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Loss of Silver Train Leaves Void in State’s Stallion Ranks-PHBA Newsletter

January 18, 2014 No Comments »
Loss of Silver Train Leaves Void in State’s Stallion Ranks-PHBA Newsletter

Loss of Silver Train leaves void in state’s stallion ranks

Silver Train was the right horse at the right time for HnR Horseracing’s  managing partner Hank Nothhaft. “Carl (McEntee) and I had conceived a ‘grand plan’ to go out and seek a sire of certain characteristics-age, standing and so on,” recalled Nothhaft. And he found that with Breeders’ Cup Sprint-G1 winner Silver Train, who moved to Northview PA in Peach Bottom in time for the 2012 breeding season and proved a popular addition to the stallion roster the past two years. Flashy, sporty, fast and a proven sire of winners, Silver Train was “moving up the stallion ranks and was really one big horse away from being a top 50 sire on the national scale,” said Nothhaft. Silver Train was in quarantine in Brazil, awaiting his return to Pennsylvania after standing his second Southern Hemisphere breeding season, when news came over the last weekend of December that colic claimed the life of the 11-year-old stallion. His connections were shocked, saddened and in a state of disbelief. “We’re all still in a state of shock,” Nothhaft said in a statement a few days later. “We were expecting big things from Silver Train in the years to come.” Nothhaft, originally from Pennsylvania but now a resident of California, is committed to having a Pennsylvania-based breeding operation, and had expected Silver Train to have a bigger role in 2014. Northhaft was going to send at least 10 mares to the young stallion, who had been extremely popular with breeders since moving to the Keystone State. “He could sire a horse who is very sound,” noted Nothhaft. “As his crops are maturing, his starts per starter are really
getting to be impressive and going up. He was producing sound horses, who could win, and a lot of repeat winners. “We wanted a horse who would throw sprinters to milers, and if they could extend a little beyond that, that would be great as well,” he added. “And dirt orientation, since that’s what’s going on in the Mid-Atlantic region where we were standing the stud.” Silver Train was Nothhaft’s first stallion, but the breeder has interests in others at Northview PA. He owns a 25 percent interest in new stallion El Padrino as well as multiple seasons in Smarty Jones and Jump Start. “Because I was supporting Silver Train to the extent I was, I was underutilizing what I already owned in other sires,” said Nothhaft. “I have a lot of seasons I wasn’t going to use because I was going to support Silver Train this year.” All of Nothhaft’s mares but one are at Northview PA, and will now be bred to the other three stallions. “From a pure business point of view, with the sire awards, it’s way down the road before (the loss of Silver Train) is going to impact me financially, said Nothhaft. “But the loss of him. . . I feel I’m a steward of all the horses I own and be as ethical a horse owner as I can
possibly be. To have this happen on my watch as a steward of this horse, even though he was getting all the care I could provide, it still kind of grates on me.” Silver Train  was consistently one of the best sires of his generation since his runners  first appeared in  2010. He has sired 14 stakes winners to date, six of them graded/group  winners, and two champions. And each of the past three years, his progeny earnings exceeded $3 million. Nothhaft has xx current yearlings by the stallion, and is expecting xx foals this year. Silver Train covered 41 mares in his Pennsylvania season in 2013. Nothhaft, who has made his career growing startup businesses and directing companies, knows what to do next. “It’s full speed ahead from a business point of view. I have really high hopes for El Padrino, and I wasn’t really utilizing my seasons in Smarty Jones and Jump Start to the extent that I should or could. "I’m fully committed to moving on and you have to just move on."

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