Oliver's Twist, who nearly claimed a Preakness trophy for Maryland in 1995, has been retired and transported to Florida for his breeding career.
Bonita Farm, the Boniface-family operation in Harford County, sold the 5-year-old horse to Red Oak Farm in Ocala. The sale is contingent upon a semen analysis for Oliver's Twist.
After a career marked by injury and illness, Oliver's Twist's final setback was a chip in his right front ankle.
"I thought he'd given me all he could give me," said Bill Boniface, his trainer. "He was an absolutely courageous horse."
Boniface said he believed Oliver's Twist would stand next year for about $1,000. He declined to reveal the selling price, but said he retained one lifetime breeding right.
Two years ago, Oliver's Twist was the Touch Gold of his 3-year-old class. Touch Gold, who went on to win this year's Belmont, should have won the Preakness, but struggled throughout a horrendous trip.
Oliver's Twist should have won the 1995 Preakness. At odds of 25-1, he fell a neck short of Timber Country when, blazing along the rail down the homestretch, he found himself blocked behind horses.
Now that Oliver's Twist the horse is retired, the only Oliver's Twist still racing is a greyhound.
The Bonifaces own four greyhounds, all named after their stakes-winning horses. In addition to Oliver's Twist, who races at Wheeling Downs (W.Va.), the Bonifaces own Churchbell Chimes, Rose Law Firm and Irish Forever, all racing in southern Florida.
The dogs were born at Bonita Farm on May 20, 1995, and raised there. Joan Boniface, Bill's wife, walked them twice a day all over the spacious horse farm.
"It was wild at times," Joan said. "But it was fun. I'd take them down the center of the training barn, and the horses loved it."
Filly grand champion
Richard L. Golden's gray filly by Two Punch out of Hero's Hurrah was named grand champion at the 63rd annual Maryland Horse Breeders Association Yearling Show.
Frank Brothers, the renowned Kentucky trainer of Pulpit and Hansel, judged the show last Sunday at the state fairgrounds in Timonium. He named Robert T. Manfuso's bay colt by Waquoit out of Playwiththebigboys the reserve champion.
Both Waquoit and Two Punch stand at Golden's Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City. This was Two Punch's second grand champion. His first was the colt One Two Punch in 1989.
Eighty-two Maryland-bred yearlings participated in four classes. The results:
Class I for colts and geldings foaled in Maryland by mares covered in Maryland -- 1st: Manfuso's reserve champion colt. 2nd: John Foster's bay colt by Silver Comet out of Dearness. 3rd: Nancy G. Martin's bay colt by Northern Raja out of Maggie Go Round.
Class II for colts and geldings foaled in Maryland by mares covered outside Maryland -- First: Shirley K. and Ronald G. Lamb's Piece of the Rock, a bay colt by Rock Point out of Ox Flight. Second: Jackie and Roger Schipke's First Emperor, a dark bay colt by Chief's Crown out of Dame Avie. Third: Nina H. Gardner's bay colt by Runaway Groom out of Cool Chase.
Class III for fillies foaled in Maryland by mares covered in Maryland -- First: Golden's grand champion filly. Second: Kelly and Wayne Bailey's Hot Cross Buns, a dark bay by King's Nest out of Muffin Club. Third: Richard C. Granville's Flight Numbers, a bay by Polish Numbers out of Flight Luxe.
Class IV for fillies foaled in Maryland by mares covered outside Maryland -- First: Manfuso and Michael P. Cataneo's bay by Cahill Road out of Shine On Sarah. Second: Manfuso Brothers Investments' dark bay by Leo Castelli out of His Angel. Third: Mary Runyon Ziegler's Look What I Can Do, a gray by Spicy Story out of Whoki.
In addition, the $25,000 Maryland fund yearling show premium was divided among the 1995 yearlings who last year as 2-year-old racehorses won the most money. Hal C.B. Clagett swept first and second place, a combined $21,250, for Bullet Valay (winner of $143,221) and Assault John (winner of $139,378). Kennard Warfield's Pat Wolsh ($46,704) and Redmond C.S. Finney's Dover Snow ($27,576) were third and fourth.