Photo: Eclipse Spotswire
While perusing social media the other day, I came across a
stable update from the Reeves Thoroughbred Racing Team. Amongst the updates on all of
their horses, including Mucho Macho Man, there was a note that their mare Miss
Suwanee had been retired and was going to be bred to Eskendereya.
Excited that one of racing’s newest and most successful
racing stables is expanding their reach on the sport from beyond the racetrack
and into the breeding shed, I reached out to Mr. and Mrs. Reeves. Below is a
transcript of our discussion.
** This is not a direct dialog, but rather a recap of our discussion
from the notes I took on January 30th.
At what point did you decide to start breeding your own horses?
Reeves: When I first hired Finn Green. He
has had experience with breeding, and we had wanted to move that way long ago.
The overall goal was that we wanted our mares to do well on the racetrack and
then have the option to move toward breeding.
How does this expansion to breeding effect the future stud plans of Mucho Macho Man?
Reeves: Macho will hopefully become a
sire of sires. Given the success of Macho Uno, we hope that Macho can expand
our options for the breeding of our mares by trading the breeding rites of
Macho for other stallions.
So you plan to own the exclusive breeding rights to Mucho Macho Man, in a
similar fashion to the way Ken Ramsey owns Kittens Joy?
Reeves: No, we don’t have the intention
to keep Macho exclusive; we simply don't have enough mares. When you look at
the operation run by Mr. Ramsey, he has the means to support a top stallion
with his own extensive broodmare band. We don’t own a farm or the
infrastructure to support that level of stallion ownership. Macho will go to a
farm, but we will keep a percentage of the breeding rights for our own use.
Do you plan to expand your broodmare band, or just breed the fillies/mares you
race in the Reeves' silks?
Reeves: We always want to race our mares
first. We want to keep no more than 3-5 broodmares at a time, but we like to
keep our options open depending on how our mares do on the track or in the
breeding shed. We can always exercise the ability to sell our current
broodmares, and supplement our breeding stable when our racing mares are ready
to be retired. We want to do the best thing for
How did you decide on Eskendereya?
Reeves: Two reasons. First, Finn really
liked the conformation of Eskendereya yearlings at the sales this year. Second, I really liked the
horse after he won the Fountain of Youth. He was a nice strong colt that could
go the distance with the speed. I really thought he was special. He was my
Derby pick that year. When it came time to decide for Miss Suwanee, Finn and I
both liked the option as a sire. The True Nick didn't come up as good as we
hoped, but that’s only a small piece of the puzzle. We also have a good
relationship with Taylor Made.
Does this mean that Taylor Made is a likely destination for Mucho Macho Man in
Reeves: The final stud plans for Macho are
open for discussion. However, at this time we are still focused on a racing
career and want to find the best races for him in 2014. A stud deal can be
struck at any time, but at this point in time we’re not looking beyond this
Macho Uno has sired 4 horses either out of Mr. Greenly or Gone West mares and 3
have raced, won, and one of which is stakes placed. This bodes well with a
future meeting between Mucho Macho Man and Miss Suwanee. How do you feel about
the option of breeding Mucho Macho Man to Miss Suwanee or any of your other
Reeves: Macho will get first look at the
mares, and then we can decide. We’re trying to keep our options as wide as
possible, but as I mentioned, racing in 2014 is the first priority.
Where will Miss Suwanee reside during her pregnancy and when she delivers her
foal? Will the foal be Georgia Bred?
Reeves: She will remain at Taylor Made.
It will be the best place for her this year, and we want what is best for her
and the foal. We do wish that Miss Suwanee raced another year, but she was
having some nagging issues. It was best to retire her. This year’s breeding
will be a trial run for 2015. She left Florida bound for Kentucky today.
Do you want a filly or colt?
Reeves: I have no preference. You just
want them to come out with good knees and no crooked legs. However, Patti is
excited because it’s like having a baby. She is already making plans for
next winter when Miss Suwanee is ready to give birth.
You and Patti are some of the largest promoters for bringing horse racing to
Georgia. What does a breeding operation mean for your continued push to bring
racing to the state?
Reeves: We hope to show what the industry
can bring to Georgia. We have a friend that has Georgia bred racehorses from
top sires, and we hope that an increased exposure of the sport to the state
will help push for the legalization of racing.
Where do you intend to send the horses when they’re ready for training?
Reeves: Our homebred horses are planned
to go to Kathy [Ritvo]. We have a great team. Kathy always participates with us
in sales, and she has lots of influence with our purchase of new mares. We want
black-type caliber horses that will increase the value of mares under her care.
Kathy is always involved.
Reeves Thoroughbred Racing mares
Miss Suwanee (Mr. Greenly – Lindy Wells by A.P. Indy
Billboard Babe (Johannesburg – Downtown Blues by Seattle
Gadget Girl (More than Ready – Rough Water by Stormin Fever)
Allyallyincomefree (Unbridled’s Song – Emmalee by Smart
I would like to thank Dean Reeves for his time to discuss
this topic with me. His approach of race first, breed second is wonderful. The
entire Reeves’ team are true sportsmen (and sportswomen) in that they want to
see out the full potential of their horses on the track and then follow that
with providing every chance of success in the breeding shed. The industry needs
more owners like them, and I am lucky to call them my friends.