He should have been a contender. Of course, maybe he still will be.
Right up until the starting gate opened for the Sanford Stakes (G3) at Saratoga Race Course on July 17, Maryland Brando looked like he was in with a chance. Though making only his second start, he had won his debut impressively at Delaware Park, romping by 11 1/2 lengths.
Owners Nick and Delora Beaver, who race in the name of Bell Gable Stable, primarily at Delaware Park, had their eye on the Maryland-bred Flatter colt early on.
“We picked him out from our backyard,” said Delora. “Sycamore Hall Farm (the colt’s breeder) is our neighbor in Chesapeake City. David Wade, the farm manager, told us that they were going to have some horses in the sale, so we went over there and looked.”
Immediately interested, they set themselves a budget of $150,000. Nick went to the Fasig-Tipton Maryland Fall Yearling sale on his own and had Delora on the phone during the bidding, which quickly reached, then exceeded, $150,000. Nick had told Delora he’d ask her permission to keep bidding, but she could hear the bids over the phone line before he could say anything.
When the hammer dropped, he was theirs for $250,000, five times as much as they’d ever paid for a horse. The BloodHorse headline read, “Bell Gable Stable Secures Coveted Flatter Colt.”
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