NYRA Acquires Sugar Maple Farm

Sarah Andrew

New York's Sugar Maple Farm, comprising 466 acres and located about one hour from Belmont Park and two hours from Saratoga, has been acquired by the New York Racing Association (NYRA).

NYRA's Patrick McKenna released the following statement Wednesday afternoon:

“NYRA, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has acquired a large parcel of land in Duchess County, N.Y. known as Sugar Maple Farm. The 466-acre property, which was previously utilized as a breeding farm, could be appropriate for a wide array of uses including as a new center for equine health and safety research, veterinary education programing, Thoroughbred aftercare as well as off-track training and layup services.

“The acquisition of Sugar Maple Farm will, for the first time, allow NYRA to directly contribute to New York's breeding industry and strengthen the NY-bred program. NYRA jumped at the opportunity to protect Sugar Maple Farm because it will strengthen the foundation of New York State's Thoroughbred racing ecosystem, create jobs in the Hudson Valley, enhance equine safety and preserve important open space.”

The transaction record can be found by doing a search at gis.dutchessny.gov/parcelaccess/. The transaction record appears to show the sale date as Dec. 29 of last year with a price of $12.1 million.

Najja Thompson, executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., added an additional statement:

“Sugar Maple Farm has had a storied history in New York breeding as one of the largest breeding and boarding operations in the state. Standing stallions, caring for mares, foals, yearlings, and racehorses on layups.

“The news of NYRA purchasing the farm with plans to modernize the facility for a multitude of purposes with the overall goal and intent of helping to further improve the landscape of New York breeding and racing is exciting and we look forward to working with NYRA toward these goals.”

The estate was first listed for sale in 2015, when Christie's provided the following details:

“Sugar Maple Farm, a 460-acre equestrian estate in the New York town of Poughquag, is on the market for $23.5 million. At about 80 minutes from Manhattan, the Georgian-style manor sits at the end of a driveway lined with Linden trees. Inside, the 4-story home features high ceilings and custom millwork. There are eight bedrooms, nine full bathrooms and three partial bathrooms. A crow's nest staircase leads to the fourth floor where a balcony overlooks the grounds. The home's lower level includes a wine cellar, an indoor swimming pool and a basketball half-court. The property also features a tennis court and a putting green. A respected facility for racehorse breeding and training, the estate includes paddocks, outbuildings and six barns with 94 stalls. The property belongs to the entrepreneur Howard Kaskel and his wife, Susan. The couple is selling the home because they plan to downsize, according to listing agent John Friend of Houlihan Lawrence, an affiliate of Christie's International Real Estate. While the couple intends to continue breeding horses, they no longer wish to maintain a farm of this size, he said.”

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