It was the ninth breeder Sovereign for Stronach. “My parents have farms in Florida and Kentucky,” said Andy Stronach on accepting the award. “But, we think this is a great place to raise a horse and we’ve brought a lot of stallions here. I think Canada is the best place to raise a horse because we have the best hay and the best feed in North America. Many places in the States have drought, they don’t have rain and then they have a quick frost. This whole business is about feed and water and Canada is just the greatest place to raise a horse.”
With divisions in Ontario, Kentucky and Florida, Adena is well represented across North America and were honoured with their seventh Eclipse Award earlier this year on the back of a campaign where horses bred by Adena Springs more than doubled the earnings of their closest competitor. From 72 local winners this year, Autumn Stakes (GII) winner Stunning Stag proved to be the top Canadian-bred earning a nomination as finalist for Champion Older Male of 2010, an honour that would be bestowed upon Sand Cove. Other Canadian-bred stakes winners of 2010 for Adena Springs include Chaplain, Miss Blakely, Well Positioned and Prince of Wales stakes winner Golden Moka.
Of all their winners last season, Golden Moka was the most mysterious. The three-year-old Golden Missile colt, out of Sunset Seeker, was undefeated as a sprinter in Panama before arriving in Ontario to capture the Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie in his first North American start. Owned by Good Friends Stable, a group that includes ex-jockey Rene Douglas, who was paralyzed in a spill at Arlington Park last year, Golden Moka rumbled to victory by two and three quarter lengths over runner-up Mobil Unit at odds of 10-1.
Stronach continued his commitment to breeding excellence in Canada in 2010 with the addition of North Light, the only Epsom Derby winner standing in North America, and Grade I winner Mast Track to an already impressive array of stallions. Their Adena Springs North facility is also home to Milwaukee Brew, Showing Up, Singing Saint, Sligo Bay, Wilko and Giant Gizmo in 2011.
Milwaukee Brew, who sired back-to-back Oaks winners in 2008 and 2009 in Ginger Brew and Milwaukee Appeal, remains a prominent stallion for Adena as the second best sire in Canada in 2010 with over $2.9 mllion in progeny earnings. Milwaukee Brew earned in excess of $2.8 million in a racing career that included back-to-back victories in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap.
Their continued support of the Ontario racing program has seen the facility undergo major improvements throughout 2010. “It’s a state-of-the-art stallion and breeding complex,” said Adena’s Director of Sales, Dermot Carty in a release earlier this year. “The relocation of stallions from Kentucky is due to the emergence of the Ontario market and the Ontario breeding awards program. Ontario had an increase in the number of mares bred last breeding season.”
There can be no doubt that Adena Springs will remain a force to be reckoned with in Canada through 2011 and beyond.