Dr. Karen Sanderson had three horses she owned and boarded at Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., sold on the Woodford County, Ky., courthouse steps in a sheriff’s auction due to non-payment of bills, the farm confirmed Sept. 22. That sale came three months before the England-based oral surgeon bid a total of $1,295,000 on three yearlings at the Keeneland September sale though her agent didn’t have approved credit.
Bidding against one other person, Three Chimneys purchased the broodmare and two of her offspring at the courthouse sale and has since sold them privately. RJD Bloodstock purchased the broodmare Red Rioja and her weanling War Chant colt. Richard Wright purchased her 2-year-old Point Given colt.
Red Rioja and her foal are currently at Three Chimneys. The War Chant colt will be consigned by Three Chimneys to the 2008 Keeneland November sale. Wright has sent the Point Given colt to be broken, and plans to put together a group to race the son of the 2001 Horse of the Year.
Three Chimneys president Case Clay said the farm had “recruited” Sanderson’s group III winner Red Rioja as a broodmare prospect from the racetrack with plans to sell her offspring or offer the mare for sale. Red Rioja had been boarded at Three Chimneys for two years.
Clay said the farm had no other choice than to offer the horses for sale in an attempt to recoup some of its money. “The board bills kept adding up,” he said. “They added up to the point where we had to take a different avenue. We had not been able to get communication from her, so we had to do something.”
Red Rioja (King’s Theatre—Foreign Relation, by Distant Relative) was bred to Point Given in 2005 for a $50,000 stud fee. She was sent to War Chant for a $30,000 fee in 2007.
Clay said the farm did not know Sanderson and trainer Paul D’Arcy were in town for the September sale until it was notified after she purchased a Medaglia d’Oro—Amizette filly for $1.1 million. In addition to the Medaglia d’Oro filly, Sanderson paid $75,000 for a son of Afleet Alex—Real Cat, and purchased a daughter of Indian Charlie—Christmas Affair for $120,000.
Keeneland said D’Arcy, representing Sanderson, bid on the yearlings “without approved credit.” When proper credit could not be produced after the purchases, Keeneland elected to resell the yearlings.
Bobby Flay privately purchased the Medaglia d’Oro filly for $800,000.
Keeneland Association filed a civil lawsuit in Fayette County, Ky., Circuit Court Sept. 12. Keeneland vice president Harvie Wilkinson said he has not spoken with Sanderson since Sept. 15.“She was leaving the country that day and said she would be in touch with us,” he said. “I haven’t heard anything from her yet.”