Even though a deal to sell Dr. William O. and Audrey Reed's Mare Haven Farm near Lexington could close in mid-September, the great producer, Secrettame, will not be leaving. As part of the agreement, the 26-year-old dam of grade I winner and successful sire Gone West will remain at the nursery and be stabled in her usual stall until her death, according to Audrey Reed. Then the Secretariat mare will be buried at Mare Haven.
" There is no way I would ever, ever move her," said Reed Saturday morning at Keeneland. "I wish I had a dollar for everyone who has come up to me in the past month and asked if we would breed her (to their stallion) one more time and have another baby out of her. Forget that, it will be a holiday for the rest of her life. She deserves that. She has been so good to us. She is the farm."
According to Reed, trainer Larry Demeritte, who ran Mare Haven for the Reeds for many years, will be allowed to come to the farm to care for Secrettame.
"I wouldn't want her in the hands of people who have not been around her all her life," Reed said. "She's very aloof. She never buddied up with anybody. She was always on her own."
Secrettame's final foal, a Fusaichi Pegasus colt, is scheduled to sell this Tuesday at the Keeneland September yearling auction.
Saturday, an auction was held at Mare Haven to sell most of the Reeds' personal belongings at the farm, including equine art and furniture. Audrey Reed is staying in the farm's main house while in Kentucky for the Keeneland September auction.
Reed's husband, a prominent retired equine surgeon, is seriously ill, which is why Mare Haven is being sold.
Asked if she was feeling bittersweet, an emotional Audrey Reed replied: "It's bitter. We had such happy times there. It was dream of Dr. Reed's to own a farm. Many people have dreams, and they don't always happen. This was a place where all his life he wanted to raise horses. I think we did a fairly good job; we raised some nice horses. But all good things must come to an end
"It's hard," she added. "This morning, half of my life was on the front lawn in a tent (for the auction)."
Realtor Vickie Weesner is handling the sale of Mare Haven, but has declined to disclose who will be the 255-acre farm's new owners until after the deal closes, possibly on Sept. 14. She has described the buyers as an Illinois couple.