WinStar Farm has teamed with Monmouth Park to be the title sponsor of the Matchmaker Stakes, set for its 48threnewal on Sunday, July 27.
“As a two-time winner of the Haskell Invitational, WinStar Farm is extremely excited about this joint venture,” said W. Elliott Walden, president and CEO of racing operations for WinStar and himself a winner of the Haskell having trained 1999 victor Menifee. “We’ve always had a great association with Monmouth Park and are proud to offer three seasons to the first three finishers of the WinStar Matchmaker Stakes. I’ve always loved the concept of the Matchmaker. It will be interesting to see who gets picked first amongst these three Grade 1-winning millionaires. We love to Dream Big at WinStar, and now the owners get to Dream Big.”
Those three stallions are 2012 Haskell winner Paynter, who stands for $25,000; Artie Schiller, current stud fee $15,000; and, Drosselmeyer, who also commands a $15,000 stallion fee.
Paynter, who is a son of Awesome Again, entered stud for the first time in 2014. Artie Schiller captured six graded stakes during his career, including the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2005. He was America’s co-leading active sire of 2-year-old stakes winners in 2013. The highest rated horse in the world on dirt for 2011, Drosselmeyer retired to stud off a decisive victory in North America's biggest race – the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“All the credit for creating the Matchmaker goes to Bob Levy,” said Bob Kulina, president of Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park. “The race was inaugurated down at Atlantic City and we were happy to take ownership of it more than 15 years ago.
“We’re very thankful to Kenny Troutt and everyone at WinStar for offering such wonderful stallions to complement this year’s WinStar Matchmaker Stakes. This race has seen some extremely talented fillies and we hope this year is no exception.”
Among those talented runners are four Hall of Fame Members: Gamely, Gallant Bloom, Desert Vixen and Susan’s Girl.
Spanning more than 2,400 acres in Versailles, Ky., WinStar Farm is among North America’s top Thoroughbred breeding and racing operations. In 2006 WinStar sent out Bluegrass Cat to a then record seven-length score in the Haskell Invitational. They returned to take the 2007 running with Any Given Saturday, a son of WinStar stallion Distorted Humor.
The WinStar Matchmaker, along with four other supporting stakes events, will lead up to the feature on the July 27th card, the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational.