Mr. Mellon, a grade II turf winner who was retired last September, will take up stud duty at Ruia Stud near Poona, India. The 4-year-old Red Ransom colt, formerly owned by Tom VanMeter, Kenny Troutt, and WinStar Farm, won three of nine races and earned $278,580. Troutt and Bill Casner own WinStar Farm. The deal was brokered by Kern Lillingston Associates and Ian Deane of Centaur Bloodstock.
Mr. Mellon figured to be widely pursued by North American breeders as a stallion prospect because of his female family and the fact he was a grade II winner. "We received offers to stand him here, but the offer from India was definitely the best," said WinStar president Doug Cauthen. "It was a tough decision to send him out of the country."
Mr. Mellon, who was retired after suffering a career-ending injury in the Sept. 7 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT), won the 2002 Arlington Classic (gr. IIT) and Rushaway Stakes. He ran second in that year's Jefferson Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT).
Bred by VanMeter and Vinery, Mr. Mellon was bought for $950,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale. His dam, Mackie (by Summer Squall), sold for $5 million at the 2000 Keeneland January sale of horses of all ages in foal to Mr. Prospector. Mackie is a half-sister to six stakes winners, including Sea Hero, who won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) for the late Paul Mellon.