Farms Negotiating For Derby Winner

Stud farms interested in standing Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Fusaichi Pegasus currently are in the process of making their offers to representatives of owner Fusao Sekiguchi, The Blood-Horse has learned. Yukari Sekiguchi, the daughter-in-law of the owner, is currently in Central Kentucky with several advisers, visiting a number of stud farms. Fusao Sekiguchi is expected to be involved in the discussions after he arrives next week prior to the June 17 Kentucky Derby Alumni Day at Churchill Downs. The owner of this year's Derby will be presented with his engraved trophy that day.

John Ward, who advised Sekiguchi on the $4-million purchase of the Mr. Prospector colt at the 1998 Keeneland July yearling sale, said Yukari Sekiguchi told him it was "absolutely not true" that a half-interest in Fusaichi Pegasus already had been sold--a rumor that has been making the rounds.

"They are doing a thorough job of listening to everyone's proposals," Ward said, "and a lot of people are interested in the colt." Among the farms believed to be making offers are Coolmore Stud, Lane's End, Three Chimneys, and Stone Farm, where Fusaichi Pegasus was raised.

The Derby winner was bred in partnership by Arthur Hancock III, the owner of Stone Farm, and the Stonerside Stable of Robert and Janice McNair. Fusaichi Pegasus returned to Hollywood Park earlier this week from New York after being withdrawn from the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) because of a minor injury to his right front foot.