His list of horses the he has either owned or been involved with racing, breeding or otherwise, reads just about like a Who’s Who of harness racing greats.
There is Nihilator, World Champion, Horse of the Year and still the richest pacer of all time with $3.2 million...Camtastic—Pacer of the Year and winner of over $2 million...these horses are closely associated with Northwood Bloodstock owner and president Bob Boni, who selected the horses and managed the racing stables that campaigned these great superstars and many other prime-time players in the Standardbred industry.
Bob manages his Northwood Bloodstock Agency, Inc. with a "hands-on" approach and experience gleaned from over 35 years in nearly all facets of the Standardbred industry.
“The way the cycle is now in my business,” said Bob Boni, “there is no “down time” except maybe during Christmas week. We just finished working with the Standardbred Sales Company and their Meadowlands sale and now we move on to getting all the yearlings set for Harrisburg. Stall assignments, catalog has gone to press, videos being done and before you know it’s sale time and once that is over then there is the January sale at the Meadowlands coming right up. It keeps going and going.
“Then between all the sales,” Bob explained, “There are stallion deals, broodmares and racehorses in private sales that also needs to be handled. It’s never ending.”
Bob started out at Pine Hollow Stud Farm and continuing with management roles at Dreamaire Stud, the Wall Street Racing Stable and North American Sales Co.,
Bob has lent his expertise to both the breeding and racing industry on many fronts. He has also served as a consultant to the Tattersalls Sales Co. in inspecting yearlings for their annual Select Sale.
Bob's strong background in the study and evaluation of both pedigrees and conformation, coupled with his marketing and promotional skills, has helped propel Northwood Bloodstock into its position as one of North America's largest and most respected bloodstock agencies.
There are not many major or minor race events, sales, qualifiers or social gatherings that Bob is not in attendance at throughout North America.
“I try not to miss many major events,” Boni explained, “But because of computers I can watch any race live or via replay so I don’t have to jump in my car and drive to Harrah’s or Pocono as much as I use to.
“What I see now that has changed the way we do business over the past 15 to 20 years,” Bob explained, “is the way we can do business due to technology. We use to labor over the Sire and Dams books, looking up and researching horses. Now we can do it with the click of a mouse. We can watch any race replay and we do not have to wait for the mailman to bring us our horse magazines so we can catch up on events from the prior week or call the USTA’s hotline for race results every morning like the old days.
“Now I think we have even a bigger workload due to advance technology,” Bob said. “Everyone thrives on information and now you have to make sure you have it ready at your fingertips if someone asks. If you are not electronically set up to get this information ASAP then you can’t do your job properly. It has created more of a workload but it is worth the effort.
“If you are the first one to do something unique and give special access to your customers,” Bob explained, “You will always do well in this business. Back in 1976 I remember in that same year both Hanover Shoe Farm and myself, working for Pine Hollow, started shooting video tape of yearlings for the sales.
“I went to a company called Edwar Video and gave them a $10,000 deposit,” Bob said, “Because they were worried if we broke their equipment. I also learned to really appreciate those news cameramen of the times because carrying that camera on your shoulder was like carrying a piece of furniture. And then you had a battery pack strapped around the waist. But boy did it make a difference at the sales. It revolutionized how we sell horses.
“It was amazing that both I and Hanover came to Harrisburg with the first yearling videos,” Bob said. “We both had video of our yearlings and no one else had it. You would have had to go to the farms to these yearling and now you see them in action right at the sales.
“Tony Leonard, the world class equine photographer,” Bob said, “Was the one who first suggested it. He would come to Pine Hollow to take photos for us and he told me how at a party for some Thoroughbred people he saw someone made up a video tape of their horses racing and that I should consider doing it for the yearlings in action.
“We became the very first outfit to ever do it for the Standardbred Industry for races too. The very first horse was Destin Grade and he was bought by Vic Sobolewski of Vijo, Inc. We brought in a TV and the VCR and the horse had won the night before at Roosevelt Raceway. We showed that tape and turned up the sound and everyone came to see where the race call was coming from. We had lots of people watch this horse win the night before and he brought more money that I thought he was worth.
“So today it is not uncommon for someone to come and have already watched ten yearlings on video online,” said Bob, “They may ask to take them out of the stall to see them close up and then watch the video again. Information plays such a big role in today’s market and you must be up on everything to stay ahead of the game.”
If you are interested in purchasing any horse or seek information about a stallion or broodmare prospect, make sure to visit www.northwoodbloodstock.com or give Bob Boni a call anytime at (201) 863-2082.
By Steve Wolf, for Harnesslink.com