Marsha Naify's Kentucky home sold at public auction Friday for $3,641,657. The 505 Farm and training center sold in three parcels to three owners.
The first parcel, which included a six-furlong track and 20-stall barn with an enclosed jogging track, sold to tenacious Paris, Ky., farm owner Katie Sutphin for $10,100 per acre, or $1,488,861.
Sutphin actually had to go to battle twice for the property that she called a "rare opportunity." The 147.4-acre parcel initially sold for more than $1.3 million, but when the seller was contacted in California the first offer was rejected and the tract resold. It had been announced before the auction started that each tract had a reserve price.
A couple new buyers jumped in when the parcel was re-auctioned and at several points Sutphin looked as though she was ready to give in. She stuck it out and owned the final bid.
"We have tried to race, but we haven't had any luck getting stalls," said Sutphin, who is originally from the Midwest and has owned Thoroughbreds in the area about seven years. "I thought if this happened to slip through the cracks, I wanted to be here."
The property had certainly slipped the first time considering several farms in the area had sold or had contracts for closer to $10,000 per acre, according to Tom Biederman, whose real estate and auction company sold the farm.
But even at the higher second price, Sutphin was pleased.
"I really think this is rare," she said about the turnkey training facility that produced such top runners as Manistique, Swept Overboard, and recent Sunset Handicap winner (gr. II) Grammarian. "It is hard to find stalls to train and if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right."
The second tract, a 110-acre parcel with three barns, living quarters, and a breeding shed, went to veterinary supply company owner Terry Boyarsky. He paid $7,300 per acre, or $838,303 for the property.
Boyarsky, a native of South Africa, has been in the Lexington area for 16 years and said he needed a place for his own horses. He buys three to five yearlings a year and has horses in training in California and with his brother, David, at Turf Paradise.
"I might do a little more pinhooking now that I have this place," he said.
Boyarsky owns Bloodline Veterinary Supply, a mail order company.
The third parcel sold for $7,950 per acre, a total of $1,314, 493, to John O'Meara. He is currently leasing property near Nicholasville to run his Mile Stone Farm.
"I liked the fact it had several houses, was good land, and it is close to town," said O'Meara, who came here from Ireland 20 years ago. "I didn't think I would be able to buy this for under $12,000 an acre. This is great."
O'Meara runs a small commercial breeding operation and does some training on the side. He bred Sky Terrace, who is the 3-1 morning line favorite in Saturday's $150,000 Kentucky Cup Sprint (gr. III) at Turfway Park.