breeding,” the two said in a statement. “With the recently adopted significant enhancements for Maryland breeders and the lucrative racing opportunities available at Maryland racetracks, we believe Heritage Stallions is the beginning of a new legacy.”
“I’m really excited about it,” Merryman added in an interview with The Racing Biz. “I feel like there’s a little bit of a flow back to Maryland.”
The operation will feature six stallions. Four of those are part of Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs operation. In addition to Giacomo, coming to Maryland from Kentucky, and Hunters Bay, who will stand his first year at stud, Stronach will relocate two horses from his Ontario operation, multiple Grade 1 winning millionaire Showing Up and Plan, a winning son of Storm Cat.
“In the end, everything is coming together slowly but surely,” said Dermot Carty of Adena Springs. “Maryland has a bright future.”
In addition to the four horses from the Stronach operation, Heritage Stallions will also include two from Virginia-based breeder R. Larry Johnson. Street Magician, whose first crop are yearlings this year, will move from Northview Stallion Station in Maryland to the new farm; and Johnson will add his graded stakes winning son of Speightstown, Despite the Odds, who will stand his first season at stud.
“It’s exciting, it’s entrepreneurial, and it’s indicative of all the exciting things happening in Maryland,” Johnson told The Racing Biz. Bowman and Merryman “are competent young people who have bright futures, and I wanted to be in on the ground floor with them.”
“We couldn’t be more excited that Mr. Stronach and Mr. Johnson have shown the confidence in us and share our enthusiasm for the opportunities that we can all realize,” Bowman and Merryman said in their statement.
Carty added that he sees the stallion operation as serving “not just Maryland but the mid-Atlantic region in particular. Maryland has a great horse culture, and once you have a horse culture, the rest will follow.”
Stud fees will range from $1,500, for Despite the Odds, on up to $6,000 for Hunters Bay.
Maryland Racing Commission chairman Bruce Quade, who championed the state’s recently adopted initiative pumping more money into Maryland’s breeding industry, applauded growth of the state’s stallion roster. “Even though the breeding initiatve has just begun,” he said, “some of our goals are already being realized, including now with the growth in our state’s stallion population and the opening of the first major new stallion facility in years.”
Carty indicated that Adena Springs is committed to the success of its stallions in Maryland. “We’re getting involved in the Maryland program,” he said. “And we’re sticking behind it.”
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