12/09/2017 8:03PM

Auction of seasons with California Chrome, Uncle Mo part of wildfire relief efforts


No-guarantee seasons to two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome and to prominent young sire Uncle Mo will be auctioned off to benefit California wildlife relief efforts, as a number of prominent farms and bloodstock organizations join the industry's efforts to provide assistance to displaced Thoroughbreds and their caretakers. 

Coolmore Stud and Mike Repole will auction the season to Uncle Mo to benefit the Thoroughbred Charities of America's Horses First Fund, which is among the outfits stepping in to assist evacuees from the devastated San Luis Rey training center.

Champion Uncle Mo, who raced in Repole's colors and stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky, stands for an advertised fee of $125,000. The leading freshman sire of 2015, he was represented by 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist in his first crop and currently leads the third-crop sire list.

“Everyone at Coolmore has been moved by what we have seen happen in Southern California, and we hope by donating this season we will be able to provide some comfort to those who need it most,” Dermot Ryan, general manager at Ashford, said in a release.

Bids are being accepted in writing through the sales team at Ashford Stud through Dec. 13. For more information, click here.

The Horses First Fund, administered by the TCA, was founded by the Roth family's LNJ Foxwoods in 2016 to benefit a group of abandoned horses in Mercer County, Ky.

"Who knew then that the fund would be supported by so many amazing people that have donated not only money but their time to help horses and the people who love them?” the Roths wrote on LNJ Foxwoods’s social media account.

Taylor Made Farm and the syndicate behind California Chrome will auction off a season to their champion to benefit a fundraising effort launched by two anonymous horsemen to help displaced backstretch workers recover from the fire. The horsemen seeded the fund with $5,000 each, and funds raised will be distributed to workers through an existing 501(c)3.

Bids on the season are accepted online through Dec. 14. California Chrome stood for $40,000 in his initial season. http://www.thoroughbredlifestyle.com/product/california-chrome-stallion-season-auction/

Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Farm donated $10,000 to the Horses First Fund on Friday and announced that 10 percent of the earnings from Stonestreet runners over the next 10 days would go to the fund. The latter part of the pledge came to quick fruition when Valadorna, the runner-up in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, won an allowance/ optional claimer at Fair Grounds on Friday, her second start off a long layoff.

Among the major breeding operations publicly pledging to match Stonestreet's donation were Machmer Hall and Sagamore Farm. Craig Bernick of Glen Hill Farm said the Lavin Family Foundation would also match.

Breeders Vincent and Marie Colbert also pledged to match the amount. The Colberts bred a Street Sense filly out of their mare Quickest who sold for a co-record $1 million at the marquee Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale last month.

"Over the years, some really cool, nice, and generous people have purchased Quickest's foals, so [we] will be matching," Vincent Colbert wrote.

Meanwhile, a group of professional horsepeople from Lexington were on their way to Del Mar on Saturday to offer assistance and donated supplies to the evacuees, traveling on a plane volunteered by Spendthrift Farm owner B. Wayne Hughes.

“What an incredible effort – I appreciate all of you so much,” Tom VanMeter of VanMeter Sales wrote on his Facebook page. “And you thought the horse business was dysfunctional and couldn't get anything done.”

Most California stallion farms appeared to have escaped major damage from the wildfires. Prominent California horseperson Harris Auerbach said Friday morning that Ocean Breeze Ranch, only two miles from San Luis Rey, was spared by the fire. The farm is home to Square Eddie, among California's leading sires, and several broodmares and young stock owned by J. Paul Reddam.

:: SANTA ANITA, THE STRONACH GROUP AND DEL MAR OFFICIAL GOFUNDME PAGE: Click here to help those impacted by Thursday's fire