05/17/2008 11:00PM

Big Brown to stand at Three Chimneys

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown will head for stud at Three Chimneys after his racing career, which owner International Equine Acquisitions Holdings has said will end with his 3-year-old season.

Three Chimneys, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Clay, has purchased an undisclosed interest in the colt in a deal that bloodstock advisers and trade publication reports believe puts Big Brown's total value at about $50 million. Three Chimneys and International Equine did not disclose the price or other terms of the agreement, but Case Clay, president of Three Chimneys and son of Robert, said the deal was for breeding rights only.

The deal with Three Chimneys, the Midway, Ky., nursery that also stands the 2004 Derby and Preakness winner, Smarty Jones, appeared to have fallen through on Thursday when International Equine's founder and co-president, Michael Iavarone, issued a statement saying a hoped-for Preakness week sale of the colt's breeding rights had been scrapped after "legal issues and time constraints proved too much to overcome."

According to an announcement made by NBC during Preakness coverage, Big Brown will be syndicated.

"We have entertained a variety of flattering offers but felt Three Chimneys was the best choice for us," Iavarone said in a release issued an hour before the Preakness. "We were determined to participate in his breeding career, and the Three Chimneys deal has given us this opportunity. We are very excited to partner with the likes of Three Chimneys and will be afforded the opportunity to stand this brilliant colt alongside the likes of Smarty Jones and Dynaformer in the breeding capital of the world."

A Boundary colt, Big Brown heads into the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, undefeated in five starts.

He won the Derby on May 3 by 4 3/4 lengths.

"Three Chimneys is thrilled to have the privilege to stand a horse of Big Brown's caliber," Clay said in the International Equine release. "Having won every race he's won with such ease, I don't think we've actually seen what he's truly capable of."

Bred by Monticule Farm in Kentucky, Big Brown is out of the Nureyev mare Mien.