Woodford Thoroughbreds Takes Over ClassicStar Property

A new entity called Woodford Thoroughbreds is setting up shop at the former ClassicStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., a venture that will include the transfer of John Sykes' Cloverleaf Farm II operation from Florida.

A review of public records related to the business deals, along with a press release issued June 5 by ClassicStar, clear up several details of a story which broke June 4 regarding the pending closure of Cloverleaf Farm II near Reddick, Fla.

A Florida limited liability company in which Sykes is affiliated paid $4.1 million for about 305 acres of ClassicStar Farm near Versailles, Ky., a parcel which was formerly Applewood Farm, according to a deed recorded June 1 with the Woodford County (Ky.) Clerk of Courts.

Separately, ClassicStar Farms sold about 282 acres for a reported $4.5 million to a Florida limited liability partnership affiliated with Tony Ferguson, other property records show. It is believed that property, which was formerly owned by Under The Rainbow Inc. before being acquired by ClassicStar, will be leased back to Sykes for the purpose of the Woodford Thoroughbreds operation.

Corporation records filed in both Kentucky and Florida list Sykes and Ferguson as members of Woodford Thoroughbreds, but it is believed other partners may be involved.

A press release issued June 5 by ClassicStar stated the following:

“ClassicStar, LLC is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the sale of both farms and its remaining broodmare inventory to Woodford Thoroughbreds of Versailles, Ky.

“ClassicStar commented, ‘This will clear the path for them to focus on resolving ongoing issues.’

“ClassicStar is pleased that Woodford will be operating a private Thoroughbred breeding facility and will hire most of ClassicStar’s former farm employees. The management of Woodford currently operates a successful Thoroughbred operation in Ocala, Fla., and plans to consolidate some of its Ocala operation in Kentucky.”

It is believed about 50 broodmares were left in ClassicStar’s operation following a dispersal at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale. At the sale, 65 broodmares were auctioned for a combined $20,837,000, with some or all of the proceeds designated for payment to secured creditors.

At least three of the 12 stallions based at Cloverleaf -- Mass Media, Mongoose, and Repent -- will remain in Florida under the management of long-time general manager Brent Fernung, who plans to set up his own stallion operation at farm property he owns near Ocala.

For additional background, please read this article.

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