Upperco couple's wish granted at horse sale

November 18, 1992|By Ross Peddicord | Ross Peddicord,Staff Writer

Joanne Hayden taught her fourth-grade class at Timber Grove Elementary School in Reisterstown as usual on Monday.

But when her husband, David, called her from Lexington, Ky., at 1 p.m., she became speechless.

In the world's toughest marketplace among the glitziest purveyors of pedigreed horseflesh, the Haydens had just pulled off a coup reminiscent of the mid-1980s boom times.

The Maryland couple had just sold a 6-month-old filly, which they had foaled and raised on their 80-acre farm in Upperco, in northern Baltimore County, for $330,000.

"We have reserve prices, realistic prices and wish prices that we put on our horses when we sell them," Joanne Hayden said. "This was definitely a 'wish price.' "

It is the largest amount that has been paid for a weanling filly so far at the Keeneland (Ky.) Fall Sale, the nation's leading auction of thoroughbred breeding stock.

The filly, a daughter of European champion Dayjur out of Safely Home, is a half sister to Eclipse champion and $2 million earner Safely Kept, the homebred daughter of Horatius that the Haydens raced and sold as a 2-year-old for $300,000.

The whole Safely Home episode is one of the great success stories in Maryland's thoroughbred industry.

About a dozen years ago, David Hayden, who operates a local advertising agency, claimed the hard-knocking racehorse for $11,500 at Bowie Race Course.

She broke down. Though she had unfashionable bloodlines, the couple decided to breed her.

Since then, and including the sale of the Dayjur filly on Monday, offspring of the 19-year-old mare, now barren, has turned over more than $1 million in income for the couple.

The Dayjur mating would be "a match made in heaven," David Hayden predicted right after the 1990 Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont Park. In the race Safely Kept pulled off a momentous upset when she beat Dayjur by a neck after the European sprint champion jumped a shadow approaching the finish line.

David Hayden decided then and there to breed Safely Kept's dam to Dayjur. It turned out to be prophetic.

In addition to the Dayjur filly, the Haydens sold their two other Maryland-bred foals, colts by Forty Niner and Devil's Bag, at the Keeneland auction. The Forty Niner brought $100,000, the Devil's Bag, $52,000.

The three horses, all less than a year old, brought a total of $482,000.

"The net investment for the original purchase of the mares was $26,500," David Hayden said. He also spent $130,000 for stud fees to breed them to some of the best Kentucky bloodlines.

Dr. William O. Reed and his wife, who maintain Mare Haven Farm in Lexington, purchased the Dayjur and Forty Niner offspring.

California bloodstock agent Rollin Baugh purchased the Devil's Bag colt.

David Hayden said he was so excited that on his drive home from Kentucky, he took the wrong turn in Morgantown, W. Va., and ended up going 50 miles out of his way.

Joanne Hayden, who had stayed home for parent-teacher conferences as well as taking care of the rest of the couple's horses, said she could hardly do her lesson plans Monday night.

Yesterday, she did what any dedicated teacher who had just experienced good fortune would do.

She treated her whole class to lunch at McDonald's.

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