Twin Creeks Farm rolling with Mission Impazible , Tiz the Law
Friday, April 17, 2020

IN THE EARLY 1990s, trainer Randy Gullatt and owner Steve Davison, friends since childhood, were campaigning the multiple stakes-winning mare La Paz on the Northern California circuit. When the team's focus shifted to the breeding side of the business in 1992, La Paz began a career as a broodmare in Central Kentucky and later produced the colt that launched Twin Creeks' New York breeding division.

That colt, Mission Impazible, was the first to carry Twin Creeks ' light green and brown silks in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1). After a four-year race career he entered stud in 2013 at Becky Thomas' Sequel Stallions New York near Hudson, N.Y. "He was just an amazing racehorse, and we just loved him. We knew we wanted to support him, and we thought a regional market would give him the best chance," Gullatt said. "We had a good relationship with Becky Thomas at Sequel. Know­ ing the breeders' awards and the stallion award program were so good, we were like, 'That's it. That's the perfect spot.' That's when we figured we would give him a ton of support , and that's what really got that operation going.''

Twin Creeks ' New York operation, based out of Sequel, now boasts two stallions, Mission Impazible and classic-placed grade 2 stakes winner Destin, and another successful list of stakes horses foaled in the Empire State. The current star product is Tiz the Law, who was named the 2019 New York­ bred horse of the year and New York-bred champion 2-year-old male. The 3-year-old Constitution colt, trained by Barclay Tagg for Sackatoga Stable, is a leading contender for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby.

"What can you say about him? He's amazing," Gullatt said. "Every challenge that 's in front of him, he seems to dominate. It's just , 'wow.' Every time I watch him run, I'm more impressed."

Twin Creeks rotates its broodmares between New York and Kentucky, breed­ing them to both their Kentucky stallions and New York stallions. Once the foals born at Sequel in New York have fulfilled their 90-day residency requirement to be registered New York-breds, they move to Twin Creeks' farm near Nonesuch, Ky., to be raised.

With breeder incentives such as  30% of the purse money earned for winners by New York-bred and -sired horses, and 15% for New York-breds by out-of-state stallions, it pays to have a successful breeding program in the Empire State. Gullatt said he also sees a boost in the sales ring for New York-breds.

"We see less buy-backs by those. It seems like there's always end-users there to get those," he said. "If they were Kentucky-breds and they were the same pedigree and same physical, I think you would see more horses that were hard to get sold.''

Tiz the Law is out of the late Tiznow mare Tizfiz, a grade 2 winner Twin Creeks purchased for $125,000 from the Bac­ cari Bloodstock consignment at the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. After delivering a colt by Mineshaft in Kentucky, in 2016 she was sent to Twin Creeks' first-year stallion Constitution, who stands at WinStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., before moving north to Sequel. "She was just easy. There wasn't any problem with her. She had a good per­ sonality," Thomas said. "A lot of them are sassy and you have to kind of tolerate that if they have good foals, but it's sure a lot easier when you have mares that have the ability to want to please, and you want those traits to be carried on in their off­ spring. Tizfiz was one of those mares that had been pretty dang easy.''

Sequel Bloodstock consigned Tiz the Law to the 2018 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale of preferred New York-bred yearlings where he sold for $110,000.

"He wasn't sick; he wasn't problematic; he did everything right, and he was smart. Those kinds ofhorses...they're kind oflike good kids," Thomas said. "When you're the good kid, until you get a little older you're  just put in that 'thank God you're good' category. That's the way I look at those kinds of horses.

'T m a big believer in horses that have a little longer back for getting distance. A lot of sprinters have a shorter back. I look at those foals and think, 'Are you going to be more of a sprinter? Are you going to be more of a two-turn horse?' Trying to get a feel for Constitution 's first crop, we weren't sure what exactly to look for or what we wanted. With Constitution being out of a Distorted Humor mare , and cer­tainly as evidenced by him, you hope that his progeny can get two turns, too.

"But for sales, we need something that looks athletic and racy and looks like they're not going to be a two-turn plodder, so it's kind of a fine line commercially,"she continued. "Our price that we got for him, I felt like was really fair market price, but it exemplified the fact that he was a nice baby from a sire that nobody really knew what to make of yet."

The striking bay with the large blaze now touts a four-for-five record, including victories in the Champagne Stakes (G1), Holy Bull Stakes (G3), and March 28 Cur­lin Florida Derby (G1.)

"Like with Tiz the Law, we wanted to have some Constitution NewYork-breds just to give them a better chance of getting some black-type; producing some Consti­tution New York-breds to compete in New York-bred stakes, " Gullatt said. "We just thought it would give him a good opportu­nity as well, and then the mare should be bred back to Mission Impazible or Destin. We were supporting our whole program and trying to give as many horses the best chance they could to succeed."

Tizfiz visited Mission Impazible, owned in partnership with Sequel, twice following Tiz the Law. The mare produced a filly in 2018 and a colt in 2019. She was sent back to Constitution, but Twin Creeks took a devastating blow and lost the mare after she colicked last summer.

The filly has been named Angel Oak and will remain with Twin Creeks , with hopes she can carry on her dam's legacy. What Gullatt called the "beast of a year­ling colt" is slated for Fasig-Tipton's New York-bred sale. And the stallion continues to impress his connections with the prog­eny he throws.

"They are just so intelligent, classy , and we have won races such as the Trem­ont (Stakes), with horses by him that we raced," Gullatt said. "We won the Adiron­dack Stakes, the Busher Stakes, several other New York-bred stakes, and we love his future. We have a whole bunch in the pipeline as well. We were co-breeders on Dream Bigger that's done really well too in the last year. Obviously Mission Impazible is our all-time favorite, so we will continue to support him."

Among Mission Impazible's first crop was Tremont winner Silver Mission, bred and raced by Twin Creeks and Sequel. The next round of foals produced Twin Creeks ' homebred Adirondack Stakes (G2) winner Pure Silver. NY Final Furlong Racing Stable, Maspeth Stables, and Parkland Thoroughbreds ' Espresso Shot, bred by Twin Creeks , belongs to the stallion's third crop and won the 2019 Busher Stakes. Current 3-year-old Dream Bigger, bred by Twin Creeks in partnership with Sequel and Pamela Zielinski, sold to Repole Stable for $205,000 at the 2019 Ocala Breeders' Sales' April 2-year-olds in training auction, his third time through the ring, when consigned by Paul Sharp. The colt won a pair of stakes as a juvenile and return ed this year to take the March 15 Damon Runyon Stakes.

Mission Impazible's family has been a huge success story for Twin Creeks . His dam La Paz, was selected from Gullatt's stable to be a part of the Twin Creeks broodmare band and proved successful in the breeding shed. The Hold Your Peace mare 's first two foals were winners, and she became a black-type producer with her third foal , grade 2 winner Forest Camp, who sold for $675,000 as a yearling in 1998. In partnership with John R. Gaines Thoroughbreds, Twin Creeks also bred grade 3 winner Spanish Empire , who sold for $500,000 as a weanling.

Spanish Empire was the final foal Twin Creeks produced from La Paz. The mare was consigned by the Taylor Made Sales Agency to the 2000 Keeneland November sale, where Summer Wind Equine pur­chased her for $1.6 million. La Paz pro­duced Roxelana Stakes winner Kiddari for her new connections and later a gray colt by Unbridled's Song that Twin Creeks bought for $200,000 from Taylor Made's consignment to the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale.

That colt, Mission Impazible, went on to win the Louisiana Derby (G2) and the New Orleans Handicap (G2) for trainer Todd Pletcher. He was also runner-up in a trio of grade 1 events-the Stephen Foster Hand­icap, the Clark Handicap, and the Donn Handicap. He retired with a record of 3-8-2 in 21 starts and earned $1,284,949. Twin Creeks added a second New York stallion in 2018 with Pletcher-trained Des­tin, whom they campaigned in partnership with Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners. Owned in partnership at stud by Twin Creeks, Eclipse, Sequel, and Gainesway, Destin is a son of the late Giant's Causeway out of the grade 1-winning Siberian Summer mare Dream of Summer, making him a full brother to grade 1 winner and Airdrie Stud stallion Creative Cause and to grade 3 winner Vexatious.

The gray 7-year-old was bred by James Weigel and Taylor Made Stallions. Twin Creeks secured him for $400,000 from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment to the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale. Destin went on to win the Marathon Stakes Presented by TAA (G2), the Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby (G2), and the Sam F. Davis Stakes (G3). He was second-a nose  behind  Creator­ in the 2016 Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (G1). He retired with earnings of $947,800 and joined the Sequel Stallions roster in 2019. His first foals are hitting the ground this year.

"I need to look at them a long way from now, but so far so good," Thomas said of the recent arrivals. "Good bone, athletic, balance-so far so good for us."

Sequel is also home to New York's five­ time leading sire Freud, a 22-year-old full brother to Giant's Causeway.

"Giant 's Causeway's pedigree has done really well for stallions in New York, mainly Freud being a brother to him, and Freud's getting some age on him. In New York they have so much turf and dirt op­tions available for them, and that's where that Giant's Causeway line seems to do well with both," Gullat said. "We never got to try Destin on the turf, but there's no reason to think that he would not have done very well there. Destin's full brother, Creative Cause, he is a very solid sire in Kentucky. I thought the whole package was a very good fit for that market."

Thomas' familiarity with the family extends to Creative Cause, whom she pur­ chased for $135,000 from Taylor Made's consignment to the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. Creative Cause earned more than $1 million for owner Heinz Steinmann and trainer Mike Harrington.

'Tm a big Giant's Causeway fan, so Des­tin was a natural fit for us, not just because of my affiliation with Creative Cause, but also because (Destin) was a Giant 's Cause­way," Thomas said. "The predominant fac­tor is that the ownership group is committed to supporting the stallion substantially with a mare base. In New York, or really anywhere else now, without a mare base that you can count on to give a horse a good start , you're kind of up against it. In this case, all four of us, we're committed to a good base of mare support, and that's what we've done."

Graded stakes-producing mares that have been sent to Mission Impazible and Destin-both stallions stand for $5,000 in 2020-in recent years include Deputy Reality, Kettle's Sister, Woodflower, and Sense of Class.

Deputy Reality has produced grade 2 winner Teeth of the Dog and stakes-placed Ethan Hunt, a son of Mission Impazible. She is due to Destin this year. Kettle 's Sister, the dam of grade 3 winner Vincer­mos and stakes-placed Paz the Bour­bon, by Mission Impazible, had another Mission Impazible colt, Deep Cover, sell for $100,000 at the OBS March auction. purchased the colt, and Twin Creeks has retained a minority in­terest. Also due to Mission Impazible this year is Sense of Class, the dam of Dixi­ana Bourbon Stakes (G3T) winner Peace Achieved.

With foaling season in full swing, Twin Creeks looks forward to welcoming the next round of New York-breds.

"We're thrilled," Gullatt said. "I think someone like our operation that has a Kentucky farm that can utilize the awards program and then raise them in Kentucky, to me, is getting the most out of it."lil:I


CLICK HERE to read full article in Blood Horse
April 18, 2020
By Christine Oser

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