Whipsaw Thoroughbreds, a racing partnership group based in Edmond, Okla., is expanding into the breeding business with a son of Giant's Causeway named The Way Home.
The 16-year-old stallion, which has been standing at Double Tree Farm near Hobbs, N.M., will be relocated to Lost Creek Ranch in Arkansas with veterinarian Rodney Vaughn, who is building a new veterinary clinic near Jonesboro.
"The new clinic just reinforces our belief that this is the up-and-coming area for breeding racehorses," said Craig Whitlow, who owns Whipsaw Thoroughbreds. "Arkansas's breeding incentives alone are worth the investment in this area."
Jonesboro also is home to Arkansas State University, which has its own Thoroughbred breeding program.
"I attended college at A-State, and I think that there is a real future in Thoroughbred breeding in Northeast Arkansas," Whitlow said. "Now, I'm a little biased being born in Jonesboro and spending every summer there. It's home, and we will be moving back to the Jonesboro area as well."
The Way Home is out of the Buckaroo mare Homewrecker, making him a full brother to grade 3 winner Giant Wrecker and a half brother to grade 1 winner Prenup (Smarten), multiple graded stakes winners Honor the Hero (Hero's Honor) and Cat's At Home (Tabasco Cat), and graded-placed stakes winner Capitalimprovement (Dixieland Band). Bred in Virginia by the late Edward Evans, The Way Home sold for $400,000 as a yearling to Coolmore's bloodstock agent Demi O'Byrne. The colt, however, never made it to races.
The stallion entered stud in New Mexico in 2008 and has since sired 60 winners, which include five black-type winners and two black-type placed winners. Three of his stakes winners earned black-type at 2. The Way Home's runners have banked more than $4.2 million in earnings so far and averaged $48,944 per starter.
Top runners by The Way Home include multiple stakes winners and full brothers My Homey, who won the 2011 Mountain Top New Mexico-Bred Thoroughbred Futurity and Totah Stakes on his way to earning $141,491; and, Ignored, who won the 2016 edition of the Mountain Top Futurity and Copper Top Futurity while accumulating $198,807 in purses. My Homey and Ignored are both geldings out of the Out of Place mare Spectacular Place. The stallion's top earner is the late mare Way to Go Gerda, who won the New Mexico Classic Cup Championship Filly Stakes in 2013 and earned nearly $310,000. The Way Home was among the top five sires in New Mexico in 2016.
Whitlow said he has already booked eight mares for The Way Home and is hoping to entice more with a variety of incentives. He has started a fundraiser for the Arkansas State breeding program through Facebook and will provide a complimentary breeding season to The Way Home to each person whose donation is responsible for reaching a $1,000 increment up to $10,000.
"We wanted to make it fun to support one of the few universities that offer a Thoroughbred industry program and a way into this business for our future horse breeders, trainers, and farm managers," said Whitlow. "We also want to show our appreciation for the breeders here in the state … giving them value with their donations."
The Way Home's stud fee for 2021 and other special incentives will be announced in the near future, Whitlow said.