Monthly Archives: September 2022

Amy Moore’s South Gate Farm Making Noise from Saratoga to Keeneland

Updated: September 1, 2022 at 6:46 pm. This story appeared in Thoroughbred Daily News.

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Forte | Susie Raisher

By Jessica Martini

After a youth spent around horses, Amy Moore took a three-decade long sabbatical from the sport to focus on a career in law, but she is making up for lost time with the launch of her South Gate Farm in Millwood, Virginia. The fledgling operation has a star-in-the-making in ‘TDN Rising Star’ Forte (Violence), who goes postward in Monday’s GI Hopeful S. at Saratoga, and will follow up the following Monday when that colt’s half-brother by Uncle Mo (hip 11) goes through the sales ring during the first session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

“I rode as a child and teenager and showed hunters that belonged to other people,” Moore said of her first introduction to horses while growing up in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The people I was with got into racehorses and I helped them at a few sales. Then I galloped horses one summer at the track for Del Carroll, Sr.”

Eventually, Moore had to take a step back from her interest in racing.

“I had to earn a living, so for 30 years I worked as a lawyer in Washington, D.C.,” she said. “But when I retired, I bought a farm and bought a couple of horses.”

Moore bought South Gate Farm in 2015 and moved to the 126-acre property in January of 2016.

A year before purchasing the farm, she made her first equine purchases at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. Her very first purchase was Queen Caroline (Blame), who she acquired for $170,000. Trained by Michael Matz, the dark bay went on to win four stakes races in Moore’s colors in 2016 and 2017 and earned over $400,000 before helping to kick start the South Gate broodmare band.

Forte, Queen Caroline’s first foal, sold for $80,000 as a weanling at the 2020 Keeneland November sale and was purchased by Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola for $110,000 at Keeneland September the following year.

“I thought he was a gorgeous foal,” Moore recalled. “I was really happy with him. I had had weanlings by Violence that I had pinhooked–I bought weanlings and sold yearlings–and I liked them, but they didn’t really resemble the sire at all. So I was pleased to get a foal in Forte that looks a lot like Violence. He’s a good blend of his sire and his dam.”

The prohibitive 1-5 favorite, Forte romped to a 7 3/4-length debut victory (video) May 27 at Belmont Park.

“When he won big in his first race, of course, that was a joy to see,” Moore said. “That was what I was trying to achieve when I bred the mare to Violence. I hoped to get a foal that had a little more speed and was a little more precocious than she was, but had her athleticism and racing temperament. It worked out just as I had hoped. Another case, I am sure, where it won’t always work out like that. But Queen Caroline has been very good to me, both as a racehorse and as a broodmare. If they were all like her, it would be easy.”

Forte comes into the Hopeful off a fourth-place effort in the six-furlong GIII Sanford S. July 16 and will get an extra furlong to work with Monday at Saratoga.

“I would be ecstatic if that happened,” Moore said of a possible Hopeful win. “But I think, win or lose the Hopeful, he looks like he’s going to be a good racehorse. So I am looking down the road, as I am sure his connections are, and hoping for good things for him. I think he will do better as the races get longer. So I think the extra furlong in the Hopeful will help and I hope he goes on from there.”

Queen Caroline next visited Uncle Mo and produced a colt by the Coolmore stallion last spring.

“It is a cross that I really liked, both physically and in the pedigree,” Moore said. “The mare is a nice, big athletic mare and Uncle Mo is obviously a nice, big athletic stallion with a similar build. But it also has some intriguing pedigree aspects to it. Nyquist (Uncle Mo) is out of a Forestry mare and Queen Caroline is out of a Forestry  mare. And the good filly by Uncle Mo, Bast, is out of an Arch mare and Queen Caroline is by Blame who is by Arch. So you have a lot of good pedigree connections to some very successful runners, as well as having a good physical match.”

The yearling will be Moore’s first homebred Book 1 offering at Keeneland September when he goes through the ring as part of the Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services consignment next Monday.


“He is a lovely colt,” she said of the yearling. “I am prejudiced, of course, but he is a really, really nice colt. He has his dam’s mind, which is good, he has a good racing temperament. He is tall and big-bodied and strong and athletic. I think he is what everyone wants–he’s what I want.”

Well. The colt wasn’t exactly what Moore wanted.

“I was, to be honest, hoping to get a filly,” she said with a laugh. “I would have kept and raced her and hoped to retire her to the broodmare band one day. But I got a very nice colt.”

The colt conundrum is nothing new to Moore, who currently has four broodmares housed at her Virginia farm.

“I have bought nothing but fillies,” she said. “I sell the colts that I breed. I would keep fillies, if I ever had a filly. I am 0-for-7, seven colts and no fillies.”

Moore takes stock of market conditions when determining when to sell her foals.

“I just sort of fly by the seat of pants,” Moore explained. “If the stallion is doing very well, as Violence was when I sold Forte–I think Violence had three Grade I winners that year–I might sell the foal as a weanling. But if it’s a nice physical that I think would be one to send to the Saratoga select sale or one of the first two books at Keeneland, then I would keep it and sell it as a yearling. It just depends on how the stallion is doing and how the foal develops. And what the finances are like.”

As for Queen Caroline, after not producing a foal in 2022, she is now in foal to Not This Time.

“She was in foal to Authentic, and lost that one, which was very disappointing, but I am really excited that she is in foal to Not This Time,” Moore said. “I think that’s going to be a great match and who knows, I might get a filly this time. She is an easy mare to mate because she is doesn’t have any faults you want to breed away from. She is a very nice well-conformed mare that had a lot of success on the track. So you are trying to add a little speed and a little precociousness to the offspring, but you don’t really have faults that you want to breed away from. Which is helpful.”

Queen Caroline’s first two foals are both Kentucky-breds, but future foals are expected to be born at South Gate Farm.

“In the case of Forte and his brother, those I sent the mare back to Kentucky to foal,” Moore said. “I am now starting to foal in Virginia, so that I will have Virginia-bred foals.”

In addition to her four-horse broodmare band, Moore also has borders at South Gate taking advantage of the Virginia-certified program which allows horses conceived and foaled outside of the state to become eligible for incentives at Mid-Atlantic racetracks if they maintain residency in Virginia for at least a six-month consecutive period prior to Dec. 31 of their 2-year-old year.

“I have lot of yearlings, a lot of boarders, that are here for the Virginia-certified program,” Moore said. “And I do some sales preparation for the boarders.”

Reflecting on her seven years as a farm owner, Moore said, “I enjoy living on a farm. It’s very nice to have a reason to have a farm–you can’t have 126 acres and not have any animals. So that’s been a lot of fun. The racing has been highs and lows, as it is for everybody. When it’s good, it’s spectacular. When it’s bad, it’s pretty depressing. But you get through the bad and hope for more of the good. And on balance, I have enjoyed it quite a bit.”

The Keeneland September sale opens with two Book 1 sessions next Monday and Tuesday beginning at 1 p.m. Book 2 sessions Wednesday and Thursday begin at 11 a.m. and, following a dark day Friday, the auction continues through Sept. 24 with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Virginia Derby® Day to Feature $1 Million in Purses and a $25,000 “Cash Dash” for Fans

Day of Family Fun & Cash Dash Drawings Highlight Event on September 6

NEW KENT, Va. (September 1, 2022) – Featuring horses from nationally prominent trainers, Colonial Downs Group is pleased to announce large crowds are expected for the New Kent County Virginia Derby on Tuesday, September 6. The nation’s top turf horses will compete on the widest turf course in North America. Post time is 1:45 p.m.  The day will be highlighted by the grade 3, $300,000 New Kent County Virginia Derby® for 3-year-olds, along with the $200,000 Virginia Oaks® for 3-year-old fillies, both of which will be raced over the renowned Secretariat Turf Course named for the famous Triple Crown champion who was born in Doswell, Virginia. A total of $1 million dollars in prize money will be up for grabs on Virginia Derby Day.

Be there for your FREE chance to win a share of $25,000 cash in the New Kent County Virginia Derby Cash Dash where 50 lucky winners will win $500.  Numbers will be drawn after each race between 2 pm and 6 pm. Plenty of family friendly entertainment will be available on the grounds, including a Dixieland strolling band, magician, juggler, and face painter. Plus, Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year, T-Fox will be performing the National Anthem, God Bless America, and a free show at Rosie’s immediately after the last race. Additionally, a variety of food trucks will be on-site.

Wootton Asset won the New Kent County Virginia Derby in 2021 (Coady Photography).

FREE general admission includes access to an air-conditioned Homestretch Hospitality tented space, apron access with track and paddock-side viewing where you can get up close to the horses, covered bench seating and access to the Paddock Bar. Drink specials to highlight the occasion will be offered. Additionally, Colonial Downs will offer other options including clubhouse dining, clubhouse boxes, turf club dining and turf club suites. Parking and general admission are both free for the biggest horse race in Virginia!

2019 Virginia Derby winner English Bee (#8, inside) won a thriller at Colonial Downs over Jais’s Solitude. Photo by Coady Photography.

The event culminates the fourth successful season of Thoroughbred horse racing at Colonial Downs since the track was revitalized and re-opened in 2019. “Peninsula Pacific Entertainment has not only lived up to the promise of bringing high caliber Thoroughbred horse racing back to Virginia but is honored to present this year’s Virginia Derby card.  It is great to see so many families and fans enjoying live racing that adds so much value to business and tourism in the Commonwealth,” said John Marshall, executive vice president of operations for Colonial Downs Group.

Trainer Graham Motion will be going for his fourth straight Derby win on September 6.

For fans who can’t make it out to the track on September 6, all the excitement can be viewed live, and wagers can be made through  For more information on 2022 Colonial Downs Racing presented by Woodford Reserve visit

About Colonial Downs Group: Colonial Downs Group is a proud business operator in Virginia employing more than 1,000 team members in the Commonwealth, paying over $30 million in annual salaries, wages, and benefits. Rosie’s Gaming Emporiums® in Richmond, Hampton, New Kent, Vinton, and Dumfries offer innovative historic horse racing (HHR) gaming technology and full card simulcasting. Colonial Downs Group also operates a Rosie’s Game RoomTM in Collinsville, which features a limited selection of some of their best HHR titles. Colonial Downs Racetrack in New Kent County hosts live thoroughbred racing on two nationally renowned surfaces – Secretariat Turf Course, the widest turf course in North America at 180 feet wide and on a 11/4-mile dirt track, second in length to only the world-famous Belmont Park.