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Wednesday, 16 January, 2019

Empire State of mind for Newtown Anner Stud

Owners of Fascinating Rock selling New York-breds at Saratoga

Maurice Regan with Fran Berry wearing the Newtown Anner Stud silks
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Newtown Anner Stud has a major presence throughout the world, racing and breeding high-end stakes winners such as Group 1 winners Fascinating Rock and Laganore and had a partnership interest in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Caledonia Road.

The Regan family's operation will show a different dimension at the Fasig-Tipton New York Bred Yearling Sale on Saturday and Sunday in Saratoga Springs, New York, as Newtown Anner has one of the largest consignments in the sale restricted to horses bred in the Empire State.

Included among the Newtown Anner consignment are offerings by leading North American sires such as Tiznow, Flatter and Into Mischief among others, as the quality of stock offered at the sale restricted to horses bred in the Empire State continues to improve.

Newtown Anner is able to infuse the Saratoga sale with offspring of mares capable of being bred to fashionable stallions as a result of an aspect of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund that permits mares to be bred to out-of-state stallions, provided they return to New York within 90 days of mating and produce the foal in-state.

Hanzly Albina, who manages the Regans' US bloodstock with Nick Sallusto, said the ability to breed to top sires and have well-bred foals with the New York-bred label affixed to qualify for the state's lucrative incentive awards programme adds to the attraction.

"There are horses in our consignment that could have gone to the selected sale [at Saratoga on Monday and Tuesday] or other yearling sales, but we believe in the New York programme and we want to support what Fasig-Tipton is doing here," Albina said.

"We want to continue to send quality horses to this sale. If people coming here only see a certain level of horse, they will spend only a limited amount of money. Every year we try to do a little bit better. There is a lot of continuity in our programme."

Newtown Anner's belief in the New York breeding programme led the Regans to purchase a farm near Millbrook in New York.

"We see the New York-bred programme as the strongest in racing," said Albina, who is consigning the Newtown Anner horses at Saratoga through Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services.

Ron Blake serves as Newtown Anner's director of horse operations in the US, managing the Regans' farms in New York and Kentucky.

Albina said awards programmes such as New York's were conceived to subsidise regional horses perceived to be unable to compete on a national level, but the New York scheme has developed to a point where New York-breds are competitive on any circuit while at the same time having the option of running for larger purses in state-bred races.

The most recent example of prominent New York-breds competing successfully on the top stage came on Saturday when Diversify and Mind Your Biscuits finished one-two in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga racecourse, a stone's throw from where the Fasig-Tipton auction will be held.

"People want to discount regional programmes because they perpetuate a lesser breed of horse and I would say that was true in the past," Albina said.

"The reality is, in the past there has been an elitism about open company horses and if you're in the top of the game you should have open company horses. The reality is they are open company horses, they just happen to be New York-breds.

"And big owners are beginning to realise this. They say 'You know I can run in maiden special races for $100,000, I can use my conditions more than once, I can run my horses at Saratoga, the greatest venue in racing, and I can make some money'."

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