Day At The Track

Luther buys top-selling pair at Tattersalls

05:15 PM 19 Jan 2021 NZDT
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Tattersalls Meadowlands Sale
Tattersalls sale at the Meadowlands

Greg Luther's million-dollar experiment has increased in size and scope. After spending seven figures at last fall's harness racing yearling sales in what he called his "million-dollar experiment" to find and develop Grand Circuit talent, the Ohio resident has continued to add to his stable with the recent purchases of several veteran performers.

On Monday (Jan. 18), Luther bought the top-selling horses at the Tattersalls Winter Mixed Sale at The Meadowlands - Chief Mate for $220,000 and Captain Kirk for $215,000. Both are 4-year-old male pacers trained formerly by Tony Alagna.

Those buys came on the heels of privately purchasing 2020 Adios winner Catch The Fire as well as Catch The Fire's now 3-year-old full brother Captains Place.

"I ended up spending about $1.1 million on yearlings and spent about another million dollars on older racehorses in the past 30 days," Luther said, adding with a laugh. "So, I guess it's a two-million-dollar experiment now."

Luther has a 51-horse stable trained by his brother Todd, who is based at Winner's Circle Training Center in central Ohio. Luther, who competes as Black Magic Racing, is the sole owner of all the horses except Catch The Fire; original owner Charles Taylor retained an interest in the 4-year-old stallion.

"This is new for both of us, my brother and myself, to be into the higher-end horses," Luther said. "We've been definitely putting it out there to try and make 2021 a huge year for us. I've got an online marketing business and things have been good here in the past year-and-a-half. I've always wanted to get into the big leagues and it just seemed like good timing. We're trying to get onto the Grand Circuit scene."

As for Monday's purchases, Luther said, "Those were the two horses I was looking for."

Chief Mate, a stallion by Captaintreacherous out of Heaven Forbid, has won six of 23 career starts and $226,619. He finished second by a head to Catch The Fire in last year's Adios and at age 2 won the Kentucky Sire Stakes consolation as well as three preliminary divisions of the Kindergarten Classic Series. He won a qualifier in 1:53.2 last weekend at The Meadowlands.

Captain Kirk, a stallion by Captaintreacherous out of Aria Hanover, has won three of 24 lifetime starts and $265,880. Last year, he won the Tompkins-Geers Stakes and an elimination of the North America Cup. He is a full brother to Grand Circuit stakes winner Blue Diamond Eyes.

Both horses were consigned by Preferred Equine.

"They're both nice horses," Luther said. "Chief Mate just qualified so he's ready to race. The other horse is going to be about 90 days out yet. This is all new for me, but we're going to try to hit all the big dances with both of them. I think they'll both do well as they mature into older horses.

"Everything seems to be lined up well. I think we're going to have a phenomenal year. It should be a lot of fun."

King Alphonso was the top-selling trotter in Monday's sale, going for $145,000 to Matt Morrison. The 4-year-old stallion, by Muscle Hill out of Amour Heiress, was trained previously by Ake Svanstedt. He is 1-for-1 this year and has won four of 20 races in his career, totaling $241,465. He was a Grand Circuit stakes winner at age 2.

He also was consigned by Preferred Equine.

A total of 119 horses and stallion shares sold Monday for a gross of $3.74 million. For complete results, click here.

by Ken Weingartner, USTA Media Relations Manager

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