Consignor Susan Foreman (right) with Israel Romo and Amanda Hutchison, and a Medaglia d’Oro filly to be offered at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale.
One’s first trip to Saratoga is often unforgettable. That’s why people keep coming back to the same spot in upstate New York every summer.
This is far from the first Saratoga sojourn for consignor Susan Foreman, but it’ll be a memorable one nonetheless.
Foreman, born and based in Ontario, will consign her first horse at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Yearling Sale. The single-horse consignment doesn’t take up much room in Barn 3, but the right horse can fill a lot of space.
The Medaglia d’Oro filly, offered Monday as Hip 22, is out of the winning Fusaichi Pegasus mare Vulcan Rose, whose three foals to race are all black type earners, led by the Grade 3 winner and popular young stallion Flameaway.
Though many of Vulcan Rose’s foals have been foaled in Canada, the filly offered Monday was born in Kentucky, bred by British Columbia-based Deborah Holmes’ Phoenix Rising Farm.
“I’ve got a great owner who gave this filly to me to prep,” Foreman said. “She foals mares with me, so with this breeding, she needed to be with the best of the best. They sent her to me in mid-April for prepping, and here I am. She fits the bill. She’s gorgeous, classy, with pedigree. I couldn’t have asked for a nicer horse. If I’m a one-woman show, I brought the right filly.”
Monday’s sale will mark a new milestone for Foreman, but that’s no indication that any of this is new for the consignor. She has sold in Kentucky and Ontario for decades, and she’ll have 15 horses in the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Ontario Division) Canadian Premier Yearling Sale on Sept. 1 at Woodbine, where she is no stranger to the top of the standings.
Foreman has a full-service farm in Tottenham, Ontario, with over two decades of experience with Thoroughbreds. However, her equine roots trace back to the show horse world with different breeds. The rigorous process of making sure a horse is pristine for judges made for a natural transfer when Foreman moved into the Thoroughbred realm, and the show ring was traded for the sales ring.
“I have done this since I was a little girl,” she said. “I’ve shown horses, conformation horses on the line, so I have a lot of attention to detail ingrained in me. Coming into the Thoroughbreds and showing them was uncomplicated for me, because since I was a small girl, it was so important for me to have them fit, muscular, shiny, clean, clipped properly.”
Even with a single-horse operation, Foreman acknowledged that she couldn’t do it alone. She brought a pair of longtime friends and associates with her for her first Saratoga consignment: Amanda Hutchinson from Ontario, and Israel Romo from Kentucky.
Romo has worked in the WinStar Farm stallion operation, but her relationship with Foreman goes even further back.
“We’ve been friends for close to 20 years and he still shows horses for me,” Foreman said. “He’s my go-to guy when I need extra help down here, he finds me all my help, so he’s a key asset for me to show.”
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This year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale has a considerable Canadian presence, with fellow Ontario-based outfits Cara Bloodstock and Sam-Son Farm also bringing consignments.
Though COVID-19-related restrictions aren’t as tight as they were at the same time last year, Foreman said there were still plenty of administrative hoops to jump through to get from one side to the other.
“It’s tough,” she said. “My easy access for me was I hauled her down here myself, so I go in the commercial lane, and have all my export papers done with my broker, no problem. But, to come without her would have been a problem. You’d have had to fly. For me, transporting her with all of my equipment and my groom was the easy way to get here.
“There’s a lot of documents to cross – declaration of importation, who’s traveling with me,” Foreman continued. “Every detail is not overlooked on who is coming back and forth: my vehicle, plates, VIN number, everything. But, once you get all that paperwork, it’s just a barcode. They scan you, and away you go.”
It took the right horse to get Foreman to the Saratoga sale, and a potentially special one for her to endure the logistical headaches. Even though Foreman has high expectations for her Medaglia d’Oro filly, the consignor does not plan to rest on her laurels, regardless of how she performs on Monday. This may be her first Saratoga sale as a consignor, but she had no intention of making it her last.
“It was a goal of mine to get here,” Foreman said. “Hopefully I’m bringing this one’s half-sister and some other nice, well-bred colts next year.”
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