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Stud price a record for Derby winner

By BRANT JAMES

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000


You can call Fusaichi Pegasus a disappointment for never evolving into the super horse he was projected to be. But you have to respect the colt's ability to generate cash flow.

That Red Bullet ended the Kentucky Derby winner's bid for a Triple Crown in the Preakness apparently didn't hurt his value. Neither did a hoof injury that kept the son of Mr. Prospector out of the Belmont.

That was demonstrated this week when Irish-based breeding farm Coolmore Stud agreed to purchase the colt for what will be a record for a stud prospect.

Coolmore spokesman Richard Henry would not disclose the price Japanese investor Fusao Sekiguchi will get, but said $60-million to 70-million was "in the ballpark." The Toronto Globe and Mail reported the figure at $64-million Wednesday. That would easily dwarf the $40-million paid for Shareef Dancer in 1983.

The royal Maktoum family of Dubai and the Yoshida family in Japan were among those bidding against Coolmore. Kentucky-based Three Chimneys and Lane's End also made bids and some smaller Kentucky Farms made joint overtures.

"He's a special horse," said Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Farm, who also bid.

Sekiguchi will see a handsome return on the $4-million investment he made at the 1998 Keeneland sales.

With five wins in six races this year, Fusaichi Pegasus had already offset some of his price tag with $1,904,400 in winnings. He will begin earning money for Coolmore at stud in February. His fee will be $200,000, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader. The operation generally breeds stallions to as many as 100 mares a season in the United States, then ships them to Australia for more breeding. Fusaichi Pegasus has one race left for Sekiguchi, as trainer Neil Drysdale is preparing him for the Nov. 4 Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.

Henry said Coolmore will stand Fusaichi Pegasus at its Kentucky division at Ashford Stud near Versailles.

TOP JOCK: Edgar Prado came from behind in his last race and in the standings on Friday, upsetting Donnie Meche in the all-star jockey championship at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas.

The yearly challenge for top national jockeys, plus the best at the host track, paces riders through four races over varying lengths and quality of horses. Point values are assigned for first- through fourth-place finishes, with the top scorer earning $18,000.

In the final race, Prado needed a win with We Are Family and for Meche to finish no better than fifth to tie the Lone Star jock.

Prado rallied from third to first in the stretch and took the overall title with a better final-race finish because Meche finished seventh.

MADE TO ORDER: The seventh race on June 22 at Hollywood Park produced just the kind of result that inspires bettors to do crazy things.

Starting with No. 1 Hope Island, the horses finished in post-position order one through seven.

IMPROVING STATUS: Secret Status, winner of the Kentucky Oaks and Florida Oaks, tuned up for Saturday's Grade I Mother Goose Stakes at Belmont Park with a bullet workout of 59.97 over 5 furlongs on Monday.

"I told Tony I wanted her to go comfortably but keeping in mind we've had to do a tad more than the next guy," trainer Neil Howard said of his instructions to rider Tony Hughes.

"It seemed to me, right now, it's perfect. I'm hoping I can tell you the same thing come 5 o'clock Saturday."

GOLD-PLATED: Scatter the Gold, a maiden but one with respected bloodlines, won Canada's equivalent of the Kentucky Derby on Sunday, the $1-million Queen's Plate at Woodbine Racetrack.

Scatter the Gold, son of 1991 Canadian Triple Crown winner Dance Smartly, did not race as a 2-year-old and was 0-for-4 this year, but overtook the leaders at the eighth pole and won by 4 lengths under Todd Kabel.

Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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