Three Chimneys, Torrealbas Become Partners

Three Chimneys sees partnership as opportunity to expand international presence.

The Borges Torrealba family, which operates TNT Stud in Brazil and was among the leading buyers at the current Keeneland November breeding stock sale, has entered into a partnership with Robert N. Clay's Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky.

The Borges Torrealba and Clay families have had a close working relationship and have been friends for decades. Case Clay, president of the farm, said Three Chimneys entered into the partnership in an effort to expand the farm's international presence in the future.

"This partnership gives us more firepower on an international stage," said Clay. "One routine sentiment that's been expressed in recent years is that the American Thoroughbred market is contracting and becoming insular. The top end of the bloodstock market is international, and in this day and age, to be a major player in the global Thoroughbred market, the farm has to be international as well. We've had an international element in the past...we have offices in Japan and Europe and we consign at Tattersalls, but this will just allow us to expand our international footprint."

Clay said the partnership would expand Three Chimneys' purchasing power at major sales such as Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton.

"We won't be just consigning the big mares; we'll be bidding on them as well, and we'll be much more competitive when it comes to acquiring what we hope to be the world's best bloodstock," Clay explained. "That includes mares and stallion prospects, with the intention of keeping them here in Kentucky."

In August 2011, Everett Dobson, founder and executive chairman of Dobson Communications Corp., invested as a minority partner in Three Chimneys Stallions. Clay said the partnership with the Torrealbas is similar, but on a larger scale, as Dobson's investment is specific to stallions.

The new partnership with Torrealba will not affect any other entities involved with Three Chimneys. "It doesn't affect our shareholders or customes at all," said Clay. "It's business as usual; it just makes us a stronger company."

With Goncalo Borges Torrealba signing the tickets, Borges Torrealba Holdings has purchased five horses for $5,287,000 at the Keeneland auction.

Topping those purchases was dual grade I winner Pure Clan, bought for $4.5 million from John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent.

Following that purchase, Torrealba said the mare was being sent to Three Chimneys along with his other purchases and there was a possibility Three Chimneys owner Robert Clay would be a partner in Pure Clan.

Torrealba raced grade I winner Cara Rafaela, who produced champion and classic winner Bernardini . He also campaigned 2005 North American grass horse Leroidesanimaux, the stallion who sired 2011 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Animal Kingdom . Leroidesanimaux stood the 2012 season at Stonewall Farm near Ocala.

In addition to his equine interests, Torrealba is a board member and past CEO of Grupo Libra, a diversified shipping company in Brazil that was founded by his grandfather, Wilfred Borges.