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Edited from Combined Sources — The New York Racing Association confirmed this week it is now the owner of Sugar Maple Farms, a breeding farm in Poughquag, N.Y. Property records show the property was purchased by Sugar Maple LLC for $12.1 million in December 2022.

“NYRA, through a wholly owned subsidiary, has acquired a large parcel of land in Duchess County, N.Y., known as Sugar Maple Farm,” said NYRA spokesman Pat McKenna. “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.”

Once listed for as much as $23.5 million, Sugar Maple first went up for sale in 2015. It was previously owned by Howard and Susan Kaskel and was part of Vinery’s New York Division in the early 2010s. The farm had operated as a breeding operation and stood stallions for many years before coming under Vinery’s umbrella.

According to a Wall Street Journal feature on the estate, it has six barns with 94 stalls and multiple managers’ homes. Those barns include a stallion barn and breeding shed, receiving barn, and barns for foaling and yearlings, as well as ample paddock space. The main house on the property is an 18,803-square-foot Georgian style home built in the 1980s. NYRA officials say the home was not of particular interest to the organization in the purchase and could be used in the future for event space.

Sugar Maple is located about an hour from Belmont Park and two hours from Saratoga Race Course. There is no training track on the property, and significant grading would have to be done to install one, but there could be opportunities for grass gallops and trails over the existing undulating ground.

Officials with NYRA say they haven’t finalized plans for how the farm will be used, but the size and good condition of the existing facilities lends itself to plenty of options. There are no plans for the organization, which owns three racetracks, to get into the business of producing foals it owns, but it could provide boarding options for stallions or mares to participate in New York’s breeding program.

The purchase is expected to be a long-term investment and final decisions on usage/infrastructure will be made gradually.

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