At it’s core, McMahon & Hill is a bloodstock management company. No matter if you engage our firm as a private client or you join the Bourbon Lane Racing Stable or the Spruce Lane Pinhook, you will find out that we are serious about managing your opportunities in the thoroughbred world to the best of our abilities. Our successful careers have covered a combined 45 years in the business and management of thousands of horses. Since it’s founding in 2001 our company has purchased over 168 stakes horses* who have earned black type after we bought them, and has purchased and managed the dams of 153 stakes horses.


While our production of fifteen new stakes horses per year is certainly impressive, our record for producing Graded Stakes horses with a low purchase price is practically unrivaled. To date we have purchased 51 horses who have earned Graded black type** after we bought them. Our record is equally as impressive purchasing broodmares. We have purchased the dams of over 40 horses who earned Graded black type after we bought them.

We invite you to call or email so that we can meet to discuss your goals. Our team is eager to assist and up to any challenge. For more specific information please choose from the drop downs to the right.

* finished first, second or third in stakes races 
** finished first, second or third in Graded stakes races

Our Services Provided

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Broodmare Management

Once you have bought your mare(s) the job is only half done.  Choosing stallions for her matings should not be left to statistical analysis.  Keeping us involved to provide the horseman’s insight and intuition is an essential part of your success.   Our thorough physical evaluation allows us to make the stallion choices that lead to your long term success. Some of our successful matings include champion and millionaire Blind Luck and Grade 1 winning 2yo Peace and War.

Our proven record of choosing young sires is a key to your success.  From War Front to Distorted Humor and Johannesburg to Scat Daddy we bred to these horses and bought mares in foal to them before they were successful stallions or even in their first, second or third crops .  Sometimes as in the case of Distorted Humors it has been collecting his daughters to make into broodmares.

We also play the state bred game, moving mares in and out of KY to foal in slot fueled New York, Indiana, Ohio, and other smaller breeding states.   Knowing the mare’s value is a key to understanding where she belongs.

Interested in a broodmare partnership? Click here to see our Spruce Lane Mare Partnership

Please inquire at


Our vast experience in the thoroughbred market makes our agency the perfect choice to appraise your horses. We have experience from the perspective of a breeder, buyer, seller, and insurance agent. We tend to stick to local work for appraisals, unless travel fees can be covered. The flat rate is $250.00/horse.

Please inquire at

Purchase of Mares

Some agents don’t find mare purchases to be glamorous enough.  Other agents are fascinated by using mares as tools for nicking stallions.  We are different, we approach mare purchases the same as we do any other age group, we research, we look at the individual horse and we buy quality.  Since 2001 we have bought mares who have produced 121 horses who have won or placed in stakes and 36 have those are Graded placed or winners!

First and foremost 11 of our broodmare purchases have produced Grade 1 winners.  Among this elite group is the dam of KY Derby winner Funny Cide.   We traded for his dam Belle’s Good Cide while she was carrying him in utero.  She came in a package with the dams of several other Graded winners or placed horses from Distorted Humor’s first crop.

In 2014 we were proud to see Peace and War win the Grade 1 Alcibiades out of our $30,000 mare purchase of More Oats Please. Nice purchase, nice mating, Grade 1 success again!

Like all markets there are soft spots in the mare market.   While working for a client several years ago we bought a mare and shortly received an offer and accepted profit.  Bought another – offered and accepted profit – bought a third offered profit but we decided we had to keep one!

Check out our Spruce Lane Mare Partnerships we offer!

Please inquire at

Purchase of Racehorses

Our first action, quick result culture has created a new marketplace, the “ready-made” racehorse. No matter if you play at the top end or the claiming game let our experience work for you.

Claiming horses, especially broodmare prospects, has been one area where we excel every year. Some of our major clients in this area are international and prefer buying privately or claiming over buying at the sale. Our network of trainers and notes on a majority of the fillies sold at auction make us a necessary tool for anyone looking for quality stock through the claim box.

The sale of high end racing prospects, usually after a win, is a very volatile market with prices doubling and tripling with a “special race”.

Please inquire at

Purchase of Two Year Olds

The two year old auction offers buyers the chance to watch sale horses train prior to purchase.  In fact many of the sale horses are on the sales grounds a week in advance, often getting at least one untimed “prep” before the official breeze show.  After the horse breezes, the gallop out is an essential piece of information.  Key ingredients to the gallop out include speed, distance and ability to assess the rider.

Our team based approach to the two year old sale endeavors is to cover all of the bases, providing you with the information necessary to buy the right horse.  Using our notes from weanling, yearling and training center visits we enter the market with a substantial back ground on most horses.  The prep breeze gives us an idea of the horses capabilities, while training after the prep indicates soundness.  Breeze day is the test.  The objectivity of the stop watch, the impression of the ride and the ability of the horse to complete the task successfully without error or extra equipment.  Analysis of breeze video of the horses stride for quality and length provides objectivity to the impression of the ride and rider.  Assessment of the horse’s physical condition and soundness is the final step.

We endeavor to be thorough when purchasing no matter which sale we are working.  But in particular, the two year old sale requires a lot of man power and travel time.  Presale planning is absolutely necessary.  Please inquire a month prior to sale time if you are a new customer so that we can accommodate you.  We will try to help late comers and appreciate your understanding.

Please inquire at

Purchase of Yearlings

The traditional way to enter the thoroughbred business is through the purchase of yearlings. Annually the yearling market provides the largest number of horses for sale of an age group and typically the winner of at least one classic and dozens of other Grade 1 races goes through a sale. Yearlings have received minimal training prior to sale and often offer tremendous value when compared to other age groups.

Our approach to yearling sales is time tested. We do heavy research on the catalog to find horses who are related to those we have already bought or sold, or even those we have tried to buy. While focusing on these we also throw a wider net looking at consignments we have done well at, sires who we think offer value, and state bred programs.

Bourbon Lane Stable purchases three to five yearlings per year. In 2010 we bought millionaire multiple Grade 1 placed, Grade 2 winner Bourbon Courage for $15,000 at the Fasig-Tipton July sale.

Please inquire at

Purchasing agent for weanlings and short yearlings

The McMahon & Hill Bloodstock Agency operates the successful Spruce Lane Pinhook (SLP) which purchases 10-15 weanlings each year.  However, we are also available for your private hire.  Our weanling pinhook is focused on colts and fillies with an average price of $150,000.  This target range gives the SLP, LLC a very reasonable chance of buying top prospects but leaves lots of room for other buyers to hire us and take advantage of our skills.

In particular fillies are a very good target, as are weanlings in the under $20,000 or state bred categories.  Many of our clients prefer a “personal pinhook” rather than a LLC investment.  We are active at every sale and often willing to partner if the horse will be at Spruce Lane Farm.

Please inquire at

Purchase for Export and/or Import

American horses perform very well all over the racing world. We have excelled at purchasing horses bound for England, Australia, and Russia. Today the racing world is more global than ever. In 2014 we purchased our first horse at auction in Europe and we resold him the following year at Tattersalls for nearly a million dollars! We aim to put more international sales on our calendar. Our clients are on the hunt for superior pedigrees and we are willing to do the work and travel.

Please inquire at

Racehorse Management

Managing a racing stable successfully is a full time job. Trainers, jockeys, shipping, vets, and purse accounts are hard enough to manage.  If you don’t have a handle on what your horses are worth, winning can be impossible.

Most people get into the racing business to have fun and don’t realize how hard it can be until they are deeply involved financially and /or emotionally. Having an objective third party to help make a decision gives you the peace of mind to enjoy your horses. Some of our clients place money in escrow with us and we manage the racing stable. Others just want advice in a timely manner. These are consuming projects and require a lot of time.

Please inquire but understand time is limited at

Stallion Seasons & Shares

One of the most active aspects of the business during the breeding season is the market for stallion shares and seasons. We do about 125 contracts per year. The majority of these are live foal contracts arranged directly with the stallion farms. A growing percentage are No Guarantee contracts often sold through our office.

Shares and breeding rights are an important holding in any breeders portfolio. We often say owning a share is like owning a house. If you are in the right neighborhood, the share increases in value. Even if you are in the wrong neighborhood at least you gained equity and hopefully you bred a valuable horse. The upside in shares is substantial and well worth the risk of a few dry wells for a breeder with a number of mares.  

While breeding rights don’t offer the same upside as an equity share, breeding rights do provide a way for breeders without deep pockets to get ahead in the stallion game.  Several large farms are now offering lifetime breeding rights to breeders who support their young stallions. This twist on a traditional breeding right is very popular because there is no monthly expense associated with the breeding right. Smart breeders are ahead of the game by recognizing value.

Stallion Syndication & Management

We have been involved in over a dozen stallion launches in New York at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds and in Kentucky at Winter Green Stallion Station and at Pin Oak Stud.

The Kentucky market is different from each of the regional markets. One constant is value for the dollar! It works better then ninety-nine percent of marketing campaigns. Niches in the stallion market are present though, and while value for the dollar works well for commercial breeders, a different stallion profile and price range appeals to those breeding to race or those breeding in regional markets.

The success or failure of any stallion launch hinges on the quality of mares bred to the stallion. Our extensive network of worldwide contacts and history of successful breeding decisions make our track record hard to match.

Please inquire at

We offer Spruce Lane Mare Partnerships

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McMahon & Hill Bloodstock
Breaking into European markets!

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McMahon & Hill Bloodstock was on top of their game

at the Fasig-Tipton NY Bred Preferred Yearling Sale on August 14th in Saratoga, NY purchasing the sales toppers and the top 2 fillies of the sale on Saturday night.

Click here to read more from the TDN report

Innovative ways to revitalize racing – from a ‘business leader to watch’

Written by Glenye Cain Oakford

Mike McMahon grew up among Thoroughbreds at one of the racing game’s most storied venues, Saratoga Springs, N.Y. But it was a trip with his father to the Bluegrass that convinced him Thoroughbred racing and breeding could offer him a world of career opportunities.

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Marketwatch: Jamie Hill on Sires, Pinhooking

Listen to the Bloodhorse Marketwatch podcast with Jamie Hill discussing stallions, pinhooking, and racing.

Click here to listen