Maryland stud farm Heritage Stallions announced this week that graded stakes-winning millionaires Bourbon Courage and Imagining will retire to the Chesapeake City farm for the 2016 breeding season.
Bourbon Courage, by Lion Heart out of the Carson City mare Shine Forth, winner of the Grade 2 Super Derby and track record-setter at Keeneland, retires with earnings of $1,129,187 and a record of 4-6-6 in 25 starts, 18 in graded company. He broke his maiden in 2012 at the Fair Grounds going 6 furlongs at first asking. Five starts later he won the Super Derby after finishing second in the West Virginia Derby. His career boasts additional placings in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap, Donn Handicap and Cigar Mile, only conceding to the likes of Graydar, Shackleford, Take Charge Indy, Private Zone and Secret Circle. His 5-year-old season in 2014 was highlighted by setting the course record at Keeneland for 6½ furlongs on the dirt in 1:15.38, and a fourth-place effort in the Breeders' Cup Sprint-G1. He closed from more than a dozen lengths back at the top of the stretch, to miss the photo for third by a neck.
Bourbon Courage remained consistent throughout his career, running 21 consecutive single digit Ragozin numbers.
Lion Heart is rapidly emerging as a sire of sires. His only other stakes-winning sons at stud with crops of racing age are Line of David and Kantharos. In his first crop to the races, Line of David is responsible for Kentucky Derby runner-up Firing Line, as well as several other graded stakes horses. Kantharos is the runaway leading second-crop sire in Florida with more than twice the earnings as the runner-up, and nine stakes horses from 43 runners in his first crop. Bourbon Courage is from the immediate family of champions Chief's Crown and Chris Evert.
"He was fast, consistent, versatile, sound and is very good looking," said Heritage Stallions' general manager Louis Merryman. "I can't think of a mare that he will not complement."
Lifetime breeding rights are available in Bourbon Courage for $10,000 with each right receiving one bonus season in each of the first four years. His stud fee is $5,000, stands and nurses.
Grade 1 winner Imagining, a son of Giant's Causeway out of the A.P. Indy mare Daydreaming, earned $1,177,394 while posting a 9-5-2 record from 26 starts. He will continue to race through 2015 for owner and breeder Phipps Stable.
Imagining won the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes in gate-to-wire fashion in 2014, this year's Grade 2 Pan American Stakes, and placed four times in Grade 1 company in the Sword Dancer Invitational, Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap, Hollywood Derby and Joe Hirsch Turf Classic.
Imagining is out of multiple graded stakes winner Daydreaming, a full-sister to current top-five freshman sire Girolamo and to the dams of top-three second-crop sire Super Saver and top-ranked California sire Bluegrass Cat. Second dam Get Lucky is a half-sister to recently pensioned perennial leading Maryland sire Not For Love.
"I'm not sure I would do it justice to say the family is prolific," said Merryman. "It's a sire's pedigree. It is one of the deepest families in the stud book, and it continues to add top sires on the page. It has been particularly generous to Maryland through Polish Numbers and Not For Love. He's a Grade 1winning millionaire with a powerful pedigree behind him. There's not much more to say."
Imagining will stand for $7,500, stands and nurses. Syndication has already begun, with limited shares available.
"With Maryland enjoying this recent resurgence, Bourbon Courage and Imagining are the kind of highcaliber horse our breeders have been asking for," commented Heritage partner Brooke Bowman DVM. "We believe these two stallions will entice breeders to keep their mares home next season."
Both horses were brokered by The Stallion Company.
For more, see Heritage Stallions website.