Letter from the President - September
It's September, and the racing seasons at Saratoga and Del Mar are winding down. We'll look to end our Saratoga meet with a bang as we run both High Finance and Irish Smoke in Grade 1 races this weekend. Both horses have trained exceptionally, and we look forward to seeing them compete against some of the best of their peers.
Competing in tough races has been a habit for our horses lately. Dream Rush dominated the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga, stamping herself as the clear leader among filly sprinters. Two weeks later, Lear's Princess and Awesome Gem nearly scored a Grade 1 double for the stable. Lear's Princess ran a fast closing second in the Alabama, and Awesome Gem fell a half-length short in the Pacific Classic. To be less than a length shy of winning two more huge Grade 1s is mind boggling. These are the kind of races that most owners go a lifetime simply dreaming about.
The stable has had an amazing year. We remain humbled by our success, and we do not take it for granted. However, we are also extremely proud of our accomplishments. It is a testament to the fact that hard work pays off. This year, we ran in seven Grade 1's, won three, and finished second in three more. Many stables would want to trade track records with us this year. If the stars align, we could have five horses run in this year's Breeders' Cup. I don't think New Jersey has seen a possible invasion force this strong since George Washington surprised the Hessians at Trenton.
Our successes caused quite a sales run with this year's two-year-old class. I felt bad that so many people were shut out on horses, but the demand was enormously high. However, we continue to seek opportunities to meet everyone's needs. We began buying yearlings this summer for our 2007 Pinhooking Venture. We have had tremendous successes in the pinhooking arena over the years. This year's venture is the biggest we have ever put together. We partnered with Lewis Lakin, one of the nations leading pinhookers this year.
We also began buying yearlings to syndicate for racing. Many individuals expressed the desire to purchase yearlings and have us develop them from the beginning in our program. High Finance was a yearling that we bought, and we realize that there is something special about owning a horse from early in their career. Their development is different than those that go through the two-year-old sales, and you can often times buy a little more pedigree for a reasonable price with yearlings.
While yearlings represent the beginning of a horse's career, we closed the book on two of West Point Thoroughbreds' most popular horses, Flashy Bull and Yolanda B. Too. Flashy Bull was purchased by Airdrie Stud in Kentucky where he will stand as a stallion. Yolanda B. Too was sold privately as a broodmare after a stakes winning career. It was tough to say good bye to two horses that brought so much excitement and joy. However, all good things must come to an end and I couldn't be happier that both horses are going to quality breeding operations to live out their years contributing to the racing industry. We look forward to seeing their offspring on the track and hope they carry the same heart, ability and fortitude that Flashy Bull and Yolanda both did.
I always get a little melancholy leaving Saratoga each September. The weather's getting cool and vacation season is officially over. However, we won't rest on our laurels or risk being passed. The competition is fierce in this business, so I will be on the road in September looking for the next Flashy Bull, Dream Rush, Awesome Gem or High Finance. It's certainly been on a great ride over the past eight months. Let's hope we can keep it going.
Until next month...