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Maryland's grand old man, the dean of regional sires, 24-year-old Not For Love, earns attention as the broodmare sire of California Chrome and a place in history.

From the July 2014 magazine, here are a few extra photos from our feature on Not For Love as we celebrated his grandson's success. California Chrome returns this weekend in the Pennsylvania Derby.

{gallery}Not For Love July 2014:::0:2{/gallery} 

Bill Landes sent a weanling to Fasig-Tipton Midlantic late in 1999. The colt was from the third crop of a new sire and drew precious little traffic from would-be buyers–no veterinary work, no action, no buzz and no sale, right?


"We put a $3,500 reserve on him, he was there to sell," said Landes. "He wound up bringing $105,000 with [big-name buyers] Buzz Chace and Peter Karches pushing for him."

And that's when Landes knew the new sire would make it.

A decade and a half later, that new sire is still going?–?covering mares and siring winners from his stall in the iconic stallion barn at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md. He's become the old sire now, and Not For Love holds a rare place in Thoroughbred racing?–?universally admired by industry players in the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.

"He'd have been a good sire in Kentucky, at Claiborne or anywhere else," said Landes, general manager of Hermitage Farm in Goshen, Ky., and a longtime shareholder in the son of Mr. Prospector. "People would have chased him."

They did, and still do. He will cover about 30 mares this year, and get a good number of them in foal. He was Maryland's Stallion of the Year (again) for 2013. The award was his 11th.

He's sired 33 winners this year, led by stakes winner Steady N Love, to follow a 2013 of 60 winners including the near-millionaire Eighttofasttocatch.

His stallion career includes progeny earnings of $66 million and counting, nearly 2,500 wins from almost 600 winners, the unofficial crown as the leading sire outside of Kentucky and the official title as leading Maryland Million sire of all-time with wins on the dirt and turf, in sprints and distances races, by fillies and colts, 2-year-olds and older horses.

His grandson California Chrome won this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness, 15 years after Not For Love's first foals hit the track. Another grandson Lucy's Bob Boy is a regional hero with 17 wins from 26 starts, most of them at Charles Town.

At home, he holds court in a barn made famous by his dam's sire Northern Dancer and other greats of Maryland's Thoroughbred heyday. He's the old man, the grandfather, the pop-pop of a roster that also includes Great Notion, E Dubai, Dance With Ravens, Buffum, Lion Hearted, Orientate and Redeemed.

A 24-year-old horse is entitled to some signs of age. Call Not For Love distinguished. He hardly looks old, but you can see his ribs (as you could 10 years ago), his face is softer, the hair around his fetlocks long. Northview manages achy stifles, keeps him away from too much spring grass, reviews the reproductive history of those 30 mares carefully and otherwise dotes on its elder statesman.

"He is a gentleman," stallion manager Francisco Torres said in April. "He is so special. We are responsible for him now. He got everybody this far. It's up to us to take care of him now. He is 24 years old, but he looks like a champ. I am so proud of him."

Bred by Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills "Dinny" Phipps, Not For Love is a full-brother to champion Rhythm and won four races before being sold to Northview president Richard Golden in time for the 1995 racing season. The bay horse won twice more for Golden. The Kentucky-bred earned $178,870 in 29 starts, but never did win a stakes.

He was bought for his pedigree and stallion potential, as a son of the great Mr. Prospector and multiple graded stakes winner Dance Number. Beyond Rhythm, his family includes Super Saver, Bluegrass Cat, Daydreaming, Girolamo, Accelerator, Imagining, Frost Giant and so on. Not For Love's granddam Numbered Account (by Buckpasser out of a Swaps mare) was champion 2-year-old filly of 1971 and the dam of another Northview stallion Polish Numbers. There are more, but it's pointless. The names are big and there are many.

"That pedigree wasn't what it is today, but it was still good and made you stop and look," said Landes of the mid-1990s. "There's a depth there and it's stood the test of time. He was a slightly above average racehorse, but he's been a remarkable sire."

Torres was full-time at Hy-Point Dairy when he started working weekends in the Northview broodmare division in 2003. By then, Not For Love was fully established and the man recognized the stallion's importance early.

"He has class, you can tell that right away when you see him," said Torres, who moved up to stallion groom and now stallion manager over time. "Every single horse has his own personality, but this one is special. I saw that the first day I saw him. Body-wise, personality, everything about him is special."

A day in Not For Love's life starts early with breakfast. He gets turned out in his paddock (the first one out the west side of the barn) at 6:30. He's the last to go out, because he's good about it.

This time of year he's the first to come in, about 11:30. He stays out longer, depending on the time of year. In warmer weather, he gets a bath every day. During breeding season, there's plenty to see and do as he and his barnmates host mares from around the region (and nation). The action is nothing like it used to be, but there's business to attend to, foals to create, legacies to extend.

"Speed," Torres said with smile when asked what Not For Love transmits to his sons and daughters. "But maybe personality, too. He's not mean, he's easy to do things with and that matters also."

Not For Love used to battle with Allen's Prospect atop the Maryland sire standings, and has weathered the ups and downs of the state's Thoroughbred industry. The things this horse has seen–booms, busts, slots, sales, carryovers, competition–resonate through the years. And in his eyes.

Outside of his stall, Not For Love turns back time and gets up on his toes. He jigs toward the breeding shed, dives for bits of grass, shuffles sideways off the horsepath, bares his (long) teeth, crow-hops a bit on his hind legs. The mares aren't coming on this day, but he looks for them.

With a practiced, "Easy, easy now," from Torres, the stallion settles down. He pricks his ears for a moment, as if to simply give the camera its shot, then relaxes in the shade of a tree. He's standing a few yards from the Northview cemetery. Tentam rests there, as do T. V. Commercial, Caveat, Two Punch and others.

Someday, but only someday, they'll make room for Not For Love.

/Joe Clancy


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