While Bourbon Lane has had many stakes horses since it’s humble beginnings in 2010, one purchase stands out and defines the abilities of McMahon & Hill Bloodstock LLC and the Bourbon Lane Stable trainers. After starting the partnership with three two year old purchases in the Spring of 2010, the managers went to the Fasig-Tipton July yearling sale with a meager budget of $50,000 from a handful of partners. Hopefully by purchasing one yearling, the partnership would grow and two more yearlings could be purchased.
Sorting through the catalog Mike and Jamie zeroed in on an attractive bay colt by the recently exported stallion Lion Heart. The colt had a solid pedigree and hailed from a successful stallion’s family. He had a nice way of moving. Some might have said he was a little on the small side. Other buyers criticized his vet report, which our vet okayed.
When the bidding opened, no one raised their hands and McMahon & Hill Bloodstock purchased the colt, naming him Bourbon Courage for Bourbon Lane Stable for a modest $15,000 – NO Markup.
Bourbon Courage began his career at Ocala Stud and impressed all there. He moved to Saratoga to begin with Chad Brown but some soreness in his knee forced his return to the farm. Thankfully Chad had his long term interests, and ours, in mind. After a cautious rehab, Bourbon Courage was sent to Kellyn Gorder’s barn at Keeneland for careful observation and a return to training.
Bourbon Courage trained well in the fall of his two year old year, but blossomed once sent to New Orleans’ Fair Grounds race track. There he won his first two starts by open lengths. After shipping north, BC failed to get a slice of the G3 Derby Trial Stakes at Churchill Downs or the G2 Woody Stephens Stakes at Belmont Park, but ran second in the G2 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer before winning the G2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs! After a second in the G2 Indiana Derby, BC ran a solid third in the G1 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs nearly defeating future stallions Shackleford and Take Charge Indy.
Bourbon Courage began his four year old career with a solid second, in the G1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park, to another future stallion Graydar. BC then ran a solid third in the G2 New Orleans Handicap at the Fair Grounds, before finishing third while becoming injured in the G2 Alysheba Stakes on Kentucky Oaks Day. His four year old season ended with an off the board effort in the G1 Clark Handicap.
Bourbon Courage is still racing as a five year old and is aiming for the Keeneland October meet of 2014 for his next win. To date he has started 18 times with 3 wins, 5 seconds, and 5 thirds and $938,677 in earnings. Not bad for the fourth horse Bourbon Lane partnership ever campaigned! Congrats partners!!