Sagamore Farm

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With the spring and the peak of the racing season–the Triple Crown–just around the corner, I’m thinking of Sagamore Farm, a recently completed project in Glyndon, Maryland. This historic farm was once owned by Alfred G. Vanderbilt, II and served as the former home of Native Dancer, Bed of Roses, and Discovery, who are buried at the property. The current owner, Kevin Plank, purchased the ailing farm with the intent to revitalize the racing industry in Maryland. It’s still a work in progress but well on its way.

There’s been a lot of talk about how to revive the industry and whether slots—something several states have picked up to gain revenue for their struggling budgets—has what it takes to recapture the public’s interest in racing.



With projects like this, it’s hard for me not to feel enthusiastic about the future of racing. Sagamore Farm was in a state of serious disrepair when we began work, but the broodmare and foaling barns have been rehabilitated to reflect the highest standards of health and safety for the precious horses that inhabit them while retaining the integrity of the legendary property. Details like the red roofs as part of the red, black, and white color scheme, as well as the old roof ventilators were important to maintain when adding elements to reflect its new chapter in ownership. Natural light and ventilation become center stage with the continuous ridge skylights and vents.

To see the “before” and “after” photos of the barns really makes me hopeful that something big really is around the corner for Sagamore and Kevin Plank. With a home worthy of its precious inhabitants, I can see the legacy of Sagamore Farm and its champion thoroughbreds continuing.



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10 responses to “Sagamore Farm”

  1. you have breathed new life into this barn..i’m sure the horses feel inspired too 😉

  2. Lynn Long says:

    Very nice transformation. As I study for the LEED AP exam, I see extensive correlation between the thought process that is intrinsic and neccessary to barn design and the “new” green building process being promoted. Not new to us.

  3. Bailey Fricault says:

    I am so glad to see Sagamore Farm rebuilt, it holds a special interest to me as I own Friendly Native, who is a great grandson to Native Dancer. I love my horse so much. I am 8 years old and live in Steamboat Springs, CO. Friend lives on a parcel of land called The Island, a 5 acre patch he shares with Lucy, Callahan and Sweet Sue. I love to ride, and groom him. He is the best horse in the world.

  4. Bailey,

    You are very lucky to have such a special horse. I’m glad you like Sagamore and I hope you have a wonderful summer!

    Take care of yourself and Friendly.


  5. Jennifer says:

    Having spent part of my childhood scampering about these barns (my father was the broodmare manager at Sagamore during the late 70s-early 80s) it is heartening to see the property being well cared for again. I have many fond memories of the horses, the people, and the farm.


  6. Sam Robinson says:

    I am a painter with a strong interest in Equestrian Sporting Art. I recently began a series of paintings about the restoration of Sagamore Farm. Some were shown at a Benefit Art Show hosted in the barn pictured by the Valleys Planning Council, a land preservation group. You can find them on my site, http://www.samrobinsonfineart.com, under Shows, Art for Land’s Sake.

  7. Tom Johnson says:

    I am a race horse enthusiast and have dedicated myself to following bloodlines of some the Great Sires and Broodmares. My collection of books over the years have allowed me to trace the pedigree of the race horse (Native Dancer) and others, back to the great foundation mares of the Thoroughbred. I have read many articles on breeding theories by: Aga Kahn, Frederico Tasio, King George VI, Macel Boussac, Hancock and Phipps families, Alan Porter and Ken McLean; also included are many others. At one time, the Great Northern Dancer stood in Maryland as a sire. My current interest is in the Pedigrees of granddaughters of top sires who stand in Japan, New Zealand and United Kingdom. Most of the U.S. bloodstock before W.W. II was imported to the U.S. There are some great opportunities in the yearling and two-year-olds in training market. I am currently seeking a bloodstock consulting position, and would welcome the opportunity to assist Sagamore Farm with establishing its foundation band of broodmares.

  8. Pat Rudick says:

    My husband and I moved near the Valley in 1983. We have watched Sagamore Farms fall under disrepair and now have watched new life being put into it. I ride through that Valley nearly every day of my life and it still takes my breath away. Thanks to Kevin Plank and all involved in restoring a landmark of our area to its original glory. I’m glad my grandchildren will be able to enjoy the view as we have!!

  9. Natalie says:

    Very nice I have a horse that has a lot of history and is part of history of race horses of that farm, the granddaughter of Alydar and Sovereign Dancer, the blood line also Northern Dancer and Native Dancer which was breed and train at the farm, Love the work that you did

    • Thanks for your comment and compliment, Natalie. It’s so interesting to learn about people who own horses connected to the farm. I think those roots go very deep! Enjoy your horse and take care. – John

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