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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Forestry’s breeding career erratic
but Shackleford is star progeny

Story by Amanda Duckworth


Those at Taylor Made Stallions are the first to admit Forestry’s stallion career has been been a bit of a roller-coaster ride.
But it was a definite high for everyone involved when his own Shackleford won this year’s Preakness Stakes, besting Animal Kingdom in the second leg of the Triple Crown. All Taylor Made eyes will be on Saturday’s Belmont Stakes when Shackleford goes for the third leg.
“Forestry had such high highs at the beginning of his career, and then he kind of hit a lull,” said Frank Taylor, the Nicholasville farm’s vice president of boarding operations. “We have had all these good mares in the pipeline, and we have been waiting for something like this to happen.”

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Shackleford finished a decent fourth to Animal Kingdom in the Kentucky Derby then held him off in the final strides of the Preakness. With Shackleford’s victory, Forestry became the only son of prolific sire Storm Cat to have a North American classic winner.
Expectations have always been high for Forestry, who was bred by Robert Evans and raised on Taylor Made. As a yearling, he topped the 1997 Keeneland July sale when he sold to Aaron and Marie Jones for $1.5 million.
“I loved him from day one,” Taylor said. “He was just a really nice horse. Mr. Jones called me and said he wanted to buy the best horse in that sale, and I told him that was the horse.”
Forestry went on to win the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes in 1999, and later that year his half-sister Cash Run won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. Their dam, Grade 1 winner Shared Interest, was named Broodmare of the Year in 2000.
As a well-bred member of a hot family, Forestry retired to Taylor Made, where he initially stood for $50,000 in 2000.
“He is a sweetheart and a gentleman,” said stallion manager Gilberto Terrazas. “You can trust him. Thankfully we don’t have a mean (stallion) in the group.”
As a stallion, Forestry entered the ranks during a good economy. He got off to a fast start with successful runners and also had a 2-year-old sell for a world record $16 million in 2006. By 2007, he was standing for $125,000.
“When we raised him into the $100,000 range, people were getting in pretty deep,” Taylor said. “But he had several Grade 1 winners at one time; he had a $16 million 2-year-old, and the market was willing to accept that.”
Not long after, the economy and the horse industry both went into a decline. Forestry cooled off as a stallion, and his record-priced horse, The Green Monkey, failed to win a race.
All of these factors led to a significant decrease in Forestry’s fee. In 2011, he stood for $12,500.
“When he was up at the $125,000 stud fee, obviously a lot of people got hurt,” Taylor said. “Now the people that have bred to him at this level are going to be making money, and that’s what we like to see.”
Now 15 years old, Forestry is finishing up the breeding season in the Northern Hemisphere. This summer, he will make his way to Brazil, where he will stand at Haras Santa Maria de Araras before returning to Taylor Made around Christmas time.
Shackleford, who is among the horses that were bred on the $125,000 stud fee, has earnings to date of $1.4 million.
Other successful sons and daughters of Forestry include Grade 1 winners Forest Danger and Diplomat Lady, and Grade 2 winners Etched, Smokey Glacken, Carolyn’s Cat and Teton Forest.
“Forestry is the whole package,” Taylor said. “It is neat when you raise a horse, and he goes on to become a Grade 1 winner and a great stallion. That’s as good as it gets.”
Once a month, KyForward spotlights a stallion in the Bluegrass. To recommend a stallion for this feature, email amanda@kyforward.com.



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