Grade 1 winner I Want Revenge will stand at Indiana Stallion Station in Anderson, Ind., after selling to Jeff and Stacy Jeans for $10,000 on Monday at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. The sale brings one chapter of the horse's roller-coaster career to a close, and opens up the next.
The 12-year-old son of Stephen Got Even will stand the upcoming breeding season for $2,000 after previously residing at Millennium Farms in Lexington, Ky., for an advertised fee of $5,000.
It's rare to see an active stallion change hands through the auction ring, usually reserved for when private deals are not able to be struck to move the horse ahead of the looming breeding season. Many stallions that are offered at mixed sales are purchased by regional operations, or they leave the country to join international rosters. In recent years, active stallions that have changed hands at the fall of the hammer include General Quarters (to Turkey), Graeme Hall and Stratford Hill (both to Saudi Arabia), Value Plus and It's No Joke (both to Canada), I Spent It (to Oklahoma), and Cool Coal Man (to Iran).
This was the second year in a row that the Texas-based Jeanses added an active or future stallion to their portfolio from the Keeneland November sale. They bought G2 winner Airoforce as a stallion prospect for $12,000 last year, and started him at Indiana Stallion Station in 2018 before moving the son of Colonel John to Cabin Creek Farm in Pennsylvania for the upcoming breeding season.
Jeff Jeans said watching I Want Revenge walk into the auction ring was the first time he'd laid eyes upon the horse in the flesh, and he was surprised he landed the stallion at the price he did.
“We were sitting there, and we had just bought a Ghostzapper mare for Airoforce, so I said, 'I just want to see this horse. He's a monster. He's going to be way out of our price range.'” he said. “When it locked in at $10,000, I said 'You've gotta be kidding me.'
“When I saw him, I was just blown away,” Jeans continued. “I knew he was beautiful, and he's just built really well. He looks like A.P. Indy [his grandsire]. I'd followed all the trials and tribulations he had been through when he was a stallion, and I was familiar with what he did. I'm just hoping we can get him up there, get him some good mares, and support him.”
I Want Revenge has had a highly unorthodox beginning to his stallion career. He was kept in training until age six, racing sparingly after his standout 3-year-old campaign, in which he won the G1 Wood Memorial Stakes and was the morning-line favorite for the 2009 Kentucky Derby before getting scratched the morning of the race with an ankle injury.
He hit the board in four of six starts in the ensuing three seasons, earning some graded black type along the way, but nagging injuries kept him from forging an extended campaign.
Three years removed from his best racing when he retired, I Want Revenge didn't cover his first mare on-record for another two years after that. He resided at Blackwood Stables in Versailles, Ky., as an asset while majority owner IEAH Stables waded through its well-publicized legal troubles.
The horse finally entered stud at Pauls Mill Farm in Versailles for the 2014 breeding season, at age eight, leading Ben Walden Jr.'s return to the stallion business after a three-year hiatus. I Want Revenge bred 60 mares in his first season, then was then relocated to Millennium Farms a year later, where he covered the same number of mares.
The stallion's numbers remained relatively consistent until the 2018 breeding season, when he tallied six reported mares bred.
The first foals by I Want Revenge are 3-year-olds of 2018, with 16 total winners and combined progeny earnings of $517,593. He's still seeking his first U.S. black type earner, but his international runners are highlighted by Mexican Revenge, a G2 winner in Mexico.
After signing the ticket, Jeans said he was considering sending I Want Revenge to join Airoforce in Pennsylvania, but he decided to take a “divide and conquer” approach to his stallion interests and take advantage of his new purchase's cult following in the Midwest.
“I've got Airoforce in Pennsylvania and I didn't want to take mares away from one horse to another,” he said. “I like Indiana, I like the Stallion Station. The people that run it are a professional group. I think he would fit in there very well as a regional stallion. He would be one of the best ones there, I'd think.
“I'm discovering he's got a huge fanbase in Kentucky,” Jeans continued. “My Facebook lit up like it's never lit up before. I really think there are people that'll come up from Kentucky to Indiana to breed to him.”
Jeans knew he faced an uphill battle marketing the stallion no matter where he stood, given his turbulent past and low public valuation. Having faced a similar challenge with Airoforce a year earlier, he knew the proper talking points well and expected the softer competition for broodmares, and for state-breds on the track, will put the former Derby morning line favorite in a position to succeed.
“People are going to say, 'You got him for $10,000,' and I'm just going to say, 'Come look at him,'” Jeans said. “I don't know why somebody didn't buy him. This first crop that he has right now, he didn't get the best of mares, so it'll be interesting to see how he does up there.”
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