Sam-Son Farm announces upcoming dispersal of breeding and racing stock

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Sam-Son Farm, one of the most celebrated and successful Thoroughbred operations in North America, announced today that it will be dispersing its breeding and racing stock during the next 12-18 months. Sam-Son is partnering with the Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland organizations to present this rare opportunity for buyers to acquire world-class racing talent and breeding stock from one of the true breed-to-race operations in the business.

Ernie Samuel founded Sam-Son Farm in 1972 and built it into a world-renowned racing and breeding operation. After his death in 2000, his daughter Tammy Samuel-Balaz took over the reins at Sam-Son and led the farm to numerous victories and awards until her own passing in 2008. Today the farm is run by Farm Manager, Dave Whitford, and Racing Manager, Tom Zwiesler, under the leadership of owners, Rick Balaz, (President), Mark Samuel (CEO) and Kim Samuel, who have sustained and built upon the farm’s sterling reputation and legacy of success. After serious consideration and discussion, the owners have unanimously decided to initiate an orderly dispersal and to step back from active participation in the racing and breeding world.

Sam-Son Farm has bred and raced 44 Graded stakes winners in the famed red and gold silks, including 37 Classic winners, and 14 Grade 1 winners. The legendary operation has garnered 84 Sovereign Awards and won four Eclipse Awards, including the 2019 Sovereign Awards for Owner and Breeder of the Year.

The Samuel/Balaz families commented as follows; “We are enormously proud of the quality and longevity of Sam-Son Farm and have enjoyed nurturing and celebrating every stage of the equine cycle from breeding, to raising, to racing, to retirement and often, returning to the breeding shed. Our horses have given generations of our family such fulfillment and excitement over the years and we felt that the time had come, after five decades, to now share that legacy with the world. It was a bittersweet decision but one that we are committed to pursuing with integrity, transparency and respect. Our horses and our amazing, dedicated employees deserve no less.”

Sam-Son has seen its iconic red and gold silks carried by such champions as Dance Smartly, the first Canadian owned and bred horse to win a Breeders’ Cup race and who, in her undefeated 3-year-old season of 1991, became just the second filly in history to win the Canadian Triple Crown. Other champions include Breeders’ Cup winner Chief Bearhart, Eclipse Award winner Sky Classic; Dancethruthedawn, Quiet Resolve, Rainbow’s for Life, Ruling Angel, Silken Cat, Soaring Free, Wilderness Song and many more. Sam-Son also bred and raced Grade 1 winner and influential sire Smart Strike, a half-brother to Dance Smartly. The son of Champion Sire Mr. Prospector had a magnificent career at stud. A true sire of sires, Smart Strike topped the American General Sire List in 2007 and 2008 and was inducted into the Canadian Racing Hall of Fame in 2008.

Sam-Son’s dispersal program will debut at the upcoming Fasig-Tipton November Sale with two stunning racing/broodmare prospects and two outstanding in-foal mares. This consignment will consist of 2019 Canadian Champion 3-year-old filly Desert Ride; recent Grade 2 winner Rideforthecause; stakes winner and track record holder Desert Isle in foal to American Pharoah and the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) winner Shared Account in foal to Speightstown.

Rideforthecause, a lightly raced daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Danceforthecause notched her 1st Stakes win on September 12th of this year in the GII Canadian Stakes, at Woodbine. She represents one of the oldest and by far the most successful family in our program, dating back to none other than foundation broodmare, No Class.  This filly’s star is on the rise, making her a magnificent racing and breeding opportunity.

Woodbine Oaks winner Desert Ride dates back to Oleana through five generations, giving her the unique distinction of being a descendant of the oldest family in our program. She is a daughter of the Distorted Humor mare Fun in the Desert who herself is a half-sister to champion Eye of the Leopard.  Desert Isle is by leading broodmare sire Bernardini and is also a member of this family.  She is a half-sister to Eye of the Leopard, making her a daughter of the Champion Filly and Broodmare Eye of the Sphynx.

Sam-Son will also offer Shared Account, the first Breeders’ Cup winner and dam of a Breeders’ Cup winner to ever be offered at public auction. The accomplished daughter of Pleasantly Perfect captured the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) and is in foal to Speightstown, so she is carrying a full sibling to Sharing, winner of the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1).  Incidentally, both Pleasantly Perfect and Speightstown were also Breeders’ Cup winners, making this offering a genetic masterpiece that is surely primed and ready to yield future generations of top-class racehorses.

 “Sam-Son Farm has been an iconic name in Thoroughbred racing and breeding for nearly half a century. This program has produced numerous Grade 1 winners, Champions and Hall of Fame racehorses. Sam-Son horses have had a profound influence in top pedigrees around the world and will continue to do so for many generations. Although saddened to see them dispersing their Thoroughbred holdings, we are honored to assist them in this process.” stated Boyd Browning, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fasig-Tipton Co.

Sam-Son Farm will present its remaining in-foal mares at the 2021 Keeneland January Horses of all Ages Sale. This consignment currently stands at 21 and will feature a unique audio-video presentation of each individual mare on the morning of Saturday, January 9th.  This quality group includes Grade 1 producers Danceforthecause and Song of the Lark as well as young stakes-winning mares Checkered Past, Dance Again, Deceptive Vision, Mythical Mission, Smartyfly and Southern Ring. Covering sires include American Pharoah, Candy Ride (ARG), Into Mischief, Kitten’s Joy, Speightstown. and Street Sense.


“Keeneland and Sam-Son Farm have enjoyed a long, successful relationship,”
 Keeneland President-Elect and Interim Head of Sales, Shannon Arvin said. “Over the years, a number of Sam-Son horses have raced here, and the farm received the prestigious Keeneland Tray during the 2005 Spring Meet to recognize its graded stakes success – a milestone that only 20 owners have reached in track history. We are privileged that Sam-Son has entrusted Keeneland to offer this distinguished group of mares at the January Sale.”

This announcement represents a once in a lifetime opportunity to invest into some of the most successful and lasting bloodlines in North-America that, until now, had been very difficult to access.

For more information on the consignments and dispersal process, please contact…

Sam-Son Farm (Milton):                Dave Whitford… Mobile (905) 483-4465; email david.whitford@samsonfarm.com

Sam-Son Farm (Ocala):                   Tom Zwiesler…   Mobile (352) 817-5900; email tom.zwiesler@samsonfarm.com

Keeneland:                                         Shannon Arvin…  Office (859) 254-3412; email sarvin@keeneland.com

Fasig-Tipton:                                      Boyd Browning… Mobile (859) 312-7806; email bbrowning@fasigtipton.com

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