Bruce Hundley in an April 2009 photo.

Bruce Hundley in an April 2009 photo.

Dan Liebman

Saxony Farm Owner Bruce Hundley Dies

Raised four champions at his farm.

Bruce Hundley, who co-bred champion Fly So Free and raised three other champions at his Saxony Farm near Versailles, Ky., died at a Lexington hospital Oct. 21. He was 67.

A native of Louisiana, Hundley attended the 1964 Kentucky Derby with Central Kentucky horseman Doug Davis Jr., who would become his mentor. Hundley worked for Davis at Oaklawn Park in 1968 and later that year moved to Kentucky to work at Davis’ High Hope Farm near Versailles. A year later he purchased the first 80 acres of what would become Saxony, which grew to more than 500 acres.

Hundley bought and sold several other farms over the years, one the former 525-acre Elkhorn Springs Farm that is now a part of Shadwell, another that is owned by playwright/actor Sam Shepard.

At the 1987 Keeneland November sale, Hundley purchased the Stevward mare Free to Fly for $150,000. In foal to Time for a Change, she was carrying Fly So Free in-utero at the time of purchase. The mating was planned by Ben Walden, who sold her as part of the dispersal of Aspiration Stud, a breeding and racing partnership of which he was a general partner.

Prior to Fly So Free being foaled at Saxony, Hundley sold a half-interest in the mare to Wayne Garrison.
Consigned by Hundley to the 1989 Keeneland July selected yearling sale, Fly So Free was purchased by agent Mike Ryan for $80,000.

Racing for Tommy Valando and trained by Scotty Schulhofer, Fly So Free won the Champagne Stakes (gr. I) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) and was named 1990 champion 2-year-old male. He was the second choice in the 1991 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) after winning the Florida Derby (gr. I) and finishing second in the Blue Grass Stakes (gr. II). He finished fifth in the Derby.

The same year Fly So Free was a 3-year-old, another colt raised at Saxony, Arazi, was taking the racing world by storm. He was the champion juvenile male in France and the U.S. that year, his wins including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Arazi was bred by Ralph C. Wilson Jr., owner of the Buffalo Bills and a longtime Saxony client. Arazi was the favorite in the 1992 Derby but finished eighth.

For Wilson, Hundley also raised and sold Ajdal, a son of Northern Dancer—Native Partner, who brought $7.5 million as a yearling and was champion sprinter in England in 1987.

Hundley managed two partnerships that bred and sold horses, and included in one crop was Zilzal, who was bred by Kentucky Select Bloodstock I, raised at Saxony, sold as a yearling for $750,000, and named Horse of the Year in England in 1989.

Hundley bred about 20 stakes winners and for Wilson and his Oxford Stable raised and sold a similar number.

At the 1989 November sale, Wilson dispersed nearly all his stock, the 48 horses grossing $16,872,700. Hundley also handled the sale of the breeding partnership’s horses at the same sale, selling 25 head for $9,957,000.

Hundley was named to the Kentucky Racing Commission in 1992 by then Gov. Brereton Jones, and served on the panel for seven years. He was also formerly chairman of the Kentucky Equine Drug Council.

Hundley’s wife, Susan, died of cancer in January 2004. He is survived by a son, Broussard, who operated Saxony with his father, and a daughter, Kristen, who lives in Virginia.