By Jeffrey McMurray
The Associated Press
LEXINGTON, Ky. — Reigning Horse of the Year Curlin will stand at stud next year at Lane’s End, a Kentucky horse farm owned by a former U.S. ambassador to Britain.
Will Farish announced Friday the richest racehorse in North America will become a stallion at his Versailles farm, where Curlin’s sire, Smart Strike, is already a breeding star.
Curlin will command a stud fee of $75,000 his opening year, half what Smart Strike receives. But its $10,000 more than the fee for Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown.
“Curlin’s performance on the track, his pedigree and his conformation make him the most exciting sire prospect to retire in many years,” Farish said in a news release.
Curlin’s majority owner, Jess Jackson, announced last week he was retiring the horse after perhaps one last race. Jackson has bid $4 million to buy out the 20 percent interest in the horse he doesn’t already own, but the complicated ownership dispute is being worked out in court.
Although Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables had looked into the possibility of standing Curlin itself, by choosing Lane’s End, the horse will live at what Jackson calls the nation’s premier stallion farm.
“He is one of the best examples of the breed — fast, strong, and durable,” Jackson said. “I predict he will make a substantial contribution to our sport through his gene pool, and I am looking forward to seeing his foals compete and possibly exceed his unequaled race record.”
Curlin has won 11 of 16 career starts, plus a pair of second and third place finishes. The only time he finished out of the money was his fourth-place finish last month in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita, which he was attempting to win for the second straight year.
Despite that loss, Curlin’s career includes wins at the Preakness Stakes, Jockey Club Classic, Stephen Foster Handicap and Dubai World Cup. His career winnings of $10.5 million have passed Cigar to make him North America’s richest racehorse in history.