According to Bloodhorse.com, Zayat Stables owner Ahmed Zayat announced that Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner American Pharoah will be standing stud at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Kentucky after he completes his racing career. This will be, according to the article, following this three year old campaign.
Selling a successful stallion is one of the more lucrative benefits to owning a successful race horse, especially one that won at least one jewel in the Triple Crown, let alone two. A stallion farm charges fees for the right for an owner of a mare to breed to these horses. A farm can charge up to $250,000 per mare dependent upon the success of the race horse and his potential value at stud. Should American Pharoah become a Triple Crown winner after the June 6th Belmont Stakes, his value as a stallion will be unlike anything seen in recent history. As such, making a deal for his stallion services now is a smart business move, guaranteeing Zayat certain monies, with additional monies added in should there be additional races won such as the Belmont Stakes or Breeders Cup. American Pharoah was already the two year old champion and as a winner of two jewels of the Triple Crown, it is logical to make this deal now. Drafting syndication agreements is a exciting and intricate aspect of equine law.
Ashford Stud is owned by Coolmore, a very influential breeder worldwide. It not only has breeding farms in America, but also in South America where the breeding season is inverse of that of the United States. As such, the opportunities are boundless. The Zayats retained a unnamed ownership interest in the horse, which means that a percentage of the breeding fees will continue to go back to Zayat. Additionally, it is often the case that the trainer of these horses will retain at least one if not more shares of the horse. Which means, that Bob Baffert could either sell or breed to American Pharoah as he sees fit.
This deal by no means does not come without risk on the part of Ashford. For every successful stallion that won a triple crown race (AP Indy, Curlin) there have been twice as many who did not produce horses equal or surpassing their own promise. Here is hoping that American Pharoah is in the former group.