06/08/2011 2:26PM

Ashland winner sold to Japanese breeder


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Lilacs and Lace, winner of the Ashland, has been sold privately to a Japanese breeder and is in foal to Henrythenavigator, according to members of the partnership that raced her.

James Covello purchased a majority interest in Lilacs and Lace, a 3-year-old Flower Alley filly, from breeders Kathryn Nikkel and Judy Hicks after her California Oaks victory in January. Nikkel and Hicks, owner of Brookstown Farm in Versailles, Ky., had raced Lilacs and Lace themselves for her first six starts. After buying a majority interest, Covello moved Lilacs and Lace from trainer Duane Offield to John Terranova, who saddled her for a fourth-place finish in the Bourbonette Oaks before the Ashland win. In her last start, Lilacs and Lace finished twelfth in Plum Pretty’s Kentucky Oaks. She ended her career with 3 wins and a pair of second-place finishes from 9 lifetime starts, earnings $350,300.

For her breeders, Lilacs and Lace’s sale was bittersweet, but they do retain the family. After the Ashland, Nikkel and Hicks purchased Lilacs and Lace’s half-sister, Figurehead, an 8-year-old Deputy Minister mare. She is now in foal to Flower Alley. They also have a yearling Henny Hughes half-sister to Lilacs and Lace nominated to the Keeneland September sale. Lilacs and Lace’s dam, the Seattle Slew mare Refinement, also produced a full sister to the Grade 1 winner on April 10. Refinement is back in foal to Flower Alley.

“She has a home for life,” Nikkel said of Lilacs and Lace’s dam. “We’ve had some significant offers on her, but she’s earned herself a spot.”