11/28/2008 12:00AM

Houghton cuts back at Buckingham

Email

Fasig-Tipton Midlantic's December mixed sale has been trimmed by about a third from previous years, with fewer than 400 broodmares, weanlings, yearlings, and horses of racing age cataloged for the one-day sale, to be held Dec. 8 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

Not to be overlooked is the addendum that places nine horses throughout the catalog. Seven of the nine additions are weanlings and broodmares from long-established Maryland breeding lines developed for generations by Elizabeth "Binnie" Houghton and her late husband, Eddie Houghton, at Buckingham Farm in Chestertown, Md.

One of the most engaging couples in Maryland racing, the Houghtons established their beautiful Eastern Shore farm in 1964, and bred, raised, or raced more than 40 stakes winners over the years, both for themselves and for Binnie Houghton's father, the late Anderson Fowler.

Eddie Houghton died on Aug. 31 at the age of 67, at a time when the horse numbers had already needed to be trimmed back.

"It's just too much work for me," said Binnie Houghton. "It's breaking my heart, but I need to downsize."

Offered in the sale are three mares in foal. Running Creek, by Cape Town, is out of the Houghtons' graded stakes winner Palliser Bay and is a half-sister to graded stakes winner He Loves Me and 2008 stakes winner For Kisses. She was bred to Latent Heat.

April Gator (by Green Alligator) is out of the stakes-placed Caveat mare Don't Be Foolish. In foal to Dance With Ravens, April Gator is a stakes-winning half-sister to $445,850 earner Foolish Pole, a winner of three stakes who placed in four graded stakes.

The 5-year-old Tale of the Cat mare Begonia is carrying her first foal, by Point Given. She is out of multiple stakes winner and graded-stakes-placed Petunia.

Houghton is also selling four of the six foals born at Buckingham in 2008. A Lion Hearted filly out of stakes winner Smartly is a full sister to stakes winner Roaring Lion. Graded-stakes-winning juvenile Annie Cake (by Gate Dancer) is the dam of a Dance With Ravens colt. April Gator's colt by Gators N Bears (named Gators Galore) is a half-brother to three winners. And a Two Punch filly out of Aunt Elaine (by Charismatic) is from the family of Barbaro.

Five broodmares will stay at Buckingham, four in foal for 2009, including Petunia, Palliser Bay, and Annie Cake.

"We are keeping fillies out of all the families," said Houghton, who still has four yearlings, including a daughter of recently retired Smartly, as well as horses in training.

Buckingham Farm also remains home to a menagerie that includes ponies, donkeys, and llamas. And the number of famed equine retirees living in splendor along the Chester River continues to grow, as stakes-winning mares Smartly and Reeve's Lib recently joined the group that counts Foolish Pole among its members.

"They are all members of the family to me," said Houghton, who added that she will not be attending the sale.

Not for Love sets Maryland record

Not for Love, the leading U.S. sire standing outside of Kentucky for each of the last five years, is the first Maryland stallion to surpass $6 million in progeny earnings in a single year. Four years ago, Not for Love was the first to reach $5 million.

Not for Love, who stands at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, is represented by 13 stakes winners in 2008. He has had four first-time stakes winners since Nov. 1. Three are juveniles - Illinois-bred Devil's Halo, winner of Hawthorne's Sun Power Stakes on Illinois Festival of Racing Day; Love That Dance, a New Jersey-bred filly who captured the New Jersey Juvenile Stakes at Meadowlands; and Maryland-bred Not Up for Love, winner of the Christopher Elser Memorial Stakes at Philadelphia Park in his first start.

Five-year-old Love Abroad, who scored in Aqueduct's Itaka Stakes on Nov. 23, was foaled in New York.

Not for Love, an 18-year-old son of Mr. Prospector, ranks 15th on the list of leading sires in the nation.