02/25/2015 4:21PM

Barn fire at Chanteclair Farm kills six horses


A fire at Chanteclair Farm in Versailles, Ky., best known as the birthplace of champion Royal Delta, killed six horses Wednesday morning.

The fire was reported around 6 a.m. Eastern, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader, and destroyed two barns on the 260-acre property. The farm was once owned by the late Prince Saud bin Khaled of Saudi Arabia. It is currently owned by John Moores - former owner of Major League Baseball’s San Diego Padres - and Charles Noell, who bought the property in 2013.

Woodford County Fire Chief John Varner told the Herald-Leader that the horses killed were contained in the first barn, which was already burnt to the ground by the time crews arrived. The identities of the horses were not made available. The second barn affected contained hay, but no horses. A third building with propane tanks inside was unharmed. The cause of the fire was still under investigation on Wednesday afternoon.

Prince Saud bin Khaled purchased Chanteclair Farm in 1995 and ran his racing and breeding operations under the name Palides Investments N. V., Inc. Prior to his death in 2011, the centerpiece of the prince’s operation was homebred Grade 3 winner Delta Princess, who produced three-time Eclipse Award winner Royal Delta, Grade 1 winner Crown Queen, Grade 1-placed Carnival Court, and Grade 2-placed Empire Way while residing at the farm.

All four stakes performers eventually raced for new owners after the operation was dispersed at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale, highlighted by Royal Delta going to Besilu Stables for $8.5 million and Delta Princess selling to Adena Springs for $2.6 million. In total, the dispersal saw 30 horses sold for $16.9 million.

Delta Princess sold carrying a Distorted Humor colt who became Khozan, an impressive allowance winner on this year’s Kentucky Derby trail. The mare was euthanized in 2014 due to a degenerative stifle condition.

Other notable products of the prince’s breeding program who were foaled and raised at Chanteclair Farm include Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Maram and Grade/Group 1 winners Biondetti, Continuously, Dreams Gallore, Indy Five Hundred, and Lear’s Princess.