Fusaichi Pegasus, 2000 Kentucky Derby winner bred by Stone Farm-Stonerside partnership.

Fusaichi Pegasus, 2000 Kentucky Derby winner bred by Stone Farm-Stonerside partnership.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Stonerside-Stone Farm Breeding Partnership to Dissolve

One of the most successful breeding partnerships of recent times is ending. Arthur B. Hancock III's Stone Farm and Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Farm, which bred 2000 Kentucky Derby winner (gr. I) Fusaichi Pegasus , are selling five mares they own together during the Keeneland November auction.

Another mare, stakes producer Bottle Top, has been pensioned and will not be sold. The offspring of the partnership's mares will be offered at auction as yearlings, and a Kingmambo-- Words of War yearling filly will be sold as a 2-year-old in training.

"It has been a good partnership," Hancock said. "But (the McNairs) have their own agenda, and we have ours. It's a good time to sell."

Said John Adger, the bloodstock and racing manager for Stonerside: "We've all got a lot of chips on the table. Arthur wanted to take some off, and we needed to take some off because this is a tax year for us, and selling the mares will help. It doesn't mean we won't be doing things together in the future; we still have some racehorses together."

The mares that will be sold at Keeneland include Fineza, the dam of grade I winner Keeper Hill and grade II winner Golden Gear, and Words of War, the dam of grade I winner No Matter What and grade II winner E Dubai. Fineza is in foal to Fusaichi Pegasus, and Words of War is in foal to Storm Cat. The other mares in the group are an unraced half-sister to Fusaichi Pegasus, Blithe (in foal to A.P. Indy); Chasm (in foal to Maria's Mon); and stakes-placed Carafe (in foal to Fusaichi Pegasus).

Hancock and the McNairs have been partners for about 10 years. In 1994, the McNairs bought a one-third interest in Kentucky Derby runner-up Strodes Creek, who was racing for Hancock and Hall of Fame trainer Charlie Whittingham. The McNairs also purchased part of Hancock's Stone Farm near Paris, Ky., that year and established Stonerside.

In addition, Hancock and the McNairs bought the stakes-placed Danzig mare Angel Fever (in foal to Forty Niner) at the 1994 Keeneland November breeding stock auction. In 1997, she produced Fusaichi Pegasus, who sold for $4 million at the 1998 Keeneland July select yearling sale.

Two years ago, Hancock and the McNairs sold a full sister to Fusaichi Pegasus, Bless (in foal to Storm Cat), for $4 million at Keeneland in November. Angel Fever died earlier this year of injuries she sustained in a paddock accident.