04/16/2011 Northeast/Mid-Atlantic: Empire State Strikes Back

  • April 12, 2011
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 Developments over Independence Day weekend in 2010, though not unexpected for those who follow the New York Thoroughbred breeding industry,
drove home the point: The New York-bred program can produce quality racehorses.

In a span of three days at Belmont Park, state-bred runners won three graded stakes: Turtle Bird Stable’s Haynesfield took the Suburban Handicap (gr. II) July 3; Paul Pompa Jr., Stephen Yarbrough, and Winter Park Partners’ Franny Freud won the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 4; and Zayat Stables’ Rightly So triumphed in the Bed o’ Roses Handicap (gr. III) July 5.

According to information compiled by the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, New York-bred horses accounted for 15 graded-stakes victories in 2010. Haynesfield and Rightly So returned later in the season to win grade I events in New York.

Despite such success the program has had its ups and downs, a product of the horse industry’s volatility in New York and across the country. In the past decade there have been questions about the future of the New York Racing Association, declines in the Thoroughbred foal crop in state and out; and the shuttering of New York City Off-Track Betting Corp., a revenue source for the New York Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund.

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