From Three Chimneys
Satish and Anne Sanan announced March 13 that Padua Stables has purchased the historic Bluegrass Heights Farm near Lexington, located at the corner of Old Frankfort Pike and Alexandria Drive.
The Sanans bought the property from the Davis family — Horace “Colonel” Davis III, his wife Kathi, and mother Marian — for an undisclosed price. The approximately 275-acre farm adjoins Three Chimneys’ Old Bradley Place division and will be managed by, and become an operational division of, Robert and Blythe Clay’s Three Chimneys Farm.
“As we announced back in August, we decided to move our operations to Kentucky,” said Satish Sanan. “Purchasing this beautiful and storied property is, we believe, a wonderful opportunity that was worth the ensuing eight-month effort to locate and obtain.
“And I speak for Anne, our daughters Nadia and Chemain, and our son Sasha when I say that we are thrilled to own a property in Kentucky and delighted to outsource the management to Three Chimneys.”
“Colonel Davis and I have been among the strongest advocates of the need to protect Central Kentucky’s farmland,” said Robert Clay. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to partner with a family who not only shares our values in terms of reverence for the land, but who shares Three Chimneys’ values regarding how to do business in the Thoroughbred industry.”
“We will be undertaking a major construction project to bring the property up to world class standards while respecting the historic significance of the wonderful old structures on the property,” said Sanan. “The house will be restored for our family to use when we visit Lexington. Two Kentucky Derby winners have been bred and raised on the farm and we hope to add several more to the list.”
Padua has been a prominent buyer in the Thoroughbred industry since 1997 and was a partner in the ownership of 2007 Horse of the Year and Breeders’ Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) winner Curlin and 2007 Haskell Invitational (gr. I) winner Any Given Saturday.
The Davis family has owned Bluegrass Heights Farm since 1911, beginning with Colonel Davis III’s grandfather, H. N. Davis, who raised saddle horses, hemp, and mules.
The farm foaled and raised two Kentucky Derby winners—Black Gold (1924) and Burgoo King (1932).
Black Gold, who has one of the most romantic stories in Thoroughbred racing, is out of the mare Useeit, who was raced by Al Hoots.
In 1916, Hoots and his mare were banned from racing for life when he refused (with a shotgun in hand) to surrender her after she was claimed from a race. Hoots, a year later on his deathbed, dreamed that his mare would become the dam of the winner of the Kentucky Derby.
Before he died, Hoots made his wife promise to breed Useeit specifically to Black Toney. Three years later, after oil had been struck on Hoots land, Mrs. Hoots fulfilled her promise to her husband, sent Useeit to Bluegrass Heights Farm to be bred to E.R. Bradley’s Black Toney, and the resulting foal was Black Gold.
In a further bit of coincidence, a mare named Padua was basically responsible for one of the two best racehorses bred by E.R. Bradley. Two of Padua’s offspring were purchased by Bradley in 1915 and he systematically in bred to her to produce the 1929 champion 3-year-old colt and Hall of Fame member Blue Larkspur.
“Our Padua Stables is named for the farm in England where my mother Anne grew up,” said Sasha Sanan. “But it makes for a great omen, doesn’t it? We’re just delighted to have the property and to now have Kentucky roots.”