Angelos buys Ross Valley Farm Orioles owner plans to expand racing business

November 17, 1998|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Peter Angelos, majority owner of the Orioles, has purchased one of the most visible horse farms in the state, Ross Valley Farm in Baltimore County.

Motorists on Interstate 83 gaze upon its rolling hills and white fences just south of the exit to Hereford. Angelos paid $2.6 million for the 237 acres formerly owned by Eleanor Ross Lynch.

"It's probably one of the most beautiful farms in the state," Angelos said. "It's just a picture to behold."

Angelos said the farm will allow him to expand his horse-racing enterprise, something he's wanted to do for years. He has owned horses for nearly 20 years and races under the name Marathon Farms. He owns about 30, most of which reside on land he rents at Shawan and Cuba roads near Oregon Ridge Park.

His horses will be moving soon to Ross Valley, he said yesterday. They include weanlings, yearlings, broodmares and horses on the mend or resting. Angelos said he probably won't stand stallions at the farm.

Veteran trainer Dick Dutrow conditions Angelos' racehorses at Laurel Park. Angelos' Spartan Cat finished sixth in this year's Preakness.

Angelos said that although Lynch spent millions of dollars refurbishing the farm in the 1980s, it needs another round of upgrades. Its barns date to the 1700s and were built with wooden pegs, Angelos said.

"This is really a unique and enjoyable farm," he said. "We plan on getting it back to its sparkling past."

Lynch, who died in April, had purchased the farm in 1982 after her divorce from the noted horse owner, breeder and homebuilder Jim Ryan.

Ross Valley Farm established a national reputation for producing top thoroughbreds. It bred Houston, who sold as a yearling for $2.9 million. And it bred Two Punch, now the outstanding sire at Northview Stallion Station in Cecil County.

Tim Capps, executive vice president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, said some had feared the farm might be sold to developers for home sites.

"Clearly, from the standpoint of the horse-racing industry and the preservation of green space in Maryland, this is a major, major plus," Capps said. "Peter Angelos buying Ross Valley Farm assures that it will remain green and continue as a premier horse operation."

Pub Date: 11/17/98

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