Summerhill Sires Film

Summerhill Sires Brochure

Visit the Summerhill Stud Website


Hartford House Special Offer

Summerhill Stallion Film

summerhill stud website link

Click here to visit our website

Entries in Ricardo Correas (2)



Haras La LeyendaAlberto and Renata Stein with the Haras La Leyenda Team
(Photo : Haras La Leyenda)

“We all know that older mares can “tail off” in the quality of their progeny, and there’s a logical explanation for this in the wear-and- tear which the womb’s endometrial lining suffers over the years. It’s obviously a relative thing, and applies more in some cases than in others, but there’s nothing in a stallion’s “seeds”, as far as we are aware, to explain the drop-off in his progeny performances.”

There are some fascinating things happening in the world of research right now, and thanks to geniuses like Bill Oppenheim, racing is getting its fair share as well. In part one of this article (click here to read), we told you we’d get back to you soon with Bill’s response to our question concerning the “tailing off” of aging stallions. This was our problem: “There is nothing we know of to explain this, not in genetics and not in the physical specimens we see on the ground among their progeny. We all know that older mares can “tail off” in the quality of their progeny, and there’s a logical explanation for this in the wear-and- tear which the womb’s endometrial lining suffers over the years. It’s obviously a relative thing, and applies more in some cases than in others, but there’s nothing in a stallion’s “seeds”, as far as we are aware, to explain the drop-off in his progeny performances. Of course, we all know we’re in the fashion business, and that older stallions may lose some of their commercial lustre (and hence the support of the best mares), but when you consider that the lofty likes of Sadler’s Wells and Mr. Prospector both suffered the same fate, that on its own is not a complete explanation.”

Bill Oppenheim is a restless man when it comes to stallions, and his curiosity knows few boundaries, he will keep digging until he strikes the mother load. Right now, he’s busy with another exercise, but in the process his team have come across some interesting spin-offs. His research in conjunction with one of our regular correspondents, the Argentinean breeder, Alberto Stein, (who’s made a big investment in the game at his Haras La Leyenda in recent times,) it seems they’re otherwise discovering some interesting data on the prospects of a stallion’s progeny improving their performance on the back of a lift in the quality of his mares. How often have we seen a stallion’s stats nosedive following an increase in his stud fee and the patronage of what are supposedly better class mares, rather than, as you would expect, a commensurate move in the opposite direction? So they’re not just investigating the phenomenon around the drop-off in performance of older stallions, but they’re looking at the correlation between the point at which a stallion begins to attract higher-rated mares (at higher fees) and the performances of the resultant progeny. Our betting is that there are a surprising number of stallions whose performance either drops off or remains static, against those that actually move up.

Founded many years ago by the Correas family, La Leyenda was home in the halcyon days of the international agricultural boom, to the grand English racehorse, Diamond Jubilee. A dual Classic winning brother to Persimmon, Diamond Jubilee carried the colours of King Edward VII, and was the first of a succession of English Derby heroes imported to Argentina in that era. He was a material contributor to the foundations of the modern South American thoroughbred. Alberto and Renata Stein made their fortune in the family steel business, and made their investment in the farm six years ago.

“Our goal is to combine the best Northern Hemisphere bloodlines and best equine management in the world with Argentina’s centuries old tradition of horsemanship and of raising some of the best horses in the world,” Alberto Stein said.

Dan Rosenberg, the former president of Three Chimneys Farm in Central Kentucky, is a director of the operation and helped secure the Southern Hemisphere stallion duties of the highly successful sires, Exchange Rate, Freud, and 2009 leading North American freshman sire Offlee Wild.

“We wanted to have a world-class operation, with the best management and facilities,” Renata Stein said. “That is why we have Dan Rosenberg in the U.S. and [stallion manager] Ricardo Correas as part of our team.”

“I am more than happy to be involved; I am thrilled to be involved,” Rosenberg said. “In addition to a good working relationship, I have formed a close personal relationship with Alberto, Renata and Ricardo. The project is challenging, exciting, and fun. I love Argentina and the chance to travel and to be involved with so many of the people in the industry I have met there is an added bonus.”

Before moving to La Leyenda, Correas was stud manager of La Mission stallion station in Argentina, having formerly worked at Harris Farms in California, as well as assisting trainer Charlie Whittingham in California.

“Breeding Thoroughbreds is my life - is my place in the world - and I don’t imagine doing any other thing,” Correas said. La Leyenda’s business plan involves two approaches to broodmares: It has acquired its own mares and entered into long-term foal-sharing arrangements involving mares owned by North Americans interested in Argentine racing.

The Steins vision for La Leyenda started to become reality in 2007 when they purchased 622 acres of land in Argentina with plans for a stud farm. They attended a breeding seminar in Lexington and visited farms throughout the Bluegrass before deciding to pursue a “breed-to-race” business model.

“The experience was excellent and really broadened our vision to understand how the industry works in the U.S. with its best practices and standards,” Alberto Stein said. Owners of mares based in North America participate in the La Leyenda program by having their mare covered by a Northern Hemisphere stallion on Southern Hemisphere time and then exporting that mare to La Leyenda for five years. The mare is bred to La Leyenda stallions during that time and the owner and farm share each foal. After five years, the owner takes back complete control of the mare.

“We have received a very positive response from stallion owners, and response from mare owners has been very strong as well,” Renata Stein said. “We have already seven mares from Winchell Thoroughbreds in foal to Tapit that arrived for the project. We also received six mares from Mt. Brilliant Farm for boarding, including one in foal to Medaglia d’Oro. Most of these people have experienced Argentina and love the country, its people, the quality of its horses, and the level of horsemanship.”

Extracts from Thoroughbred Daily News



Tapit Stallion

Tapit… lick your chops!
(Image : Gainesway / Nova)


The purchase last week of the Uruguayan champion racehorse, Brujo de Olleros, by our friends at Team Valor, reminded us of two things. In similar circumstances five or six seasons ago, Sheikh Hamdan laid his hands on what turned out to be a world champion racehorse in Invasor, while raiding the Uruguayan larder: the other is the regular flow of quality racehorses dished up by South American breeders, the best of which for decades found their way to South Africa. Tecla Bluff, Taima Bluff, Potomac, El Pica, Illustrador, Prontissimo, Velvet Green, Sandunguera, Dandy Sun, Emerald Beauty, Solera, Ecurie, Epoque, Empress Club and Eventuail.

With the odd exception, the bulk of those were trained by Terrance Millard, one-time legend of our sport. The other thing the “Argies” rival us for, is their love of a braai or a “barbie”, as the Aussies call it. South Africans and Australians share a common fetish for meat, but as carnivores, we’re just apprentices next to the South Americans. It is reliably reported that the average consumption of beef in Argentina is around 60kgs annually (132 pounds,) so if you’re a visitor, when you’ve run out of clean clothes and Lipitor, it’s time to go home!

Just recently at the Cape Premier Yearling Sale, we met for the first time two grand ambassadors for Argentinian breeding, Alberto Stein and Ricardo Correas, courtesy of a decades old relationship with the greatest stallion and sales analyst the world has known, Bill Oppenheim. Ricardo has a deep and passionate pedigree in the breeding of thoroughbreds, his grandfather having established the famous Haras La Leyenda (pronounced Legenda, or “Legends”). In the name at least, they have something in common with us at the Land Of Legends. These days, Ricardo is the general manager of the farm which was originally famed for the importation of the first of a line of English Derby winners in Diamond Jubilee, the dual Classic winning own brother to Persimmon, and who carried the Royal colours for King Edward VII. To put all of this into perspective, and to give you an idea of old man Correas’ sense of enterprise, these two classic winning brothers were sons of the second most successful European stallion of all-time, St. Simon (yes, he took more championships (nine) than Hyperion, and only gave best to Sadler’s Wells in modern times). Diamond Jubilee’s importation to Argentina triggered a succession of similar imports through the 1920s and 30s, when Argentina’s agricultural economy made it one of the richest countries in the world.

The modern day owner of Haras La Leyenda is the new man they are tipping as the John Messara or John Magnier of Argentinian breeding. Alberto Stein made his fortune in the family steel business, and whilst still a relatively young man, he’s opted to go out and follow his heart, most of which he’s invested in Leyenda (his heart that is, not his cash!). It is something of a compliment to the news we carry on our blog, that this man, one of the stars in the Argentinian breeding firmament, gets his daily fix from a visit to this site.

Old Traditions, New Frontiers

In 2001, the Argentine economy crashed, when their peso, which had been at par with the US dollar, was devalued by over four to one. This was, however, great news for exporters, as it made their products cheaper to the outside world. The Argentine businessman, Alberto Stein, was at that time running his family’s second generation steel company. In 2002 he opened an office for the company in Chicago, and in 2003 he went to Poland, set up one factory, and ended up buying another from a competitor. Not only were the Polish factories supplying steel to the regions biggest manufacturers in Germany, but Stein also knew that in 2005 Poland was due to join the EU common market.

In 2006, he sold the steel company to an American firm. His wife Renata, an architect, said to him, “All right Alberto, what do you really want to do?. What is your dream?”.

Alberto had been a racehorse owner since 1986. Then a young man of 26 who was working in what is called the feralloys part of the family steel business and doing well enough, he went to an auction and bought a filly named Fiadora. She won three races and was placed in graded races (in fact, only last week, Fiadora had to be put down due the infirmities of old age, at 26).

Alberto was hooked, his answer to Renata was  to “breed horses”, which reminds us of the advice Hartford’s Raymond Ellis received from the ex head groom of the spectacular Italian breeder Federico Tesio; “Breed like you mean it”. Alberto is doing just that. First they found a farm, La Leyenda in 2007 with good soil and water. This is it, it’s this farm or nowhere”, recalls Alberto. “Within a diameter of 50kms live most of the top 3000 mares in Argentina,” he adds, displaying the businessman’s dimension to his retinue of skills.

For many years now, South Americans have been leasing Northern Hemisphere-owned stallions for the Southern season, and it didn’t take Alberto long to reason that it was an expensive exercise with limits to what their marketing could accomplish, and that they may as well invest instead in the Southern Hemisphere breeding rights of shuttle stallions. Giant’s Causeway’s full brother, the well-proven Freud (whose Northern Hemisphere connection is Becky Thomas, host to our Ready To Run scholarship awardees in America) is the first to join the roster on this basis, though the enterprise of the Leyenda team is not limited to direct investment. Through a connection with the renowned stallion manager (ex Three Chimneys) Dan Rosenberg, they’ve secured the Southern Hemisphere breeding rights to one of the best young stallions in America, Tapit, who stands at the Beck family’s Gainsway Farm. And you can bet your life, the resultant Tapits will find their way beyond the boundaries of Argentina. Following our get-together in Cape Town, you may even see a few on a forthcoming Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale: lick your chops!

We’ve little doubt these titbits will have prickled our reader’s imaginations. There is much more though, to South American breeding and racing in general and to Argentina in particular, than what we’ve said here, and we’ll be continuing this series over the next couple of days.

For the record :

  1. St. Simon : Ascot Gold Cup (1884), Goodwood Cup (1884) and Epsom Gold Cup (1884). Champion sire in Great Britain and Ireland nine times.
  2. Diamond Jubilee : 2000 Guineas, Newmarket Stakes, Epsom Derby, St Leger and Eclipse Stakes - all 1900. Champion sire in Argentina (1915, 1916, 1917 and 1921).
  3. Persimmon : Coventry Stakes (1895), Richmond Stakes (1985), Epsom Derby (1896), St Leger (1896), Jockey Club Stakes (1896), Eclipse (1897) and Ascot Gold Cup (1897). Champion sire in Britain (1902, 1906, 1908 and 1912).


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...