Bonita banks on fast, beautiful horses


Early in the morning, the fog slowly lifts at Bonita Farm, a 400-acre horse training and breeding center in Darlington.

First out are the farm's three stud horses, including Deputed Testamony, the 1983 Preakness winner, says William K. Boniface Jr., who manages breeding operations. He is the fourth generation of a racing family that traces its lineage to England. His great-grandfather Fritz Boniface, who emigrated from England to Canada and then to Maryland, managed a horse farm where Harford Community College stands today.

Mr. Boniface, who runs the farm's breeding operations with his wife, Barbara, said about 185 horses train at Bonita Farm.

Deputed Testamony, one of the top 10 studs in Maryland, stands for $3,500 for a live foal birth. The farm is expecting 50 to 60 foals this spring. Reputed Testamony, son of Deputed Testamony, won last year's Maryland Million Classic, with a purse of $250,000.

The family moved from the first Bonita Farm, now called Hemlock Hill, in Creswell, in 1985. The current Bonita Farm employs about 25 people. "Bonita means 'beautiful' in Spanish, and it's also the name of the fastest fish in the sea. My dad thought that was a great name for a horse farm," Mr. Boniface said.

William K. Boniface Sr. is the general manager. His son, Kevin, and his wife, Chris, run the training operations. Another son, John, trains the yearlings.

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