First Crop Snapshot: ‘A Lot Of Consistency’ In Lord Nelson’s First Foals

by | 03.08.2019 | 12:22pm
Lord Nelson

Lord Nelson drew the public's attention as one of North America's top sprinters, then maintained a devoted following as he battled back from laminitis to begin his stallion career at Spendthrift Farm. Now, the spotlight turns to Lord Nelson's foals, which have begun to arrive in 2019.

The 7-year-old son of Pulpit covered 127 mares in his debut book last year, and the arrival of the subsequent foals will go a long way in establishing what traits Lord Nelson will be known for passing on, both physically and emotionally.

In “First Crop Shapshot,” we'll make regular check-ins with foals from the debut crop of Lord Nelson throughout the year, as they take their first steps, develop into the summer, and prepare for their futures – be it in the sale ring as weanlings or as breed-to-race prospects. Breeders and boarders of the foals will also weigh in on their impressions of the youngsters and the thought processes behind the matings.

Lord Nelson is currently standing the 2019 breeding season at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky., for an advertised fee of $25,000.

Filly out of Bonita Mia (Warrior's Reward)
Born February 8
Bred and boarded at Spendthrift Farm, Lexington, Ky.

What are your impressions of the filly so far?

Ned Toffey, Spendthrift Farm: “She's just really a nice foal. Good bone, strong, well-muscled, really good front end, very athletic, very balanced looking. We couldn't be happier.”

Why was Bonita Mia a good match for Lord Nelson?

Toffey: It's actually breeding back to Lord Nelson's family. The foal's third dam is Miss Peggy, who is a serious, serious mare. Miss Peggy's also the dam of Miss Linda, who had African Jade, who produced Lord Nelson. Bonita Mia is a scopey mare, but we thought she'd benefit from some speed, and from a horse who's a little more compactly put together. From what we've seen at this early stage, we've been lucky.

What traits from Lord Nelson do you see in the foal?

Toffey: What we especially see is that body type – strong, well-muscled, and athletic. She's got all those things and the bone to go with it.

What are the long-term plans for the filly?

Toffey: We'll do what we do with almost all of our yearlings. They'll go through the sales ring, and see what the market brings, and make a determination. Usually, we let the market decide whether we're going to keep them or sell them. If it's a horse we like, and we don't feel like we've gotten fair market value for them, we won't hesitate to go on with them.

Colt out of Great Lookinblonde (Albert the Great)
Born February 23
Bred by Rhianon Farms
Boarded at Phoenix Farm, Paris, Ky.

What do you think of the colt so far?

Kathie Maybee, Phoenix Farm: I love him. I actually have booked two more mares to Lord Nelson because I like this foal so much. He's very smart. I'm really impressed with this baby. So far, he's one of the better foals I've got, and I've got some nice ones on the ground. I think he's going to do nothing but improve.

Why was Great Lookinblonde targeted for Lord Nelson's first book?

Maybee: We liked the pedigree match, we liked the looks. The owner of the horse is Rhianon Farms, Deb Condiotti, and we went over and looked at Lord Nelson and loved his race record, we loved the bone and size. We've booked the mare back to him because we just really believed in the breeding.

How is the foal's personality?

Maybee: He's very intelligent. He's very alert and has been from the time he was born. Very bold, very forward but not crazy-forward. This one is very smart. He's easy to work with, and that's important to me because that forms their whole life. That's one of the things I'm impressed with in this colt. He's very inquisitive but he uses his head. If they can't use their head when they race, they're in trouble.

Will he be sold or kept to race?

Maybee: This owner breeds to sell, but if she has something that she really likes, then she'll keep it to race it.

Colt out of Harbingerofthings (Rockport Harbor)
Born January 28

Bred and boarded at Spendthrift Farm, Lexington, Ky.

What are your initial impressions of this colt?

Toffey: This is a mare we really liked. She's got a Scat Daddy that's making his first start on Sunday at Fair Grounds, and we've really liked the foals out of her so far. This one is just as good as the others. He really carries great muscling. There's a lot of consistency to him so far.

What made Harbingerofthings a good match for Lord Nelson?

Toffey: We liked the mating on paper, but this was done probably as much as anything on the physical. She's a really good-looking mare who throws beautiful foals. Like Lord Nelson, they're both medium-sized, somewhat similar types.

How has Lord Nelson stamped the colt?

Toffey: Most of them have really good muscle and substance. Lord Nelson is a horse who has that muscling that you think of as a sprinter or miler type, and he seems to be throwing that. They're really good, stout foals, but they have the bone to go along with it.

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