Stallion Spotlight offers stud farm representatives a chance to address breeders and answer questions as they plan their future matings.

In this edition, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds’ Joe McMahon discusses Solomini, a multiple Grade 1-placed son of Curlin whose first foals are yearlings of 2022.

Ch. h., 2015, Curlin x Surf Song, by Storm Cat
Race Record: 16-2-4-5; $834,993
Advertised Fee: $6,500

Solomini at Oaklawn Park

Question: What makes Solomini an attractive stallion for potential breeders?

Joe McMahon, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds: Aside from the fact that he’s a Curlin, and the Curlin himself is doing spectacular, the sons of Curlin are doing great from a sire line point of view. That makes him a standout in New York.

You take that with his 2-year-old form that he had in California, I don’t think there’s ever been a horse that retired to New York with 2-year as good as his. He was three-times Grade 1-placed as a 2-year-old, including being second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to who ended up being the champion (Good Magic). He finished first in what they used to call the G1 CashCall Futurity, and he was taken down on a very questionable call, so not only is he a Grade 1 horse, he won a Grade 1 race. I think that really sets him apart.

If I’ve got a mare that’s lacking in a physical aspect, what can Solomini best contribute to that equation?

McMahon: He’s really got a great body type – his shoulder, his hip, his topline. They tie in really well. He’s really correct through his knees, and he has very good hocks. He would improve almost any mare, from that point of view.

What would a breeder looking to capture the Curlin sire line find familiar in Solomini?

McMahon: The Curlin line is doing extremely well. We just had a Kentucky Derby winner by Keen Ice, so that’s just more of what we’ve already seen through other sons of his.

What is the general impression among breeders in regards to Solomini’s first yearlings?

McMahon: There are a lot of them. He had just under 100 foals in his first year. They must be looking good, because when I talk to Fasig-Tipton they say they’ve got a lot of them, and they really like what they’re seeing. As far as what I’ve got here on the farm, we’ve got several that we really like a lot. We have four that we think are extremely good yearlings.

Are there any particular physical or pedigree crosses that you’ve found produce the most attractive Solomini foals?

McMahon: No, he gets a good looking yearling across the board. It doesn’t seem to have any bearing on what mare they’re out of. He’s stamping their yearlings. They’re all cookie-cutter, and very good physicals.

Solomini has a pair of notable stallions close up in his female family in Frosted and Midshipman. How does having that kind of sire power on a young stallion’s page affect his present and future at stud?

McMahon: My own opinion is it’s a big plus in a stallion’s pedigree if there are successful stallions up close. So many horses that you see stand at stud really are not from strong families, and I think that over time, you see that good families produce good horses consistently, and I think that’s a real plus.

What do you think makes Solomini a good fit for the New York program?

McMahon: He’s certainly a horse that could have stood in Kentucky, or anywhere. If we just look at that first and ask how he compares with other sons of Curlin or other young stallions in that $6,000 to $10,000 stud fee range, if he got credit for the Grade 1 that he actually won and was taken down, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would be in Kentucky, standing for much more than what he is here.

That was kind of a blessing in disguise. If he’d have gotten the Grade 1, we wouldn’t have been able to afford him. I think any astute breeder that’s doing their homework, that stands out.

Solomini (outside) in the G1 CashCall Futurity.

What is something about Solomini that you think goes overlooked?

McMahon: He bred over 200 mares combined his first two years, so he’s been pretty well supported. He’s probably going to breed 80 this year, which it’s not unusual for a horse to go down a little in the third year. I don’t know that he’s really been overlooked at all. The weanlings sold well last fall, so I think he is getting respect, and he deserves to have it.

What else should breeders know about Solomini know before

McMahon: We probably have 20 mares a year in foal to him, and we consistently see him have good looking foals. They’re cookie-cutter. They’re good, good horses. He has a great attitude. He’s a lovely horse to be around. I think he’s going to be a very successful stallion.

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