Belvoir Bay owners mull options to breed 'sweetheart' mare

November 08, 2019 12:57pm
Belvoir Bay owners mull options to breed 'sweetheart' mare
Photo: Courtesy of Fasig-Tipton

Mike Shannon, the agent who signed for a $1.5 million auction purchase of Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Belvoir Bay, has declined to disclose other partners in his venture. But Shannon said Friday the group is nearing plans to breed the 6-year-old mare.

A trio of options lead the way: Keeping Belvoir Bay in Kentucky, where she went to the ring Tuesday evening’s Fasig-Tipton November sale; sending her to Europe given proficiency on the lawn; or mating her with Quarter Horses, which don’t require a live cover.

“I haven’t been around Quarter Horses in almost 50 years,” Shannon said of the latter choice. “I don’t know how they do this embryo transplanting an all that stuff. I have no knowledge of it.”

Via embryo transfer, mares are able to produce multiple foals in a single season and potentially remain in training.

“She is fast,” Shannon said, “and we’ve thought about it. We don’t have anything concrete.”

If there’s a lean in any direction, however, it’s to breed to a Kentucky stallion, with Shannon naming Medaglia d’Oro and American Pharoah as potential suitors.

Belvoir Bay, who ran for Gary Barber and was trained by Peter Miller, took them all the way in last Saturday’s Turf Sprint, completing five furlongs on the Santa Anita Park turf course in a track record 54.83 seconds.

“Peter Miller did a hell of a job,” Shannon said, with Belvoir Bay entering the championships off a layoff dating back to June. “He breezed her four times, put her in the Breeders’ Cup and she won wire to wire.”

It concluded a successful comeback from Belvoir Bay’s disappearance during the fires that raged through Miller’s training base, San Luis Rey Downs, in December of 2017. Days after the blaze, Belvoir Bay was found alive but burned, in need of medical care.

She returned in March of the following year to win Santa Anita’s Mizdirection Stakes and missed the exacta just twice in her final 11 starts after the fire.

“I think this is one of the great stories of all time the way the mare was in the fire,” Shannon said.

Upon inspecting her on the sales grounds, “I thought she had ringworm,” he added. “That’s where the embers were on her.”

Shannon has found the mare “an absolutely sweetheart to be around,” and he’s looking forward to determining her next chapter within a week’s time.

Ryan Dickey contributed to this report.


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