Ticker Tape Deal Falls Through

By Lenny Shulman
and Ron Mitchell

The pending deal to sell Ticker Tape, a finalist for an Eclipse Award as top female turf horse for 2004, has fallen through, according to one of her owners, Jim Ford.

Ford, who owns Ticker Tape in partnership with Jack Sweesy and Deron Pearson, said he had a signed agreement to sell the 4-year-old Ticker Tape to the NeverTell Farm of Richard Audrey Haisfield for $2.1 million.

Richard Haisfield said the transaction was not completed because the buyers were unable to complete one of the two contingencies of the sale to their satisfaction. Haisfield said his wife, Audrey, who operates NeverTell Farm, was scheduled to go to southern California, along with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin, to inspect Ticker Tape and watch her work earlier this week. Due to the inclement weather in southern California and the unlikelihood that the workout would take place, the farm owner and trainer did not make the trip. Based on the inability to watch the filly work, the couple decided not to proceed with the deal, Richard Haisfield said. The other contingency was satisfactory inspection by a veterinarian, which the filly passed, Haisfield said.

Ford said that he has already received calls from other parties interested in buying Ticker Tape, who in 2004 won a pair of grade I turf races, the American Oaks at Hollywood Park and the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes at Keeneland. Ticker Tape has earned better than $1.2 million.

Ford, who moved five horses from the barn of longtime trainer Jim Cassidy yesterday, said he will continue to entertain offers for Ticker Tape, but is also quite content to continue racing her. "The good thing about the (failed) sale was I'd have some money, but I wouldn't have a good horse," said Ford. He added that for his part, Ticker Tape would continue to be conditioned by Cassidy, pending agreement from his partners.

If the partnership continues to race her, Ticker Tape would be pointed for a campaign in 2005 culminating in an engagement in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), a race she skipped in 2004 after her Queen Elizabeth score.