Major Dispersals, Reductions on Tap at Keeneland

Major Dispersals, Reductions on Tap at Keeneland
Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt
The Keeneland November Sale will feature major dispersals from several top breeding operations.

Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs has been honored with an Eclipse Award as leading breeder four times and appears well on its way to another such honor this year.

Other breeders have been able to take advantage of Stronach's breeding program by acquiring mares for the past 10 years through Adena Springs’ annual broodmare sale. But this year provides even more opportunity to take home some of the stock that propelled Stronach to the top of the breeding industry because Adena Springs will conduct a major reduction of mares and weanlings.

In addition to Adena Springs’ 11th annual broodmare sale at Fasig-Tipton on Nov. 8, more than 200 horses owned by the farm and Stronach have been consigned to the Keeneland November sale through the Hidden Brook consignment. The 14-day breeding stock sale runs Nov. 5-19.

Adena Springs is among a handful of major breeding or racing entities conducting dispersals or major reductions at Keeneland.

The others include the Swettenham Stud of the late Irish breeder and Coolmore Stud partner Robert Sangster, the Mabee family’s Golden Eagle Farm of California, the partnership of retired trainer MacKenzie Miller and the late Smiser West, and California owner Stan E. Fulton.

Special sales such as dispersals have always had a certain cachet with buyers, ostensibly because they are able to gain access to the private stock of successful breeders.

“So rarely do you get to sell a group of horses for a breeder who has been at the top of international racing for 30 years,” said John Sikura, whose Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm is handling the Sangster horses. While some of Sangster’s heirs will remain in the horse business, the dispersal of about 250 horses at various sales worldwide is part of a restructuring of their bloodstock interests.

Also continuing in the horse business but on a smaller scale is the family of the late John Mabee. His widow, Betty, and son, Larry, are dispersing in an effort to reduce their equine holdings from about 280 horses to approximately 25 horses. The Mabees have been honored with three Eclipse Awards as outstanding North American breeders.

Horses from the Golden Eagle and Fulton dispersals were offered recently at Barretts fall mixed sale.

Colts from the Fulton stable were consigned to the Barretts auction, while the broodmares, broodmare prospects, and racing fillies are being offered at Keeneland through Greenfield Farm. Among the top horses campaigned by Fulton, who owns Sunland Park racetrack and casino and achieved success in the Las Vegas gaming industry, were multiple grade II winner A. P. Warrior, multiple graded stakes winner Fire Slam, and grade II winners St Averil and It’s No Joke.

The Miller-West dispersal includes five broodmares and five weanlings consigned to the Keeneland sale by Waterford-Millford Farm. Dr. Smiser West, who died last December at age 97, and Miller, the retired Hall of Fame trainer, had a long successful relationship. Among the horses they bred were champions Chilukki and De la Rose and grade I winners Lite Light and Tweedside.

Bob West, the son of Smiser and Kathryn West, said Waterford-Millford Farm, located near Midway, Ky., would continue to operate and would increase its participation in public auctions and private sales.

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