The dispersal of late Jack Dreyfus’ Hobeau Farm’s horses started at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of 2-year-olds in training in Maryland May 18 and 19. Cary Frommer, as agent, sold four of the operation’s juveniles for $1,028,000. They included a Tapit colt named Tashop that set a record for a horse sold at public auction in Maryland with his $850,000 price.
“We knew he was a star when we brought him up here,” said longtime Hobeau general manager Craig Wheeler of Tashop. “He kept getting better as he went along, and he jumped through all the hoops. He showed himself like a champion. He just did everything right, and the cream came to the top.”
Tashop is a half-brother to 2007 Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) winner Miss Shop.
“He was really balanced, and he moved effortlessly across the ground,” Wheeler said. “He also was very correct and put together really well. We knew he was a nice horse, but we just didn’t know how high everybody was willing to go for him. We’re tickled to death with the price, and we’re proud for Mr. Dreyfus. He would have been proud for us and for his horses.”
Dreyfus, a member of The Jockey Club, died in March at the age of 95. His Hobeau operation was represented by such talented runners as Beau Purple, Onion, Prove Out, and Kelly Kip.
Hobeau’s Florida acreage was sold several years ago, and Wheeler keeps Hobeau’s horses at his 20-acre Craig Wheeler Thoroughbreds operation in the Ocala area and in barns he leases on other properties. He raised Tashop and the other juveniles sold at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic.
The rest of Hobeau dispersal will be slow and orderly and will involve approximately 50 horses, according to Wheeler.
“The horses are going to be offered over a period of time,” he said. “They also will be offered at the appropriate time. If we need to wait to sell a yearling as a 2-year-old or a weanling as a yearling, we will. We have a certain amount of breathing room and time to do it so we can maximize the horses’ values.”
Wheeler was feeling “mixed emotions” as the Hobeau horses went through the sale ring in Maryland.
“I got choked up when that horse brought a lot of money,” Wheeler said. “It was a lot of personal satisfaction, but it also was bittersweet because we would have loved to have sent the all the horses to races with (Hall of Fame trainer) Allen Jerkens, and we would have loved for them to have gone on and won big races for Mr. Dreyfus. I wish he was still around to see them, but the next best thing was for the horses to sell really well and make Hobeau and Mr. Dreyfus proud.”