McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds has enjoyed tremendous success with their stallion Solomini, who is the leading first-crop sire standing outside of Kentucky. The now 8-year-old chestnut son of Curlin will be well represented next weekend in both the Great White Way and Fifth Avenue divisions of the New York Stallion Stakes Series, slated for Saturday, December 16 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Great White Way, for eligible New York-sired 2-year-olds, and Fifth Avenue, for eligible state-sired juvenile fillies, each carry a $500,000 purse and are run at seven-furlongs on the main track. Solomini is the sire of 5-of-18 horses nominated to the Great White Way and 7-of-16 fillies nominated to the Fifth Avenue.
“Races like this are a big incentive when you’re selling 2-year-olds and yearlings, but 2-year-olds in particular,” said McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds’ founder Joe McMahon. “It’s a huge incentive when you tell people these horses are available for a half-million dollar race in December – that really gets their attention.”
Big Dom Racing Stable and Big Toe Stables’ Heavyweight Champs, by Solomini and out of the Officer mare Miss Bonnie, was purchased for $290,000 at the OBS Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training and is slated to make his debut in the Great White Way for trainer Rudy Rodriguez.
“We’re certainly very happy with Solomini,” said McMahon. “His 2-year-olds averaged almost $100,000 when they sold in the spring down in Ocala. We thought they might have a chance to come out running as they all worked good in the spring time.”
Other OBS April graduates by Solomini include Edward Allred and Jack Liebau’s maiden winner Wynstock [$700,000, OBS April], who is nominated to the Grade 2, $200,000 Los Alamitos Futurity – also on December 16 – for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. The chestnut colt, bred in New York by Empire Equines, is out of the Flatter mare Timberlea, who is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Untrapped.
The Carlos David-trained stakes-placed My Shea D Lady [$100,000, OBS April], bred by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, is probable for the Fifth Avenue. She is out of the Teuflesberg mare Ladyberg, who is a half-sister to multiple stakes-winner Hoosick Falls and stakes-placed Manor Prospect.
Among the leading chances in the Fifth Avenue is Bregman Family Racing, Jackpot Farm and Swinbank Stables’ Soloshot, who brought $290,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale where she breezed in 10.1 seconds.
Soloshot, bred in New York by Rhapsody Farm, is out of the multiple stakes-placed Twirling Candy mare Sweet Queen, who is a half-sister to graded stakes-winner Queen Ofthe Catsle.
The George Weaver trainee won her first two outings by dictating the tempo in 5 1/2-furlong state-bred sprints with a debut off-the-turf score in August at Saratoga Race Course and became her sire’s first stakes winner with a two-length victory in the Lady Finger in September at Finger Lakes.
“We were at Finger Lakes when she won that day and we were in Saratoga when she broke her maiden, too. She’s been very impressive,” McMahon said.
McMahon said Solomini, who already has 11 winners on the year, has impressed with his versatility in runners from a variety of family lines.
“There’s no trend with regard to the broodmare sire,” McMahon said. “He’s getting a lot of different pedigrees and achieving success. I think he’ll go well with the A. P. Indy line primarily, but that remains to be seen.”
That Solomini has done well at stud comes as no surprise given a successful racing career that saw him bank $834,993 through a record of 16-2-4-5 led by Grade 1 placings as a 2-year-old in 2017 in the Frontrunnner at Santa Anita and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar. He crossed the wire first in front of future multiple Grade 1-winners McKinzie and Instilled Regard to close out his first year of racing in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity, but was demoted to third for interference in deep stretch.
He extended his success as a sophomore, finishing third in the 2018 Grade 1 Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park before splitting the field when 10th in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby won by eventual Triple Crown-winner Justify.
Solomini, who stands for $7,500, was bred to 123 mares in 2020. His second dam, the dual graded stakes-winner Fleet Lady, produced multiple Grade 1-winning sire Midshipman.
“Solomini, by the results of his runners at the track and at the sales, has proven to be a formidable stallion not only in New York but across North America as well,” said Najja Thompson, executive director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. “The strength and value of the New York Stallion Stakes Series is that it enables our program to display the quality of stallions standing in New York with their progeny competing for exceptional purses.”
McMahon said Solomini could make waves if he were to see good results by Wynstock in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity as well as from his bevy of runners in next weekend’s NYSSS races.
“If Wynstock even becomes graded placed next week that will really auger well for Solomini,” McMahon said. “And if he [Solomini] was to win or get a couple placings in the stallion stakes next weekend, he would move up to fourth or fifth in the first-year sire list overall. He’s going in the right direction. He really has a lot of upside.”
McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds also stand perennial leading New York sire Central Banker, who stands for $7,500, as well as Redesdale, who was New York’s leading freshman sire of 2022. Both are by the late Speightstown.
Sunday proved to be a profitable one for Central Banker progeny here as the Pennsylvania-bred Morning Matcha, an $18,000 sale purchase out of the Iam The Iceman mare Home Ice, captured the NYSSS Staten Island to boost her purse earnings to $899,740 through a record of 24-6-7-7. One race later, the multiple graded stakes-placed General Banker, out of the Johannesburg mare Elusive Jozi, rallied to finish second in the NYSSS Thunder Rumble to improve his record to 16-2-4-3 for purse earnings of $506,943.
“How great is that,” exclaimed McMahon of Morning Matcha’s largesse. “Central Banker is the king of New York. He gets runners from all kinds of mares.”
Redesdale, who stands for $2,500, has demonstrated success with a smaller foal crop led by dual stakes-winner Ramblin’ Wreck, who captured the NYSSS Spectacular Bid and state-bred Rick Violette on the NYRA circuit this year.
“He’s the most undervalued horse in the state. His numbers are great,” McMahon said.
But McMahon said he is hopeful that Solomini can propel his numbers further forward in two weeks’ time and make his own case for year-end honors in New York.
“We did good last week in the New York Stallion Stakes with a winner in one half [Morning Matcha] and a second in the other half with a 3-year-old [General Banker] against older horses,” McMahon said. “Those were huge races. We were real happy with that, so let’s hope it can continue. We’re really pleased with Solomini and think he has a really good chance to succeed.”
McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds are hosting a stallion show and open house from 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday that will include showings of Central Banker, Solomini and Redesdale as well as newcomers Provocateur and Bucchero.