Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Barbaro's Brother Close to Debut, Prado Will Ride

Jan 26, 11:27 AM (ET) Email this Story

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (AP) -Barbaro's brother is near the starting

Nicanor, a full brother of the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner whose story
captivated the racing world for months, will race for the first time
either this weekend or next, trainer Michael Matz said Monday.

Nicanor had a solid five-furlong work Sunday at the Palm Meadows
Training Center in Boynton Beach, Fla., and if all goes as planned,
the 3-year-old colt will either race on dirt at Gulfstream Park this
weekend or in a turf race the weekend of Feb. 7.

"He's getting there. Either one of the two," said Matz, who also was
Barbaro's trainer. "I'm not sure yet. When we get him back to the
track, we'll see how he is."

A decision will likely come Wednesday, when entries are made for the
Saturday card at Gulfstream.

Hall of Fame jockey Edgar Prado - who also rode Barbaro and called
his time aboard the horse "the best trip of my life" - will be aboard
Nicanor for the colt's debut, Matz said. Prado rode Nicanor during a
workout two weeks ago at Palm Meadows.

The first three races of Barbaro's career were on turf before he
switched to the dirt for the Holy Bull Stakes at Gulfstream and won,
pointing him toward the 2006 Derby.

Barbaro won the Run for the Roses by 6½ lengths - the largest victory
margin for a Derby winner in 60 years - but saw his racing career
come to a dramatic end at the Preakness, when he shattered three
bones in his right hind leg in the opening strides of that race.

He defied the odds by surviving for eight months and enduring close
to two dozen surgeries before being euthanized because of
complications related to laminitis, an often life-threatening problem
in horses who shift their weight to one leg in order to keep pressure
off another injured limb.

The second anniversary of Barbaro's death is Thursday, and there's a
certain irony that Nicanor's debut could come on what will be a
bittersweet weekend for Barbaro's connections - Matz and owners Roy
and Gretchen Jackson.

"He has worked like a nice horse," Matz said. "We just have to see.
But yes, I'm excited to have him in the barn right now.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Winter worries at Santa Anita: 7 Deaths in 4 Weeks

NBC Sports / MSNBC

Seven horses euthanized after racing or training incidents since Dec. 26

Jan. 24, 2009

ARCADIA, Calif. - Seven horses have been euthanized after racing or training incidents since Santa Anita’s winter meeting opened Dec. 26 on the synthetic track.

The most recent injury occurred Saturday, when Spenditallbaby hurt her right front ankle at the seven-eighths pole in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Distaff.

She was taken off the track by van and was to be examined by a veterinarian. Last weekend, two horses were euthanized.

“The hard freeze and rain really wreaked havoc,” track spokesman Mike Willman said Saturday. “They were problems none of us anticipated.”

Most of the fatalities occurred during the first week of the meeting, Willman said, when the changing weather conditions caused the track’s synthetic surface to separate.

“The first week aside, things have been good,” he said.

One of the deaths last weekend involved a horse that was on the veterinarians list, which includes horses that have been deemed unfit to race and must prove physical soundness before being allowed to return.

The other euthanized horse was on the steward’s list, which includes horses ineligible to start because of poor or inconsistent performances.

Santa Anita has had problems with its synthetic surface since it was introduced two years ago after the California Horse Racing Board mandated a change from dirt at the state’s major track.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Virus poses threat to KZN's horses

January 20 2009 at 07:12AM

By Gugu Mbonambi

KwaZulu-Natal could face a serious outbreak of African horse sickness, which has already killed 11 horses in the province since the beginning of the year, according to African Horse Sickness Trust chairperson Douglas Welsh.

He said the situation was likely to worsen, as the recent rainy and humid conditions were conducive to further outbreaks.

"The virus has killed nine horses in the Newcastle and Dundee areas, one in Kosi Bay and one in Waterberg. The normal outbreak period is usually from February until the end of May, therefore early outbreaks could result in substantial losses of horses this year," he said.

Welsh said the trust was awaiting laboratory results for one suspected case in Nottingham Road, where the virus could pose a serious threat as there was a high density of horses in that area.

"Owing to the proliferation of game farms in the Midlands and the high volume of zebras (which are the main hosts of the midges that carry the disease), horse owners in those areas are advised to take extra precautions to ensure that their horses are not at risk," he said.

Racing South Africa chief executive officer Peter Gibson echoed Welsh's sentiments, and urged horse owners to take preventive measures as they entered the high-risk period for the virus.

Horse owners are advised to practise the following disease management options:

a.. Keep horses stabled from 3pm until 9am;

a.. Use effective insect repellents;

a.. Ensure that outdoor horses kept in low-lying areas are moved to high ground when there is strong wind; and

a.. Ensure that horses are vaccinated as early as possible.

Horse owners are also advised to telephone their local state veterinarian, or the chief state vet, Gary Buhrmann, at 021 808 5026, if they need more information.

a.. This article was originally published on page 1 of The Mercury on January 20, 2009

Petition Against the PACE ACT

No Tax Breaks for Gamblers at Our Expense!
Target:NTRA, Rep. Charles Boustany & The 111th Congress
Sponsored by: Friends of Equines Society FOES of Equine Slaughter

With the new Congress, the National Thoroughbred Racing Associations (NTRA) lobbying team is gearing up to secure re-introduction of the Pari-mutuel Conformity and Equality Act (the PACE Act).

The PACE Act would eliminate the automatic federal withholding on winnings of $5,000 or more. The bill was introduced in the last Congress by Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), whose district includes two racetracks.
It is not enough that the recently enacted Farm Bill and Economic Stimulus Act gives over $400 million in tax breaks and breeding incentives to the equine industries, breeders & owners of race and showhorses, it is being proposed in this new bill that we should give racetrack players & gamblers a tax break by doing away with federal witholding on their wins! Think of how much revenue will be lost to our federal govt if this "no withholding" plan is implemented, and of course, as always, it will be the taxpayers the govt will look to to make up the lost income. This is a bill that will benefit only gamblers. Do you think gamblers deserve such a break from our government? No one twists their arms to lay down their money on a bet. Moreover, gamblers have always been able to write off some of their gambling losses - but to do away with taxing their wins is going just a bit too far we think. We think a better idea would be to take the federally withheld money from the gamblers wins and put it into a National American Equine Athelete Re-Homing and Retirement Fund.
We think the horses are FAR more deserving of financial help from our government than the gamblers are, dont you?
Call your congressional representatives and let them know that you DO NOT support the PARI-MUTUEL CONFORMITY & EQUALITY ACT and you are hoping they will vote against it.
This type of legislation is porkbarrel politics & cronieism at its best. The racing industry needs its gamblers, of course, so who can blame them for wanting to do "something nice" for them to keep them betting, ..but at what or whos expense? At GREAT expense, and OURS! The NTRA, Rep. Boustany and any others who support this bill are very generous to the gamblers, only with our money! If this bill passes Americans should be outraged! Pass the word around: NO to the proposed PACE ACT!!!

Click on title above to see (and sign) petition;

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

And Now, Tax Breaks for Winning Gamblers

Supported, of course, by the NTRA;


With the new Congress, the NTRA lobbying team is gearing up to secure re-introduction of the Pari-mutuel Conformity and Equality Act (the PACE Act).

The PACE Act would eliminate the automatic federal withholding on winnings of $5,000 or more. The bill was introduced in the last Congress by Rep. Charles Boustany, Jr. (R-LA), whose district includes two racetracks.

As a member of the powerful Ways & Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax matters, Rep. Boustany’s support is important to moving the bill out of committee. The Ways & Means committee has over 40 members from racing states like California, Kentucky, Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Illinois, Texas, Virginia and Washington. Visit the Ways & Means Web site for a full list of members.

But don’t stop there. As soon as the PACE Act is re-introduced with a new bill number, we’ll notify you and post an electronic letter that you can send to your Congressional representative, asking them to co-sponsor the legislation. All you need is your ZIP code. It takes 2 minutes and it’s free.

Our racetracks and horsemen are fully behind this legislation. We need you to join with them in telling Congress that the PACE Act is important to you.


Joe Bacigalupo

Director of Membership Development


Phone: 859-422-2677


Ireland to get new slaughter plant for Horseracing Industry Cast-Offs

A further facility applies for horse
Slaughter licence

Caitriona Murphy

Tuesday January 20 2009

A second slaughtering facility for horses is set to open as the bloodstock industry faces increasing economic pressure.

A south Leinster factory is said to have applied for a licence for the slaughter, processing and export of horsemeat.

The factory, which slaughters cattle, sheep and pigs, would become only the second facility in the Republic allowed to take in equines.

When contacted, the company refused to confirm an application. But it is thought the factory would be capable of killing 300 horses/week.

The move comes as horse owners and breeders battle toughest periods in more than a decade. The value of bloodstock sales at auction fell last year by a massive 43.6pc to €99.5m.

According to Horse Racing Ireland, attendances at the 27 racetracks fell by 9pc from a record level of 1.527m in 2007 to 1.390m last year. On-course betting turnover fell by 18.2pc, with bookmakers down 21.5pc and the Tote down 10.1pc.

More than 100 National Hunt brood mare owners gathered in the Dolmen Hotel in Carlow on Friday to address the plight of the breeding industry.

Disgruntled owners blamed the falling prices and sales on 15 years of over-production and reckless breeding. Many were sharply critical of the Irish Thoroughbred Breeders Association.


They accused the association of being too stallion-oriented and dominated by stallion owners and sale company representatives.

A new group, to be known as the Small Breeders Association, was formed at the meeting. It will be chaired by meeting organiser and breeder Michael Maguire from Co Dublin.

It is understood the group will organise a series of regional meetings in the coming weeks to gather support.

- Caitriona Murphy

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fairfield Goes No Slaughter!

A Message from Fairfield Executive Director, Lanny Brooks, another Horse-Hero of the Horse Racing World;

January 9, 2009

Dear Owner,

Fairmount Park along with the H.B.P.A. will be implementing a new policy starting this year. It reads as follows: Any trainer or owner stabling at Fairmount Park who directly or indirectly participates in the transport of a horse from Fairmount to either a slaughterhouse or an auction house engaged in selling horses for slaughter will be prohibited from having stalls at Fairmount Park. The policy also applies to any actions related to the transport of a horse from Fairmount Park where the ultimate intended result is the horse’s slaughter.

It is the wish of the H.B.P.A. and Fairmount to take this to the next level, so here is what we are proposing. Our plan is to create the following. Along with our horses for sale program which has successfully transitioned over 65 horses we find that there is a need to address the problem of what to do with Fairmount Park race horses that suffer career ending injuries or that are simply not wanted anymore. Injured horses will receive preference and if necessary unwanted horses will be put on a short waiting list. Catastrophic injuries that occur during a race will still be the responsibility of the owner or his representative. Our solution to this problem is the following. Such horses will be brought to a holding stall. We will then arrange for transportation to an adoption center where the horse will be cared for until it can be placed in a new home. There will be no questions asked, the trainer or owner will simply notify the H.B.P.A. and the horse will be moved immediately.

To cover the cost of a donation to the retirement center, transportation etc. we propose that each owner allows two dollars per start to be deducted from their account and be place into a fund which will be administered by a non profit corporation which will set up by Fairmount and the H.B.P.A. This amount will be matched by Fairmount dollar for dollar. This is a small amount of money for the return we will receive in the welfare of our horses and the positive public relations that will result from doing this.

I invite your input on this matter and hope you will agree that this is the right thing to do. If you don’t opt out by notifying us in writing the money will be deducted when we start racing on April 7. Keep in mind if you have five horses that each run 12 times, your contribution would only be $120.00 for the entire year!

Thank you in advance for your consideration in what I believe is something that so worth while and is the right thing to do for our horses and our image.


Lanny Brooks H.B.P.A. Executive Director

"Racehorse Alternative Choice Environment" R.A.C.E.

Purpose: To transfer unwanted horses from the racetrack with the intention of finding them a place to rehabilitate and be placed in a new environment.


1. We will accept unwanted horses or horses that are not being cared for.

2. We will not accept horses that break down and in the opinion of the veterinarian should be euthanized. That will be the responsibility of the owner.

3. We will accept horses that suffer non life threatening injuries which cause the owner not to want to the horse anymore.

4. Horses must be ones that are currently racing at Fairmount Park.

5. Fairmount Park or the H.B.P.A. will not be responsible for any financial obligations incurred by the owner on behalf of this equine prior to its donation to R.A.C.E.

6. The owner agrees that he or she is transferring full ownership of the horse to R.A.C.E. and R.A.C.E. has full authority for all veterinarian procedures.

7. Foal papers must accompany the horse along with a current coggins. Foal papers will be stamped “not for racing”.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Foreign investors smile on Saratoga

Arab investments, high-technology hopes putting international focus on county that still has rural feel.

Jan 10, 2009 (Albany Times Union - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- SARATOGA SPRINGS -- Arab executives looking to invest billions in high-technology and horses have discovered a welcoming haven in Saratoga County.

The still-rural area offers an environment that values foreign investment and its horse-racing history, important factors in making it attractive to investors in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates, said Robert Wages, executive director of private equity at the Abu Dhabi Investment Co.

United Arab Emirates is a federation of seven states, including the wealthy cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and it borders Saudi Arabia and Oman. Those areas are trying to supplement their energy-based economies with new business models and equine holdings, Wages said.

"A lot of countries and regions are not very welcoming," Wages said, in an interview from his Saratoga Springs residence, while home for the holidays. "I think New York, other than its taxes, has made a conscious decision to welcome foreign investment. And Saratoga, with its racing and equestrian activities, is very unique in the world."

That wealth from abroad could remake parts of Saratoga County:

--The Emirate of Abu Dhabi has committed up to $9.6 billion in Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Company officials say that will allow a joint venture, The Foundry Co., to build a $4.6 billion computer chip factory in Malta and Stillwater. The project could begin as soon as March.

--In May, a Dubai company purchased the Fasig-Tipton Co. and is now making millions of dollars in renovations to the historic four-acre horse auction site in Saratoga Springs. The company hopes to have the work done by August's annual yearling sales.

--Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is renovating a 106-acre horse farm adjoining Saratoga Race Course. He bought the property for $17.5 million two years ago.

The private development arrives during a recession and credit crisis. Local leaders point to thousands of jobs that AMD says the chip fab factory would generate in the 215,000-person county, and additional tax revenues created by the horse-related renovations.

"Where else is the money coming from these days," Saratoga Springs Mayor Scott Johnson said. "In the state of the economy, I welcome any kind of reliable investor. Just because you're a foreigner doesn't mean you can't be a good community investor."

But a handful of county residents who have opposed the AMD deal question the reliability of the foreign investment, especially amid declining oil profits. At a recent Empire State Development Corp. hearing, Kyle York of Saratoga Springs and Bob Radliff of Stillwater criticized the project's $1.2 billion in state subsidies to build on what is mostly forest land.

"About $1 million per job is an excessively high cost for taxpayers," Radliff said. "We are highly dependent on one company, on one business model in a highly vulnerable and volatile industry." Foreign companies would siphon profits out of the state and could abruptly pull out of the area if higher profits or tax subsidiaries are offered elsewhere, Radliff said.

Area economic leaders and investors argue that money from the UAE will make Saratoga County and New York into an international player in computer chip manufacturing and the city into the world's premier horse sales site. The federal government's Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States signed off on The Foundry Co. deal this week.

The AMD offshoot will produce computer chips for companies, including AMD, at the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

Synergy Investments Ltd. -- the new owner of Fasig-Tipton -- is headed by Abdulla Al Habbai, a close associate of the ruler of Dubai.

"The ultimate goal is to make Saratoga the premier yearling sale in the world, plain and simple," said Boyd Browning, president of the Kentucky-based operation. "It's a substantial investment."

Currently, September sales at Keeneland in Kentucky score higher average prices for yearlings than Saratoga does, Browning said.

Wages, 45, who works in the UAE, couldn't say if additional investments in the region were planned.

Roughly 75 percent of the UAE's population are non-citizens. Investments like those into AMD are part of a long-term plan to bring industries and development to the UAE, Wages said.

"The United Emirates love Americans," he said. "They are very interested in being good friends with us. I don't think that aspect is appreciated much in the U.S."

Dennis Yusko can be reached at 454-5353 or by e-mail at

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Madoff Remains Free, Judge Rules

Government Will Appeal, But Alleged $50 Billion Fraudster Remains In Posh Penthouse

Jan. 12, 2009

Bernard Madoff, the man who allegedly committed the largest financial crime in history, will not go to jail while he awaits trial. Instead he will remain under house arrest, in the comfort of his posh penthouse apartment in Manhattan, despite prosecutors' somewhat belated efforts to put him behind bars.

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff leaves U.S. District Court in Manhattan after a bail hearing in...
Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff leaves U.S. District Court in Manhattan after a bail hearing in New York, today. Prosecutors on Monday said Madoff violated bail conditions by mailing about $1 million worth of jewelry and other assets to relatives and should be jailed without bail.
(Kathy Willens/AP Photo)
In a written decision handed down at noon Monday, Federal Magistrate Ronald Ellis rebuffed the argument prosecutors made last week that charged circumstances warranted that the alleged $50 billion fraudster's bail be revoked. Late Monday, the US attorney sent a letter to Ellis saying the government intends to appeal the decision.

Ellis said that the government's arguments that Madoff was a danger to the community - an economic danger in that he might further dissipate assets that could be used to pay back the allegedly defrauded investors and an increased flight risk now that the case against him is more substantial - did not warrant any changes.

Madoff will remain confined to his $7 million home in the heart of Manhattan's posh Upper East Side, with an armed guard, an electronic security bracelet, and immeditate links to the FBI and US Marshals should he attempt to leave without permission and an escort.

The federal magistrate imposed some additional, minor conditions to the current terms of Madoff's bail. They included additional restrictions on the transfer of any assets and the requirement that Madoff provide the court a list of all valuable in his Manhattan home and that a security company search "all outgoing physical mail to ensure that no property has been transferred."

"The issue at this stage of the criminal proceedings is not whether Madoff has been charged in perhaps the largest Ponzi scheme ever, nor whether Madoff's alleged actions should result in his widespread disapprobation by the public, nor even what is appropriate punishment after conviction. The legal issue before the Court is whether the Government has carried its burden of demonstrating that no condition or combination of conditions can be set that will reasonably assure Madoff's appearance and protect the community from danger." The government had not, the judge decided.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Feds: Madoff Had Millions in Checks Ready to Go Out

Feds: Madoff Had Millions in Checks Ready to Go Out

Search of Alleged Scammer's Desk Yielded 100 Signed Checks Worth $173 Million

Jan. 8, 2009

Prosecutors arguing that alleged $50 billion scammer Bernard Madoff should be put in jail immediately say that when Madoff's desk was searched following his arrest, investigators found approximately 100 signed checks totaling more than $173 million "ready to be sent out".

Disgraced financier Bernard Madoff leaves U.S. District Court in Manhattan after a bail hearing in New York, today. Prosecutors on Monday said Madoff violated bail conditions by mailing about $1 million worth of jewelry and other assets to relatives and should be jailed without bail.

"The only thing that prevented the defendant from executing his plan to dissipate those assets was his arrest by the FBI," prosecutors say. "The defendant's recent distribution of jewelry and watches demonstrates a continuing intention to benefit those close to him to the detriment of his victims."

Prosecutors asked Judge Roland Ellis earlier this week to put Madoff in custody after they say Madoff violated the conditions of his bail agreement when he and his wife sent multiple packages worth more than $1 million containing such valuables as watches, jewelry and cufflinks to relatives and friends.

An earlier court order barred Madoff from "dissipating, concealing, or disposing of any money" or "personal property".

A defense motion saying that Madoff saw the expensive gifts as "sentimental personal items" shows that he "misses the point entirely" according to prosecutors.

Madoff's lawyers concede that on Christmas Eve, Madoff and his wife sent a number of packages to friends and family.

"Mr. Madoff gathered a number of watches that he collected over the course of years, knowing that, due to the sudden change in his circumstances, he would never have an occasion to wear these watches again," according to a brief filed by Madoff's attorneys, who say packages were sent to the Madoffs' sons, a daughter in-law, Madoff's brother and sister in-law, Mrs. Madoff's sister and a married couple who are close friends.
And uh, we ask, where were the checks going to and what "sentimental value" did they have to Madoff and / or his cronies?

Madoff Attempts to Hide Assets; Mails-Out Millions in Jewelry to Family

Click on title to see news-vid;

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Billionaire "Equine Advocate" Goes Broke in Madoff Scam; Gets Himself Sued

Billionaire Investor and Boardmember of "Equine Advocates," and owner of Stonebridge Farm, -- out $7.5B in Madoff investments

By DENNIS YUSKO, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SARATOGA — A hedge fund investor who poured millions into Saratoga's equine economy has abruptly stopped all new construction on his huge horse farm and wants to sell his thoroughbreds after losing some $7.5 billion in the Bernard Madoff scandal.

Jeffrey Tucker, the founding partner of Fairfield Greenwich Group, bought Stonebridge Farm in Schuylerville in 2004, and has since built New York's first track with a synthetic racing surface and indoor arena on the 188-acre farm. Tucker, 62, owns and cares for about 50 thoroughbreds on the site, considered one of horse racing's premier training facilities, and recently purchased a 230-acre satellite farm in Gansevoort.

But two weeks ago, his Connecticut-based investment firm said it had lost $7.5 billion — apparently more than anyone — in the Madoff scandal, which is being called the biggest Wall Street scam ever perpetrated.

Authorities allege Madoff, a former Nasdaq stock market chairman, created a classic Ponzi scheme with investors' money in which he defrauded clients out of potentially $50 billion. About a dozen international customers of Fairfield Greenwich are preparing legal action against the company and its founders — Tucker, Walter Noel and Andres Piedrahita — claiming they failed to watch after their investments after "feeding" them to Madoff.

The losses have caused all construction on Tucker's vast farm to grind to a halt, and the properties' manager says Tucker will soon sell his horses. "It's going to be tough financial times," manager Dennis Brida said in an interview this week.

He said that rumors about the farm closing and laying off its 50 employees are false. But Tucker plans to carefully evaluate the farm and make necessary changes, Brida said, including unloading his 20 to 25 horses, some of which ran at Saratoga Race Course, in the coming months.

Tucker, a Manhattan resident, has worked in the finance industry for most of his life. He likes to spend weekends in a home he built on Stonebridge Farm because he loves horses, those who know him say.

Tucker serves on the board of Equine Advocates of Chatham ( and has hosted multiple celebrity galas on his farm to raise money for the charity. He is chairman of Empire Racing Associates (

"He's the nicest man walking God's green Earth," said developer Sonny Bonacio, who helped build Stonebridge, but recently was asked to cease work on a barn.

"He asked us to hit the brakes until he figures out what his long-term plan is," Bonacio said. "It's such a shame what happened."

Tucker did not respond to a request for an interview. In a Dec. 16 letter to investors, Fairfield Greenwich Group reported that it had invested approximately $7.5 billion of its $14.1 billion in assets with Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities.

"We are seeking to gather all facts, work diligently with counsel to determine the appropriate course of action toward recovery, and stand ready to assist the authorities with their investigation," the company statement said.

It was Tucker who introduced the firm to Madoff in 1989, according to The Wall Street Journal. The fund that Fairfield Greenwich set up through Madoff had lost money in only 13 months over 15 years, the newspaper reported.

Fairfield Greenwich made money by charging its clients a 1.5 percent management fee plus 20 percent of the fund's profit, said Jacob Zamansky, a New York City attorney who represents clients who he says lost more than $50 million with Fairfield Greenwich. A lawsuit against the company would be filed in a few weeks, he said.

"Many people were unaware that Fairfield was invested in Madoff, and they assumed based on documents presented to them that it was doing proper diligence," Zamansky said. "Clearly, they didn't live up to their responsibilities."

If investors' money was used to buy Tucker's horse farms and a court decides against Fairfield Greenwich and Tucker in the case, the farms could be sold to satisfy the judgments, Zamansky said.

Such a development would be a blow to the area economy, said Bill Peck, supervisor of Northumberland, where Tucker's Gansevoort farm is located.

Everything at Stonebridge is "top shelf," Peck said, and Tucker tried to buy and hire local.

If Tucker cannot sustain the farm as is, there's hope at least one of the properties could be remade into a commercial operation.

"It's in a great location in a really great racing community," Brida said. "It will still thrive."

Dennis Yusko can be reached at 454-5353 or by e-mail at