ALVORD, TX (Friday, March 17, 2023) — When the owners of Solitude Thoroughbreds purchased Tiz Mischief and King Zachary in November of 2020, those horses’ sires were a major selling point as they sought to launch a stallion band at the new 300-acre Solitude Ranch located an hour west of the DFW Metroplex.
Researching the sons of superstar stallions Into Mischief (Tiz Mischief) and Curlin (King Zachary) for marketing purposes, Solitude co-owner Melanie Martinelli learned that Spendthrift Farm’s Share the Upside promotion for new stallions started with Into Mischief in 2010. The late Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes brainstormed how to get mares to his young stud before its first crop began racing. His idea: Those who mated two mares to the stallion during the promotion’s first year (or first and second) that resulted in two live foals would thereafter get a lifetime breeding right to the stud to use for a free annual mating.
Those breeders who followed through on Hughes’ offer — having paid out $13,000 in stud fees to breed twice at $6,500 to Into Mischief — hit the lottery with the breeding right they earned.
The record-breaking sire this year stands for $250,000 for a live foal, his seven champions including Authentic, the 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and Horse of the Year. Lifetime breeding rights to Into Mischief have sold for as high as $1 million. That's hitting the Powerball!
Now Martinelli has brought Share the Upside to Texas — or, as she likes to say, from Bluegrass to Bermuda grass, reflecting the popular native grass that thrives in the Lone Star State. She is offering the innovative breeding incentive program on both Tiz Mischief and King Zachary, who is the only son of two-time Horse of the Year Curlin standing in Texas. Tiz Mischief was the first son of Into Mischief to enter stud in the state.
With Spendthrift Farm’s blessing, Solitude proudly uses the name Share the Upside, which she believes is a first for Texas. Share the Upside Texas-style is as easy as 1, 2, 3:
1. Simply purchase two breedings at the current stud fee for either Tiz Mischief or King Zachary: $3,000 X 2 for a total of $6,000.
2. Participants sign a contract to breed twice and produce two live foals. Both breedings must be utilized no later than 2024, the same year both stallions will have their first crop of runners.
3. Beginning in 2025, program participants will receive one free breeding per season for the breeding life of the stallion.
Solitude Thoroughbreds also will make the offer retroactive to breeders who've already signed contracts for the 2023 season. The promotion will be capped at a set number of mares, to be determined based on the market. More information is available by calling Solitude Ranch at 940-353-5533 or emailing email@example.com.
“This is about working with breeders and making it a win-win situation for all,” Martinelli said. “I’m confident the two stallions we have are going to hit something big.”
The Solitude partners purchased King Zachary from the late Louisville lawyer Tom Conway for $30,000 at Keeneland’s 2020 November Breeding Stock Sale and simultaneously purchased Tiz Mischief privately from prominent Louisville businessman Frank Jones.
“When I first saw the horse, I just see Curlin in him,” Martinelli said of King Zachary. “He’s just such a magnificent horse, has a lot of presence. He’s very full of himself, which is something I like in a racehorse.”
Of Tiz Mischief, she said: “I love the (broodmare sire) Tiznow side, which added much of his size. And, of course, what’s not to love about the Into Mischief side? ‘Tiz’ is the kindest stallion we have ever owned, with a kind eye and gentleness that makes him all business.”
Both horses are foals of 2015 and were trained at age 2 and 3 by Dale Romans, with King Zachary beating his runner-up stablemate Tiz Mischief in Churchill Downs’ 2018 Matt Winn Stakes (G3). Joining Graham Motion’s barn for an abbreviated 4-year-old season, King Zachary concluded his racing career with an 8 1/2-length romp in Saratoga’s Birdstone Stakes while running 1 3/4 miles on dirt in 2:52.97 to break Kentucky Derby winner Reigh Count’s 91-year-old track record. That also gave King Zachary a lofty 112 Bris speed figure.
“King Zachary was a generous and kind, big strong horse who was just about to reach his full potential” before being sidelined, Motion said. “With Curlin a proven sire of sires and King Zachary being out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, there’s a lot there for Texas breeders to like about him."
Tiz Mischief is out of a mare (Indivia) by two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Tiz Now. The multiple graded-stakes performer was second by only a head in Churchill Downs’ Kentucky Jockey Club (G2) to join the Kentucky Derby trail. He also finished third in Gulfstream Park’s Holy Bull (G3) to start his 3-year-old season before niggling setbacks compromised much of the rest of his career.
“They were very talented horses that never reached their full potential, but they had the genetics to be great horses,” Romans said of King Zachary and Tiz Mischief. “They both had great conformation, really super-looking horses by the right sires. That was a great day when they ran 1-2 in the Matt Winn, and I expected big things from both. Now I expect big things from their babies. Frank and I are Kentuckians, but we were sure to retain breeding rights to Tiz Mischief as part of his sale.”
This year, Tiz Mischief and King Zachary have company in their new stud barn. Dallas residents and business owners Jeff and Stacy Jeans moved their stallions Uncle Vinny and Airoforce from Pennsylvania to Solitude. Both studs are having their best year to date.
Martinelli said their interest in standing stallions and investing in Texas racing was piqued by the passage of legislation in 2019 that channels the state sales taxes on horse feed and related products into $25 million a year in Texas’ race purses.
“I thought, ‘I think this is really going to be great for Texas racing,’” she reflected. “So we gambled on the fact that people would be interested in coming to Texas and having Texas-breds. The TTA (Texas Thoroughbred Association) did a really awesome job incentivizing people to breed here, keep their horses here, race here. We were excited about getting involved basically on the ground level.
“I want to breed Kentucky-quality horses here at this farm — the quality of horses where it won’t matter if that horse is labeled as being born in Texas or Kentucky. We want to breed a horse that can be competitive anywhere it races.”
Those boarding horses at Solitude have complimentary access year-round to the private Solitude Sporting Club adjacent to the horse property. On the opposite end of the ranch from the horses, the Sporting Club offers clay shooting, bird hunting and fishing, along with riding and hiking trails, luxury guest cabins and a magnificent swimming pool.