10/20/2005 11:00PM

Buck Pond sale also boosts its sires


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Buyers looking for mares or weanlings will have an unusual auction to add to the calendar on Sunday. Doug Arnold's Buck Pond Farm in Versailles, Ky., will host a small sale that will have the dual purpose of showing off improvements to Buck Pond's facilities and promoting the historic farm's stallion roster. The afternoon will also feature a stallion show.

The catalog will consist of 54 lots - 36 broodmares and 18 weanlings - and the farm will offer each broodmare with a free no-guarantee 2006 season to one of Buck Pond's 12 stallions. The sale is the latest event in a profile-building campaign that Arnold has launched, including advertising the farm's stallions on billboards around the Lexington area.

"I wanted to show off the stallions and the farm," Arnold said of the auction idea, which was inspired by a similar, but larger, fall mixed sale that Frank Stronach's Adena Springs operation holds every November at Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky headquarters in Lexington.

"I've always thought that Frank Stronach's idea was a great way of doing business, and we're following suit," Arnold said. "It affords someone the opportunity to do business with you for a couple of years, and hopefully you get two foals out there by your stallions."

Among the mares set to sell are Grade 1 winner Fit to Scout, not pregnant; stakes-placed Filigree, in foal to Bernstein; stakes producer Secret Sabre, in foal to Five Star Day; stakes winner Guthrie, in foal to Zavata; Toned Up, dam of graded winner Built Up, in foal to Hero's Tribute; and stakes-placed Cometuseibella, in foal to Seattle Fitz.

From the farm's point of view, the auction is more than a one-day event. The mares and weanlings in the catalog have been available for inspection since Friday, and Arnold hopes that visitors who come to look at the sale entrants will also take home a good impression of Buck Pond. Founded by Col. Thomas Marshall in 1783, the farm later was home to 1902 Kentucky Derby winner Alan-a-Dale, and 1979 Derby victor Spectacular Bid also was a resident. It is also the burial place of 1974 Preakness and Belmont winner Little Current.

Arnold and his wife, Karen, bought the 300-acre Buck Pond in 1994.

"We've done some improvements," Arnold said. "We've got new fences and built a new barn."

Arnold said the Sunday events will start with drinks from 1 to 2 p.m. and food at 4:30. The stallion show will begin at 5, with the estimated hourlong auction scheduled to begin immediately afterward at about 6.

Distorted Humor's fee now $150,000

WinStar Farm near Versailles has raised the fees for Distorted Humor and Tiznow, both of whom had outstanding years in 2005. Distorted Humor jumps from $60,000 to $150,000 for the 2006 breeding season, while Tiznow takes a more modest increase, from $30,000 to $35,000.

Already the sire of 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Funny Cide, Distorted Humor had this year's Travers winner, Flower Alley, as well as Whitney winner Commentator and recent Clement Hirsch winner Fourty Niners Son. He also is the sire of 2005 Grade 2 winner Sensibly Chic. A 12-year-old Forty Niner horse, Distorted Humor is fourth on North America's leading sire list.

Tiznow, sire of leading Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies contender Folklore, is fifth among freshmen sires by progeny earnings. Tiznow, a two-time champion and 2000's Horse of the Year, is an 8-year-old son of Cee's Tizzy.

WinStar will keep 2004 champion sprinter Speightstown at $40,000, the same fee he carried during his initial season at stud in 2005.

The farm also has 1998 Belmont winner and 1999 champion older male Victory Gallop on its roster. The farm has not announced the fee for the 10-year-old Cryptoclearance stallion, who stood in 2005 for $30,000. Victory Gallop is the second-leading third-crop sire, and his best runners this season include stakes winners Separato, Rousing Victory, and Jazzy Gallop.

* The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced this week that it has picked up 1,500 new members in the last two months, bringing the grass-roots equine industry lobbying organization's membership roster to 8,500. The group hopes to have 10,000 members by Jan. 1 as it launches its campaign for a constitutional amendment to allow casino gaming at racetracks. The group also is lobbying to remove the sales tax on horse feed, fencing, and equipment.