Grade I Millionaire Sahara Sky added to Indiana breeding program

The Indiana racing program is on the rise and the breeding program just got another boost. Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has announced that Sahara Sky, a Grade I millionaire, is retiring and will join the lineup at R Star Stallions located in Anderson, Ind. for the 2017 breeding season.

Sahara Sky, a Grade I millionaire, will join the stallion ranks at R Star Stallions in Anderson, Ind. beginning in 2017. (Photo provided)

Sahara Sky, a Grade I millionaire, will join the stallion ranks at R Star Stallions in Anderson, Ind. beginning in 2017. (Photo provided)

Sahara Sky, a son of Pleasant Tap, completed his racing career this past summer for Hollendorfer, who is also a co-owner of the eight-year-old. During his career, he won eight races in 27 starts, four of which were Grade I and Grade II races. His biggest win was in the Grade I $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park in 2013. On his maternal side, Sahara Sky’s dam, Seeking The Sky, is from the immediate maternal family of Nyquist, 2016 Kentucky Derby winner. With more than $1.1 million in career earnings, Sahara Sky’s addition to the Indiana breeding program shows the national interest and investment that is being made into a very lucrative program offering breeders awards and incentives.

 Sahara Sky will stand at stud for a fee of $4,000 at R Star Stallions. The stallion will be one of six offered at the farm owned by Leigh Ann and Kerry Hopper. The farm has seen a lot of success in 2016 on the racetrack with two of their stallions, Sangaree and What Now, who are among the top 55 first crop stallions in the United States on the 2016 Leading First Crop Sires list.

 The news of Sahara Sky’s arrival in Indiana comes fresh on the heels of a successful fall mixed sale hosted by the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (ITOBA) at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Sunday, Oct. 30. The sale topper was a yearling colt by Flat Out named Flatoutjustice that was purchased for $20,000. The sale showed increases for average sale price ($5,110.87) and total sale gross ($117,550) compared to 2015 figures.

 Indiana Grand concluded its 120-day racing season Saturday, Oct. 29. Racing dates for 2017 will be announced and approved soon by the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.