Letter from the President - January
2008 is here, and I am tremendously excited about the stable's prospects for the new year. 2007 was remarkable. We finished the year with five Grade 1 wins, ten graded stakes wins, and nearly $4.5 million in purses. We shattered every stable record conceivable. Nonetheless, I believe that we are poised for greater success in 2008.
We have three Breeders' Cup runners returning to the track, so we start the year well stocked for continued success. Awesome Gem is being pointed to the $6,000,000 Dubai World Cup in March, and we look forward to the return of Lear's Princess this spring. Less than a year ago, she was still an unraced maiden. Now, she's a Grade 1 winner with limitless potential.
Speaking of potential, January is when I head to Florida for the first of several two-year-old sales. This is the beginning of a long process. I will look at hundreds of horses over the next four months in search of roughly twenty prospects for our stable. For us, the sales are an exercise in buying and selling. I will be interested to see how the market shakes out this year. The top end horses will always fetch huge sums, but I see a semblance of sanity returning to the rest of the market. We are uniquely positioned to continue bringing home the horses that we really want, and I believe that this disciplined buying translates into the success we see on the track.
We will continue to look for the next Dream Rush or Awesome Gem, but we also will sell roughly two dozen horses from our pinhooking venture. I am excited by this year's crop. We engaged in a pinhooking partnership with Lewis Lakin last year, and we've acquired some very talented prospects. We should be in for a very exciting time over the winter.
It was during this season last year when we purchased a very talented crop of two-year-olds that have landed us on the Kentucky Derby trail once again. The road to the roses commences in earnest this month, and we will be a major player in the early races. Our undefeated stakes winner, El Gato Malo, will be one of the favorites in the San Rafael Stakes(G2) at Santa Anita, and Macho Again will contest the Lecomte Stakes(G3) at the Fair Grounds. We also have very high hopes for two maiden winners, Saratoga Russell and Wincat. Both horses dominated the competition in their maiden wins, and they look like potential superstars. We'd love to have one or more of these colts continue along the trail toward Churchill Downs in May.
So much has changed in racing for 2008. This will be the first full year that we see racing on synthetic surfaces at all the major California tracks. The Breeders' Cup will be held at Santa Anita, so it will be very interesting to see how it affects the championship landscape this year. Also, the Breeders' Cup added three new races for 2008. As a member of the Breeders' Cup board, I think that the expansion of the event to two days only enhances its prestige. With the six new races added over the past two years, I think we have really honed in on a diverse card of exciting races.
While there is much to look forward to in 2008, we still do see some uncertainty in racing in New York. A long term solution to the franchise situation has been tied up by political wrangling. Racing in New York is a lynchpin to the industry. I am optimistic that all parties involved will be reasonable in working to find a solution that will allow racing in New York to flourish and grow for many years to come.
So, as we turn the page to 2008, I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year and, of course, continued racing luck.