Whether In Kentucky Or Oklahoma, Winfrey Always At Wolf Creek Farm

Troy Winfrey of Wolf Creek Farm, and the horses he had on offer, took a somewhat unconventional road to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds In Training Sale.

The 2-year-old consignment sector of the industry is typically rooted in central Florida and South Carolina, with a smattering of local pinhookers around any given regional sale. Winfrey is based in Cynthiana, Ky. The Bluegrass State is known for a lot of things in the Thoroughbred industry, especially on the auction front, but the commercial juvenile market is near the bottom of that list.

Fortunately, Winfrey isn’t afraid to travel. His roots are in Texas, where he got his start as a trainer of Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses in the 1990s. He found his specialty on the Quarter Horse side of the aisle, and he achieved a high point in 1994 when Do Ya Disco won the Grade 3 Trinity Meadows Futurity.

When Fasig-Tipton started conducting auctions at Lone Star Park in 1997, Winfrey entered the commercial arena, pinhooking weanlings to yearlings, and yearlings to 2-year-olds. Within a couple years, Winfrey realized if he was going to make a go of being a commercial horseman, he’d have to move to Kentucky.

“We decided we wanted to do more yearlings, weanlings-to-yearlings,” he said. “We were selling horses in Lexington every year anyway, so it was just easier to be centrally located. It’s easier to do business there.”

Winfrey bought a farm in Shelbyville, Ky., a small town just east of Louisville, with property on Wolf Creek, giving the farm its name. When he moved back to Chickasha, Okla., in the mid-2000s, he was a long way from Wolf Creek, but he brought the name with him, anyway. Then, when he returned to Kentucky, this time in Cynthiana, northeast of Lexington, the Wolf Creek name stuck again.

The surroundings changed, but Winfrey said the training philosophies never did. Fortunately, his client base didn’t change, either.

“It’s mainly my own personal horses, and I’ve had four or five clients that have been partners with me for 20 years,” he said. “They keep me pretty full and pretty busy. They’ve been with me from the beginning.

“They’re older guys, and as long as you keep them in the loop, they’re happy,” he continued. “With the new age, everyone is texting, and FaceTiming, and videos, so I see them as much now as I ever did.”

Winfrey said he sells eight to 10 juveniles per year, usually going between the Texas Thoroughbred Association 2-year-olds in training sale and the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale, with potential commercial home runs reserved for the OBS March sale.

Because his clients are based in the Southwest, their horses are occasionally products of their region’s breeding program.

Winfrey acknowledged that can make marketing some horses a challenge when offering them in a different regional market like the East Coast, but the timing of the auction calendar and his own sale schedule will sometimes leave no other option.

He ran into that issue at the Midlantic sale, where he offered, Hip 330, a Louisiana-bred El Deal filly. Fortunately, he was able to find a buyer from the Southwest in Terry Gabriel of Pelican State Thoroughbreds, who signed the ticket on the filly for $17,000.

“This filly came to us late,” Winfrey said. “She probably should have gone to Texas, but we missed that one, so she had to come here.”

The Cynthiana farm is reserved for Wolf Creek’s yearling contingent, then he leases stalls at a training center in Kentucky to prepare his 2-year-olds. The six horses from the Wolf Creek consignment cataloged in the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic catalog were prepped at the Silver Springs Farm training center in Lexington, Ky.

Through the early hours of the Midlantic sale’s second session, Wolf Creek’s leader was Hip 146, a Bernardini colt who sold to bloodstock agent Bo Bromagen for $200,000 during Monday’s opening day of trade.

The colt breezed an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 seconds, just a fifth off the fastest overall time of the sale’s under-tack show. It was a successful pinhook, after the colt was purchased for $50,000 at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

After three decades on the move, Winfrey is getting settled in at the Cynthiana incarnation of Wolf Creek Farm. The property is being built up to better grow yearlings for auctions, recently installing a covered six-horse walker, among other capital improvements.

The post Whether In Kentucky Or Oklahoma, Winfrey Always At Wolf Creek Farm appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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