It's that time of year……when the cold Aqueduct winter meet has us dreaming of summer in Saratoga again.
As we wrote this partner letter last year, we had no idea what a wonderful year we were going to have, on and off the track and in the sales ring. The year kicked off in a very crowded winner's circle when Espresso Shot won the $250k Busher Invitational, the stable's biggest win yet. The popular post-race celebration has now been viewed on social media thousands of times over and even made NYRA's year-end video montage. We ended the year in similar fashion with our two-year-old, Medellin, winning her debut at Aqueduct. After losing a lot of horses at the claim box, we assembled a team of five two-year-old fillies for 2019. Two of them won first time out in Maiden Special Weight company on the competitive NYRA circuit. Irish Danzing won impressively scoring a 6.5 length debut win at Saratoga before earning herself a stakes placing in her next start.
Final Furlong is now operating three divisions: our traditional racing stable, a breeding string and a pin-hooking venture. As the racing stable had 3 wins & was 50% in the money from just 24 races, we earned over $320,000 - good for $13,300 per start. The quality of our racing prospects have certainly improved!
We scored with two well-handled pinhooks in the sale ring. Our Palace Malice yearling filly sold for $120,000 at Saratoga after being snapped up by our bloodstock team for $37,000 just seven months earlier. We maintained our hard-earned return on investment when our $14,000 Central Banker weanling purchase sold for $47,000.
We now have three broodmares in our hand selected broodmare band. We have mares by Medaglia d'Oro and Speightstown who will be bred to the likes of Omaha Beach, Breeder's Cup Classic winner, Vino Rosso, and Into Mischief's most promising son to enter stud, Audible.
Every year we say it is amazing to see how our horses unite people in celebration, commitment, hope and dreams. It's a wonderful feeling when partners tell us "You've knocked items off my bucket list" or "I never dreamed I'd be in the winners circle at Saratoga" This year, we saw partners become friends and travel together to the Breeders Cup and Kentucky Derby as well as other non-horse related adventures. With all the happiness, unfortunately we've also had our share of sadness this year when it was the first year in which we lost a couple of partners, one of which was aware of his illness when he joined in on Medellin - He told us his dream was to own a horse and regardless of his situation he wanted to make that dream a reality. Unfortunately, his time came too soon and while he wasn't physically there to see her win first out, we know for sure he was by her side in the winners circle! - it truly warmed our hearts when his wife told us just talking about his stake in the horse brought him such happiness during an otherwise trying time and he knew she was going to be a winner!
We use the phrase "Family" a lot in our communications because we truly feel Family is what we have created and are consistently building.
So much goes into just getting a horse into the starting gate…..we spend countless hours identifying and selecting future racing prospects with our trainers and bloodstock team. The process is grueling but rewarding when we find horses like Espresso Shot, Irish Danzing, and Medellin for what we deem superior value for our partners. It has taken a decade to assemble but we think we have put together a great team and implemented a process for selecting, raising and training horses meant to outperform.
Once the horses are ready to run, race selection is always stressful, but anticipation always takes over. The most exciting thing is when our horses load into the starting gate. Even though our horses and jockeys are in control, we always put a lot of weight on our shoulders to make sure our team performs for our highly vested partners, as you make our entire endeavor possible.
As 2020 begins, Final Furlong enters its second decade in operation and we continue to strive to deliver racing partnerships that are accessible, transparent, and fun. Each year we aim to acquire better and better horses. While we are happy with the crops we have enjoyed the past two years with Espresso Shot and Irish Danzing both becoming stakes horses, we think our 2020 crop of 2YO's is by far the best crop of fillies we have ever offered.
Here's to the next decade of the Final Furlong Family, one in which we look to bring you more amazing experiences, even better horses and more fun together. Thank you for your continued support, as a partner or a fan, and trust you place in us.