12/12/2008 12:00AM

Andrade has no regrets on farm purchase


In spring 2003, Manny Andrade, former chief executive of Dunkin Donuts, was touring Ocala looking for real-estate opportunities.

"I did not have anything particular in mind," he said. "Except that real estate was my focus."

One parcel that caught his eye was Randy and Linda Mills's 100-acre-plus Breakaway Farm.

"I closed on the farm in the fall of 2004 and renamed it Get Away Farm," Andrade said.

But while the farm had all the infrastructure and personnel one needed for a going concern, Andrade had no horses to put on it, and he was not sure that this was the way he wanted to go.

"I grew up on a farm," he said. "So the thought of being involved in the horse business was not out of the question."

Andrade hired Breakaway's Larry Anderson to be his manager. Together they began to redevelop the property and stock it with horses.

"The opportunity to buy one of Florida's leading sires, Double Honor, happened as Farnsworth Farms was going out of business," Andrade said.

Andrade now had a stallion but needed mares.

"I wasn't going to rush into this and just buy any mares that came along," he said. "I had it in mind to apply sound entrepreneurial principals in this."

Over the years, the Andrade band has grown to 12 mares. He owns 32 horses in all, including five yearlings that he intends to take to the Ocala Breeders' 2009 2-year-old sales.

"Or, if economic conditions dictate, I will race them," he says.

Double Honor, a 13-year-old son of Gone West, has ranked among Florida's leading sires for both Farnsworth Farms and Get Away Farm. He currently ranks sixth in Florida, with lifetime progeny earnings of $15 million. He stands for $3,500.

Imperialism is another Farnsworth Farms-bred stallion who stands at Get Away Farm for $5,000. A son of Langfuhr, the gray or roan Grade 2 stakes winner placed in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.

Both stallions will be featured from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at the annual Get Away Farm showcase.

"We're serving lunch and then we're going to show off several of Imperialism's get," Andrade said. "He has some nice babies. After the showing, we are going to award some seasons. Both stallions had full books last year, and we want to keep the momentum going."

When asked if he had to do it all over again, would he get into the breeding business or become the real-estate developer he intended to be, Andrade responded, "I love this business. My grandkids love this business, and I am having the time of my life."

Oswald still keeping tabs on industry

Forty years ago, if you needed mortgage money for agricultural purposes in Ocala, the mantra was "See Doug Oswald at the Sun Bank." Need a loan to pinhook a weanling or a yearling, buy a broodmare, or syndicate a stallion? See Doug Oswald at the Sun Bank.

Oswald is one of those rare people one meets in life that has been there, done that, and he leaves both respect and smiles wherever his journey takes him. The city of Ocala elected him mayor, they named a golf tournament after him, he worked with the late Art Appleton on the Appleton Museum, and he is a past president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association.

Oswald, 85, was spotted earlier this week taking his daily neighborhood walk and stopped for a chat. Oswald expressed concern for the problems working their way through the nation's economy and about how these problems were affecting the horse industry.

"I try to keep up with everything," he said. "And it looks like we're in for some tough times all around."

In his younger days, Oswald raced some and sold some while operating a small farm and training venue outside the Ocala city limits. It was there that he raised several stakes winners, including a homebred named Sun Bank.

"Time to give it up," he said. "Even bankers can run out of money in the horse business."