Connections make region strong in national climate
Dig deeply enough and you’ll find them. Mid-Atlantic connections to major horses around the country show up with regularity, and that fact shows great strength and depth for the region.
Kentucky Derby winner Orb? Owned and bred by a Marylander, with some of the state’s most historic names on the horse’s female side including the great Maryland-bred producer Shenanigans as his fifth dam. What’s more, Orb spent much of June and July at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland.
Preakness winner Oxbow? Bred by a New Jersey resident. The colt’s fourth dam, Sleep Lonely, was bred in Maryland.
Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice? Owned by Dogwood Stable, the South Carolina-based partnership. The colt spent several weeks in Aiken as a 2-year-old.
In this edition, we caught up with representatives of all three–for a conversation with Orb’s co-owner/breeder Stuart Janney III; a feature on Oxbow’s breeder Richard Santulli; a misty rememberance with Dogwood’s Cot Campbell.
All three men pay homage to the region’s part in the industry.
Few people have a Thoroughbred pedigree as deep as Janney’s. His parents owned the great filly Ruffian and bred standout Thoroughbreds for generations from their home in Glyndon, Md. Today, Janney operates a stable with as much depth; he just does it from afar. The breeding stock is based in Kentucky, but he still lives in Maryland, still appreciates Maryland’s place in the industry, loves the direction the state shows. He also sent Orb to Fair Hill, first for some recuperation after an arduous spring campaign and later for some training toward a start at Saratoga later this month. Could the Janney horses be based in Maryland again someday? You never know.
Santulli built NetJets into a trend-setting, model-breaking business in private airline travel. He sold it for $725 million and now heads up Milestone Aviation, a company that specializes in helicopter and jet leasing. He also owns Jayeff B Stable, a big broodmare band and bases his racing business at a private training center in New Jersey. He campaigned Hall of Famer Safely Kept. Like Janney, he has served on any number of boards in the racing industry–from the Breeders’ Cup to the New York Racing Association. He breeds commercially, but was talking about keeping some colts and campaigning his own Triple Crown-caliber horses. From New Jersey.
Campbell often gets called the dean of racing partnerships because he basically pioneered the concept now widely seen throughout the industry, but that’s actually selling him a little short. Try university president. Campbell’s vision now stands as one of the sport’s most important pieces. Partnerships, syndicates, whatever you want to call them operate at all tracks and at all levels. They buy. They sell. They claim. They advertise and promote. They employ trainers, who employ stable staffers. They’re important vehicles which attract new owners, participants, leaders. Dogwood started in Georgia and moved to South Carolina. There’s no 859 area code on Campbell’s business card. It’s 803 thank you very much. Dogwood buys good horses wherever they are. They get their early education in Aiken, a credit to the area and the horsemen there.
So what does it all mean? For its size and its position, the region packs plenty of punch. Sure, all three Triple Crown race winners mentioned above were foaled in Kentucky but they got to those races in large part due to people, horses and facilities from this region.
That needs to be touted. It also needs to be protected.
Janney, Santulli and Campbell live in this region. They keep some Thoroughbreds here. But they and others like them could be cultivated, encouraged, tempted to be more involved with a bigger, better, more cohesive regional Thoroughbred industry. Everywhere I’ve been this summer, people talked about the future. How do the states work with each other without taking a step backward? Could there be more “foaled in-state OR sired by in-state stallions” races? Could there be races restricted to horses bred in more than one state? Could there be a better regional racing schedule, one that preserves opportunities for horsemen, racetracks and bettors?
My answers to all three are sure, why not? We’ve got the connections.