Potrero Los Llanos is one of the most successful thoroughbred breeding centers in Puerto Rico. Its beginnings move in the late 1950s, when Dr. Eduardo Maldonado Sierra took a step forward in his passion for equestrian sports.
Maldonado Sierra, born in the Quebrada Limón neighborhood, located between Peñuelas and Ponce, was a renowned surgeon and psychiatrist in San Juan, who in his youth had been an enthusiastic horse rider with our “paso fino breds” until he entered as a racehorse owner with his stable called Coamo Springs Stud, which also led him to become a breeder, but with the intention of developing his own thoroughbreds.
To give free rein to the dream of raising their own runners, Maldonado Sierra established his first breeding operation in the Hato Tejas neighborhood of Bayamón. It was precisely in that town where he had previously developed the psychiatric clinic called Puerto Rico Institute of Psychiatry to offer his medical services.
His first foal was a colt was born in February 1956, which he initially identified with the name of Full House, but in official documents he appears with the name of Paris Constable, son of the English stallion John Constable in the English mare Judith Paris, a classic winner which he acquired in-foal for the amount of $10,000. John Constable was also the son of the English two-year-old champion Nasrullah, who was later one of the most prominent stallions in England and the United States during the 1950s.
Another product of the first crop that Maldonado Sierra bred in his farm was Lepanto, a son of Saggy in Myla and who debuted a winner in the first race for two-year-olds in 1963, held at the then El Comandante race track on March 15. Lepanto, a member of the two-year-old generation that produced the prominent Imperial, Tabagón and Galleguito I.,was the winner in seven of eight active races until June 19 of that year.
Coamo Springs Stud also had under its tutelage runners such as Our Love, Midnite Moon, Currito, Amount, Occidental, Sancho Panza, Fernandito, Don Quijote, Raffaelo, Prensa Libre and Baby Caroline, among many others who demonstrated their skills during the decade of 1960.
The fervor for the horses that Dr. Maldonado Sierra lived was transmitted to his son Danny, who at six years old, had his initial approach to them when he learned to ride. Danny shared his equestrian passion with baseball while attending high school. He subsequently completed a Bachelor of Business Administration between the University of Puerto Rico and the Catholic University of Ponce.
Soon after that, he became the owner of his horse stable called Sunrise Stud, which was active for several years with relative success at the former El Comandante racecourse.
During the beginning of the 1960’s he began moving his breeding operation to the small southern town of Coamo where he believed he had found some of the best soils in Puerto Rico to raise thoroughbreds.
In 1968, Danny decided to embark on the difficult task of becoming a purebred race breeder, but with enormous expectations of success, acquiring from his father the estate called Caballeriza Los Llanos, which was located where Potrero Los Llanos is today, in the Los Llanos neighborhood of Coamo.
One of the most important steps of the transition from father to son, which led to the establishment of the name Potrero Los Llanos as a major player in the horse breeding industry in Puerto Rico, was the acquisition by the late Dr. Maldonado of Levee Dancer. One of the last sons of Native Dancer known to exist, Levee Dancer, was purchased by Henry Alexander from Morven Stud in Virginia owned by Whitney Stone for $125,000 in 1971. Levee Dancer turned out to be an influential sire in our island, mainly through his daughters and granddaughters, producing two winners of the Caribbean Classic.
Danny developed the first products of his farm which he sold in shared auctions with other breeders until little by little he gained the respect of the equestrian industry, which led him to make investments to renew the roster of stallions and broodmares.
Danny had faith that he would excel by raising offspring of native bred stallions and mares. In that way he acquired from the hands of Don Francisco González Rivera all the components of his estate.
Danny has always identified "Don Paquito," as he was known, as one of his main mentors in parenting. Among the stallions that González Rivera had in his possession were Ribot's Verset, No Se and Ribot Blanquiar along with a number of broodmares. That was the beginning of the path of success for Potrero Los Llanos, which began to emerge in the early 1980s as one of the top breeders in Puerto Rico. Later in the farm’s history came stallions Fappiano’s Star, Myfavorite Place, who is the most productive stallion ever in Puerto Rico, and most recently the acquisitions of Console, Tiz Shea D. and Believe in Royalty will undeniably take us well into the future.
Danny has kept up that interest of overcoming the achievements every year, leading Potrero Los Llanos to be recognized today as one of the leading centers of thoroughbred breeding centers in the Caribbean and Latin America.
Among the products of Potrero Los Llanos that have stood out in local racing throughout the years are Orlando G., Sun Maker, Loves Pleasure, Ñaño, Doña Rita, El Platino, Supersonica, Defensora, Seattle Win, Graciani, Mediavilla R., Babylonia and most recently Papa Candelo and Consultora, among many others.
For his great success as a breeder for more than 45 years, Danny was exalted into the Puerto Rico Horse Racing Hall of Fame and his contribution to sports in general and on a social level has been recognized many times.
Potrero Los Llanos has been selected several times as "Farm of the Year" thanks to the consistency of its runners, who have proven themselves on the track as high quality competitors result of the hard work associated with raising these future stars in their first year and a half of their life.
Danny is the intermediate pass of the passion for racing between his father and his son Eduardo, who as a child followed in the footsteps of his father learning everything related to sport until he recently assumed the reigns of Potrero Los Llanos as general manager and vice president. From his position, Eduardo works everything related to the administration of the farm, among which stands out the acquisition of stallions and broodmares, as well as the study and realization of the mattings that have kept Potrero Los Llanos at the top of the native horse breeding industry in Puerto Rico.
For that and more, Potrero Los Llanos is known as the “Birthplace of Champions”.