Breeder let Stoney Fleece get away for $1,100
By Steve Andersen
Stoney Fleece was sold for $1,100 at the 2011 Barretts January Mixed Sale.
Joseph Alvarez is the breeder of the multiple stakes winner Stoney Fleece, who won the Alcatraz Stakes at Golden Gate Fields last weekend.
That is about the extent of Alvarez’s involvement in the colt. These days, the quickest way for Alvarez to benefit from Stoney Fleece’s success is to cash a bet.
Alvarez sold the California-bred Stoney Fleece for just $1,100 at the 2011 Barretts January mixed sale, ending his involvement in Thoroughbred ownership and breeding. Alvarez still closely follows the sport – he has a table in the turf club at Del Mar – but no longer owns any horses.
Alvarez’s reward for breeding Stoney Fleece is the breeder awards paid by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. If Stoney Fleece continues his recent form, Alvarez will receive a tidy check this year.
The amounts dedicated to breeder awards can vary from year to year, but of the $121,000 that Stoney Fleece has earned this year, Alvarez is likely to receive in excess of $9,000.
“It’s nice I’ve been able to get some breeder award for this little colt,” he said Thursday. “Otherwise, it would have been a loss to sell him for $1,100.”
Alvarez, who owned and operated the television station KSWB in San Diego until the mid-1990s, lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., just inland from Del Mar.
He raced Stoney Fleece’s dam, Gold Fleece, a Maryland-bred by 1983 Preakness Stakes winner Deputed Testamony, who earned $289,875. Gold Fleece won a division of the Grade 3 Buena Vista Handicap at Santa Anita in 1992 and was second to Toussaud in the Grade 1 Gamely Handicap at Hollywood Park in 1993.
Stoney Fleece is Gold Fleece’s second stakes winner. She produced Golden Rahy, winner of the Grade 3 Carleton Burke Handicap over 1 1/2 miles on turf at Santa Anita in 2005. Stoney Fleece is by Decarchy, whose dam is Toussaud.
Decarchy stands at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, Calif.
The $1,100 purchase price at auction was not a complete surprise to Alvarez.
“Not too many would have picked him out of the sale because of his stature and his weight,” Alvarez said. “He was a little on the small side.”
As for Gold Fleece, Alvarez gave her away, too, he said, to a woman in San Diego County who said she needed a companion mare for an older broodmare.
“She’s up there at that farm as far as I know,” he said.
After Stoney Fleece was purchased in 2011 as a young 2-year-old, the colt made his debut at Del Mar in July 2011 in a $40,000 claiming race for California-bred maidens. He was claimed by his current owners and trainer – Gary and Cecil Barber and trainer John Sadler – in that race.
For them, Stoney Fleece won the Grade 3 Generous Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park last November and has placed in four other stakes, including a second in the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes at Hollywood Park on April 28.
In the Alcatraz Stakes, for 3-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on turf, Stoney Fleece was always near the front and won by a nose over the multiple stakes winner Chips All In.
Stoney Fleece has won 5 of 12 starts and $291,860 in his career. Sadler said earlier this week that Stoney Fleece will make a return trip to Golden Gate Fields for the $100,000 Silky Sullivan Stakes for California-breds 3-year-olds over a mile on turf June 9.
Alvarez will be rooting for Stoney Fleece, even though he has left racehorse ownership.
“It was too expensive,” he said. “It was too cash intensive. I just bailed out.”
Breeder awards from Stoney Fleece are helping to balance that account.