Timonium Auction of Dreams

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The Fasig-Tipton Midlantic auction took place at the Timonium Fairgrounds on 19 to 20 May 2008, and nothing could stop the crowds from attending, not even the rainy skies. With over three hundred two year old horses waiting for new owners, it was not only a big event for breeders and sellers, but for the everyday people who take part in horse racing for the joy of it.

Even though some horses sold for record prices, there are more affordable horses thrown into the mix, and it is here where people such as Bob Oliva come to do their shopping. Oliva is the owner of Renpher Stables and has approximately a hundred and sixty investors and twenty horses at present. The investors are ordinary people, retired horse racing enthusiasts, postal workers and researchers who invest amounts as small as $300 to be a part of the racing industry. Renpher Stables gives their investors the opportunity to own a racehorse, and a dream.

It has happened in the past that a horse that has been turned down by the big spenders has landed in the care of people who race for the love of it and has gone on to be a champion. And with every sale at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Auction, the hopes of a winning horse were bought. But for people like Bob Oliva and his investors, it is not all business. For them, every horse racing event is a Kentucky Derby or Preakness Stakes in their eyes, and every worthy performance makes their horses champions to them. This year they bought three fillies and a gray colt, which Oliva has high hopes for.

Of course, there were buyers with money to throw around, such as a Lion Heart – Bye Bye Bue colt that fetched $575 000 and a colt named Hands Team, by recently retired Storm Cat, that sold for $360 000. The sales were slightly lower this year, when compared to 2007, but it was still considered successful and Fasig-Tipton now looks towards the next auction.

And so everyone at the Timonium Fairgrounds has their own story and their own reason for being there, proving that horse racing is not just for the rich, but for people with dreams. Many won’t make it to the Grade 1 big leagues. Then again, it really doesn’t matter to most of them, as long as they have a good horse to race and receive years of enjoyment and excitement from their investment. They are a part of something special, the life and the career of a racehorse they own.