Eugene Melnyk, owner with wife Laura of Winding Oaks Farm near Ocala, Fla., privately purchased 37 of William Schettine's mares for an undisclosed amount. Schettine, owner of Signature Stallions near Reddick, Fla., initially had planned to sell the mares and other racing stock at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, but announced a change in plans the last part of September.
"Mr. Melnyk has been steadily developing a broodmare band with the objective of racing more homebreds," said Winding Oaks manager Phil Hronec. "When it was announced that the Schettine mares would be available as a package to a Florida-based farm, he realized that this would be an excellent opportunity to add some proven producers as well as some extremely promising and well-covered younger mares."
Highlighting the group is the 9-year-old Rubiano mare Felicita, dam of $2.4-million-dollar earner Take Charge Lady, who won the recent Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I) for the second consecutive year. Another of the top mares is Rosebud (by Indian Ridge), whose son Reel Buddy captured the Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) this summer, plus other mares in foal to such stallions as Point Given, Fusaichi Pegasus, and Deputy Minister.
Melnyk this year retired his grade I winner Tweedside to his broodmare band.