Adena Springs is a legend of the horse racing industry. Frank Stronach’s program has bred and campaigned Hall of Fame horses in Canada, the United States, and around the world. Its success is driven by the simple philosophy: classic bloodlines, and classic performance.
So, it is no surprise that Shamateur and Moira, the two Queen’s Plate starters bred by Adena Springs, have direct ties to the farm’s illustrious sires, and provide an insight into the method behind its long history of standing successful stallions.
Shamateur is the son of Shaman Ghost an Adena Springs homebred who won the Queen’s Plate in 2015. Moira is by Ghostzapper the father of Shaman Ghost, and 2004 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner.
Ghostzapper is the son of cornerstone Adena Springs stallion Awesome Again, a homebred champion who was a continuation of the Vice Regent line.
What all these Adena Springs stallions have in common is what Director of Sales Dermot Carty says is the mark of a successful sire.
“You’re looking for a stallion to upgrade mares,” said Carty. “Every one of our stallions upgrades the mares and their average earning index. We look for horses that will be better than the mares can do themselves and that is how you develop a better horse.”
The average earning index is a key part of the Adena Springs philosophy, and an early sign that Shaman Ghost is going to follow in his father, and grandfather’s footsteps and become a top-quality stallion.
“Shaman Ghost had 18 individual two-year-old winners, from when he was standing in California,” said Carty, “And the mares sent to him were at an average earning index of .56, and he managed to upgrade every mare sent to him.”
In addition to upgrading mares, something every Adena Springs stallion has is good speed, evidenced by their latest stallion brought to stand in Ontario, American Guru, who set track records at Woodbine, and Belmont Park over one mile on turf.
“We make sure we have stallions who have speed. When you look back at all the stallions we have stood, the one thing they all have is a good turn of foot,” said Carty. “Frank’s philosophy is that it has to be the top end stuff, because we want people to be able to improve their broodmare here.”
On race day the Adena Springs box will have plenty to cheer for with Shamateur racing under the Stronach Stables silks, Moira running for a different group of owners, but by their stallion, and with Sir for Sure, another starter, and the son of pensioned Adena Springs stallion Sligo Bay (IRE).
“We’d love to see Shamateur win the plate, because we have the stallion, but of course we wish everyone the best,” said Carty. “It’s a horse race, you can win you can lose. Frank would say he’s delighted if one of the stallion wins, if they win, or if someone they know wins. It’s a very positive way of looking at it.”
Image: Moira and Rafael Hernandez win the Woodbine Oaks on July 24, 2022. (Michael Burns Photo)