10/14/2004 11:00PM

Breeders take floor in ethics debate

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's Sales Industry Task Force will meet Oct. 19 at Keeneland, and task force chairman Cot Campbell is expecting some debate as the panel's three subcommittees make their presentations to the full body.

The task force will hear reports from subcommittees on dual agency, veterinary practices relating to sales horses, and full disclosure at auctions.

"We hope, ideally, in a perfect world, to come out with a consensus of opinion on what a code of ethics should cover in veterinary practices, that is, medicine and surgery for sales horses; two, disclosure having to do with sales; and, three, dual agency and how to control it," Campbell said. "I think there will be debate on every topic, and I don't expect one to be more contentious than another."

The issue of full disclosure, including the idea that buying and selling agents should be required to reveal their clients in a transaction, is likely to produce the most debate. Satish Sanan, founder of the Alliance for Industry Reform and a major proponent for such disclosures, is a member of the subcommittee considering the issue. But auction companies and sellers, in particular, have expressed concerns about the difficulty of policing private sales and about infringing on horse owners' right to privacy in transactions.

Keeneland president Nick Nicholson chairs the full-disclosure subcommittee. In addition to Sanan, panel members are Reiley McDonald of Eaton Sales, D.G. Van Clief Jr. of Fasig-Tipton, Tom Ventura of Ocala Breeders' Sales Co., Greg Goodman of Mt. Brilliant Farm, and Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Farm.

Trainer John Ward, who often represents major buyers John and Debby Oxley at auction, said he is optimistic that the task force meeting will produce concrete results. Ward chairs the subcommittee on veterinary practices. Other members are Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Robert Clay of Three Chimneys Farm, Walt Robertson of Fasig-Tipton, Geoffrey Russell of Keeneland, Nick de Meric of Manuden Farm, and Fred Seitz of Brookdale Farm.

"The process is moving extremely well as far as my subcommittee goes," Ward said. "We have had a fruitful subcommittee meeting, and I understand the others have, too. We've definitely got some good unanimous recommendations we'll make."

The third committee, which is examining dual agency, is chaired by Bill Casner and includes Headley Bell of Nicoma Bloodstock, Reynolds Bell of Reynolds Bell Bloodstock, Boyd Browning of Fasig-Tipton, Jerry McMahon of Barretts Equine Sales, Bill Farish of Lane's End, and Lincoln Collins of Kern Lillingston Bloodstock.

At the least, task force members say privately, the Oct. 19 meeting probably will result in an industry commitment to provide guidelines to new buyers, such as model contract language to use when hiring an agent.

"I would hope we'd reach the point where we could potentially develop a code of ethics on paper to be approved by the task force," Campbell said. "But this is only the second meeting of what may be six or seven meetings."

Campbell said he would like to see a code of ethics established by 2005.

Elusive Quality to stand for $100K

Elusive Quality, whose son, Smarty Jones, captured the Kentucky Derby and Preakness this year, will stand for the same fee as Smarty Jones this year: $100,000.

Elusive Quality, who leads all stallions with more than $10.2 million in progeny earnings, stood in 2004 for a $50,000 fee. An 11-year-old Gone West horse, Elusive Quality stands at Gainsborough Stud. He was North America's third-leading first-crop sire in 2002 and fifth-leading second-crop sire in 2003.

Elusive Quality was bred to 143 mares in 2003.

Lexington farms add Grade 2 winners

Grade 2 winners Scrimshaw and Tenpins have been retired from racing and will stand in Lexington starting in 2005 for $6,500. Scrimshaw will join the Millennium Farms roster, and Tenpins will stand at Walmac International.

Scrimshaw, winner of the 2003 Lexington Stakes and third in the Preakness that year, leaves the track with a career record of 13-4-0-2 and $461,842 in his bankroll. A 4-year-old Gulch colt, Scrimshaw last ran in May, winning a seven-furlong allowance race at Churchill.

Scrimshaw is out of the stakes-producer Rogue Girl, by Sham.

Tenpins, a 6-year-old Smart Strike horse, earned $1,133,449 while winning nine of 17 races lifetime. His five stakes wins, all graded, include a win in the 2002 Washington Park Handicap in track-record time of 1:55.07 for 1 3/16 miles.

Tenpins is out of the Deputy Minister mare Maid's Broom, who also produced the stakes winners Override Battle, Dust Around, and It's a Sweep.

* Three Chimneys in Midway, Ky., released its 2005 stud fees Friday. Point Given's fee, $75,000 in 2004, will drop to $50,000. Other fees are Albert the Great, $10,000; Atticus, $5,000; Dynaformer, $75,000; Rahy, $80,000; Sky Mesa, $30,000; Smarty Jones, $100,000; War Chant, $60,000; and Yes It's True, $25,000. Silver Charm's fee has yet to be announced.

* The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced Friday that Jim Mahan, state director of Kentucky Farm Bureau and owner of the general-agriculture Mahan Farms, has joined the KEEP board. The grass-roots organization, which promotes awareness of the horse industry's economic impact in Kentucky, also revealed that its membership passed 1,140 last month. In September, the group added 640 members.