This year for the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training sale, Brick City Thoroughbreds are bringing a draft of six individuals selected to the sale from Maryland. The company created by JR and Katie Boyd in 2012 prides itself on its quality training adapted to each horse, its integrity and its honesty. Based in Williston, Florida, the Boyds have three daughters and everyone who works for the shipper is considered part of the family. After seeing one of their daughters graduate from high school the same weekend as the Preakness, JR Boyd sat down with the BloodHorse MarketWatch, with his wife, Katie, over the phone to find out more about their boutique operation. practice.
JR Boyd of Brick City Thoroughbreds watches Hip 80, a filly by Tapwrit out for a show at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale
Market surveillance: How long have you been in the business and how did you meet?
Katie Boyd: We’ve been in the business for just over nine years with Brick City Thoroughbreds, but JR has been a third generation rider in the industry for over 30 years. His stepfather, Robert, and his late mother, Mary Harris, ran the Harris Training Center, a strong training and demolition facility.
JR Boyd: We actually met at a gas station. Katie was 17 and I was 20. We dated for a while, then we both broke up. Twelve years later, we met again and the rest is history.
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MW: What sets Brick City Thoroughbreds apart from similar stripping/training/consignment operations?
JR: We try to establish a strong background in the horses, giving them a solid foundation for the future. Our track record of horses running successfully after our program is a very high percentage.
KB: We respond to each horse, it’s not a cookie-cutter program with us, and we’re small. We start the horses the same way, but then see what each horse needs. Some need more of something while others need less; we continue with what the horse tells us.
JR: Honesty…sometimes it hurts us, and sometimes it helps us. We are just sincere and honest people. Sometimes when people ask us for our advice, that’s not what they want to hear. Everyone thinks their horse is special.
KB: We really love horses; most of the horses in our stable will be kissed on the nose daily. Some even learn to return kisses. We get to know the horse and then adjust the training for him; no one method works for everyone. We are practical; we live on our farm and are in the barn every day, morning and evening, watching the horses and hanging out with them. They are so loved. Most of them even have a barn name.
JR Boyd at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale
MW: What have been the strengths of the Brick City Thoroughbreds graduates and what do you see for your future?
JR: Bodexpress he is a Grade 1 winner in the Clark Stakes presented by Norton Healthcare in Churchill in 2020 and played in the 2019 Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1). Metallic grey winner of the Sham Stakes (G3) in 2019, and Caracaro who ran second Tiz the law in the 2020 Travers Stakes (G1). But I honestly think our biggest success is raising three girls and getting them to school.
KB: Ten years from now we’d love to say we’ve had a Derby winner; this is the dream we are pursuing. We are not aiming to be a huge operation, just one that sells beautiful, fast and healthy horses. We would like to gain a few more customers to train horses just for races or to go to sales.
We are turning into more of a boutique farm, where we don’t have as many big numbers, but we are selective about the horses we train and take. To accommodate this, we would like to obtain additional sales horses for dispatch.
MW: What was the best advice you received?
JR: To stay humble. I grew up in this game and saw the ups and downs; you have to try to stay level. Don’t get too high when it’s rising and don’t get low when it’s falling, because this industry will humiliate you quickly.
KB: But on the other hand, the winner of this year’s Kentucky Derby, Rich Strike , proves that anything is possible. We have big dreams and we set our goals and hopes high, but we also have good contact with reality. We know where it all comes from because we are big believers.
JR: My mom always said, “You have to crawl before you can walk,” and now that I’m older, that makes a lot of sense.