Michael Paulson

Michael Paulson

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Paulson 'Sad' to Sell Azeri

Although Michael Paulson said he considers 2002 Horse of the Year and three-time champion older mare Azeri “part of the family,” he said she will be offered at Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale to help wrap up his father’s living trust.

The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust raced Azeri from 2001-2004, and the daughter of Jade Hunterresponded by winning 17 of 24 starts, including 14 graded stakes, and amassing more than $4 million in purse earnings. Michael Paulson, the youngest of Allen’s four sons (three of whom are living), fought long and hard to keep Azeri running in the famous Paulson red, white, and blue colors following his father’s death in 2000. Michael serves as trustee for the living trust.

“Her sale comes as part of the restructuring and wrapping up of my father’s trust,” Michael said. “This is sad for me, because I consider her part of the family, but she is also a very valuable asset in the trust. I’ve always considered Azeri to be a parting gift from my father, and a big part of his legacy.”

Paulson said there are about 25-30 horses remaining in the trust, and he hopes to be able to sell them over the next year or two.

As for how much he thought Azeri might bring in January, Paulson stated, “She is priceless to me, but it’s up to whatever the market thinks. She has proven already to be a terrific broodmare, as her first two foals have perfect conformation, just as she does.”

Azeri’s first foal, a colt by A.P. Indynamed Vallenzeri, was bought back by Paulson during the September yearling auction at Keeneland for $7.7 million, the most expensive buy-back in Keeneland sale history.

Paulson said Vallenzeri is being saddle-broken and he is still looking at different options for him—to find a partnership deal to race the colt or perhaps to sell him outright.

Azeri’s second foal is a filly by Giant’s Causeway, and she will sell in foal to Ghostzapper.

Paulson said he plans to continue in horse ownership, and currently owns some horses with his wife, Lenora, and others in partnership.