Former Meadowbrook Farms Listed for Sale

Former Meadowbrook Farms Listed for Sale
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/Blood-Horse Publications
The former Meadowbrook Farms, which in 2005 was sold to the principals behind Thor-Bred Stable, is back on the real estate market. The operation is located near Ocala, Fla.

The offered property, which includes 292 acres and is described in the listing as a “turn-key” training center operation, carries a list price of $7.95 million. The property is also the site of the former Ocala Jockey Club restaurant, which prior to its closing in 2003, was for years a premier eating establishment in the Central Florida area.

In addition to the 9,700-square foot clubhouse/restaurant, the property includes seven barns with 179 stalls, and an irrigated five-eighths mile racetrack. There is a separate undeveloped parcel of 318 acres available for sale, although the price for that property hasn’t been disclosed.

Owners Pavla and Erik Nygaard operate Thor-Bred Stable, which primarily races on the New York and California circuits with trainers Billy Turner, Richard Violette and Dan Hendricks. The Nygaards, who have been active in yearling and juvenile sales in recent years, have operated the Florida property as Valhalla Estates since the purchase.

Pavla Nygaard said they wish to sell the property because their racing and breeding interests are now focused outside of Florida.

Meadowbrook Farms, which was incorporated in Florida in 1959, is the breeding and racing operation founded by a syndicate that included the late Joseph LaCroix. Meadowbrook has bred two Breeders’ Cup winners: Prized, who won the 1989 Turf (gr. IT); and Brocco, who won the 1993 Juvenile (gr. I). The ownership of the family operation included Barbara LaCroix and son David LaCroix, who still trains in California.

The original Meadowbrook Farms was located near the west side of Ocala, but was eventually sold off in the early 1990s in a variety of transactions, and converted to an industrial park. The LaCroix family in 1990 purchased the current property located in the town of Irvine, and helped develop part of it into a gated equestrian community with about 40 condominiums.

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