Most high level race horses have a ‘second career’ as a breeding stallion after their racing career is over. On Monday, it was announced that Kentucky’s Winstar Farms has acquired the breeding rights to Santa Anita Derby winner Exaggerator. Exaggerator is considered a top contender for the May 7 Kentucky Derby and is expected to have a long and lucrative racing career. After he’s done, however, he’ll stand at stud at Windstar Farms.
Exaggerator’s sire is Curlin–he’s arguably the most in demand breeding stallion in racing today. Exaggerator is owned by a partnership headed up by Matt Bryan’s Big Chief Racing and is trained by Kent Desormeux. His brother, Keith Desormeux will ride Exaggerator in the Kentucky Derby. His win in the Santa Anita Derby is his latest accomplishment in what has to date been a solid competitive career with four wins in nine career starts. He finished second to current Kentucky Derby betting favorite Nyquist in the San Vicente Stakes and was third behind Danzing Candy and Mor Spirit in the San Felipe. Last year, Exaggerator won the Saratoga Special and Delta Jackpot and was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
Windstar President Elliott Walden announced the deal in a press release: “We’re very excited to be able to add a top son of Curlin to our future stallion roster. Exaggerator has been among the best of his class for two seasons now. I love his consistency, his 2-year-old form, and his ability to stretch out and win the Santa Anita Derby. He’s won at four different racetracks, East Coast, West Coast, it doesn’t matter. Exaggerator is an extreme racehorse, and, physically, he’s absolutely beautiful.”
Locking up a race horse’s breeding future early in his career is a trend on the rise and one you can expect to see more of in the coming years. There’s a lot of speculation involved, of course–should Exaggerator win the Kentucky Derby his value as a stud horse would skyrocket. This not only makes him more valuable to Winstar but would enable his ownership to get a better deal for his breeding rights. The opposite is true–a bad performance would potentially cause him to lose value.