Home Hall of Fame Breeders Post-1980 Czech-Mate Farms

Czech-Mate Farms

(Inducted 2013)

The Konecny family’s journey to the Hall of Fame began in the 1980s when Doris met some ex-nuns who loved going to Longacres. After a few racetrack afternoons spent in their company, both John and Doris both got the “racehorse bug” and soon formed a stable with their new friends, claiming several horses under the seven-partner (with John the lone male) Chuckle Stable.

In 1983, John and Doris, pictured above, attended the WTBOA Summer Sale where they and then partner M. K. Richards spent $20,000 to buy a yearling filly by Messenger of Song out of champion Silky Steel. Although the filly, who would be named Whimsical Aire, was unraced due to a broken sesamoid, it was money well spent, as through the years many racing and selling highs have emanated from her genes. Whimsical Aire would produce a trio of stakes-winning and stakes-producing daughters and be honored as Washington broodmare of the year in 1990.

Another 1983 purchase was the young broodmare Wicca, who was bought out of the Fasig-Tipton November sale. When bred to Staff Writer, her fourth foal would become their first stakes winner and state champion, 1988’s top two-year-old filly Flame McGoon, who was named to honor the B-24 fighter plane that John served on during World War II. Flame McGoon’s daughter Infernal McGoon, also bred by the Konecnys, would be named 2003 Washington champion older filly or mare and that mare’s daughter, Talk to My Lawyer, was state champion juvenile filly of 2011.

In 1987, they purchased 30-acres in Enumclaw which would be named Czech-Mate Farm in honor of John’s Czechoslovakian heritage and his prowess with chess.

Two years after the Konecnys’ first champion, they had their second in Mahaska, Whimsical Aire’s second foal and first daughter would earn $235,253, win five stakes and be Grade 3-placed. Mahaska produced Quizzical, who was named 2012 Washington champion three-year-old filly and she is also the grandam of 2008 Washington champion sophomore Enumclaw Girl.

Of Whimsical Aire’s 17 other foals, 11 would become winners and include the full sisters Zashrany and Taj Aire. Zashrany won stakes at Longacres, Playfair and Yakima Meadows and the ill-fated mare’s first two, and only, foals both were stakes winners in Northern California. Her two year younger sister, Taj Aire, while probably not as adept at the races, with only one stakes win, and that at Yakima Meadows, has been a topnotch broodmare with four stakes winners to her credit: Washington champion grass horse Handyman Bill, G3 winner and Grade 1-placed Elusive Diva, $314,895 stakes winner R. Baggio, and Tropics, who won a stakes in England this past summer. Taj Aire was voted 2003 Washington broodmare of the year.

Meanwhile, the Konecnys’ son Michael, pictured above left, who had spent time studying jaguars and other small cats in Central America and the Galapagos Islands, was developing his own small, select band of broodmares. The first stakes winner he bred was Little Eva, a granddaughter of Wicca who won two stakes as a two-year-old in 1996. Two years earlier, the younger Konecny had purchased a young daughter of Lord At War (Arg) named Springhurst who would produce Washington’s sixth Grade 1 winner and 2001 horse of the year and champion two-year-old Tali’sluckybusride. Springhurst was also honored as Washington’s broodmare of the year.

Michael’s second state champion and graded stakes winner was also sired by Delineator, as was “Tali.” Fast Parade was a Washington stakes winner at two, who had a breakout year at three when he won the Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita, set a new course record in the Green Flash Stakes at Del Mar and finished his double championship season with a victory over older runners in the $446,892 Nearctic Stakes (G2-Can).

Among the other good runners bred by the Konecny family are 1997 Washington most improved plater Just Diet and other stakes winners Alert and Ready, Bijou Barrister, Cantil, West Walker and Zatim.

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