Tom’s Ready had a very good but not spectacular campaign as a 3-year-old this past thoroughbred racing season.
However, he is considered attractive as a future stallion. GMB Racing — owned by Saints owner Tom Benson and his wife, Gayle — recently reached agreement with Lexington, Kentucky-based Spendthrift Farm to have the breeding rights to Tom’s Ready.
“Spendthrift Farm is worldwide first class,” said Dallas Stewart, who trains Tom’s Ready. “(The agreement) sets Tom’s Ready up for his breeding career. There’s no plans for him to retire right now.”
Stewart said Tom’s Ready will continue to race at least through the 2017 season. He is scheduled to run in the King’s Bishop at Saratoga on Aug. 27 and then the $2 million Breeders’ Cup mile Nov. 5 at Santa Anita Park.
Tom’s Ready had two victories this season, including in his most recent race, the Grade II Woody Stephens on June 11 at Belmont Park. He had four second-place finishes, including in the Lecomte and Louisiana Derby at the Fair Grounds and the Street Sense in November at Churchill Downs. He was 12th in the Kentucky Derby.
However, his bloodlines make him attractive for breeding. Tom’s Ready’s sire, More Than Ready, is one of the world’s more-popular sires. A grandson, Dissident, was Australia’s Horse of the Year this past season.
“Given that (Tom’s Ready) is by a good sire, he’s out of a good mare (Goodbye Stranger), he’s shown a lot of potential, he is a good-looking horse, the race he ran the last time. … A lot of things attract people to that type of horse.
“More Than Ready has been a good sire for years. What makes him attractive for breeding is he’s pretty versatile: a sire of turf-course horses (and) dirt-course horses.”
Stewart said it has become the trend for a breeding farm to get a good young horse into their program before they end their racing career.
“If a young horse shows he can be a potential champion, they try to get him in early,” he said.
Stewart said Tom’s Ready has a lot of racing left, however. The win in the seven-furlong Woody Stevens by 1¼ lengths, he said, revealed something concerning how they will approach future races.
“He ran as hard as he could (during his 3-year-old season) and performed very well,” Stewart said. “But we shortened up his distance (by running in the Stephens), and he seemed to like that. He can go a mile. Seven furlongs to a mile, he looks like he can be a killer.
“He’s going to get stronger, and he’s getting a break from Belmont to Saratoga, so that should help him out, let him put some weight on.”
Spendthrift Farm has the dual, or Northern and Southern hemisphere, rights to Tom’s Ready. Malibu Moon, sire of 2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb, had a 2016 stud fee of $95,000, the highest at Spendthrift Farm.