By Jessica Martini
TIMONIUM, MD – With heavy rains pelting the track at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium Wednesday night into Thursday morning and a forecast of continued rain through Saturday, Fasig-Tipton officials made the decision to postpone Thursday’s final session of the under tack show for next week’s Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale until Sunday.
“Our priority is safety for the horses and riders,” explained Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sales Director Paget Bennett. “The decision to postpone was based on that completely. The weather started to go bad [Wednesday] afternoon and then it continued all night.”
Bennett continued, “This is a first for the 2-year-old sale here, we’ve been so fortunate to have good weather all the time. We build in that extra day, but unfortunately our extra day of Friday is expected to be worse than this is, so that wasn’t an option this year. We try to make sure we have a Plan B, and the Plan B is usually Friday. But for 2018, the Plan B is Sunday.”
The start time of Sunday’s session of the under tack show will be determined based on the weather conditions in the next few days.
“It will be based on what the weather does to us in the next 72 or 48 hours,” Bennett said. “We’ve been starting at 8 a.m. and finishing by 2 p.m. every day, so once we see what the weather is going to do to us, we will determine the start time.”
Fasig-Tipton also announced that it is pushing back the start times for the May 21-22 sale to 2 p.m. The auction was originally scheduled to start at 11 a.m. each day.
“Pushing back the start time of both sale sessions to 2 p.m will ensure that buyers will have ample time to complete their pre-sale inspections and evaluations,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning.
Consignors, showing horses between the raindrops Thursday at the fairgrounds, tried to remain philosophical about the scheduling change.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to roll with the punches,” said Clovis Crane. “If it wasn’t right, it wasn’t right. I’m sure Fasig was doing the best that they could do and we’re going to have a horse sale whether we breeze them today or breeze them on Sunday. So we’ll make it work.”
Without having access to the track to train Thursday, Crane improvised on that, too.
“We trained them under tack in the shedrow,” he said. “We got quite a bit out of what we did this morning, so we’re going to be ok.”
As for moving the start time of the Monday and Tuesday sale sessions back to 2 p.m., Crane suggested, “I think they should just cancel on Monday and have the sale on Tuesday. They are going to have 150 to 200 outs as it is, so you’re going to have 400 horses to sell, just sell them on Tuesday. That gives everybody another day to look on Monday.”