Big Brown cruises to victory in Kentucky Derby 134.<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Big Brown cruises to victory in Kentucky Derby 134.
Order This Photo

Jeffrey Snyder

Stallion Deal Near on Big Brown

Big Brown's owners have insured the Kentucky Derby winner for $50 million.

The owners of Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Big Brown are close to concluding a deal to sell the future breeding rights in the son of Boundary. Interested parties include "one of the most widely recognized stud farms in the world," according to IEAH co-president Michael Iavarone.

Big Brown is owned by International Equine Acquisitions Holdings Stables, of which Iavarone and Richard Schiavo are co-presidents and co-CEOs, and Paul Pompa Jr. Other IEAH partners in Big Brown are Andrew Cohen and Gary Tolchin.

“We have some offers we are seriously considering,” Iavarone said May 7 of the bidding for the breeding rights to the undefeated colt who won the May 3 Derby as the favorite. He said a decision would be made soon.

John Ferguson, bloodstock manager for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum's Darley organization, which last year spent about $200 million in stallion acquisitions including 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense and runner-up Hard Spun, declined to comment specifically on whether Darley America was interested in standing Big Brown.

"If we were interested we wouldn't tell you, would we?" Ferguson said with a laugh May 5. "We'll just watch and see."

However, Ferguson praised Big Brown's performance in the Derby. "To do that from stall 20 was impressive," he said. "He is a good horse."

Iavarone said the owners had acquired $50 million in insurance on Big Brown, noting that “it was no problem at all” to obtain that much in coverage. He said the insurance was obtained through a package of underwriters and credited the Willis Group and Ron Kirk Horse Insurers with putting together the deal.

Big Brown is now preparing for the May 17 Preakness Stakes (gr. I), second leg of the Triple Crown, at Pimlico Race Course.

Michele MacDonald contributed to this story