Thursday, February 21, 2013

Silent Name in with a shout with a trio of Queen’s Plate contenders

Ten top stallions call Adena Springs North, located in Aurora, Ontario, their home and on Saturday, February 9th, the public was welcomed into the modern facility to meet the talented roster.

Welcome to Adena Springs North...
While Milwaukee Brew, with a stud fee of $10,000, is the heavyweight of the crew, the stallion garnering the most attention was Silent Name, standing for half the price.

Silent Name, a dark bay son of 1989 Kentucky Derby winner Sunday Silence, enjoyed a breakthrough season at Woodbine in 2012 capped by a trio of talented maiden winners racing for Frank Stronach’s racing syndicates, including Kingarvie Stakes winner Pyrite Mountain and maiden breakers Silent Admirer and County Lineman.

“We purchased these horses from Ontario breeders who supported the stallions back in 2009,” explains Liam O’Rourke, Sales Account Manager for Adena Springs. “We found that made quite an impact, and now other clients of those trainers have started to approach us about breeding to Silent Name.”

Success for this trio of Ontario-bred juveniles arrived late in the year, within a two-week span from December 2 to December 15, prompting a bit of early Queen’s Plate buzz.

Pyrite Mountain, owned by Awesome Again Racing Limited Partners, nearly pulled off a 36-1 upset on debut at Woodbine on November 4.  After a troubled trip, the bay colt, bred by Sean Hall and trained by Mark Frostad, rallied to be second, defeated only a head.

Silent Name
Frostad confidently placed Pyrite Mountain into the 1 1/16-mile Kingarvie Stakes on December 2 and the public supported the decision sending the colt to post as the 2-1 post-time favourite.

Pyrite Mountain, out of the Numerous mare Gold Lined, stalked the early pace of Power Phil and prevailed under a drive to defeat the pacesetter by a nose, in a final running time of 1:45.46, earning a 73 Beyer Speed Figure.

O’Rourke, a graduate of the Irish National Stud course, believes that success for Silent Name, out of the Danehill mare Danzigaway, stems from a unique pedigree with depth of class.

“He has three exceptional sire lines that come into play - - Halo, Danehill and Danzig. As well as Blushing Groom, the second damsire,” offered O’Rourke.  “From a unique standpoint, he’s one of only two sons of Sunday Silence to stand in North America.  His progeny earnings were higher last year than that of Hat Trick (the other son of Sunday Silence), a horse that stands for $15,000 in Kentucky.”

On December 8, Frostad saddled County Lineman, for Ginger Punch Racing, as the odds-on favourite in a $52,000 maiden special weight. Following a slow start, Frostad watched with delight as the dark bay colt rumbled home a half-length winner.

A week later, Reade Baker debuted Silent Admirer, for Ghostzapper Racing Limited Partnership, in a six furlong maiden special weight and could not have been happier with an eye-popping five-length score.

“He ran like he worked. He manhandled that horse on the inside of him (Irish Beau) and he’s a real nice horse,” said Baker.
Singing Saint stands for $2,500
All three of these promising colts are currently training at Palm Meadows in Florida, and Baker is hopeful Silent Admirer is a good thing.

“He seems to be a really nice horse. He has a big advantage in that he has some talent and he’s Ontario-sired too,” said Baker.

Whether Silent Admirer has the credentials to win a Queen’s Plate remains to be seen.

“Every Canadian-bred three-year-old worth a lick is pointing towards the Queen’s Plate,” said Baker. “We’ll try and send him in that direction and see how he fares.”

O’Rourke believes that those looking to capitalize on the success of Silent Name, a multiple graded stakes winner, have options.

Silent Admirer breaks his maiden

“Silent Name has worked well with Mr. Prospector type stallions. Any time you have a little speed in the pedigree it’s going to help,” he said. “Pyrite Mountain is out of a Numerous mare, which is Mr. Prospector, and Silent Serenity (2012 Ruling Angel Stakes winner) is out of a mare (D’Nile) which goes back to Mr. Prospector as well.”
However, there’s more than one way to approach the stallion. 

“Interestingly enough, the best horse he has so far, Silentio, a graded stakes winner on the turf in California, is out of an A.P. Indy mare (Listen A.P.), and we’re hoping he’ll show strong returns working with other Bold Ruler lines such as Bold Ruckus and Bold Executive.”

As Canada’s leading second-crop sire (33 winners, $2-million in progeny earnings) and leading sire of two-year-olds by money won, Silent Name should continue to make noise at Woodbine in 2013.


If there was a standout on appearance at the open house, it was nine-year-old chestnut Giant Gizmo, who stands for $4,000.
Giant Gizmo
Giant Gizmo’s first two-year-olds will race this year, but O’Rourke notes that on appearance alone the Giant’s Causeway fellow is ahead of the game.

“All you have to do is look at him. He’s big, he’s robust and he’s powerful.  He has all the elements of what would make a good commercial sire,” offered O’Rourke. “He’s well put together and sound of mind and we’re finding that it’s the same people each year that are coming back to breed to Giant Gizmo.”

O’Rourke points to sales results as an indicator to success.

“He averages $28,000, which is seven times the advertised stud fee,” said O’Rourke. “An average like that, plus having the top two horses in second session, shows the depth of his group as well.”

No doubt handicappers and breeders alike will be paying close attention when Giant Gizmo’s progeny make their debut later this year at Woodbine - - but one has to wonder, where will they find their success?

“Giant’s Causeway is a funny horse,” nodded O’Rourke. “He’s a very versatile stallion because of the number of mares he’s got. Giant’s Causeway gets good two-year-olds, three-year-olds and older horses. He gets filly and colt, sprinters and turf horses, and Polytrack horses. He has champions in Europe.”

Gizmo mugs for the crowd

Proof will come on the racetrack in time as Giant Gizmo, who completed his career with back-to-back Grade 3 wins, has been well supported.

“We’re hoping to see some of Giant Causeway’s versatility in Giant Gizmo, certainly with the intention to get a two-turn horse or a miler,” said O’Rourke.


New to the stallion roster at Adena for 2013 is popular graded stakes-winning turfer, Musketier, standing for $2,500.

Going into last year’s Singspiel Stakes, the 10-year-old son of Acatenango was part of a group of equines tied as racing’s oldest graded stakes winners that included Bet On Sunshine, Cloudy’s Knight, John Henry, John’s Call, Kona Gold, Super Diamond, and The Tin Man.

A crowd gathers around Musketier

However, the popular Roger Attfield trainee, famous for travelling with his stuffed monkey, proved his class and durability by outdueling stablemate Simmard to become the first horse to win a graded stakes race at 10 years of age.

The stuffed monkey is gone now and Musketier, adjusting beautifully to his new surroundings, is ready to bring a powerful bloodline to the province.

“He has one of the most unique pedigrees, not only in Ontario, but in North America,” offered O’Rourke. “Acatenango, his sire, is legendary in Europe. His numbers, percentage and strike rate are fantastic. Musketier is out of a Linamix mare (Myth and Reality), who has also had a ton of success, and both are exceptional broodmare sires.”

Acatenango was the leading sire in Germany in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, and 2001 producing a number of top winners including 1995 Japan Cup winner Lando; 2002 E.P. Taylor Stakes champion Fraulein; and Dalicia, who won the 2005 Preis der Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe, and known in North America as the dam of 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom.

No more monkeying around for Musketier
O’Rourke notes that Musketier, who retired with a record of 11-7-6 from 50 lifetime starts, proved himself on the track as a proper war horse.

“People sometimes complain about toughness with the modern thoroughbred, but Roger Attfield always regarded Musketier as one of the toughest horses and soundest horses that he ever trained,” said O’Rourke.


O’Rourke, who spent a year working with trainer Brian Lynch at Woodbine and also had a stint in the race office at Woodbine, and is now entering his third breeding season at Adena as sales manager, was pleased with the turn out at the open house.

“It’s important to get the community together,” he said. “Horse racing is supposed to be a little bit of fun. We’re able to do these events a couple of times a year and put on a bit of a party to get people out to see the horses.”

The open house concept emphasizes Adena’s team-oriented approach to racing and it was good to see Ontario’s racing community gathered together as O’Rourke and colleague Tony Gattellaro introduced the stallion roster.
Beautiful Adena Springs North
And despite the political turmoil in the province, O’Rourke notes that Adena is standing strong.

“You can see by the facility we’ve built that we’re here for the long haul,” said O’Rourke. “The Stronach family makes their home in Canada and the goal is to stand nice stallions in Ontario.”
For more on Adena Springs, visit their website - - and be sure to read up on Adena’s excellent equine retirement program,

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