Nothhaft finds thrills in the Thoroughbred Industry

 

INTERVIEW Bloodhorse Daily “MarketWatch” 

Sept 28, 2018

By Meredith Daugherty

twitter  @BH_MDaugherty

Ten years ago, Hank Nothhaft founded HnR Nothhaft

Horse Racing and dove into the world of

Thoroughbred breeding, racing, and sales. Blood-

Horse MarketWatch spoke with Nothhaft about what

sales mean for his operation, how the state of the market

affects breeders, and what the industry can do to

help ensure continued success at all levels.

MarketWatch: How did you get your start in the

industry?

Hank Nothhaft: After graduating from the (U.S.)

Naval Academy and serving in the Marine Corps, I

became a startup technology executive. I ended up

as the CEO of five venture-backed, high-tech-based

startups in the telecommunications business. It’s a

high growth environment; I call it adrenaline-driven.

Looking over the horizon and going from being

the young bull to the old bull, I realized that even if

I wanted to go on forever, I had to be realistic. So I

systematically decided to start a business that would be

a viable alternative to being a CEO that I could run in

retirement and have a lot of fun with. To have the same

sort of thrills I experienced in the business world. So

in 2007-08, I stuck my toe in the water of the industry

and have proceeded from there via the school of hard

knocks, trying not to make the same mistake twice.

We’ve had a lot of tumult in a short period of time

because of the significant financial recession that

occurred in 2008. I got started just before that, and

I had made some calculations that turned out to be

not very accurate, but because I was a financial expert

when the collapse occurred, I took advantage of that

situation to do what I call a “restart round” and push

aside the things I had done incorrectly to try and have

a more successful path. I certainly had the satisfaction

of enough good things happening that my adrenaline

addiction has been satisfied.

MW: Were you familiar with the industry at all

when you made your transition?

HN: I had no direct connection with the horse

racing industry whatsoever when I started, but I get up

most mornings very thankful that I made that fateful

decision to get involved. My wife and I were very casual

fans, so that was certainly part of it. The other part was, I

went to Europe frequently and I was addicted to reading

Dick Francis novels, and I would carve a day out here or

there to go to tracks within easy rail distance from London.

I had a romanticized view of the British horse racing

industry, but as silly as that sounds, it 

did play a part in my decision.

 

Hip 91, 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale

The American Pharoah colt consigned as Hip 91 at the

Keeneland September Yearling Sale

 

MW: Ten years after forming HnR NothhaftRacing, how did you feel

about watching the American Pharoah—Kindle colt that you sold

as a weanling for $400,000 sell for $2.2 million as Hip 91 at this year’s

Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

HN: It was a great time. I derive a lot of satisfaction from those

moments, and it doesn’t have to be a big monetary achievement. I think

the sale was fantastic. I think it was like a Hollywood script that we had

the first yearlings from a Triple Crown winner, and we

had Sheikh Mohammed there for the first time in 10

years. We also had the Coolmore/Godolphin détente in

place and a phenomenal stock market going, a new tax

bill, new players in the industry, a global marketplace …

what could be better than that? The results of the sale

are unequivocally outstanding.

MW: What was special about that colt that you

remember from your time with him?

HN: I paid $50,000 for his dam, Kindle. I had a

tremendous relationship with the horse, spent a lot of

time with her when she was racing, and she was our

first stakes winner. She has the greatest disposition.

The reason I was able to buy her was that she was a

bit short. I moved her to Kentucky because regional

sires are not really commercial, but I breed all my

Pennsylvania mares in Kentucky, and they’re all foaled

out in Pennsylvania.

With Kindle, and a handful of really commercial

mares, I’ve been producing Kentucky-breds, but

mostly I have Pennsylvania-breds. No one knew with

her what kind of foal she’d produce, but she’s a robust

mare. With American Pharoah, I was lucky to have a

couple mares that were good enough to be accepted, so

I bred Kindle to him. From the get-go, she produced

an exceptional foal. Almost perfect. He’s the proudest looking,

most balanced horse, and I love the streak of

lightning blaze on his face. He was the prime candidate

to sell as a weanling. My reserve was $400,000, and it was exactly on

the nose.

I’m so excited for the horse, because I’ve heard rumors that they’ll

ship him to the United Kingdom.  Assuming that’s the case, the top

folks in the Sheikh’s operation will get a good look at him and then

put him in a position somewhere in the world to be as successful as

possible. My great hope would be that he works out as a dirt horse and

that maybe he could be the Sheikh’s Kentucky Derby (G1) horse.

The one thing I realized by selling horses is that they

end up in better hands than mine. People with better

contacts, more money, and better resources than my

own. There couldn’t be anyone that meets that criteria

better than Sheikh Mohammed. When you sell them,

you set in motion a chain of events that could never

have occurred had you retained ownership yourself.

I bred Kindle to Pioneer of the Nile, and I have this

phenomenal Pioneer of the Nile colt. He’ll be in Book

1 of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

I also had Hip 1 in the (September) sale. She was an

RNA, so I have entered her in the Fasig-Tipton October

Yearling Sale (as Hip 624). I want to try to capitalize

on the current market demand for quality American

Pharoah bloodstock. I am confident that given a better

position, she will be a standout in this sale. If not, we

are certainly prepared to keep and race her, as she is a lovely filly.

“When you sell them you set in motion a chain of

events that could never have occurred had you

retained ownership yourself.”

—HANK NOTHHAFT

 

MW: From a breeder’s perspective, what did you

think about the Keeneland September sale and the

quality of the yearlings being offered?

HN: In terms of the sale’s success being a mark

of our industry turning the corner from the market

downturn, the thing that I really look at as a breeder

is, how many horses are being bred? The last numbers

that were available are not super encouraging. We kind

of flattened out more or less three or four years ago,

and we haven’t really turned the corner. Kentucky has

gotten back to where they were 20 years ago, but if

you look at what percentage of horses that represents,

they’ve gone from being 35% of the horses bred in the

industry to somewhere around 55%. That means, likely,

if you look at each state, all the other states have had

significant declines.

I look at those bigger states that have had a tradition

in the horse racing business, and some of them are

at a third of where they were, some have all but

disappeared. So coming out of the sale, I think the thing

is that the industry will have really turned when the

horse population responds or we reduce the amount of

racing that is taking place, because there aren’t enough

horses to feed the engine we currently have.

I think you have to look at the sales and look at the

later books and see how many horses are being sold at

a loss. You have to ask yourself, “Why and how could

this sustain itself if there are people who are breeding

and losing money?” And they can’t continue to do that

indefinitely. I think one of the bright spots can be state

incentive programs like in Pennsylvania, where I’m

involved. You can breed a reasonably competitive horse

there, keep it, race it, and make money and have fun,

or take it to a sale and maybe it sells at a loss, but if

the owners race it, then you can actually break even or

make a profit.

What’s kept me happy and in the game is that I’m

treating this like a startup. I’ve been bootstrapping and

reinvesting what I have back into the business to grow

it, and one of the big things that has helped me do that

is the state incentive program. Relative to my needs,

it’s generated a lot of cash that’s helped keep me in

the game. I can tell you without breeders, there is no

industry. Period.

If the industry wants to maintain the broad racing

schedule they have, they’re going to have to inevitably

produce more horses. Eventually, it has to be profitable,

or at least help people break even, for breeders and

enthusiasts to get into the game. I do know a lot of

people took mares out of service in smaller states, so we

need those to come back in.

MW: Do you think the market can continue the

trajectory it has taken this year?

HN: There are hard-core, central players in the

Thoroughbred industry, and those non-newcomers

are not that affected by the stock market and non discretionary

income. They are to a certain extent, but I

think the U.S. economy is in a sweet spot, and the only

thing that could upset the apple cart in my mind would

be the federal reserve  increasing interest rates too

fast and somehow cutting off this really perfect scenario

we’re seeing in the economy.

My view right now is that we’re solid in the U.S.

I think other countries will adopt more pro-growth

strategies (for) their economies, and that will provide

even more underpinning to the industry. The other

side of the coin, however, is that with breeders, some

other countries have the same problem I proposed that

we have. I think they’re thinking, for example in the

U.K., of putting together a type of incentive program.

Hopefully, breeding numbers start reflecting that

programs are working here in the states.

The top end and the middle market are much higher

than they were. People have got to bid higher for horses

than they would have had to previously. I think what is

true is that people had to bid more money because you

have more money chasing the same number of horses.

The thrill of owning a horse and being involved in the

industry is fantastic. If people were more exposed to it,

many people would want to do it. BH

 

HnR’s Kindle American Pharoah colt Lights Up Bid Board at $2.2 Million

Hip 91, 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale

 

Photo Courtesy Keeneland

Hip 91, an American Pharoah colt, sold for $2.2 million at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale Sept. 10


Colt bought as weanling for $400,000 new sale­topper.

By Ron Mitchell  

September 10, 2018

Originally Published “Bloodhorse Magazine”


Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin continued its buying spree at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale when it went to $2.2 million to purchase a colt from the first

HnR’s Kindle colt Hip 91, 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale

crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah .

The colt, consigned as Hip 91 by Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm, is the second foal out of the multiple stakes-winning Indian Charlie mare Kindle.

Bred in Kentucky by HnR Nothhaft Horseracing, the colt had been purchased by O’Callaghan’s Cavalier Bloodstock for $400,000 as a weanling at last year’s Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Hank Nothhaft & Kindle 17 American Pharoah Colt Keeneland November Sale

Jimmy Bell, president of Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley operation at Jonabell Farm in Lexington, said Sheikh Mohammed was taken with the colt when he saw him for the first time earlier Monday.

“Sheikh Mohammed saw him at the barn and loved him very, very much,” Bell said. “In the walking ring, he was all class and had a lot of presence about him. He really liked him from the first time he set his eyes on him.”

O’Callaghan said having prominent buyers like Godolphin battling with representatives of Coolmore Stud is what consignors strive for.

“The sheikh, I knew when he saw him today, his eyes just lit up, and I just had a feeling he was going to try hard to buy him,” O’Callaghan said. “Who knew it was going to be that level, but it took a monumental effort to outbid Coolmore. It’s the perfect scenario for any of us. That’s what we all dream of, two of the great racing powers get stuck on your horse and go at it. We’re just lucky it happened to us today.”

Meredith Daugherty contributed to this story.

 

Kindle 17 Tuesday Five Top Weanlings Keeneland Nov Sale

KEENELAND NOVEMBER SALE  TUESDAY FIVE TOP WEANLINGS

Thoroughbred Daily News Thursday November 8, 2017

Number Four  Kindle 17

4.  HIP 076     c          American Pharoah o/o Kindle             $400,000

Breeder-HnR Nothhaft Horseracing LLC (KY)

Consigned by Darby Dan Farm, Agent for HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing LLC

Purchased by Cavalier Bloodstock

Callaghans Strike for More Pharoah

 Peter O’Callaghan signed the ticket to acquire the first foal of American Pharoah sold at auction Monday evening at Fasig- Tipton and the O’Callaghan brothers were back in action Tuesday at Keeneland, going to $400,000 to obtain a colt from the first crop of the Triple Crown winner (hip 76).

Video Kindle 17 Sale Hip 76 Keeneland November Sale 2017

         

He had a great presence and a great walk Robert O’Callaghan said of the weanling. For me, he was the best American Pharoah here. The sire speaks for himself. He was such a wonderful racehorse, so we had to get a piece of the action.

It’s a lot of money, but he was such a good horse.The weanling is expected to return to the sales ring as a yearling next fall.We all know what the price is worth next September when he comes back, O’Callaghan said. Of the weanlings he has seen by American Pharoah, O’Callaghan said, They all have tremendous action and great presence. We’ve liked what we’ve seen of them so far. They all look like they’ll run. The weanling is out of stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Kindle (Indian Charlie). He was consigned by Darby Dan Farm on behalf of breeder Henry Nothhaft’s HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing which purchased Kindle for $50,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. @JessMartinTDN

 

 

 

 

Kindle 17 by American Pharoah offered Keeneland Nov Sale

Video link is at the bottom of this blog.

HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing LLC is proud to offer Kindle 17 for sale as Hip 76 at the Keeneland November Mixed Stock Sale through our consignor Darby Dan Farm.   Kindle 17 is a colt by Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah o/o Multiple Stakes Winning/Multiple Graded Stakes winning Mare Kindle by Indian Charlie.  He is a large, well balanced individual with a great overreach inheriting the positive attributes of the parents. Kindle was a muscular sprinter with brilliant speed running her top Beyer of 100 winning the Cool Air Stakes @Hollywood Park.  This is Kindle’s 2nd foal.  Her first foal is a yearling colt by Tiznow named Made in America.  This video says it all: Kindle 17 @ Darby Dan Farm Oct 31, 2017.  

Kindle 16 Tiznow colt now named Made in America (KY)

Kindle displays her speed and athleticism.
Kindle displays her speed and athleticism.

Kindle a MSW/MGSP mare by Indian Charlie o/o Carson’s Vanity by Carson City had her first foal on January 26, 2016 @Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, KY.  Kindle is short in stature, very muscular and always gave 100% during her racing career for HnR Nothhaft Horseracing.  She ran a career best Beyer Number of 100 winning the Cool Air Stakes.  Our high level goal in breeding to Tiznow was to get a horse with a combination of Tiznow size, durability and stamina with Kindle speed and muscularity.  Ideally this foal would grow into a miler plus with exceptional tactical speed.  We are a long ways off from knowing whether our objectives will be achieved, but so far we like what we see.

Made in America (KY) DDF Jan 27 2017

Made in America (KY) by Tiznow o/o Kindle @Darby Dan Farm

We have decided to keep Kindle 16 to race.  As a result, we have named him Made in America (KY).  As a January yearling, he stands nearly 15 hands which makes him almost as tall as Kindle.  He weighs around 980 pounds which makes him large for his age.  His conformation is excellent and he is well balanced and a nice frame to grow into.  We are counting the days until we can move to the next step and start Made in America’s initial training.

The other days we are counting are the days until Kindle has her second foal.  She is in foal to American Pharoah with a colt expected in the next two weeks or so.  We are hoping this foal will have the same excellent confirmation that Made in America enjoys.  If he does, we will likely put this colt up for sale in one of the weanling auctions at the end of the year.

Finally, to give Kindle every chance to succeed as a broodmare, we are breeding her to Pioneer of the Nile at Winstar  for the 2018 foal.  Time will tell how this story will evolve, but we are excited to be part of the journey.  We are hoping he could be Tiznow’s next Big Horse.

Tiznow BC advertisementJan 27 2017

Kindle Produces Tiznow Colt

 

HnR Nothaft Horseracing’s Mutliple Stakes Winning and Multiple Graded Stakes placed Mare Kindle produced a colt on January 26th by Tiznow, two time Horse of the Year, known as the Big Horse Sire.   Kindle by Indian Charlie out of a Carson City Mare,  Carson’s Vanity won two listed stakes and placed five times in graded stakes in a 11 race career that produced 4 wins, 4 places and 1 show.  Her best statistical performance produced a triple digit Beyer Number (100) in winning the Cool Air Stakes and probably her most exciting race was getting edged at the wire by two times Breeders’ Cup Champion Mizdirection in the Monrovia Stakes.  A versatile sprinter, Kindle won on dirt, synthetic and turf surfaces.

The new colt is healthy, well formed and has great substance.  We can’t wait to see him mature as we matched the brilliant speed of Kindle with the world class two turn capability of Tiznow.  Kindle is a very muscular mare who fits well with taller, longer Tiznow.  Besides the physical compatibility, the pedigree nicks are strong as well.  This mating is rated an A by Truenicks, and A++ by Werk’s enicks and a 20/20 match by G1 Goldmine.

 

 

 

 

Kindle 2016 side view Jan 272016 Kin

Kindle 2016 Front view Jan 27 2016

http://www.winstarfarm.com/horses/tiznow-2021.html#hh-overview

Kindle, Versatile Stakes Winning Speedster Retired

Kindle winning the Cool Air Stakes at Hollywood Park
Kindle winning the Cool Air Stakes at Hollywood Park

Kindle, a blazingly fast, chestnut mare, by Indian Charlie out of Carson City mare Carson’s Vanity has retired from racing to become a broodmare prospect domiciled at Darby Dan in Kentucky. Kindle was purchased as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale, 2009, for $50,000 by HnR Nothhaft Horseracing, Trained by Gary Mandella, Kindle went on to hit the board in all six stakes attempts, winning the Cool Air Stakes and the Bangles and Beads Stakes. She placed 2nd twice in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes, 2rd in the Grade 3 Ken Maddy Stakes and 3rd in the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes. Reflecting on Kindle’s career, owner Hank Nothhaft stated, “Kindle was brilliantly fast, extremely exciting to watch as she always ran from the front giving her all in every race. I am thrilled to add this athletic filly to my broodmare band.” She will be bred to two time Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic Winner Tiznow in 2015.” Her speed resulted in top five Beyer Speed numbers for turf fillies in 2012 and 2013. Unraced as a two year old and plagued by minor injuries throughout her career, Kindle started 11 times 3 to 6, winning 4, placing 4 times and showing once while winning $243,000. Displaying her versatility, she won races on all-weather, dirt and turf surfaces.