WINDWAYS FARM TO SHUT DOWN
Top Canadian breeder Jeff Begg and family have sold farm
In its 35the year, Windways Farm in King City, Ontario will close down Canadian operations, ending a long and successful business started by the late James Begg and continued by his son Jeff and wife Annabel.
There are only two horses at Windways these days: the family’s homebred Victor Cooley, the Queen’s Plate winner of 1999 who went on to win the Grade 1 Vosburgh and El Brujo, also bred by the family and a Grade 1 winner for Arnold Zetcher in 2010.
“It’s time,” said Jeff Begg, 57, who is also a major player in polo circles and on various thoroughbred industry boards.
The 40 acre farm has been sold and the new owner will take over in April while the Beggs move to a property in Mono, ON.
Begg said he still has a couple of mares that are currently in Kentucky including his special gal Enchanted Spell. “She made me, essentially,” said Begg about the Devil’s Bag mare who was nominated for Outstanding Broodmare in2010.
Enchanted Spell has produced 8 winners for the Beggs including El Brujo, a son of Candy Ride (Arg).
Enchanted Spell is also the dam of Galadriel, who is up for outstanding broodmare at the Sovereign Awards this year. Galadriell was bred by the Beggs, sold, became a stakes winner and a producer, bought back by Begg for two seasons and then re-sold. Begg bred the mare’s 2yo of last year, Grade 2 winner Concave, by Colonel John.
Certainly it was Victor Cooley who put Windways on the road to success when the son of Cool Victor – Willow Flight roared to his big wins in the late 1990s. Victor Cooley and the Beggs now sponsor an award given out by LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society to generous and caring horsepeople.
El Brujo came along in 2010 and was a Queen’s Plate hopeful for the Beggs until it was determined he was a much better sprinter. The gelding was sold to Zetcher and was trained by Bob Baffert and he won the Grade 1 PAT O’BRIEN STAKES. When he was finished racing, Begg approached the owner and made a deal to bring the gelding back to his birthplace to be retired.
Windways also bred Plate winner Wild Desert, the American-based colt by Wild Rush out of Desert Radiance by Desert Wine. Desert Radiance had many foals for the Beggs and one, Kick ’em Jenny, is the dam of 2013 stakes winner Surtsey.
Other stakes horses bred and/or raced by Windways include Solitaire, Charming Ruckus, Manitoba Miss, Ninety Nine Fine and Fusaichi Dinosaur, a $230,000 sales yearling for the family.
The farm’s first stakes horse was Artic Mistral.
Jeff, a former trainer who works in commercial real estate, and Annabel, an animal heath technician, have four children who are involved in the industry. The family has been very successful in selecting out mares for reasonable prices, keeping the numbers of horses on the low side and then selling commercially viable youngsters for good money. It is never a surprise to see a top runner or two each year that was born at Windways.
Begg said he is not certain how much the family will remain in the breeding or racing business. They currently have a small stable of racehorses but said “we’ll have to see what becomes of the Ontario industry”.
As for Victor Cooley and El Brujo, the two geldings are soon headed to Old Friends Retirement home in Kentucky after Old Friends found Michael Blowen expressed interest in the stars coming to its popular farm.
The popular Windways green, black and white diamond silks will still be in view at Woodbine but with no more Canadian-breds from the famed farm, the racing business will certainly miss out.
Stats: As far as Breeder Statistics go, Daily Racing Form has a number of entries for Windways but a quick glance shows at least 125 wins by Windways-breds and earners of well over $5,5 million.
Since 2000, owner stats for Windways:
014 1 0 0 0 $130
2013 15 1 1 2 $59,244
2012 2 0 0 0 $5,100
2011 10 2 3 1 $27,532
2010 13 3 0 2 $71,787
2009 24 8 5 2 $487,832
2008 23 5 5 4 $331,501
2007 13 2 3 3 $65,824
2006 23 7 2 3 $94,912
2005 7 0 0 1 $8,237
2004 1 1 0 0 $17,880
2003 3 0 1 1 $6,994
2002 13 1 3 0 $40,144
2001 12 0 3 1 $29,833
2000 15 3 2 3 $158,982
James Begg (left) and Jeff Begg (right)
FASIG TIPTON MIXED SALE DAY 2 – CANADIAN NOTES
Canadian-bred stakes winner TEE GAME sold for $140,000 on day 2 of the Fasig Tipton Winter Mixed sale on Monday in Lexington Kentucky. The El Corredor – Steph’s Tee, by Lil E Tee mare, who won over $456,000 on the track, was sold as a broodmare prospect. She was bred by Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms.
A couple of other recognizable gals sold as well: stakes winner Jacally brought $50,000 and the fleet filly Johannes, both raced by Harlequin ranches, sol for $40,000.
Arika Everatt-Meeuse reports that her family (James and Janeane Everatt) sold a Cape Blanco Kentucky bred colt for $52,000 to Doug Arnols, agent. The Everatts also made three purchases: a Dixieland Band mare for themselves, a Sharp Humor filly for a client and a Curlin mare for a new owner, which is great news.
F HUMORUS DILEMMA SHARP HUMOR BIG TEASE HIDDEN BROOK AGENT VI JAMES EVERATT, AGENT $65,000
M MISS DIXIE HALO DIXIELAND BAND MISS CITY HALO HARTWELL FARM AGENT J A EVERATT $18,000
574 F ANOTHER FLASHBACK CURLIN FLASHY LANE’S END AGENT JAMES EVERATT, AGENT $26,000
2014 Thoroughbred Improvement Program Budget Approved
Planning for Ontario’s 2014 Thoroughbred Improvement Program (TIP) is well underway, following approval of the budget by the Board of the Ontario Racing Commission last week. It is anticipated that the structure will remain very similar to the successful 2013 Program with a full season of restricted and stakes racing as well as substantial awards for breeders and stallion owners.
Worth $14.9 million, the funding for TIP remains status quo, a strong indication of the stability of the Program going forward. Developed by the Thoroughbred Advisory Group, TIP will continue to provide significant incentives to breed and own horses in this province.
For close to 50 years, TIP’s multi-faceted program has distributed over $500 million to industry participants. The Program has been successful in its objective of creating a marketable Ontario product, producing such current millionaires as Marketing Mix, Essence Hit Man, Inglorious, Pender Harbour, Pool Play, Joyful Victory, Stormy Lord, Up With the Birds, Dixie Strike, Uncaptured, Irish Mission and Eye of the Leopard.
The 2014 Program mirrors last year’s TIP program, providing consistency for the horse people in this industry,” said Glenn Sikura, President of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division). “We have a viable Program in place based on the 5-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan, which makes it easier for those in the industry to make breeding and ownership decisions.”