Thursday, March 15, 2012

Almost Gone

The phone call came soon after Tabby’s latest triumph. 

“We’d like to make an offer on your horse, Tabby Lane.”

This doesn’t happen a whole lot to a claiming owner.  If a potential buyer wants your horse, they drop a slip.  The price was an attractive one for sure.  It wasn’t over inflated but more than made everyone whole – and with what we had in the bank, and then some.  The decision making process was excruciating.

One the one hand, should the sale go through between earnings and the sale proceeds we would have earned about 20% on the two-year “investment” (sorry, but when you talk about purchasing racehorses you HAVE to put investment in quotations). There are other horses out there (including a half-sister to Tabby, though she wouldn't race at Canterbury - but that's another post) should we want to keep going. The other side of that coin, she's racing well and may not be more than what she is now, but she wins and is sound. Another consideration was that while she is a 10x winner and earner of over $100,000, I’m not in the breeding business so retirement provisions would need to be made that may or may not include an offer as good as the one received.

It was a heart-wrenching weekend.  Last summer I spent a lot of time with this mare and she is as sweet dispositioned as you can imagine.  While I personally fell in love with her, you have to work hard to set aside those feelings and stay focused on the business end of things.  Reluctantly we agreed to the sale.  It wasn’t easy and while there were some who were really against it while others were really for it, the majority opinion started with, “Taking emotion out of it…”

Ultimately, the vet check that was promised never came and Tabby remains in the Rhone barn.  I have to admit, a part of me is relieved.  She’s racing well and even though she’s spends a bit more time recovering than she did at four; she’s still doing really well and certainly has races left in her.  Her attitude around the barn has been good so all in all we continue onward looking for her next spot.  With a couple of wins in the bank we can afford to be a bit selective in her next spot and give her additional rest.  She’ll probably step up a bit to qualify for the Tampa turf, but there’s also a nice starter allowance that’ll be run at the end of the month.  We have options and that’s a nice problem to have.

Welcome home, Tabby; it’s like you never left!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's a tough decision as no one makes an off track bid for a horse that they don't see promise in.

We were offered $100k for Pursue in 2010 (paid $17.5k 18 months earlier) and went on to win a stakes race at Remington which was the highlight for our group but never earned enough to make up that amount.

Financially we would have been better off but when you're a small time player those big wins are priceless.

Good luck!