Keeneland Magazine


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38 WINTER 2014 K KEENELAND.COM embracing the bluegrass that have to eat grass somewhere anyway, so it's a happy combination to have them here, where guests can walk over and feed them carrots." A second paddock is under construction (there will be 12 acres of pad- dock space) along with a new 10-stall barn at the side of the property. "There are always people coming and going and it's so interesting," said Hill. "This morning I took a coffee on the front steps with [trainer] Michael Matz, and it was wonderful." Equally impressive is the work being done at Margaux Farm, a 640- acre tract on beautifully shaded Moores Mill Road surrounded by the scenic Elkhorn Creek. The Hills have wintered their horses at Margaux for three years and now, having bought out their partners in the farm, are upgrading the property into a top-shelf training facility. Farm manager Michael Hardy proudly surveys the training tracks from an infeld gazebo. He points out the stamina-building fgure-eight- shaped gallop that is about fve-eighths of a mile around but with spurs that make it almost a mile. A synthetic surface known as Tru-Stride, manufactured in upstate New York, has been installed. The surface will not freeze and is designed so that water drains right off the top of it, making it perfect for winter use. Nearby, being covered with Tru-Stride, is a straight strip that will allow horses to breeze a half-mile as they prepare to be dispatched to race- tracks. And on the banks of the Elkhorn, on a food plain that keeps the silty soil soft, is an exquisite half-mile turf gallop featuring a three-fur- long straight and then an uphill bend. Margaux also has an arena, round pens, and three newly converted tobacco barns that now house horses. There will be 220 stalls on the property when the work is complete. "About 25 percent of the horses on the farm now belong to the Hills, with the rest from clients," said Hardy, a native of Ireland and a graduate of the Darley Flying Start program. "This property will allow more horses to be kept in Kentucky through the winter, where they can be trained or turned out and people can come see them whenever they'd like. Clients that have broodmares may keep them here also as a complementary service we provide for them, but pri- marily we're set up for training and lay-ups." Both Hardy and Jason Sciortino, who manages the B&B, praise the Hills for giving them the tools they need to com- plete these major projects, for being direct in telling them what they want, then allowing them to accomplish it. As for the Hills, they now have places of beauty for themselves and their horses to thrive in Central Kentucky. "After being in the corporate world, the horse industry is like going back to a simpler business," Hill said. "It's usu- ally two guys deciding, 'Let's do this,' and it happens. So we really do enjoy it." KM Margaux Farm, which spans 640 acres, will have 220 stalls when work is complete. Though racehorse-oriented, the farm also accommodates mares.

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