Houtzen has been sold, in foal to Curlin, for US$1.5 million to Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Farm during the first session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale at Keeneland
Houtzen could not have found a better place to land as the Stonestreet brand (Stonestreet Farm and Stonestreet stables) is one of the premier racing and breeding organizations in North America.
Stonestreet Farm was started by Jess Stonestreet Jackson who applied some of the theories that he had learnt as a successful winemaker to his step into the thoroughbred world believing that for any thoroughbred operation to survive it must start with must start with choice farmland and, in February 2005, with the completion of the purchase of the former Buckram Oak estate.
Jackson then established Stonestreet’s Yearling Division on a spectacular piece of Woodford County acreage near the town of Versailles, Kentucky with a real ambition of wanting to take Stonestreet to great heights with great horses.
In February 2007, Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables purchased a controlling interest in a promising three-year-old colt named Curlin. The rest, as they say is history.
The Preakness, Dubai World Cup and Breeder’s Cup Classic winner earned two consecutive Horse of the Year title awards, placing his name on an elite list of all-time great American champions that includes the likes of Secretariat, Affirmed and Cigar. In 2014 Curlin was also, along-side those, and other champions, inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame.
Then, in 2008 Jackson acquired a majority interest in super-filly Rachel Alexandra who had won the Kentucky Oaks, in an absolute rout, by twenty lengths. Soon after that Rachel Alexandra captured the Preakness Stakes, becoming the first filly to win the American Classic race in 85 years.
Topping off an amazing season, Rachel Alexandra came away with the Horse of the Year honours … which was an historic accomplishment on two fronts as it marked the first time a three-year-old filly had won the top award and the first time an owner had won three consecutive Horse of the Year awards with two different runners in the Eclipse Award era.
Jackson passed away in 2011 On April 21, 2011 at the age of eighty-one. The Stonestreet website says it best when it states that Jackson left a ‘legacy of sportsmanship, integrity, and the pursuit of excellence to the Thoroughbred world.’
And that tradition has carried on.
Building on the legacy left by her husband, Barbara Banke has overseen an increase in the size of Stonestreet’s racing stable, with an expanded international presence, as well as an increase in broodmare numbers.
As importantly, she has established a Stonestreet Training and Rehabilitation Centre.
And there is more, as the Stonestreet website explains. ‘The farm’s long-term business model includes welcoming its retired fillies into its broodmare band and supporting its colts at stud. But Stonestreet is also committed to providing the horses that do not enter the breeding operation every opportunity to succeed in a second career. Stonestreet retirees complete the New Vocations program, with Stonestreet remaining financially accountable during the retraining process.’
So, to say that Houtzen could not have found a better place to land at this stage of her life in no understatement and it will make a lot of people in Australia, not least the Team Edmonds training establishment who guided Houtzen so well through her racing career, very happy to know that her safe and well-cared for future is secure.