10/10/2001 11:00PM

Tarrant, Bold World enter game in big way

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MIAMI - Amy Tarrant had already attended four 2-year-old sales and been outbid on several horses she had fancied when Bold World came into the ring during the Ocala Breeders' sales in April. Tarrant and her trainer, Ron Taylor, had pinpointed Bold World, a Fortunate Prospect filly, as far and away the best prospect at the sale, and this time she was determined to come away with the winning bid.

Unfortunately for Tarrant, she wasn't the only buyer in Ocala with an eye on Bold World. As the bidding escalated, Taylor advised her to stop once the price rose above $200,000. Tarrant didn't listen.

"I don't know what made me keep bidding," Tarrant recalled. "When I got to $475,000, I knew it would be my final bid. In my heart, I just couldn't go to a half-million. Even for her. Luckily the other bidder must have felt the same way because that's where it stopped. And at that point I knew we were just supposed to have her and that we were going to be really lucky with this filly."

On Saturday, Bold World can earn back a big chunk of her purchase price in the $400,000 My Girl Stakes, final leg of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Series.

At $475,000, Bold World became the second most expensive horse sold at auction by her consignor, Farnsworth Farm. Four years earlier, Farnsworth sold the future Eclipse Award winner Beautiful Pleasure for $480,000.

"She's not as big and muscular as Beautiful Pleasure," Farnsworth Farm owner Michael Sherman said of Bold World. "But in my 40 years in this business, she's probably the best-moving horse I've ever sold."

Tarrant, 58, said she waited "until her fifth child graduated college" before realizing her dream earlier this year of getting into the Thoroughbred business. She did it in a big way, purchasing a farm just outside Ocala in Reddick, Fla., hiring Taylor, and buying 14 horses, including 11 2-year-olds.

Bold World is the most expensive member of Tarrant's stable. Appropriately, she gave Tarrant, who races under the name of Hardacre Farm, her first winner when she captured Calder's $125,000 Susan's Girl Stakes, the middle leg of the filly division of the Florida Stallion Series. She won that race despite coming into the stakes a maiden and having only one previous start.

"Ron told me after Bold World won that I had no business winning a race like that at this stage of the game," Tarrant said with a smile.

Taylor said he was impressed with Bold World the first time he laid eyes on her.

"When I watched this filly breeze for the sales, I couldn't believe my eyes," said Taylor. "Watching her action, I thought she'd gone in about 36 [seconds], and when I looked at my watch she had gone in 33 and change. She got over the ground so smooth and effortlessly, like a daisy cutter. Then I went back and watched her around the barn, and she never turned a hair. Even so, I was ready to drop out of the bidding at $200,000, but Amy was determined to have her. And I couldn't be happier for her the way things have turned out. She's really an incredible person to work for. Finding an owner like Amy is like mining for platinum - a trainer's dream."

Tarrant and Taylor met when they were introduced by a mutual friend in Ocala. Taylor had quit training several years earlier following what he called a few "disappointing experiences" with previous owners and two serious heart attacks. But he kept his hand in the business by turning to pinhooking.

"Pinhooking was the perfect job for me," said the 52-year old Taylor. "I was able to take three to four months off each year, didn't have to kill myself working, and was always able to make a few dollars. Then I met Amy. She was down to earth and willing to give me a free hand with the horses. So I decided to take one more shot at training."

"I'm the novice and he's the comeback kid," was how Tarrant described her relationship with Taylor. "I told him I won't tell him how to train, but I want to learn all about the business, and he's been kind enough to let me do just that. And so far I'm having the time of my life."