03/05/2016 1:54AM

Bergman: Hanover Shoe Farms joins Winbak, Blue Chip at Goshen Sale in September

Mark Ford is hoping that they can sell 200 head at the Goshen Yearling Sale.

While industry leaders voice concerns about the shrinking yearling crop, not all activity in the breeding business has come to a halt. There’s still a solid market for young horses and despite the doom and gloom prospective issued by some, the need still exists for venues to offer the next generation to the public.

Last year Mark Ford partnered with Blue Chip Farms and Winbak Farms for the initial Goshen Yearling Sale at his training center in Middletown, New York. The initial offering, a day-long affair, proved to be successful even though the number of yearlings sold was under 120.

Ford and company recognized the need for an early-to-mid September auction following the void left by the former Jersey Classic sale held at a similar time. With last year behind them, they reached out to Northwood Bloodstock’s Bob Boni to run the sale this year and Boni brought along company.

[DRF HARNESS LIVE: Real-time insights from the DRF Harness team this Saturday at 6:35 p.m.]

“We got Hanover Shoe Farms to commit,” said Boni.

There is no bigger name in the sport when it comes to breeding and racing success. Certainly for those image conscious people, the name is likely to encourage many owners that may have ignored the sale last year and focused instead on Kentucky, to take another look.

Ford’s facility is big enough to handle a larger supply of horses and he thinks the numbers could swell dramatically this year when the Goshen Sale, scheduled for Sunday, September 18, is likely to offer 200 or more yearlings.

“I think we could go above 200,” said Ford, “We want to be able to sell all in one day.”

Last year’s first Goshen sale, as successful as it was, didn’t come without some conflicts. There was fallout on many fronts as the “New” sale hampered the existing Morrisville yearling sale. This year the two sales will not collide but will come awfully close with Morrisville going on Saturday, September 17, just one day in advance.

“Ideally we would like to work something out,” said Ford in regard to the Morrisville situation. “We are having conversations.”

No matter what the conclusions of those talks become, the Goshen Sale with Hanover in the mix is more than likely to be a focal point for all yearling buyers, especially those in the Northeast.

“I think in the future we might want to push the date back a week or two,” said Boni in regard to the placement of the auction. A key element for breeders is not to conflict with major racing days or nights and that’s why the September 18 date was chosen this year in order to avoid a conflict with the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Championship.

“The focus of the sale will be horses bred in the Northeast,” said Ford.

The location couldn’t be more perfect with Ford’s farm in close proximity to those racing in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Those shopping and racing in the local Sire Stakes programs won’t have to travel too far to see yearlings at the farms and then follow them along to the yearling sale. Time saving is also money saving for owners and their trainers.

Ford is well aware of the importance of Agri-business in New York and he says it is not something lost in his community. “Wallkill and Middletown Townships are very much behind the sale and they know that the traffic it brings to the community is good for all,” said Ford.

Ford wears many hats as a full-time trainer and now head of the New Jersey Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association, along with running a successful training center. While some of his other work may be more time consuming and not always rewarding, he appears genuinely excited about the current and future impact a Goshen sale can have.

“I think we had a great following last year and I think some players were on the sidelines waiting to see if the sale would work or not. Now this year we’re bringing in Bob Boni with his expertise. He helped bring in Hanover Shoe Farms and that’s a big deal,” Ford said.

According to Boni, the move by Hanover to the Goshen sale comes after a few years of Hanover splitting their yearlings with some going to market in Lexington and the majority selling at their own Harrisburg auction. It appears that Hanover is not returning to Kentucky this year and instead will be a feature player along with Blue Chip and Winbak in Goshen.

Boni too was extremely optimistic with the feeling that Goshen will provide a valuable niche to many breeders with stock that can get lost at the two bigger yearling auctions. The beauty of a single-day sale is that yearlings don’t get lost or overlooked by the crowd. There’s no waiting to the next day.

While it’s safe to say that the Lexington and Harrisburg sale will no doubt have the highest priced yearlings sold in 2016, at the same time Goshen could carve out a place for many breeders that saw yearlings overlooked at those sales in the past but recognize that attention translates into dollars.

For breeders undecided where to sell this year, contact Bob.Boni@goshenyearlingsale.com. He’ll steer you in the right direction.

JAYWALKING: Ford said he’s still waiting for a hearing in regard to the horse Journeyman that he purchased at the Meadowlands January Sale. The horse allegedly tested positive in his last start for Ron Burke and then was scratched when entered the first time by Ford. In both cases the substance Glaucine was allegedly present.

While we can make all sorts of arguments in regard to the half-life of the substance or what level of the substance must be in a horse’s system in order for it to test positive, we’ll wait until the New York Gaming Commission follows through with its positives and explains to the horsemen where it stands on the subject.

The delay in offering any hearings by the Commission keeps everybody in limbo and in and of itself is a bit puzzling.

As Tom Petty said: “The waiting is the hardest part.”