Stud plans announced for 2019 Derby winner Country House

Stud plans announced for 2019 Derby winner Country House
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire

Country House, winner of the 2019 Kentucky Derby and an earner of more than $2.1 million, will take up stud duty at John Phillips’ Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky., to stand the 2021 breeding season. The longest reigning Kentucky Derby winner, Country House will be participating in Darby Dan’s “Share the Upside” program, and his fee has been set at $7,500 S&N.

Bred by the late Joseph V. Shields, who passed away shortly after Country House’s first race in 2018, the chestnut colt was campaigned by Shields’ widow, Maury, his nephew Guinness McFadden of Blackwood Stables, and LNJ Foxwoods, and was trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott.

“Country House is an absolutely gorgeous horse that was just coming into his own when he ran in the Kentucky Derby,” Mott said. “We always felt the best was yet to come.”

Country House made his 3-year-old debut a winning one, breaking his maiden with an eye-catching 3½-length score over 1 1/16 miles at Gulfstream Park. He then finished a fast-closing second to eventual Classic winner War of Will in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds before finishing fourth in the Louisiana Derby (G2). In his final prep before the 145th Kentucky Derby, Country House finished a determined third behind Omaha Beach and Improbable in the Arkansas Derby (G1) at Oaklawn Park.

“We are excited to stand Country House and to provide breeders the opportunity to breed to a Kentucky Derby winner through our “Share the Upside” program,” said Ryan Norton, Darby Dan Farm’s stallion director. “There is a lot to like about Country House, hailing from the influential Smart Strike sire line, and we encourage breeders to come out to the farm and see him.”

Country House is by multiple Champion and Classic winner Lookin At Lucky, a son of two-time Champion Sire and sire of sires Smart Strike who is also represented by the likes of Curlin and English Channel, among many others. Lookin At Lucky captured the 2010 Preakness Stakes and is the sire of Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Eclipse Champion Accelerate, Grade 1 winner Wow Cat, and Louisiana Derby (G2) winner Wells Bayou.

Country House is produced from the winning War Chant mare Quake Lake, a half-sister to graded stakes winner and multiple graded stakes-placed Breaking Lucky, who is also by Lookin At Lucky. Quake Lake and Breaking Lucky are out of the Grade 1-placed Sky Classic mare Shooting Party. Country House is a half-brother to graded stakes winner Mitchell Road, winner of the 2019 Gallorette Stakes (G3) at Pimlico and an earner of $469,370.

To earn a lifetime breeding right to Country House through Darby Dan’s “Share the Upside” program, breeders will be required to do the following: Pay a $500 non-refundable enrollment fee; breed one mare in the first year (2021) at the reduced stud fee of $5,000 S&N. Breed one mare in the second year (2022) at the reduced fee of $5,000 S&N, have two live foals and pay both stud fees. The lifetime breeding right begins in the stallion’s third year (2023) at stud, assuming two live foals were produced, and both stud fees have been paid.

Country House has taken up residence at Darby Dan Farm and is available for inspection. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact Ryan Norton at (859) 254-0424, e-mail him at ryan@darbydan.com, or visit DarbyDan.com.

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