Dr. Bill Solomon: Pennsylvania the place to breed and race

by | Jan 28, 2018 | Breaking, Breeding

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The person who decides to breed horses will confront many questions along the way, some complex and difficult.

But the question of where to breed should be an easy one, says Dr. William Solomon of Pin Oak Lane Farm: Pennsylvania.

“If you’re breeding to race, it only makes sense to breed in Pennsylvania,” Solomon says.

Solomon points to many reasons: the $30 million in incentives the Keystone State offers, which is many times more than those available in other mid-Atlantic states. The nearly 500 racedays at three different racetracks – Parx Racing, Penn National and Presque Isle Downs – which include dirt, turf, and synthetic racing strips. And the more than 400 races run each year that are restricted to Pennsylvania-breds.

In fact, the bonus structure is so strong in Pennsylvania that a Pennsylvania-bred, Pennsylvania-sired horse that wins an open race with a $20,000 purse will earn, all told, $25,200 – far more than the total purse.

“It all adds up to, the opportunity in Pennsylvania is far greater than anywhere else in the Mid-Atlantic,” Solomon says.

In recent years, the size of Pennsylvania’s breeding program has been masked to a certain extent by the state legislature’s repeated raids on the funds to use them for other purposes. Those days, says Solomon, are over.

“With recent legislation when the 2018 budget was passed, the Racehorse Development Fund money was put in a trust fund that strongly protects it,” he says. And that means no more raids.

Solomon believes so strongly in the Pennsylvania’s breeding future that he’s bulked up the stallion roster at Pin Oak Lane. He’s added a pair of new comers for 2018 in Almasty, a graded stakes winner from the family of Gun Runner who is the only son of Scat Daddy standing in the Mid-Atlantic; and Royal Artillery, the region’s only graded stakes winner by War Front at stud.

Those two join a duo already on the farm, Lord Shanakill and Last Gunfighter. Lord Shanakill, a son of Speightstown, was a Group 1 winner on the racetrack and is already an international Group 1-producing sire. And Last Gunfighter is a multiple-graded stakes winner of more than $1.2 million who defeated some of his generation’s best runners on the track.

“We’ve brought in a powerful group of stallions, all of them graded stakes winners and by stallions that are the best in the business,” Solomon says.

All in all, it’s a big bet on the Pennsylvania program, but one Solomon is confident he’ll win.

“The Pennsylvania program stands out as one of the best overall probably in the entire country,” he says. “We have enough money in Pennsylvania to reward people who breed and race in Pennsylvania.”