Catch the latest news from Claiborne Farm!

October 20, 2021

Racing Report, September Sales Recap

First Mares In-Foal To War Of Will Make Keeneland Debut

Catholic Boy Weanling Ready to Make November Splash

Claiborne Farm Acquires Breeding Rights To Met Mile Winner Silver State

PARIS, Ky. – For over a century, the masters of Claiborne Farm have faced many changes in the industry but have succeeded while adhering to the best principles of stewardship of the land, the horses, and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. In 2015, Seth “Walker” Hancock, Jr. is the fourth in a line of Hancock men who have guided and nurtured a major agricultural pursuit with steadfast integrity and dedication for what is good for the horse.

Photo courtesy Claiborne Farm

4th Annual RUNHAPPY 5K/2.5K

Thanks to our amazing sponsors, fans and volunteers we were able to successfully host another sold out event. 

Each year we choose an equine-related, non-profit organization to donate the proceeds to. This year Second Stride is the beneficiary and we could not be happier to hand over a check to this amazing organization! Second Stride is a local Thoroughbred aftercare organization that provides professional rehabilitation, retaining, and placement in qualified homes for retired racehorses so that they may reach their full potential in a productive second career. To learn more about Second Stride click the button below.

Mark your calendars for next year, September 23, 2022! We look forward to continuing this event and hope to see you out here then.

Racing Report: 

First Samurai: It was a Claiborne-sired exacta at Keeneland on Wednesday when First Samurai’s Fire Sword was an all-the-way winner over RUNHAPPY’s Kinetic Sky in an Allowance Optional Claimer.

Flatter: Canada’s newest millionaire, Avie’s Flatter took his 2021 record to three-from five on October 17 when the Flatter son won the Nearctic Stakes (G2) at Woodbine.

Forced Ranking impressively gave his sire, Flatter, another winner also on October 17 with a Belmont Park Maiden Special Weight win in his second start.

Ironicus (Courtesy of Claiborne Farm)

Ironicus: Avid Sucinori became the newest winner for IRONICUS on October 11 when the filly dominated a Finger Lakes Maiden Special Weight by 12 ¼ lengths. One of the fastest out of the gate in the 5 ½ furlong dirt sprint, the Happy Face Racing Stable-owned filly immediately opened up the lead. Avid Sucinori doubled her margin at every call and won by 12 ¼ lengths.

Mastery: Phipps homebred Surprisingly became the 4th winner for her sire, graduating at first asking at Monmouth on September 24! The 2-year-old filly was born and raised at Claiborne.

Runhappy: September was a busy month for Eclipse Champion sprinter Runhappy! Run This City became his sire’s first Japanese winner on September 22, putting away the field by an eye-catching 22 lengths! Earlier in the month, 2-year-old filly Runup became the 3rdstakes winner for Runhappy, taking them gate to wire to win the Sorority Stakes at Monmouth for Jim McIngvale & Laura Wohlers – the same connections of Runhappy himself!

War Front: September was another month of global success for our super sire War Front! Ancient Rome was ultra-game in winning the G3 Prix des Chenes at Longchamp on September 9. War Cross was an impressive maiden winner, crossing the wire 14 lengths clear of his closest pursuer on September 24 at Belterra for Phoenix Thoroughbreds and trainer Ed Vaughan! Then the dark bay won an allowance at Thistledown by 4 ½ lengths.

Other notable winners for War Front last month include Summering with a frontrunning score in the North Bay Village Handicap at Gulfstream, War Bomber (IRE) drawing away to win the Toronto Cup and Admiring cruising to an 8 ½ length maiden victory at Woodbine!

Annapolis winning the Pilgrim at Belmont. (Susie Raisher)

Bass Stables homebred, Annapolis, became War Front’s 100th stakes winner with his victory in the G2 Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont on October 3. The 2-year-old colt was born and raised at Claiborne and is trained by Todd Pletcher on behalf of Bass Racing!

September Sales Recap

The 2021 Keeneland September Yearling Sale felt like a return to normalcy after an unusual “COVID Year” during the 2020 sale. This year, fifteen horses sold for $1,000,000 or more, two of which were sired by Claiborne’s flagship stallion, War Front. A War Front filly out of the A.P. Indy mare, Vaulcluse, summoned $1,200,000 from Seahorse Stables, while a full-brother to champion 2-year-old Air Force Blue (War Front-Chatham) fetched an even $1,000,000 from Lynnhaven Racing.
Overall, the 2021 edition of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale resulted in 2,789 horses sold for a gross of $364,516,500, an average of $130,698. This represents a 30.2% increase compared to the 2020 “COVID Year” average ($100,354), and a 4.4% increase compared to the strong 2019 average ($125,201).
Claiborne Farm & Adele Dilschneider homebred stallion, Blame, continued to be well-received, as 31 of his offspring sold for $4,068,000, an average of $131,226. Blame’s top lot, a filly bred by Winstar Farm and sold by Taylor Made Sales Agency as Hip 1007, brought $525,000 (17.5x Blame’s 2019 stud fee of $30,000!) from Cheyenne Stables.
The Claiborne consignment was also solid, led by Hip 86, a Medaglia d’Oro filly who sold for $950,000 to Donato Lanni, Agent. The dark bay/brown daughter of the Distorted Humor mare, Naples Princess, is from the same family as Mitole and Hot Rod Charlie. In total, Claiborne’s consignment resulted in 43 horses sold for $6,502,500, an average of $151,221. This represents a 93.8% increase compared to the 2020 average ($78,045), and an 8.2% decrease compared to the 2019 average ($164,793).

First Mares In-Foal To War Of Will Make Keeneland Debut

War Of Will winning the 144th Preakness at historic Pimlico Race Course (Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)

Dual surface Grade 1 winner War Of Will was a popular freshman sire with breeders in 2021 and buyers will have a chance to tap into that faith at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale with 35 mares cataloged in foal to the stallion.

Two months after a Mastery colt out of My Tina sold for $150,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, a four-time winning daughter of the mare sells in-foal to WAR OF WILL as Hip 287 from Penn Sales as agent for Alex Venneri.

Named Tenacious Tina, the Benchmark mare is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and sire Midnight Storm. But even more important is that she has already produced two stakes performers from five runners. Her second foal was FLATTER’s Grade 3-placed Flatter Up and her third was multiple Grade 3-paced Tiny Tiny. The mare’s first foal, Tina’s Exchange, is a four time winner as well.

The earner of $134,172, Tenacious Tina is carrying to War Of Will on an April 15 date.

Candy Meadows Sales is offering the British-bred Refreshing in foal to War Of Will as Hip 1005.

Out of the multiple stakes winning mare Dolydille and a half-sister to two stakes performers, Refreshing’s three runners are all winners. That active group of racehorses is led by stake-placed Clear Vision. The mare also has a yearling Maclean’s Music colt and a weanling Catholic Boy colt to come. Refreshing was last bred to WAR OF WILL on April 23.

Hip 1051 from Bluewater Sales is carrying her first foal to WAR OF WILL on a March 16 cover. Named Super Patriotic, the winning Munnings daughter is a half-sister to dual surf Grade 2 winner Diamond Oops, who had a stakes update after the catalog came out, and stakes winner Patriotic Diamond.

Super Patriotic’s stakes winning dam Patriotic Viva seems to be passing on her producing talents with Patriotic Diamond the dam of undefeated stakes winning 2-year-old Diamond Wow.

Those shopping in later books will have a chance to get a mare from the successful Bonne Chance Farm broodmare band with Harmony Victory. Offered by Hidden Brook for the farm as Hip 2130, Harmony Victory is a two-time winner carrying to War Of Will for her first foal on a February 28 cover.

Harmony Victory comes from a family that is quickly proving to have influential broodmares. Her granddam is stakes winner Turkish Tryst, who produced Grade 1 winner and multiple classic placed Hard Spun and stakes winner Our Rite of Spring. Our Rite of Spring is also the granddam of last year’s Champion Older Dirt Male Improbable.

Winning Arch mare Battle Bridge is offered by Brookdale Sales as Hip 2396, one four winners out of Board Battle. Battle Bridge is a proven mare, who has two winners from three to race led by Grade 3-placed Irony of Reality. That filly scored eight times in 23 starts for over $197,000 in earnings.

Battle Bridge has a 2-year-old Declaration of War colt named Joe working steadily at Delaware Park as he prepares to update the page as well. The 12-year-old mare is carrying to War of Will on an April 14 cover.

The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale starts at 1 p.m. November 10 and moves to 10 a.m. daily the 11th through the 19th.

Catholic Boy Weanling Ready to Make November Splash

Catholic Boy (Courtesy of Claiborne Farm)

A year after Catholic Boy’s first in-foal mares sold for up to $950,000, buyers will have a chance to buy his first weanlings at this year’s breeding stock sales.

The first crop sire kicks off a busy few weeks with his first weanling through the ring selling as Hip 108 at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Offered by Ramsey Farm, the weanling is a half-sister to stakes winner In The Mood and one other winner from two to race out of stakes winning Sisterhood. That mare is one of three stakes performers for the winning mare Caterette sired by Kitten’s Joy. Caterette has produced five winners with those other than Sisterhood including stakes winner Cozy Kitten and 10-time winner With Exultation.

More Than Ready sons crossed on Kitten’s Joy mares have produced five runners with the group led by stakes performer Artemus Bridge.

Those who miss out on Catholic Boy’s first offering just need to venture across town to Keeneland. The stallion has 21 catalogued for the 10-day Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Catholic Boy kicks off the sale with Hip 292, a colt from the family of Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Spain consigned by Nursey Place. That colt’s Giant’s Causeway dam is a full sister to Grade 3 winner Excited and stakes winner Wait Til Dawn. Excited is also the dam of stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Thrilled while another of Thunder Rose’s sisters is the dam of Group 1-placed Cravache d’Oro.

This colt’s stakes winning second dam Path of Thunder is a full sister to the aforementioned Spain and is a sibling to two other graded stakes winners.

Out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, this colt is bred on the same More Than Ready x Giant’s Causeway cross as Grade 1 winners Verrazano and Say The Word among five stakes winners and 10 stakes performers. Two of More Than Ready’s sons have also sired two stakes performers out of Giant’s Causeway mares.

Brandywine Farm send Hip 386 through the ring, a filly out of a full sister to Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Ruler on Ice. The filly’s dam Champagne Ice has one winner from two of racing age, that being the multiple stakes-placed Champagne Humor. Champagne Humor is out of the stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Champagne Glow, who also produced dual Grade 1 winner Champagne d’Oro. Champagne d’Oro is also the granddam of stakes winner Pico d’Oro.

There are Grade 1 winners under two of the three dams on this page with Champagne Glow a half-sister to Italian champion and Group 1 winner Jurado and dual Grade 1 winner Grand Canyon.

Claiborne Farm offers a colt out of a War Front daughter of Preach as Hip 603. A winner at two, Process is the dam of two winners from three to race and herself is one of many winners out of the legendary Preach. A Grade 1 winner during her time as a race mare, Preach went on to produce the 

Grade 2 winning Claiborne stallion Pulpit and stakes performers Urban Poet and Tell It.

Preach’s daughters have also been strong producers with their runners including War Front’s stakes winner and Group 1-placed Whitecliffsofdover, First Samurai’s stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Endless Chatter, and Grade 3 winner Wild Shot among others.

Hip 744 from Eaton Sales is a half-brother to stakes-placed Reversethedecision from three winners out of Alpha Centauri. Alpha Centauri not only is a half-sister to Group 2-placed Bodes Galaxy but also to the dam of Grade 1 winner Country Grammar and RUNHAPPY’s Grade 3-placed Joyful Cadence. Alpha Centauri is also offered as Hip 743 at the Keeneland September Sale in foal to War Of Will.

A producing family throughout the generations his third dam is prominent producer Willstar. Willstar is the dam of Group 1 winner Etoile Montante and granddam of Grade 2 winners Obligatory and Bonny South.

Providing quality throughout the sessions, Catholic Boy sees Crestwood Farm consign his Hip 1046.

The February-born filly is a half-sister to two winners from three to race out of Street Flirt. That mare gets her producing power honestly. Her dam Sister Girl produced two stakes performers and has also see her daughters produce dual Grade 1 winner Bowie’s Hero, Grade 1 winner Sharp Azteca, and Grade 3 winner and Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Firing Line.

Descending from Broodmare of the Year Oatsee comes Hip 2098, out of a granddaughter to that great mare. Another Claiborne Farm offering, the colt is out of Fast Alexia who is also the dam of Blame’s five-time winner Always Forgiven. Fast Alexia is a half-sister to stakes winner and multiple Grade 3-placed Florida Won and stakes-placed Grand Journey along with the dam of stakes-placed Spicy Marg.

In addition to producing the colt’s granddam, Oatsee also produced three-time Grade 1 winner Shackleford, Grade 1 winner Lady Joanne, Grade 2 winner Afleeting Lady, Grader 3 winner Baghdaria, and stakes winner Stephanoatsee. One of her unraced daughters is the dam of stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Uncle Lino.

The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale starts at 1 p.m. November 10 and moves to 10 a.m. daily the 11th through the 19th.

Other News:

Claiborne Farm Acquires Breeding Rights To Met Mile Winner Silver State

Silver State winning the Metropolitan Mile at Saratoga. (Elsa Lorieul) 

Claiborne Farm announced today that it has acquired the breeding rights to multiple graded stakes winner Silver State. He will stand at the Paris, Ky., farm upon his retirement from racing.

The 4-year-old son of Hard Spun has won 7 of 13 career starts, hitting the board in 12 of those starts, and has made over $1.9 million. In 2021 alone, he is 4-1-1 from 6 starts and has made over $1.6 million. 

“We are very excited to stand Silver State in 2022,” said Walker Hancock of Claiborne Farm. Danzig is one of the legends of Claiborne, and we anticipate his legacy continuing through his grandson, Silver State.”

Silver State is being pointed toward this year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Del Mar on Saturday Nov. 6, after earning a “Win and You’re In” berth by winning the Metropolitan Handicap (G1). In the stallion-making Met Mile, he defeated three Grade 1 winners, including Knicks Go, a four-time Grade 1 winner of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile and Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes.

The highlight of his career thus far is a six-race winning streak spanning 2020 and 2021, which included wins in the listed Fifth Season Stakes and Essex Stakes at Oaklawn Park, the G2 Oaklawn Handicap, and culminating in his signature Met Mile triumph at Belmont Park.

Trained by Steve Asmussen for the partnership of Winchell Thoroughbreds LLC and Willis Horton Racing, the most accomplished son of Hard Spun has posted wins in each of his three campaigns. Silver State won on debut as a juvenile in a maiden special weight during the September meet at Churchill Downs. At age 3, a minor setback knocked him off the Triple Crown Trail, but he returned to the races later that year to score allowance wins at Keeneland and Churchill Downs.

”He’s a tremendous physical,” said trainer Steve Asmussen. “Everyone that’s been around this horse is struck by his presence. He really must be seen to be believed.”

Ron Winchell of Winchell Thoroughbreds, who co-owns Silver State with Willis Horton Racing, added, “For any horse to win six races in a row, especially when those victories included races as well-regarded as the Oaklawn Handicap and Met Mile, is pretty incredible and puts him in a special category. Looking ahead to his stud career, we couldn’t be more excited about Silver State finding a home at Claiborne. We’re looking forward to supporting him with our mares and can’t wait to see his offspring!”

A product of the vaunted Stonestreet Farm breeding program, Silver State is out of the Grade 3-placed stakes-winning Empire Maker mare Supreme, and he hails from the family of Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos. He sold for $450,000 as a yearling at the 2018 Keeneland September sale.

An advertised stud fee will be announced at a later date. Questions? Contact Bernie Sams at Claiborne Farm 859-987-2330.

Claiborne Farm (Photo by Dell Hancock)

Visit Claiborne:

Fall in the Bluegrass has arrived and it’s a gorgeous time to visit the farm!

This is the last month to catch a shuttle tour, but don’t worry it will be back on the calendar starting in April 2022! 

The stallion tours will continue to be offered at 10:00 and 11:00 daily and you can click HERE to check availability and book online.

Did you know we now offer a more intimate experience of our stallion tour? You can find out more details about booking your very own private tour by clicking HERE

For info on the Best Breeders’ Cup Seminar click HERE.

Claiborne Farm News/Edited by Maribeth Kalinich

Photo courtesy of Claiborne Farm

That was a phenomenal article Jonathan. Thank you for writing it and sharing it. Ruffian was my second love (after Man O' War) and I simply cannot stop the tears from falling every time I read about this magnificent black beauty.

Maria Schlemmer Ackerman View testimonials