2023 Mating Plans, Presented by Spendthrift: Machmer Hall

As we approach the opening of the 2023 breeding season, the TDN staff is once again sitting down with leading breeders to find out what stallions they have chosen for their mares, and why. Today we spoke with Carrie Brogden at Machmer Hall.

We mate by physical mostly–negative traits to positive traits and vice versa. We try to add speed where there is none and we do not believe in like-to-like matings. We do not use nicks, but we do like successful crosses like Twirling Candy with Unbridled’s Song. This is a sample of our matings planned for our 82 foaling mares and 32 maiden and barren mares.


ASTRAY (m, 9, Bernardini – Away, by Dixieland Band) to be bred to Life Is Good

This young stakes producer’s Into Mischief filly sold for $720,000 at the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. She is about the prettiest Bernardini mare you will ever see. I am a big fan of her pedigree and we currently own her niece, too!

She is currently in foal to Hard Spun and we figured that now that we have bred her to several proven stallions, we could revert back to a first-year. She is booked to Life Is Good for 2023.  Life Is Good is an absolute stunner and has a heart the size of Texas.

BECCA’S ROCKET (m, 5, Orb – Idoitmyway, by Unbridled’s Song) to be bred to Jackie’s Warrior

Becca’s Rocket was one of the prettiest and fanciest yearlings we had the year we sold her even though her sire was fast falling out of favor. I watched her hit the board in 13 of her 20 starts, including multiple stakes, and she won over $250,000. We bought her back privately as a broodmare prospect to rejoin Machmer Hall as a broodmare.

For her first foal she is booked to the super good-looking, super talented horse Jackie’s Warrior. As Mark Toothaker said to me when I sent her over, “Well, this is a no brainer.” And that is exactly how I felt!

CAMPAIGNING (m, 4, Nyquist – Azalea Belle, Dixie Union) to be bred to Upstart

We bought this Nyquist filly carrying her first foal by Classic Empire at the 2022 Keeneland November Sale. She was a $500,000 yearling herself, so her looks match her sales price.

Since she is only a half-sister to a stakes-placed filly [GIII Iowa Oaks runner-up Aurelia Garland (Constitution)], but she has a nice family, we wanted to be mindful of the stud fee we put in her. She is booked back to Upstart, who only had 19 named 2-year-olds for 2022 and STILL held his own big time. We are thinking that with his bigger and better crops coming down the pipeline, he seems like great value to start a young mare off right.

Heidi Maria, the dam of last year’s GII Sorrento S. winner Vegas Magic, will go back to Good Magic in 2023 | Benoit

CLAIRE’S SONG (m, 15, Unbridled’s Song – Chimichurri, by Elusive Quality) to be bred to Medaglia d’Oro

Claire’s Song is currently in foal to Essential Quality and we have booked her back to Medaglia d’Oro for 2023. We sold her Medaglia d’Oro colt in Saratoga for $625,000 last year and the yearling full-sister is just as nice of a physical as he was. It’s hard to not go back to him with this three-time stakes-producing Unbridled’s Song mare considering her half-sister produced Canadian Horse of the Year Wonder Gadot and Grade II-placed Solemn Tribute, both by Medaglia d’Oro.

DISTURBINGLY HOT (m, 17, Unbridled’s Song – Diablo’s Blend, by Diablo) to be bred to Sharp Azteca

Disturbingly Hot is currently in foal to Kantharos and is booked back to Sharp Azteca. We were lucky enough to be his yearling consignor, so I knew what a gorgeous horse he was at that point in his life. We took a breeding right from that faith and honestly I think he has shocked everyone. He was a very fast horse and his progeny seem to be good minded and sound, much like him!

FISCAL LITERACY (m, 4, Uncle Mo – City Sister, by Carson City) to be bred to Twirling Candy

Fiscal Literacy is currently in foal to Maxfield, who is just a ten physical. With a first dam that fills an entire page of horses that run and sell great, we bought this mare as a yearling with some significant vetting issues eyeing to keep her as a broodmare.

If there are two sires that have made Machmer Hall, one would be Twirling Candy (the other is Into Mischief), so we booked this big, fancy girl back to Twirling Candy. She has strong hocks like he needs and we love the idea of alternating between proven and unproven stallions in these types of mares. We hope it will turn out for the long run.

HEIDI MARIA (m, 15, Rockport Harbor – Third Street, by Salt Lake) to be bred to Good Magic

Heidi Maria is a stakes winner that we bred and sold as a yearling only to buy her back privately as a broodmare prospect. She is currently in foal to Collected, who just had a lovely first-time starter [Cuvier] of Pletcher’s win at Gulfstream Park that we bred, so fingers crossed! She is the dam of Good Magic‘s Grade II-winning filly Vegas Magic, so it only made sense to book her back to this exciting son of Curlin.

LADY BELLAMY (m, 9, Bellamy Road – Hot Spell, by Salt Lake) to be bred to Aloha West

We bought this mare in foal to Good Magic along with her West Coast colt at foot in 2020. She is currently in foal to Tiz the Law, who I am a HUGE fan of and am taking a punt on him throwing the talent he had by his brilliant sire Constitution.

This mare has a Gift Box yearling (we have 5 yearlings by our homebred stallion) and we have booked her back to GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Aloha West. Aloha West is a very pretty, mid-sized horse. He’s light on his feet and correct. Lady Bellamy is a massive mare with bone like tree trunks.

I am hearing great reports about her Good Magic colt with Boomer Bloodstock, so hopefully by the time he runs we will have a lovely Aloha West! This is the first mare owned in partnership with some of our best friends who have never had a Thoroughbred. So far she has had great luck!

LAID BACK LADY (m, 11, Hold Me Back – Sheena’s Gold, by Fast Gold) to be bred to Early Voting

Laid Back Lady is currently in foal to Twirling Candy. The only reason we own this mare is because I bought her from a client who had to liquidate his entire broodmare band due to a family illness. and we took her over. We did the mating on her first foal who she was in foal to when we acquired her and that Twirling Candy filly, Always At Ease, just became stakes placed in California–just missing the stakes win!

She is booked back to Early Voting, a first-year stallion and the Grade I-winning son of emerging supersire Gun Runner.

LADY FALCON (m, 5, Super Saver – Sluice, by Seeking the Gold) to be bred to Epicenter

We just purchased this mare in November in foal to her second baby by Practical Joke. I am a huge fan of her family. I have drooled over the progeny of her dam, Sluice, and her half-sister, Mushka (Empire Maker), over the years. She’s a big, coarse, plain mare with a lot of substance and she has my favorite thing from her female family–that walk!

We booked her to first-year sire Epicenter, a Grade I-winning son of Not this Time. She will have two proven-sire foals ahead, so we like to change it up with a new sire.

LAYREEBELLE (m, 17, Tale of the Cat – Voodoo Lily, by Baldski) to be bred to Jack Christopher

Layreebelle is currently in foal to one of the greatest values of our time in my mind, Candy Ride (Arg). She is the dam of two graded stakes winners and her daughter is also a graded stakes producer. She is a Machmer Hall homebred and was named after my children (Layne- Reece- Isabelle). She has been so good to us since she injured her shoulder in a paddock accident as a yearling.

Her dam, Voodoo Lily, died of old age after being a retired baby sitter on our farm for many years. She was the grandmother of up-and-coming sire Justify. I am hearing great reports of Layreebelle’s Into Mischief 2-year-old colt who is down in Ocala after selling at the Saratoga Sale to Bradley Thoroughbreds.

We have exclusively bred this mare to proven sires her entire life and since we have now retained one of her daughters, who is booked to Tapit for her first foal, we decided to take a shot on a first-year stallion with Jack Christopher, who was bought by one of my favorite people in the industry and a great judge, Liz Crow.

Special Me’s daughter and future Grade I winner Gina Romantica practicing her conformation pose as a yearling | courtesy Carrie Brogden

LINE OF VISION (m, 8, Court Vision – Gold Lined, by Numerous) to be bred to Bolt d’Oro

Line of Vision is a small-but-mighty stakes winner by Court Vision. We ended up having so many big mares with our Unbridled’s Song crew that we added a few of the 15’1 to 15’2 types this year. We got them for good value because they could really run but did not have the height a lot of buyers want.

We bought this mare in foal to Tiz the Law and while that might not be the physical mating I would have chosen, we were very happy with the price and both parents’ racetrack accomplishments.

We have booked her back to champion freshman sire Bolt d’Oro, who seems to throw size and stretch no matter what mare he is bred to. His 2-year-olds were impressive at all the sales I attended in 2022 and they came through in their performances. I would certainly think with how they are built that they would stretch out and it also bodes very well for his half-brother Global Campaign, who we were lucky enough to sell as a yearling for WinStar!

MISS SHOP (m, 20, Deputy Minister – Shopping, by Private Account) to be bred to Authentic

Miss Shop was a grand old Grade I-winning, graded stakes-producing girl when we bought her. Her Into Mischief filly we sold last year at Keeneland September was one of my most favorite yearling fillies of the year, so we decided to repeat that breeding. Miss Shop is currently in foal to Into Mischief, but with his stud fee going out of our farm’s comfort zone and us still being his biggest fan, we figured to book her back to the next-best thing: his gorgeous, well-priced son Authentic.

I tell you, those Authentic babies I saw at the sales were just beautiful! We have four yearlings by him and I am delighted with every single one. Miss Shop is one of three mares we have booked back to Authentic.

SPECIAL ME (m, 17, Unbridled’s Song – Delta Danielle, by Lord Avie)

Special Me is currently in foal to Twirling Candy and is due in March. This little lady is the foundation of Machmer Hall. She has produced Grade I winners Gift Box (Twirling Candy) and Gina Romantica (Into Mischief), plus Grade II winners Special Forces (Candy Ride {Arg}) and Stonetastic (Mizzen Mast). She was our first mare to produce a homebred million-dollar yearling. She has a yearling full-brother to Gina Romantica this year. She is 17 years old now and this is one mating that is TBD. She has proven that she can go to a plethora of sire lines and have success. We figure that we will wait until she foals safely to make the decision for her next mating. It is a big choice!

Interested in sharing your own mating plans? Email garyking@thetdn.com.

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