by Carol Hodes, for the SBOA of New Jersey
Manalapan, NJ — Right around the time that roses and chocolates define the courtship dance of Valentine’s Day, stallions will be engaged in their own mating rituals.
By mid-February, the breeding season will start for North American stallions, including a new addition to the ranks, Tell All, who arrived at Kentuckiana Farms of New Jersey in mid-December. He stands for a stud fee of $7,500.
“I think he’s well over 150 (mares) now,” said Blair Burgess who trained the 3-Year-Old Pacer of the Year in 2007. “We want to get the best possible book. You have to show something right away. The numbers and quality a horse gets the first year can make or break a horse. I think Brittany (Farms) is going to breed 15 mares to him and Kentuckiana the same. That’s 30 mares right off the bat. He’s going to be well supported.
“He’s going to get a lot of great mares,” said Burgess, whose wife, Karin, and father, Robert, are among the colt’s owners. “He’s a very interesting stallion prospect. That’s one reason we didn’t race him as a 4-year-old. Brittany Farms and Kentuckiana Farms were looking for a horse like him. He’s a horse of great ability, but he’s also a horse that is a great outcross opportunity.
“You can breed all the Artsplace line, daughters of Artsplace sons, all the Western Hanover daughters and the Western Ideal daughters, all the Cam Fella line and Cam Fella sons,” he explained. “You can breed every kind of mare to him (except those by Life Sign or Real Desire) which is unusual in the pacing game now. He’s almost unique because there really is no other horse like that right now. And he’s a great conformation horse, too.”
Burgess is concerned about the unsettled situation in New Jersey, which is awaiting approval of a supplement to protect the purse structure and sire stakes program in the state.
“I wish things would get settled there,” he said. “He’s got lots and lots of bookings. They’re even talking about closing his book already. And he’s got lots of great quality (mares). But I think he’d have 50 percent more mares if they had more certainty in New Jersey.”
At Tell All’s new home in New Egypt, New Jersey, he shares a stallion barn with a pair of trotters, Classic Photo and Yankee Glide.
“It’s a better life, but it isn’t an easy life,” Burgess said of a horse retired to stallion duty. “I think by the end of the breeding season they’ve had enough.”
The bay colt is out of the Albatross mare Have No Secrets, and from the first crop of Burgess protégé Real Desire.
“It was good to have his best son to date,” said Burgess. “He won the races his father was unable to win (the North America Cup and the Little Brown Jug). He’s a very similar horse. He’s got a tidier head, a nicer head on him. Real Desire had the typical Troublemaker Roman nose, a typical Life Sign head. This horse is not as much of a jug head.
“Body-wise they’re very similar,” he continued. “If I’d see Tell All running across the paddock in the morning, it was like déjà vu. He looked just like his father.”
Tell All was a $40,000 purchase for the My Desire Stable (Robert Burgess, John Fodera, Martha and Milton Frank, Mac Nichol, Karin Olsson-Burgess and Brittany Farms) of Versailles, Kentucky.
Tell All’s 11-month campaign produced 12 wins, two seconds and four thirds from 22 starts and earnings of $1,509,227, including victories in the $1.4 million North America Cup as well as his $76,800 elim and the $326,400 final of the Little Brown Jug.