HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition today highlighted the fact that two Pennsylvania sired horses – Fort Larned and Wise Dan — are among the three finalists for national “Horse of the Year,” the highest honor in thoroughbred horse racing. This represents a monumental achievement for horse breeding in the state of Pennsylvania, as no “Horse of the Year” winner has ever been sired by a stud from a Pennsylvania horse farm.
The Pennsylvania sired finalists for “Horse of the Year” are Fort Larned, sired by E Dubai of Northview Stallion Station in Peach Bottom, PA, and Wise Dan, sired by Wiseman’s Ferry of Dana Point Farm in Lenhartsville, PA. Finalists are selected by voters from the Daily Racing Form, the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
“The success of these Pennsylvania sired thoroughbreds underscores the impact of the state’s breeder incentives and the growing stature of Pennsylvania within the equine breeding industry,” said Brian Sanfratello, President of the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association. “We have seen an incredible rebirth of the equine industry in Pennsylvania since 2004, when the legislature legalized slot gaming in Pennsylvania as a means to fund, save, and revitalize horse racing and breeding.”
“A decade ago, the equine industry in Pennsylvania was on life support – its very existence in question with thousands of jobs at risk and the viability of countless farms and small businesses in jeopardy,” said Pete Peterson, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition. “Now, with a dedicated funding source in the Race Horse Development Fund, Pennsylvania is quickly becoming one of the leading equine states in the country, attracting millions of dollars in investment in our economy from companies and individuals that want to do business here.”
The “Horse of the Year” will be announced on January 19 at the 42nd Annual Eclipse Awards dinner at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida. The Eclipse Awards also recognizes the best horses in the industry in a variety of categories, as well as the accomplishments of individual trainers, jockeys, owners, and apprentices.
In 2012, Fort Larned had multiple graded stakes victories, highlighted by an impressive victory in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Classic. Fort Larned ranked number one in the country in earning, pulling in $3.6 million. He is also an Eclipse Award finalist in the category of “Older Male.”
The Breeders’ Cup Classic winner is sired by E Dubai of Northview Stallion Station in Peach Bottom, PA. In his first seven crops to race, E Dubai has sired 31 stakes winners and the earners of more than $30 million. Since 2007 his progeny earnings have exceeded $2 million a year. In 2012, earnings by E Dubai progeny rank in the top 10 nationally, with total earnings in excess of $7.5 million. And he has now made history, as his single season progeny earnings this year make him the richest North American stallion ever to stand outside of Kentucky.
Northview moved to Pennsylvania in 2009 as a direct result of Act 71 and has invested as much as $15 million in Pennsylvania. Today, Northview Farms PA is the largest thoroughbred farm in Pennsylvania, situated on 180 acres in Lancaster County. The horsepower residing at Northview PA is led by three of the most important established sires in the region –Smarty Jones, Jump Start and E Dubai.
Wise Dan captured a strong fan base in 2012 with impressive victories at the Ben Ali Stakes and Fourstardave Handicap at Saratoga Race Course, capping an impressive year by setting a course record en route to winning the Breeders’ Cup Mile. Many experts view Wise Dan as the favorite to win Horse of the Year. He is also a finalist in the Eclipse Award categories of “Older Male” and “Male Turf.”
Wise Dan is a gelding of the stallion Wiseman’s Ferry, who is standing at stud of Dana Point Farm in Lenhartsville, PA. Wiseman’s Ferry has been a perennially sought after stud, with lifetime progeny earnings exceeding $13.7 million and counting. He has sired 12 stakes horses, including Wise Dan, Riding the River, and European 2 year-old Stakes Winner Swilly Ferry.
The 60-plus acre Dana Point Farms was opened Sept. 1, 2008 – again as a result of Act 71, Race Horse Development and Gaming Act — — and has quickly grown in stature in the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred breeding industry. Dana Point is the first thoroughbred venture by Gayle Gerth and is managed by Maria Vorhauer, who brings a lifetime of experience to the position. Following her purchase of the farm 4 years ago, Gerth, a resident of Dana Point, CA, invested millions of dollars in the property and business and now spends roughly half of the year in Pennsylvania.
About the Pennsylvania Equine Coalition
The Pennsylvania Equine Coalition is a statewide group representing more than 10,000 owners and trainers of the horseracing industry in Pennsylvania. Members of the coalition include the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen’s Association, the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the Standardbred Breeders Association of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association, the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and the Pennsylvania Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association.