1908 - 2008
In 1908, Julio Amadeo Menditeguy founded the Stud El Turf in Buenos Aires. He had purchased some thoroughbreds, among which Chopp (1905, Penitente) became Horse of the Year upon capturing the Triple Crown (Gran Premio Polla de Potrillos, Gran Premio Jockey Club and Gran Premio Nacional). When the campaign was over, Julio acquired a number of mares for Chopp to breed. Thus El Turf started breeding in a farm in Carmen de Areco.
An accident and the early death of Chopp made Julio discontinue breeding. However, he remained in the horse racing scene as an owner and, among other important victories, his Movedizo (1920, St. Wolf) won the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini of 1923.
In 1930, Julio passed away, leaving two teenage sons, Julio Alejandro and Carlos Alberto. The two were remarkable sportsmen: they achieved a polo handicap of 10 and were several time winners of the Campeonato Abierto Argentino at Palermo with their famous team, El Trébol. Carlos was exceptionally gifted. He wasn’t just considered the world’s best polo player... Upon winning the prestigious golf tournament Abierto del Sur in the city of Mar del Plata he also became a scratch golfer. Furthermore, he entered ten Formula One races, achieving a podium in 1957 by coming in third place in the G.P. de Buenos Aires for the Maserati team along with Juan Manuel Fangio. Also, he was a remarkable tennis player in his youth and excelled at several other sports. His case was most unique.
The brothers Menditeguy had inherited from their father the passion for racehorses. In order not to lose the colors of El Turf Stud (salmon silks, blue cap), they purchased a couple of horses. Soon after, they became fully involved in the business. They acquired a farm in Capitán Sarmiento, Province of Buenos Aires, and resumed breeding under the name Haras El Turf. Ever since 1940, the stud farm has produced horses that have been stakes winners in Argentina and abroad.
The first stallion owned by El Turf in its second period was Black Out (1939, Rustom Pasha), winner of the G. P. Polla de Potrillos. However, it was Timor (1944, Tourbillon) that boosted El Turf to the spotlight. Timor was purchased in France from Marcel Broussac and became excellent. He sired Soldadesca, Ojai, Ondine, Tintilla, Tahoe, Tanforán, Trilogía, Titania and specially his undefeated son Pronto (1958).
With Pronto as a sire, El Turf won, through his progeny, Argentina’s two most important races three times in the space of four years: In 1968, with Indian Chief (1965); the following year, with Practicante (1966), and in 1971, with Uruguayo (1968). Pronto became Argentina’s top sire and was purchased by Claiborne Farm.
Another noteworthy sire was Prince Canarina (1950, Prince Chevalier), sire of Nápoles (G. P. Polla de Potrillos) and damsire of Indian Chief, Vacación and Inmaculada. So was Martinet (1966, El Centauro), who despite an early death, sired El Gran Capitán, El Andaluz, Tithingman, Segur and Golilla.
In 1966, the brothers Julio and Carlos made a division. Despite continuing as partners of El Turf, part of the land and a list of horses was set aside for the creation of Haras Abolengo. It was founded by Julio’s three sons, and has grown into one of the most notorious stud farms in Argentina. It has bred legendary champions such as Candy Ride (1999, Ride the Rails), unbeaten in six starts in Argentina and the United States, and Intérprete (1988, Farnesio), champion two year old, a great sire and damsire of BCC and DWC winner Invasor (2002, Candy Stripes).
In 1973, Carlos Alberto died. He enjoyed during his final years the glorious and incredible trilogy of Pronto’s offspring. After his death, El Turf continued in the hands of Julio and Carlos’ three very young children. In that period, El Turf bred remarkable horses such as El Gran Capitán (1971, Martinet), who won the Gran Premio Nacional; El Muñeco (1973, Utópico), who won the Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini; Marroquí (1978, Utópico); Pied-à-Terre (1978, Liloy); Potomac (1982, Liloy) or the outstanding Ultrasonido(1985, Noble Quillo).
El Turf and Abolengo shared ownership of several stallions, including very successful ones like Utópico (1966, Pronto), Liloy (1971, Bold Bidder), Farnesio (1974, Good Manners), Ringaro (1979, Caro), Candy Stripes(1982, Blushing Groom) and Equalize (1982, Northern Jove).
Named after his father, Carlos’ youngest child got involved in the business and, as of 1991, partook in the management of El Turf with his uncle Julio. During that period, with limited production, El Turf was very effective turning out good horses every year. Bambou (1988, Farnesio), El Baron (1989, Egg Toss), Muñecote (1992, Equalize), Desirable (1994, Equalize), Tifosi (1995, Ringaro) and Ulisse(1996, Equalize), won Group 1 races.
In 1999, Petit Poucet (1992, Fairy King) entered to stand at El Turf. Its first crop produced Roots (2000), the brilliant winner of the Gran Premio República Argentina (G1) of 2005.
In 2003, Julio Alejandro died. He was a great horseman and a renowned person in both Europe and the United States, where he often travelled, as well as in Argentina. He also will be forever remembered as a great sportsman.
In 2005, Equal Stripes (1999, Candy Stripes), bred by Abolengo and owned by a syndicate, entered to stand at El Turf after a very good race record.
In 2006, a new division of El Turf took place as part of Julio’s succession. A number of horses (a list of dams and 2005 foals) became property of Haras Abolengo. Also, Equal Stripes moved to stand where he was born and raised.
In 2006, Mr. Light (1999, Numerous) took his place to stand at the farm. Bred by Haras Firmamento and a full brother to Champion Miss Loren, he was imported from the USA after a very good campaign.
In 2008, one hundred years passed since Chopp won the Triple Crown -A century in which El Turf had, and continues to have, an outstanding role in the unique and exceptional world of racehorses.