The auction of 2020 breedings to four stallions standing at Deo Volente Farms — Six Pack, Lazarus N, Trixton and Lis Mara — goes live on ongait.com starting Wednesday.
by Dave Briggs
New Jersey stallion owners are pitching in to help the state’s horsepeople most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. One hundred per cent of the proceeds from an auction of four stallion breedings will be donated directly to the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey’s (SBOANJ) Benevolent Fund.
The auction will be held on https://ongait.com/ starting Wednesday, April 29 and ending on Saturday, May 2.
Deo Volente Farms’ owners Thomas Pontone and Michael Gulotta are donating 2020 breedings to Lazarus N, Trixton and Lis Mara. In addition, the original ownership group of Six Pack — Jeff Gural, Svanstedt Stables, Stall Kalmar Inc., Lars Berg, and Knutsson Trotting — are also generously donating a 2020 breeding to Six Pack to the fund.
All four stallions stand at Deo Volente, which is located in Flemington, NJ.
“Anything I can do to help the horsemen is a no brainer,” Gural said. “I remain in contact with the governor’s office to try to convince them that we can operate racing safely at the Big M without customers and remain hopeful that they will consider our request once they see a decline in the number of residents who are effected by the virus.”
SBOANJ president Mark Ford said, “horsemen in New Jersey are very thankful to Jeff Gural for this very generous donation. When times are tough, he always finds a way to help. Furthermore, Mike Gulotta and Tom Pontone have not only stepped up by donating both cash and breedings to this fund, they spend several hours a month managing our investment accounts, and we thank them.”
Bids for Lazarus, Six Pack and Trixton will all start at $5,000 and the bid for Lis Mara will start at $500.
“Bidding will start at 50 per cent of the advertised stud fee for these breeding rights,” said Gulotta. “Hopefully, together with contributions to the fund we can generate a significant amount so that we can ease some of pain being felt by our brothers and sisters in the standardbred world.
“COVID 19 will be recorded as one of the most devastating tragedies in modern American history, or world history for that matter. Many are suffering physically, emotionally and financially as a result. I’m proud to be a part of the SBOA’s effort in establishing a fund specifically to help those most affected by this pandemic. A special shout out to Tom Pontone and Jeff Gural and the original Six Pack ownership group as well as my partners at Deo Volente Farms for their donations of 2020 breedings. We’re hoping that horsemen everywhere will step up to help those most in need.”
Pontone emphasized the close-knit nature of the standardbred community.
“I hope that those who can do so will step up to the plate and alleviate some of the pain caused by this horrific virus,” Pontone said.
Winning bidders will be offered one breed back opportunity in a subsequent breeding season in the event that the 2020 breeding does not result in a live foal.
Gulotta added that donations to the SBOANJ’s Benevolent Fund would also be greatly appreciated by sending them to the SBOANJ headquarters at: 64 Business Route 33, Manalapan NJ 07726.
Questions about the auction may be directed to Joe Savare at Deo Volente Farms at (908) 399-8400 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.