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September 26th, 2010

On the Road Again . . . with Elizabeth and Suellen

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Little Silic and Barbara Batista make a great pair.

Monarch Reign’s mom, Suellen, and I recently got back from a road trip where we have been prospecting for horses and checking in on horses we have sold. Suellen purchased a new truck (a Ford F350) in New York and I offered to help get it to Georgia. Because I never get off-the-farm, the two day direct trip home became a three day race track/horse farm adventure with more and more stops to check out Thoroughbreds that will be listed on our Web site.

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Tax Hike aka "Taxi" and Elizabeth

Our trip started in Long Island visiting with Little Silic’s mom Barbara Batista. We did some training with Barbara and Little Silic between filling up on all my favorite New York foods. There is nothing like a bagel from New York! Barbara has promised me a write up to go along with her lesson photos which is now posted our our sister site: www.OTTBSuccessStories.com It almost made me wish I was back in Saratoga County where I grew up . . . but then I remembered the taxes and the winters.

Barbara also took us to see our prospect horse “Taxi” and to meet with her breeder Doc. I can tell by their operation that we could have a steady stream of well trained ex-racers that would make great sport horses. All their horses are handled and taught manners from the beginning of their life and it shows later. Taxi’s breeder and owner, Doc, is a third generation horseman and an equine veterinarian. Between Barbara, Suellen and I, we were able to convince Doc that we had found a great home for “Taxi” with a young rider who has big plans for an eventing career for this beautiful mare.

Barbara continued as our  New Your tour guide with a trip to Belmont Park in rush hour traffic . . . I will NEVER complain about Atlanta traffic again. A 30 mile  ride took almost three hours!

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Belmont Race Track

Belmont is a beautiful track filled with history. We met in the stable area with one of our New York state breeders to find out more about the horses she has for sale from her farm in upstate NY. Lois introduced us to her horses who are currently racing at Belmont. We sometimes wait a year or more for horses to finish their racing careers. These horses will be worth the wait. We did a quick tour of the grandstand and paddock area and then it was off to Kentucky for us in Suellen’s new truck.  We had dueling navigation systems to get us out of the city with my Android phone and the truck’s navigation system. They did not always agree and we found ourselves touring the tornado damaged areas of Long Island on our way out of the state. Who would have thought two tornadoes would hit Long Island during our visit? Thank you Barbara for all you did to make this a memorable visit!!!

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With Wings' Racing Trophy from his first stakes win.

Our next detour on the way back to Georgia was to Kentucky to visit some more breeders that we place horses for and to check on horses still racing in Kentucky.We got lots of new photos and even some video. We found several new horses and a beautiful 17 hand twelve year old horse who is still racing and sound for a new career. Check out “Duke” on our Bargain Barn page.

We spent the night in Lexington at the home of one of  our favorite breeders. The home is lovely and filled with racing and dressage trophies won by our hostess who used to compete Internationally in dressage on Thoroughbreds. As we were getting a tour of the house, Suellen spotted With Wings’ trophy from the stakes race he won. It was sitting on a shelf among grander trophies. With Wings is currently in training at Bits & Bytes Farm. With Wings’ breeder loaned me his three win photos to make copies of. It is always fun to know the history of your horse and we try to gather that info before placing the horse. I also met Reign Day and With Wings’ dam – Sixth and Walnut.

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This year's foals at the breeding farm.

We were able to check up on Mr. Boston and took new photos and video. We made a mental note of a gorgeous 16.2 hand dark bay two year old. He will try his luck at racing in the spring and I have to say, I hope he does not like it. He would make a gorgeous sport horse. He should finish out at 17 hands or more — another one worth waiting for. We also got to see this year’s babies and watch how they are handled and taught to lead even when they are little. Lot’s of proper handling at this stage makes it easy to train them later. Another thing that makes these horses special.

We had one more farm to visit for a breeder from Minnesota that we have placed horses for. She has moved her operation to Lexington so it is now easier to see the horses and check them out before placing them on the Web site. Watch for these horses this week on this site.

We have lots of new horses and photos of horses currently listed on our Prospect Horses For Sale page. No time to tell all our tales but check out the new gray horse on our Prospect Horses at the Track page.

Kentucky is always a fun trip . . . anyone up for going to the World Equestrian Games?

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