02/27/2004 1:00AM

Farm quite pleased with Graeme Hall

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Graeme Hall (by Dehere out of Win Crafty Lady, by Crafty Prospector) entered stud last year, and when the breeding season ended, the multiple Grade 2 stakes-winning millionaire had covered 77 mares. "We have 16 on the ground already," said Phil Hronec, manager of Winding Oaks Farm, where Graeme Hall stands, "and I could not be more pleased with their appearance."

Winding Oaks Farm is the property of Eugene and Laura Melnyk, who bought the nursery and training center in 2001 from Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Mangurian had added the Tartan Farms property to his Mockingbird Farm after Tartan went out of business in 1988.

The Melnyk broodmare band numbers 158, most of whom are quartered at Winding Oaks. There are broodmares, however, in Kentucky and in Ontario. "We have a couple of Canadian-bred get of Graeme Hall to go with our Florida-breds," Hronec said.

When asked what he was going to do with the progeny of all the Melnyk broodmares when the 2 year-olds were ready to go to the track, Hronec said, "We'll have to get in the commercial end of the business. The goal is to keep culling and upgrading until there are 80 or 90 top-class broodmares. That's the way Mr. and Mrs. Melnyk want to go."

Festival nominations closing

Nominations for the $40,000 Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes and the $40,000 Florida Breeders' Distaff Stakes close Monday, March 1st, with a subscription of $50 for each of the two black-type events that are part of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Festival of Racing scheduled for Monday, March 15.

The Florida Thoroughbred Charities Stakes is a restricted event at five furlongs for the offspring of the 124 stallions who had seasons donated to the 2000 Florida Thoroughbred Charities auction and is for 3 year-olds and older. The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' Distaff Stakes, at 1 1/16 miles, is for fillies and mares 3 years-old and older, with Florida-breds preferred.

The remaining four races on the Festival of Racing program, the two $100,000 and two $50,000 races for OBS sales graduates, had early closings, and their entries will be taken, along with any supplemental nominations, on entry day, Monday, March 8.

Information regarding these races is available from Tom Ventura or Jay Friedman at the OBS headquarters in Ocala (352-237-2154).

Under-tack shows coming up

The under-tack shows for the OBS March 16 and 17 selected sale of 2-year-olds in training and the Adena Springs auction of 2-year-olds in training scheduled for March 18 start this week. First up is the Adena Springs under-tack show, on Friday at 9 a.m., at Adena Springs Farm. The Adena sale has cataloged 76 horses.

The first under-tack shows for OBS sales horses are to begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, March 6 and 7. Shows are also scheduled for the following Saturday and Sunday. The OBS has cataloged 484 horses.

Last of Warnerton sold

Warnerton Farm is no more. The estate of Marvin Warner, as reported in the local media, has sold off the last 36 acres and the family home for $1.25 million.

The former 400-acre breeding and training complex began as Abido Arabians, a German-owned breeding and training center for Standardbreds. Marvin Warner, former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland, bought the property from Abido and moved his Kentucky operations to Florida in the l980's, running the farm as a commercial operation until his death in April 2002.