CloverLeaf Farms II, Resumes Stallion Operations in the Sunshine State

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Owner John Sykes acquired the property in 1997, built it into a full-service facility and then moved his stallion operations to Kentucky in 2007. Due to the direction of Florida's Thoroughbred industry and the early success of the Vinery stallion Congrats—whom Sykes owns in partnership with Vinery—Sykes has decided to utilize the Reddick property for stallions once again.

"The recent legislation and the direction of Florida's Thoroughbred industry certainly played a role in our decision," said Matt Lyons, general manager of Sykes' Woodford Thoroughbreds and CloverLeaf Farms.

"Of course, the Congrats horses have really come out running as well and we want to support him over the next few years."

Congrats, the top freshman sire in the country, stands at Vinery for a $4,500 stud fee. Through Aug. 30, Congrats is represented by 11 winners from 34 starters. He has two stakes winners and total progeny earnings of $477,364. His leading runner is Sorrento Stakes (G3) winner Wickedly Perfect, a Florida-bred OBS graduate with earnings of $114,600. Lyons said he expects CloverLeaf to house 20 to 25 of Sykes' broodmares. Among Sykes' brood-mare band are the likes of Florida champions Bsharpsonata and Set Play, Turko's Turn, the dam of Point Given, and Grade 1 winner Celtic Melody, according to the Woodford Thoroughbreds website.

Lyons indicated there are a few mares on the property currently (late August) and more will take up residence over the next couple of weeks. Lyons also said that Cory Stayner has been hired as the farm's manager.

"We have a lot of nice mares," Lyons said.

"Right now the plan is to board only our horses. If a good client were to come along, however, we may be open to that in the future.

"We know these are tough economic times," he added, "but the farm is there, it's a beautiful property and the grounds have been maintained. The industry in Florida seems headed in the right direction, and having Congrats is a big draw for us. Everything pointed to reopening."

While an operation with the size and scope of CloverLeaf positioning itself back in the picture in Florida is certainly welcome news, the industry had even more to smile about last month as all the economic indicators at the OBS August yearling sale showed improvement.

During the sale's selected session, gross sales increased 29.8 percent. A total of 131 horses brought a total of $4.71 million compared to 110 head selling for $3.63 million a year ago. The selected sessions average price of $35,981 climbed 9 percent from last years average of $33,023. Topping the select session was a Florida-bred Any Given Saturday filly purchased by trainer Jeff Bonde and Mersad Metanovic for $280,000. Steve Schrivever bred the filly, who was consigned by Beth Bayer, agent.

For the two open sessions, 478 horses sold for a total of $4,214,850 compared to 541 horses bringing $3,789,200 in three open sessions last year. The average price was $8,818, up 25.9 percent from $7,004 last year, while the median price rose 60 percent to $5,600 compared with $3,500 in 2009.

Stallions for 2012

Crown of Thorns

Repent - Crowning Touch, by Thunder Gulch


Louis Quatorze - Baby Grace (ARG), by Cipayo (ARG)