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Wide Open: Wasabi joins region’s stallion game as 2020 breeding season approaches

Venture capitalist, Loyola University professor and racing fan TK Kuegler dove into the Thoroughbred industry with the creation of Wasabi Ventures Stables in 2017. Less than three years later, more than 400 people call them-selves members and own anywhere from 0.5 to 4.99 percent of at least one racehorse.

With the growing roster of customers, and horses, Wasabi’s racehorse business is off and running at the track, at the sales and on the farm with an expanding group of broodmares.

So what’s next?

A stallion. Kuegler and Wasabi will be a complete Thoroughbred entity in 2020, involved in virtually every aspect of the industry with the purchase of Force the Pass for stud duty.

Big Time: Lojeski, Servis win MD Million Classic with Pennsylvania-bred Forest Fire

Shirley Lojeski called her Pennsylvania farm between Philadelphia and Allentown “a small operation,” which makes sense in October. When she’s in the midst of foaling season, helping 25 or so mares deliver, the place feels anything but small.

“Foaling season is a long time and, no, it doesn’t feel small then,” she said. “I’m the night watchman and the day watchman too.”

The work pays off sometimes, especially with a horse like Forest Fire. Foaled at Lojeski Farms in Emmaus, the 4-year-old son of Friesan Fire won a race-long battle with Prendimi to take the $150,000 Maryland Million Classic at Laurel Park Oct. 19. The feature race on the 34th edition of Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, the Classic attracted a big field of 11 but was a two-horse race late.

More than a vet

Through a long career, Hogan fills vital role from New Jersey base

Nestled in the heart of Cream Ridge, a small town that, with its green fields and white fencing, bears more of a resemblance to Kentucky than its central New Jersey location, is Fair Winds Farm, a longtime Standardbred nursery.Down the long, shady lane, past broodmares and their new foals, is the Hogan Equine veterinary practice, in what used to be the farm’s breeding shed. There’s a bicycle outside the office door, on which Dr. Patty Hogan rides to work many days when the weather is nice. She’s fortunate to be able to live so close to her practice, which she designed and decorated, taking the breeding shed and transforming it into a state-of-the-art equine medical facility for surgery and recovery.

Locals Only: West Virginia-bred Runnin'toluvya nabs big score on home track

Despite eight consecutive victories and 11 overall, all at his home track, the West Virginia-bred gelding Runnin’toluyva had something to prove in the most lucrative race of the year at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

A little more than six months after a smooth front-running score in the $300,000 West Virginia Breeders Classic for state-bred runners, Runnin’toluvya was asked to take on the challenge of the $1 million Charles Town Classic, a Grade 2 event that has attracted its share of big-name invaders with previous wins at the top level of United States racing.

Catalog Surfing: Two-year-olds of 2019 bring power to Timonium

Four years of million-dollar horses and gross sales of more than $20 million . . . Names, big names, on the roster of buyers and sellers . . . Seventy-nine horses selling for at least $100,000 in 2018 . . . Graduates such as Call Paul, Army Mule, Concrete Rose and Fourstar Crook.
Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s May 2-year-old sale in Timonium, Md., used to be an overachiever, the little guy in the equation alongside bigger names in Florida and Kentucky. Consignors used to take horses to early-season sales, and save Timonium as the back-up plan. Miss some training? Have a bad work? Failed to attract the right attention? You could always go to Timonium.
No more.

Strong Fabric

West Virginia sire Fiber Sonde continues to climb

At Keeneland November in 2007, the sales catalog listed 31 horses as stallion prospects. You don’t know 30 of them. Eleven didn’t sell. One brought $130,000. Another just $1,000.
The one you do know, West Virginia phenom Fiber Sonde, sold for $8,000. Looking to expand the stallion roster at their Beau Ridge Farm near Charles Town, John McKee and Cyndy O’Bannon made the successful bid – and unknowingly changed their lives.

King Him

Region's leading sire Jump Start still popular at 20

In the last few weeks of his life, 100-year-old Thoroughbred breeder Ed Stone talked with his son and made one point abundantly clear.
“Stick with Jump Start.”
Ed Stone died Jan. 29, but his mare Elena Says Hello will go to Jump Start – for the fifth time.

Dream Job: For Northview’s Torres, the horses rule

Francisco Torres. The name might not ring an immediate bell, but anyone who has visited Northview Stallion Station will recognize the face. Torres, stallion manager at Northview’s flagship Chesapeake City, Md., location, is usually the man on the end of the shank when the stallions are paraded for inspection.  

It’s what he doesn’t do that makes him memorable. 


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