Virginia’s new Standardbred Sired Stakes program off to rousing start

Woodstock, VA —┬áThe Virginia Harness Horse Association, which introduced a new Sired Stakes program in mid-November, announced that the number of stallions standing in the state has risen from five in 2021 to 12 this year as a direct result of the initiative.

The program, which starts with the 2022 breeding season for foals of 2023, will offer bonus payments for foals that meet qualifying times and dates as outlined in the rules at vhha.net. Both the stallion owner and breeder will receive $1,500, and if the mare and foal remain in Virginia for the entire foaling year, the mare owner will receive an additional $1,500.

Sired Stake races will be run based on age, sex and gait as 2- and 3-year-olds. Elimination races will feature a $6,000 purse and finals will go for $60,000. Sired foals are also eligible to compete in the Breeder’s Fund races during the same years, which feature $8,000 elims and $80,000 finals.

Four of the previous stallions remain active. Artzina, a pacer, stands in Pilgrim Knob, farthest southwest point in the state. He bankrolled $780,063 over his career from lucrative 2-year-old wins in the Matron Stakes and New Jersey Sire Stakes.

Trotter Gregory Pecs, a sire of 21 foals that have placed in Virginia Breeder’s Fund races, stands at the Schlabach Farm in Tazewell.

The other returnees, trotters Snow King and Secular, will be based in Nathalie at the farms of David Troyer and Cristy Yoder, respectively.

Another trotting stallion, Glendening, will stand at the Stoltzfus Farm in nearby Charlotte Courthouse.

A trio of stallions are based at Snow Hill Farm in Troy, located in Central Virginia. Trotter Shibboleth Hanover, who moved from Florida to stand in Virginia, has sired four Florida Breeder’s stakes winners and four Florida Stallion Stakes winners. Trotter Kandy Korn is a past winner of the Maryland Standardbred Fund as both a 2- and 3-year-old. Pacer Journeyman had 34 career wins, bankrolled $425,900 and took a mark of 1:50f.

The Double C/C Bar Ranch in Keysville will host two stallions — trotter Yankee Royalty and pacer Strong Player. The former moved from Delaware to stand in Virginia while the latter relocated from Ohio.

The final two stallions will stand at farms in opposite directions. Trotter Winning Fireworks is a proven sire of 47 starters with earnings of $1,298,736 while pacer Mr Julian amassed $318,607 in his career and has a life mark of 1:48.4. They will stand at Willow Hill Equestrian in Orange and at the Black Diamond Farms in Hurley.

Horsemen are encouraged to book their mare’s 2022 breeding to one of these 12 stallions. More details, contact information and pricing for each is available at vhha.net or by calling Debbie Warnick at 443.463.0917.

The Sired Stakes program is geared to complement Association initiatives like Breeder’s Fund races, the Certified Residency program, and an expanded 2022 racing schedule at Shenandoah Downs, all in an effort to keep Standardbred racing in the Commonwealth moving forward.

The Shenandoah Downs season, which has been five weeks in length, could expand to eight weeks in 2022, pending Virginia Racing Commission approval. The planned starting date is Friday (Sept. 16).

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