The training division at Hurricane Hall near Lexington is under contract to be sold to suspended trainer Patrick Biancone and one of his longtime clients, Fabien Ouaki, said farm president Ben Walden Jr. on Jan. 24. The deal is scheduled to close within 90 days, according to Walden.
"We are focusing on the stallions," said Walden of the decision to sell Hurricane Hall's training operation. "The stallions have always been the heart and soul of our business plan. They're where we see our future."
Champion and 2007 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) winner English Channel, 2005 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Artie Schiller, and 2005 Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Bellamy Road stand at Hurricane Hall. Facilities at the farm's training division, located on approximately 120 acres, include two barns, each with 20 stalls. There also is a one-mile uphill Polytrack gallop.
Under an agreement reached with the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority that took effect last Nov. 1, Biancone won't have a trainer's license for at least a year following the discovery of cobra venom in a refrigerator in one of his barns at Keeneland. The venom is a prohibited substance and a Class A drug under Kentucky's rules of racing.
During the first six months of Biancone's suspension, he is prohibited from entering any racetrack. Biancone, who said he had no knowledge that the cobra venom was in his barn and had not directed a veterinarian to use it, was allowed to attend the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, but can't go to the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training because the track will be operating a live race meet at the same time. During the second six months of his suspension, Biancone can attend live races, but must remain only in the public areas of any racetrack.
Biancone is allowed to act as a bloodstock agent, consultant, or manager while he is suspended.
The Blood-Horse tried, but could not reach Biancome for comment.