Eugene Melnyk, who recently finalized his purchase of Mockingbird Farm near Ocala, Fla., has renamed the property Winding Oaks Farm.
"It's very appropriate," said Melnyk of the name. "It's a beautiful older farm, with tall oaks 'winding' through the property."
A pharmaceutical executive who lives in Barbados, Melnyk signed an agreement to buy all but 100 acres of the 1,100-acre Mockingbird in December of last year. He plans to use the farm primarily as a trainer center, but will also keep mares there.
Harry T. Mangurian Jr., who founded Mockingbird, was North America's leading breeder in terms of purses won in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He no longer is in the breeding business after dispersing nearly all of his stock and selling successful stallions such as End Sweep, Valid Expectations, and Open Forum.
A native of Canada, Melnyk has been a leading buyer in recent years at yearling and juvenile auctions. He owns more than 60 broodmares and more than 100 horses in training. His successful runners include 2001 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) winner Tweedside, 1999 Test Stakes (gr. I) winner Marley Vale, and multiple grade II winner Graeme Hall. In partnership with Bill and Iris Bristow, he campaigned Canadian champion Archers Bay, winner of the 1998 Queen's Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes.