Horses don’t make history too often, but that’s what Sharing did when she landed the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf-G1 at Santa Anita last month. Sagamore Farm, Maryland and the region came along for the ride.
The 2-year-old filly became just the fourth Maryland-bred to win a Breeders’ Cup race – joining Cigar (1995 Classic), Concern (1994 Classic) and Safely Kept (1990 Sprint). Beyond that, Sharing helped her dam Shared Account gain membership in an exclusive club too as she became the fourth Breeders’ Cup-winning mare to produce a Breeders’ Cup winner – joining 1988 Distaff winner Personal Ensign (whose daughter My Flag won the 1995 Juvenile Fillies), My Flag (whose daughter Storm Flag Flying won the 2002 Juvenile Fillies) and 1993 Distaff winner Hollywood Wildcat (whose son War Chant won the 2000 Mile).
At Sagamore Farm, the historic Glyndon farm where Sharing was foaled, they cheered. Loudly. Known today as the base of Under Armour founder Kevin Plank’s Thoroughbred operation, Sagamore owns a history of excellence rivaling any farm in the world thanks to Hall of Famers Native Dancer, Bed o’ Roses, Discovery and a long list of others.
But the people at Sagamore also wondered what might have been as Sharing and Shared Account were sold in 2018.
“I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t bittersweet,” said Hunter Rankin, president of the farm. “But obviously when you raise a horse especially out of that mare, with all the history we had with her, you want the absolute best for the filly and the connections. It’s very, very special – for our team, the people who were around her every day. That’s what I’m most excited about, that they did such a fine job with her and they were rewarded with a Breeders’ Cup winner.”
Born at Sagamore on March 2, 2017, Sharing was part of a genetic anomaly as the farm’s entire 13-foal crop consisted of fillies. She and the others were raised on the farm under the guidance of Debbie Moorfield, Jose Vega and a host of other staffers. Two yearlings went to the Maryland Horse Breeders Associ-ation yearling show. A daughter of Ghostzapper, since named Anima Gemella and as yet unraced, finished second in her class. A chestnut by champion sprinter Speightstown, Sharing didn’t get a ribbon –
not that it really mattered in the big picture.
No, the big picture involved selling some of those 13 fillies. There was value behind those pedigrees, a chance to add income to the farm’s budget lines. One of the first horses purchased for Plank’s version of Sagamore in 2007, Shared Account won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf and two other graded stakes while earning $1,649,427. The daughter of Pleasantly Perfect’s produce record was just OK however – one winner from three starters by Bernardini, Distorted Humor and Street Cry (Ire) at the time.
“We hadn’t had a lot of luck with the mare in terms of what she had thrown,” Rankin said. “This filly was very correct, nice bodied, always did things the right way. She was the standout. We thought it would be a good opportunity to sell and recoup some of the investment we’d made. It’s a business, it’s what everybody weighs in this game.”
Sharing rewarded Rankin’s opinion, selling for $350,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga yearling sale in 2018. By year’s end, Sagamore sold Shared Account too as the mare brought $550,000 on a bid by Sam-Son Farm at Keeneland November while in foal to Mastery. That’s $900,000 earned, just from one mare and her foal.
Sharing’s buyer Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners added Gainesway Stable as a partner at the sale and watched their charge finish third in her debut at Saratoga and then win her next three – a Saratoga maiden, Laurel Park’s Selima Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup.
Rankin watched too, proud but also realistic.
“I wish we’d kept her, but you can’t say what would have happened and you can’t keep them all,” he said. “I’m just glad she ended up in the situation she ended up in. I remember the day she was bought. She’d been looked at by a lot of people at the sale. We are thrilled for Eclipse, and Graham Motion (who also trained Shared Account), Gainesway and the entire team that’s been around her. We’re jealous of the results obviously, but we’re cheering for them.”
And looking ahead. Sagamore is still trying to breed winners. The farm still owns Shared Account’s stakes-winning daughter Riley’s Choice. She was expecting a Blame foal in 2020 and will stay in the broodmare band. Maybe she could go to Speightstown. Maybe history can repeat itself. Maybe success can breed more success.
“It gave us confidence,” Rankin said of striving for even more on racing’s biggest stages. “We’ve never bred a filly that could go do that, not since we’ve had the farm. Mr. Vanderbilt did it with all the nice horses he bred here and others have done it in Maryland, but it lets you know it can happen. It’s an important thing for everybody.”