The faces are familiar but the name, when it appears on the sale result summary sheets, will be new.
Veteran bloodstock agents Barry Berkelhammer of Florida and Bob Feld of California have teamed to form Bionic Bloodstock, which will make its debut during juvenile selling season.
Separately, Berkelhammer and Feld have recommended their clients purchase such horses as two-time champion Ashado; Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I), Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I), and Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) winner Balance; Florida Derby (gr. I), Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I ), and Donn Handicap (gr. I) winner Harlan's Holiday; and Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) winner Siphonic.
Together, Berkelhammer and Feld are striving to create a business that will serve trainers seeking to bulk up their stables with a supply of promising juvenile athletes.
‘We’ll take business from anyone who is interested in having us buy horses for them,” Feld said. “But the core concept of Bionic Boodstock is to reach out to trainers. They’re busy, and a lot of them can’t find the time to go to the sales. Some of them haven’t ever even been to a sale before. We thought we could approach trainers who have clients in their barns who want good 2-year-olds and would rather buy than claim something. We could help the trainers set up partnerships inside their barns; we could help them set up contracts, and we could even send out weekly updates (on a horse’s progress while in training) to the owners if the trainers are interested. That’s what we think our niche could be.”
According to Berkelhammer, he and Feld discussed the creation of Bionic Bloodstock for about six months before announcing its formation earlier this year.
“When we met up at the sales, we always seemed to be on the same horses,” Berkelhammer said. “We felt like between the successes he’s had on the West Coast and the successes that I’ve had on the East Coast there seemed to be a natural fit and we could do some good together. We decided to join forces for the 2-year-old sales, and this is a 2-year-old venture for the most part. We both have our steady yearling customers, and we’ll continue to work with them.”
Added Feld: “Usually, agents are on their own, and there’s not enough room for two egos, but Barry’s a real down-to-earth guy. I have a lot of respect for his eye and his abilities. I asked him what he thought about joining forces, and after kicking it around for months, we decided to give it a whirl.”