Ami's Holiday Filly Highlights Tall Oaks Roster at F-T
RSS Feeds Sunday, July 7, 2019

With his first yearlings poised to make their debut on the North American sales circuit, Ami's Holiday represents the next level of an already impressive program for Ivan Dalos' Tall Oaks Farm. 

"He's a breeding genius, seriously," said Dalos' daughter Colleen. "He really knows his stuff. He's breeder of the year in Canada, and it seems every year now he has Horse of the Year, Broodmare of the Year. Year on year on year, we are constantly coming up with incredible horses. Our racing stable is on fire, our breeding stable is on fire, and we're really just firing on all cylinders. It's very exciting." 

Ami's Holiday is the first of three new stallions looking to make their mark in the breeding shed for Dalos, owner and operator of one of the most successful breeding and racing operations in Canadian history. His first progeny will enter the sales ring July 9 at The July Sale, Fasig-Tipton's official start to the yearling sale season in Lexington, Ky. 

"He's throwing nice horses, and he seems to be throwing himself, which is great," said Dalos. "I'm keeping a couple of his to race and help him along." 

Consigned by Warrendale Sales, Hip 236 is the only yearling by the grade 3-winning son of the late Harlan's Holiday entered in the one-day sale. The bay filly is out of the Empire Maker mare Hatmaker, a daughter of stakes winner and stakes producer Hatpin who was purchased by Dalos for $25,000 from the Brookdale Sales consignment to the 2017 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. She is one of a handful of mares bought by the breeder for the express purpose of supporting the budding stallion. 

"I've seen three by Ami's Holiday, and they're all very Harlan's Holiday-like," said Kitty Taylor of Warrendale Sales. "They're very speedy-looking, early types of horses, and he's stamping them, which is a very good sign to me." "I think overall my dad purchased 10 mares to support our own stallions in addition to the ones we have, so now we have 35 broodmares," said Colleen. "Ami's Holiday was our first stallion, and this year we're launching two more—Amis Gizmo and Ami's Flatter  We decided to divide them five, five, and five to our own stallions, and the rest we've sent out to other terrific sires. My dad worked very hard to match the right nicks for Ami's Holiday, and he specifically went out and bought several mares."

A winner of more than $800,000 over 22 starts, Ami's Holiday was retired to stud in 2017 at Colebrook Farms Stallion Station in Ontario. He currently stands for a fee of CA$4,000. Ami's Flatter stands at Ocala Stud in Ocala, Fla., and Amis Gizmo stands at T.C. Westmeath Stud Farm in Ontario. 

Colleen Dalos said the decision to branch out into standing stallions was born of the desire to perpetuate the winning pedigrees and keep some control over the different branches of the Tall Oaks Farm families. 

"It used to be that he just collected fillies and sold all the colts. Now that I think he's got a knack for the broodmare side of things—I think we're getting ready to retire three more racehorses this year, so we will be up to 38 broodmares—we just happened to have great male racehorses. Amis Gizmo and Ami's Flatter were tremendous horses with great bloodlines, so the next natural step was to try and see about getting into the stallion business. It is a little bit of an undertaking to have three at once, I'll admit. But Amis Gizmo had a great first year. I think he covered about 30 mares and got them all pregnant on the first try. We're pretty excited. When I look at the matings this year, I am incredibly excited about what the next couple years are going to bring for us."

Just as he is with all facets of his program, Dalos has approached the sale of his Ami's Holiday yearlings methodically, choosing to divide them among the sales to allow for a broader range of buyers. 

"We have four Ami's Holiday yearlings, and they all look fantastic. They all look the same and look like him. He's stamping them, and we're very pleased with how they all look," said Colleen. "So we thought what we would do is spread them around a little bit for exposure so buyers could experience Ami's Holiday, and we wanted to get them into the beginning of the season. We sent one to the Fasig-Tipton sale, we're sending one to Keeneland, we're keeping one, and the last one we're sending to the Toronto sale. They're very strong. Ami's Holiday was a very good racehorse and has a tremendous bloodline back to Victory Gallop and Victorious Ami, so we're very excited for his first crop." 

The Ami's Holidays will represent just a small fraction of the 20 yearlings bred this year by Tall Oaks Farm, an operation made more unique by the fact the Dalos family breeds, races, and sells only homebreds. Sixteen of their yearlings are destined for different sales throughout North America, and the others will remain at the farm and train to race. Warrendale will also act as agent for Tall Oaks for Hips 132 and 139, colts by Kantharosand Maclean's Music, respectively. 

"They're really good-looking colts," said Colleen. "Kantharos is on fire right now. He seems to be a very hot sire. My dad has an amazing ability to recognize great sires ahead of time. The colt looks great, and he's big." 

Out of the winning Arch mare Archerette, Hip 132 is from the extended female family of grade 1 winner Storm Trooper, group 3 winner Marillette, and group 1-placed Subeen. Hip 139 is out of the Posse mare Beautiful Posse and is a half brother to one winner from two to race. 

"The Maclean's Music is also a really strong colt by a great sire, so we have high hopes for all three of them," said Colleen. "Our entire stable is homebreds, so everything we have helps the whole stable. Our racers help our broodmares, which help our yearlings, so it all works in combination. My dad has done a great job of creating an amazing team around him. Kitty Taylor and Hunter Simms of Warrendale and Nick Lotz from Briarbrooke—we have a true partnership with everyone. He has surrounded himself with a very strong team of experts, and they work really well together to determine which yearlings for which sale. He's had great success with his team year on year. We're feeling optimistic because our racing season is off to a strong start. I don't think you'll find anyone more passionate than my father." 

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