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Horse racing in Alberta - both thoroughbred and standardbred - has recently added two new kids to the block that seem destined to become vital parts of the Western Canadian breeding industry. Highfield Stock Farm, just south of Okotoks, has added thoroughbred stallion Fed Biz, a son of European Horse of the Year Giant’s Causeway. Al Neurauter has brought in standardbred Captain Deo, a son of the impeccable Somebeachsomewhere, who will stand at Olds College.
“Fed Biz is a great looking individual. He’s gorgeous; he takes your breath away,” said Adrian Munro, president of Highfield. “He is one of the best looking horses I’ve ever seen in person. At the same time his demeanour is fabulous. He’s very well mannered. We take clients right out to his paddock when we show him.” Bought for $950,000 as a yearling, Fed Biz won six of 19 races - three of them graded stakes for earnings of $770,496.
While doing so Fed Biz showed both his speed and versatility by setting the track record for the seven-furlong Pat O’Brien stake when he stopped the clock in 1:21.12 at California’s Del Mar racetrack and then set another track record when he won the 8 1/2-furlong San Diego Handicap in 1:41, also at Del Mar. He also won the Grade 2 San Fernando. Fed Biz was also stakes placed five times including the Grade 1 Awesome Again and E. Kilroe Mile stakes. “An incredibly talented race horse with his outstanding pedigree and stunning looks we are thrilled to welcome him to Alberta,” said Munro.
As well as being by Giant’s Causeway, a sire of sires who won five straight Group One races in Europe, Fed Biz is out of the Wild Again stakes winner Spunoutacontrol, who won four of five starts including a stake and is the dam of six foals to race - all winners. Moreover, Spunoutacontrol is a half sister to A.P. Indy stakes winner Spun Silk, the dam of Grade 1 Vosburgh winner Joking. Notable stallions Pulpit, Johannesburg, and Tale of the Cat are also in his Fed Biz’s extended family.
“We think Fed Biz is going to be the big fish in the small pond of Western Canada,” said Munro. “We are already seeing incredible attraction to him. The people who see him fall in love with him. Because of Covid-19, a lot of mares didn’t get bred last year. This is an opportunity to get those mares off the sidelines.”
"This is the right time for a stallion of his caliber to be introduced to the Western Canadian market. We think Alberta is poised for growth, and the team at Highfield looks forward to Fed Biz joining Cape Canaveral at the farm,” said Munro. A perennial leading sire in Western Canada with $17.5 million in progeny earnings, Cape Canaveral is now 25.
“Cape Canaveral is getting old and it was time to look for the next great stallion.” Previously standing at Kentucky’s world-class WinStar Farm, Fed Biz, 12, was named a Gold Value Sire, was the No. 1 Second Crop Sire of 2019 and Top 5 Fourth-Crop sire in North America last year.
Fed Biz has sired 124 winners, with combined progeny earnings in excess of $7.3 million. “He’s a well put-together, well-bred stallion with a good produce record,” said Munro, who also stands War Correspondent. “I’m very impressed with his product. They have great legs, balance and scope.”
Among Fed Biz’s offspring are Inthemidstofbiz, who was a dominant three-length winner of the Grade 2 $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes at Keeneland which earned her a spot in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint. Other notable progeny are Zenden, winner of this year’s Pelican stakes and Boerne, winner of last year’s Azalea stakes.
“Fed Biz is phenomenal,” said Munro. “I love him. We all do.” Fed Biz will stand the 2021 season for CA$4,000. He will be available for viewing in the upcoming weeks at Highfield Stock Farm.
As for Captain Deo, Neurauter said he is “bred in the purple” and that’s probably an understatement. Sired by Somebeachsomewhere, who won 20 of 21 starts, tied the world record for a mile at The Red Mile with a time of 1:46.4 and earned $3,221,299, Somebeachsomewhere sired the winners of $84.6m and was the leading sire in 2016 and 2017. In the latter year, Somewheresomebeach set a record for standardbred stallions with his progeny earning $23.7m.
Furthermore, Captain Deo is out of Worldly Beauty, a multiple award-winning performer who banked over $2.1 million with victories in numerous major stakes from the ages of two-to-four and took a mark of 1:49 3/5. Moreover, Worldly Beauty is a full sister to Worldly Treasure, making Captain Deo a full brother in blood to the very talented Captaintreacherous, who won $3.1 million and paced in 1:47.1.
"I think it's everybody's dream to have a Somebeachsomewhere, and with his pedigree, I think (Captain Deo) is going to do well out west," Neurauter told Trot Insider. "He'll cross with everything out here. I don't think there's been a better bred horse out west, so hopefully, fingers crossed, he'll prove himself.” Neurauter told Horse Racing Alberta that Captain Deo will be the only son of Somebeachsomewhere standing in Western Canada.
“Somebeachsomewhere has been the best sire last couple of decades so to get a Somebeachsomewhere stallion out here is really special. And, Captaintreacherous is the hottest stud in the game right now. I've always been a big Captaintreacherous fan," Neurauter said of the horse who ranked first among among three-year-old pacing money sires ($5,726,072) and second among two-year-old money winning sires ($2,817,516) in 2020.
"I thought if you go back right through his family, you can't go too wrong.” Neurauter said he first got interested in Captain Deo back in 2019. “He was withdrawn from the Harrisburg Sale that year - I understand he fractured a back leg. They tried to qualify him back but he wasn’t going to make it back to his standards so I was able to make a private purchase,” he said of the horse who won 12 races, $182,468 and paced in 1:50 2/5.
Captain Deo has two important half brothers: Rock n Roll World and World of RocknRoll. Rock n Roll World won 18 times and took a mark of 1:47 3/5; World of RocknRoll paced in 1:50. Both have been very successful stallions. Now it’s Captain Deo’s time to shine.
“He’s a nice big horse. You don’t have to worry about conformation size with horses that are purchased by Tony Alagna, a top trainer who initially bought Captain Deo in Lexington for $90,000. “Captain Deo, who is six, steps up the game a little bit. Custard the Dragon turned 13 this year,” he said of his other sensational stallion, a world champion, who is the sire of four Alberta Super Finals winners and three British Columbia Breeders stakes victors.
“In this business you can’t sit on your success or you get behind. Custard the Dragon has been the best stallion out west for the last several years. But as he gets older we decided to take steps to replace him which is why we bought Captain Deo,” said Neurauter of the first-year sire.
“Fingers crossed with his pedigree he should make a good sire out here. He has all the attributes. He raced against some real heavyweights who set world records. He’s a good, big horse, good manners and is fertility is perfect. He wore no boots; he was very well gaited,” said Neurauter, who bought his first horse in 1984 with Ed Tracey and later had horses with Keith Clark.
“We’re getting lots of attention which, this early in the season, is a good sign. He’s the real package.” Captain Deo will stand for $1,750 with a multiple-mare discount.
Thoroughbred Stallion, Fed Biz - a son of European Horse of the Year Giant’s Causeway
Photo by Louise Reinagel