An Offlee good start

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable has supported Offlee Wild in each of his seasons at stud to date, not least in his first year, from which three of the 13 mares they sent to him have already produced winners by the freshman sire, including the Stakes-placed Tomball.

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable was the biggest supporter of Offlee Wild upon his retirement to stud in 2006 and that loyalty has already started to pay off as the highly successful racing and breeding operation has been responsible for three of the first four of the young stallion’s winners.

Of the 13 mares sent by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt to Offlee Wild in his first season, it was Seeking Heaven who would go on to provide his first winner, Heavenville. The smart dark brown colt announced his arrival on the scene in some style, securing a four-and-a-half length victory at Keeneland on his debut on 9 April.

“It’s very hard at Keeneland but he’s a very nice horse,” says Bill Heiligbrodt. “The Offlee Wilds have exceeded my imagination and they are much more precocious than I thought they would be.”

Graycious Dancer’s Offlee Wild colt Tomball followed this example when winning at Lone Star Park on 22 May, having been second on his first start on 2 May. He the became his sire's first Black type performer on 6 June, finishing second in the TTA Sales Futurity at Lones Star Park. Both colts are trained by the stable’s regular conditioner Steve Asmussen and it is fitting that their victories should have been in Kentucky and Texas as the Heiligbrodt operation is very much split between the two states.

“Tomball is a Texas-bred and he’ll come back to run in a Stake at Lone Star Park,” says his owner/breeder.  “As a group, the Offlee Wild two-year-olds that we have bred have been very easy to train and have not had many problems. They’re attractive horses and they’re tough. By and large they all have talent. This is a what you need as a breeder, you have to have the horses winning for you.”

Cowboy Sheikh became Offlee Wild's fourth winner on 4 June, with a game victory over five furlongs at Lone Star Park. He is out of the Stakes-winning mare Tenacious Treasure who has now produced six winners from six foals to race, including dual Stakes winner Sago.

Both Bill and Corinne studied at the University of Texas and their white silks with an orange star reflect the colours of their alma mater, where Bill played football for the Texas Longhorns. The couple’s equine interests were sparked initially by their participation in Quarter Horse competitions with their now extensive involvement in thoroughbred racing and breeding not beginning until the late 1980s.

Retired now from the world of high finance, Bill lends his business acumen to a number of racing organisations and is on the board of directors for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association as well as being a trustee of the Breeders’ Cup. The family’s achievements on the track, which have included racing Grade One-winning fillies Appealing Zophie and Lady Tak among their numerous stakes winners, have been recognised via a string of awards, including the Texas Thoroughbred Association leading earner of accredited Texas-bred money in 2005 and the TOBA Western Region Owner of the Year award in 2003.

Palacios Farm in Texas is home to many of the Heiligbrodts’ young stock while their mares board in Kentucky, Florida, Texas and Louisiana. The broodmare band also includes the dam of Consolidator’s first winner Solid Lunar, whose debut victory also came at Lone Star Park. The filly, who is heading towards a run in stakes company,  is out of Lunargal, the sole mare owned by the couple to visit the son of Storm Cat in his first stud season and a sister to the juvenile stakes-winning duo, Lunarpal and Lunarlady, the trio being out of the Quiet American mare Quiet Eclipse.

Heiligbrodt Racing Stable also own Grade Three winner Hull in partnership with Team Valor Stable. The son of Holy Bull landed the Derby Trial at Churchill Downs and recently ran fourth in the G2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont.