An Improbable Story

An Improbable Story

If you’ve been around the horse biz for very long, you know it’s FULL of improbabilities and that’s part of what makes it so much fun and, at times, so frustrating. Well, sit back and we’ll tell you our new/old Improbable Story…. It starts in the early 1970s when a horse named Brigadier Gerard won seventeen of his eighteen career races to be rated by some as the best racehorse trained in Britain in the 20th century.  Sadly, he did not replicate himself at stud, except that a son of his named General (FR) showed promise at 2 and caught the eye of one Diane Perkins. When General (FR) did not run on, she was able to purchase  him and he made his way to stud in Argentina. There General (FR) bred a mare recently purchased by Peter and Diane Perkins via their San Francisco de Pila farm near Buenos Aires, and on October 1, 1980 Lord At War was foaled. Lord At War (ARG) was undefeated in three starts in his native Argentina, culminating with a win in the Gran Premio Joaquin S. Anchorena going a mile on the turf.   He was not only making his stakes debut, but he was making his second start in just eight days, and was a 3-year-old running against older horses in the most important mile race of the Argentine calendar!  As a result, he was the Champion Miler of Argentina for 1983. The Perkinses brought their star to North America to be trained by the great Charlie Whittingham. Lord At War (ARG) raced on dirt and turf and won or placed in...
Bourbon County Wins Big at Belmont

Bourbon County Wins Big at Belmont

Two horses raised right here in Bourbon County, Kentucky won their very first Grade I stakes in VERY different fashion on Saturday afternoon at Belmont Park in New York City. One was a longshot running in his first G1 race at age 5.  One was a $1.2 million yearling vindicating his big ticket purchase price in the classic Belmont-G1. One was rewarding his breeder’s faith in him, after his breeder bred, foaled, raised him and invested four years of training bills in a gelding who required five starts to break his maiden. One was rewarding his owners’ faith in him, after they banded together to be able to afford him at the uber elite Saratoga Yearling Sale and invested $1.2 million to purchase him, only to watch him run 10th in his career debut a year later at Saratoga. What they share is Bourbon County roots, and the joyful support of hundreds of Bourbon Countians who labor in various aspects of the Thoroughbred horse business.  They all experience sooooo many ups and downs that they truly exult when a fellow Bourbon Countian gets to enjoy the view from the top of the heap. The big ticket 3-year-old winner of the $1.5 million Belmont Stakes is TAPWRIT, the third son of Tapit to win the Belmont in the last four years.  He was raised at Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud under the care of the excellent team led by Gary L. Bush.  Denali also had the responsibility and accomplishment of sending him through the Saratoga Yearling Auction.  Selling a big ticket yearling is not like selling an expensive piece of jewelry.  These young...