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Gainesway Buys Breeding Rights to Seize the Grey

The value of the deal includes kickers worth up to $10 million combined.

Jeffrey Snyder/Maryland Jockey Club

Micropartnership stable MyRacehorse announced this week to the shareholders of Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Seize the Grey it had sold the breeding rights for the son of Arrogate to Gainesway, a deal the farm confirmed to BloodHorse July 10.

"Over the past couple of months we have had a number of stallion farms reach out to inquire about Seize the Grey," the MyRacehorse announcement stated. "Winning the Pat Day Mile and the Preakness in the span of two weeks certainly stamped him as a legitimate stallion prospect. Although his effort in the Belmont was a bit disappointing, it did not seem to lessen the interest from the stud farms. We have been in discussions with several stud farms and, as of just minutes ago, signed an agreement with Gainesway Farm. It is a deal that could be worth over $12 million if Seize the Grey earns the kickers, or performance bonuses, available to us. We did want the opportunity to stay in on his stallion career, so we have retained 10% equity in his breeding."

Gainesway general manager Brian Graves said the farm was excited to add Seize the Grey to its roster. 

"Arrogate was cut out to be a top sire, and we are excited to have one of his best sons stand at Gainesway," he said. "His speed and good looks should prove to be very popular with breeders."

Seize the Grey was bred in Kentucky by Audie Otto's Jamm, out of her homebred stakes-placed mare Smart Shopping (by Smart Strike). Smart Shopping is out of the stakes winner Shop Again (Wild Again), making her a half sister to 2012 FrontRunner Stakes (G1) winner Power Broker (Pulpit) and stakes winner Fierce Boots (Tiznow). Shop Again is a half sister to 2007 Personal Ensign Stakes (G1) winner Miss Shop.

According to MyRacehorse the deal has a $3.5 million base value with additional added-value milestones, commonly known in stallion contracts as "kickers." The final value of the breeding rights could increase by $3 million if Seize the Grey wins the Travers Stakes (G1) and another $4 million if he wins the Breeders' Cup Classic (G1). If the colt wins another grade 1 stakes apart from the Travers or Classic, then his value goes up $2 million and should he earn honors as the year's Eclipse champion 3-year-old male, that achievement is worth $1 million.

"Seize the Grey has everything to be a successful stallion, including the pedigree, the physical, and the on-track accomplishments," said Michael Behrens, CEO and founder of MyRacehorse. "We wanted to make sure he was at a farm and with a team that gave him every chance to thrive as a stallion and that's exactly what we get with Antony Beck, Brian Graves, and the entire team at Gainesway."

Behrens noted that more specifics and details are still to be announced but emphasized three important points to shareholders:

  1. MyRacehorse only sold his breeding rights, not his racing rights, which means the horse does not transfer to Gainesway until his racing career is over. MyRacehorse did agree to certain conditions as to when that racing career ends, and the breeding career begins, and will share details in the coming days.
  2. MyRacehorse decided to sell 90% of Seize the Grey's breeding rights and will be staying in for 10% to allow for some additional financial upside, support the new stallion with mares, and "go on what we think will be an incredible journey with Seize the Grey's second career," said Behrens.
  3. The inspection process was finalized (July 9) and has been deemed satisfactory and the bill of sale was then executed. A payment of $3,150,000 (90% of base purchase price) is to be transferred July 20. MyRacehorse will have a shareholder distribution prepared and delivered by no later than July 29.

After MyRacehorse purchased Seize the Grey for $300,000 at Fasig-Tipton's 2022 The Saratoga Sale, its boutique select yearling sale in New York, the colt was offered on the MyRacehorse app for $127 per share for 0.02% equity. According to Behrens, Seize the Grey raced in the Preakness on behalf of 2,570 shareholders.

Seize the Grey, trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, has compiled a 4-0-3 record from 11 starts so far and earned $1,839,938.

According to Lukas, Seize The Grey may have his best races in front of him. "He just keeps getting stronger and better, and I am expecting a big second half of the year," said Lukas. "I truly believe his best races are yet to come."

The late Arrogate currently has just one son standing at stud in Kentucky, Arcangelo, who stands at Lane's End near Versailles, Ky.

Jockey Mike Smith celebrates on Arrogate after the victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park Nov. 5, 2016 in Arcadia, California.
Photo: Skip Dickstein
Arrogate after his victory in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park