Dam of Polar Expedition to be Auctioned to Settle Debt

The dam of millionaire Polar Expedition, Wingsea, will be auctioned at Fayette County Circuit Court on June 19 to settle her owners' debt to Hilary J. Boone's Wimbledon Farm. James B. Cody, who owns Wingsea and has boarded her in Kentucky since 1995, has failed to cover at least $20,000 in board bills for the mare's last two years at the farm. Representatives of the farm, including attorney Barry Stilz, have not had any contact with Cody for at least a year. Cody failed to respond to a suit filed earlier this year against him to recover the fees, thus leading to the auction.

Wingsea's last foal, a Twining colt born in 1999, died shortly after birth. She was bred in 1999 and 2000, according to Wimbledon manager Brian O'Rourke, but she failed to get in foal. Wingsea is the only horse owned by Cody at Wimbledon. Cody has not started any horses in his name since 2000, the last year Polar Expedition raced.

Hugh Robertson, who trained Polar Expedition, said he has tried to reach Cody, but there was no answer at his former number in Elkhorn, Neb. He said since a divorce, Cody has pretty much "dropped out of the business." At one point he also boarded horses in Illinois.

As for Polar Expedition, he is at a farm owned by Gary and Beth Leverton near Lake Mills, Wis. Robertson originally planned to make the gelding his stable pony, but said "he liked it there and they liked him, so I just left him up there." The gelding, who won the 1994 Jim Beam Stakes (gr. II) and 13 other stakes races, is now used for riding lessons and jumping. Robertson said he might leave a bid on his dam "just to ensure she doesn't go to the killers."