KTA-KTOB NEWSLETTERS

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 KTA-KTOB NEWS 

Chris Baker is a 30-year industry veteran with international expertise in multiple facets of the Thoroughbred business. The 1986 University of Maryland graduate initially worked in the broodmare, stallion and racing divisions at Lane's End Farm. He then headed overseas, learning the training craft in racing jurisdictions as varied as England, Australia, and New Zealand. Repatriated to California, Chris was an assistant trainer to Hall of Famers Neil Drysdale and Richard Mandella, working with such Champions as A.P. Indy, Kotashaan, and Phone Chatter, before training on his own. A return to farm management eventually brought Chris to Ned Evans' Spring Hill Farm in Virginia, where he served as General Manager for 11 years until that operation dispersed in 2011. During his tenure, Spring Hill produced more than 100 stakes winners and was twice honored as TOBA's National Breeders of the Year. Chris then served as General Manager at WinStar Farm before joining Three Chimneys in December, 2013.
For the first time in 30-some years, Keeneland has tweaked the commission structure for all of its auctions.
Churchill Downs plans to build a new stand-alone facility at its Trackside training center in Louisville to house 650 historical horse-racing machines, with a planned opening in the late summer or fall of next year, company officials said on Tuesday after receiving preliminary approval for the plan from the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.
Over the years, Marty Buckner has participated in several aspects of the Thoroughbred industry. While in high school and college, she prepped horses and worked the sales for local farms. Later, Marty worked for two Thoroughbred trainers and was able to travel to many of the major racetracks across the country. Upon returning to Kentucky Marty began pin hooking weanlings, breeding mares of her own, and completed her degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Kentucky. She currently works and resides on Clarkland Farm, which has been in her family since 1774, and is still a family-run operation. They run a boarding and breeding operation and consign their horses locally. Clarkland was placed in the PDR program several years ago - a family decision she strongly supported. Horses bred by Marty include stakes winners Dixie Dot Com(G2), R Lady Joy(G2), Saratoga’s Magic, Gee Can He Dance, My Great Love, El Deal and Party Pooper. Pinhooked stakes winners consist of Arson Squad(G2) and Highwayman. Marty is a current director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, Inc./Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders, Inc. When possible she enjoys having a horse in training. Marty states, “I feel racing is a great sport, as there is no feeling quite like standing in the winner’s circle! Being associated with good horses is our best asset and I feel Kentucky breds are the best in the world!” When asked about the importance of KTA, Marty states, "I think anyone breeding horses in Kentucky should be a member of the KTA as they are always working for the horses and horsemen."
Churchill Downs Racetrack wants Louisville Metro Government to close several streets and alleys west of the track so it can expand its parking capacity.
EquiLottery and Ellis Park have entered into a broadcast rights agreement that will allow races from the Henderson, Kentucky racetrack to be utilized in conjunction with EquiLottery’s lottery game based on the results of live horse racing. This agreement marks the second such arrangement with a Kentucky racetrack and comes on the heels of a recent endorsement of the product from the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA).
Joe Seitz has been with Brookdale full time since 1997. He graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Journalism and then spent four years as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps. After the service, Joe worked as a racetrack groom and assistant trainer for Carl Nafzger and Todd Pletcher, respectively. Joe was elected as President of the Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA) in 2016 and has served on The Board of Directors of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA), and the Thoroughbred Club of America (TCA). He now acts as Director of Sales for Brookdale.
Effective Thursday, June 8, Churchill Downs Racetrack will raise overnight race purse offerings 10 percent thanks to record Kentucky Derby week business levels.
Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) (“CDI”) announced today the transition and creation of more than 70 high-tech jobs in Kentucky, as it relocates the TwinSpires headquarters to Louisville from Mountain View, California. TwinSpires now employs more than 200 full time employees in the state.
Darren Fox is a native of Co. Roscommon, Ireland. Darren graduated of the University of Limerick with a Degree in Equine Science and a Masters in Entrepreneurship. Early hands on experience was gained at Ballyhane Stud and Rathbarry Stud in Ireland and Knockgriffin Farm in the US. Darren worked for GE Capital and Tote Ireland prior to graduating from the Darley Flying Start in 2009. Since then Darren has focused on the area of stallion seasons. He is currently the Sales Manager at Darley, where he manages top stallions such as Medaglia d’Oro, Bernardini and newcomers such as Nyquist and Frosted. He also spent two years as the Stallion Seasons Director at WinStar Farm, prior to his current role at Darley.

 [News Archive]

KTA-KTOB FARM PROFILES

A native of Maryland, Wayne Sweezey, who owns and manages Timber Town Stable with his wife Cathy, came to Kentucky in 1975. He worked for trainer Doug Davis for a year, and then went to college at the University of Kentucky to study agriculture. After college, Sweezey worked in management at a couple different farms, including as an assistant at Manchester Farm and general manager of Jaredcrest for 10 years. In 1998, John Phillips offered Sweezey the position of Sales Director at his family’s Darby Dan Farm. Sweezey readily accepted, and in his first year the farm sold a yearling for $1.7 million. Soon thereafter Sweezey was named Manager of the entire operation. After eight years, Sweezey became General Manager and Partner of Darby Dan Farm, a job which he stayed in for a decade.
From dream to reality, Suzi Shoemaker has proven that with enough passion and drive you can make dreams come true. Shoemaker grew up in upstate New York with very few ties to the Kentucky equine industry let alone the Thoroughbred industry. She rode Saddlebreds, showing from the time she was 15 until she graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Animal Science. It was on a vacation during college that she fell in love with Kentucky.
Catherine Parke, a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a degree in Animal Science, always knew Kentucky was home. Originally from Ohio, Parke explained, “I think in a past life I must have been raised here because I don’t want to be anywhere else.” This desire to make Kentucky her permanent home led to the founding of Valkyre Stud in 1978. After teaching hunter and jumper riding lessons after college, Parke wanted to change focus to the Thoroughbred industry and began working for Henry White, an internationally renowned and respected third-generation horseman. Parke gained valuable farm experience with White by working in the office, breaking yearlings, helping with veterinarian work, etc.
Jackie “Jody” Huckabay, Jr. and his late father, Dr. Jackie Huckabay, founded Elm Tree Farm in Bourbon County, Kentucky in 1989. The property was once known as “Clark’s Station” and was built in 1784 by Dr. Robert Clark, a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. It was home to Elizabeth Station, a part of the railroad which connected Frankfort to Paris and linked the mainline of “The Whiskey Route” which serviced many of Kentucky’s world-famous bourbon distilleries.
Byron “Scooter” Hughes was raised in the Thoroughbred industry. Both his parents were actively involved in the business, and Hughes was raised first on Greentree Farm, and then on Dr. and Mrs. Elsie Asbury’s Forest Retreat Farm near Carlisle.
Tony Holmes, born in Christchurch, New Zealand, dreamed of coming to Kentucky to become more involved in the Thoroughbred business. Before landing in Kentucky, he worked as a mechanical engineer apprentice, worked at a large mining town in outback Western Australia, after which he worked on dairy farms in New Zealand. After time spent on dairy farms, he began employment in the Thoroughbred industry working his first breeding season in New Zealand followed by a breeding season on a farm in Australia.
John and Martha Jane Mulholland’s Mulholland Springs in Northern Fayette County has a unique vision that truly emphasizes “family” and serves as the basis of its entire Thoroughbred operation. That perspective may not appear on first inspection but as its story unfolds it is apparent that the farm strives to maintain a connection to the past as a means to ensure sustainable quality for the future.
Something small and organic is being exported out of Oldham County in northwestern Kentucky but it may not be what you’d initially expect. An enthusiastic group of Thoroughbred fans, owners, and breeders with roots in Oldham County are exporting throughout Kentucky a message to “ordinary folks” about the importance of a robust horse industry.
Trainer Phil Sims is having a tremendous 2013 as a trainer. Currently stabled at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Sims is winning at a 28% clip and rate of 57% in the money finishes. Though having only saddled 14 horses so far in 2013 it seems to appear that Sims may be “on track” to have a career year.
Nestled in between Lexington and Paris are the 300 acres that encompasses Damian and Braxton Lynch’s Royal Oak Farm. Royal Oak has 55 stalls for the Broodmares, foals, and sales prep horses that currently reside at the farm and hosts boarders such as the breeder of Union Rags, Phyllis M. Wyeth, along with Lynch homebreds.
Darby Dan Farm: Quality Runs in the Family It seems as everything old is new again at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky. Excitement for the forthcoming 2013 thoroughbred breeding season is high amongst the team at the farm as they make final preparations for the arrival of new foals and productive broodmares. The hopefulness surrounding a promising new generation of thoroughbreds mirrors the current reinvigorated identity of one of the most historic pieces of land in Central Kentucky.
The cheers emanating from Clarkland Farm for Beholder in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies on November 2nd may have been heard clear into neighboring counties throughout Central Kentucky as the filly crossed the finish line first at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California. The palpable excitement was due to the fact that the team at Clarkland Farm was responsible for mating, foaling, and raising the championship-caliber filly.