Updated on 09/16/2011 6:57AM

Fertility trouble for A P Valentine

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - A P Valentine, the Grade 1-winning son of A. P. Indy who is standing his first season at Ashford Stud in Lexington this year, is having trouble getting his mares in foal, acccording to a number of breeders with mares booked to him.

Ashford Stud, the North American wing of Irish-based Coolmore Stud, has been contacting mare owners this week to notify them of the problems, the breeders said. A P Valentine, a 4-year-old stallion who is out of the Alydar mare Twenty Eight Carat, stands for an advertised fee of $15,000.

The breeders, who asked not to be indentified, said they were notified by phone that, of about 21 mares bred to A P Valentine so far this year, only one appeared to be in foal. One breeder contacted also was told that the horse would undergo a veterinary exam on Thursday.

All said that Ashford officials had offered to reduce stud fees on the farm's other stallions if the breeders would book back to another Ashford horse.

Ashford officials did not return a call for comment.

Bred by the late W.S. Kilroy, A P Valentine sold for $475,000 as a yearling at the 1999 Fasig-Tipton select sale at Saratoga, where Nick Zito purchased him for basketball coach Rick Pitino's Celtic Pride Stable. After the colt won the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes at 2, Coolmore Stud privately purchased the breeding rights to him for a deal thought to be between $15 million and $17 million. A P Valentine went on to finish second behind Monarchos in the 2001 Kentucky Derby and to Point Given in the 2001 Belmont Stakes.

He retired at 3 with a career record of 13-3-2-2 and total earnings of $964,170.

Seattle Slew back at Three Chimneys

Triple Crown winner and highly successful stallion Seattle Slew returned to Three Chimneys Farm near Midway early Wednesday morning after undergoing spinal surgery March 2 at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington.

The surgery, which was to fuse the joint between two vertebrae, is the second of that kind for the 28-year-old stallion. The first took place in April 2000 after arthritic changes in the spinal column caused pressure on the stallion's spinal cord, leading to a severe lack of coordination.

The most recent surgery also was to correct the effects of arthritic changes in the vertebral column but was in a different place from the area affected two years ago.

Mickey Taylor, who manages Seattle Slew's syndicate along with his wife Karen, issued a brief statement, saying "We are very, very pleased with his progress, and it is good to have him back home where the surroundings are familiar to him and where he is most comfortable."

Taylor's statement also noted that Three Chimneys veterinarian Dr. Jim Morehead is finding that the stallion "continues to show remarkable recuperative abilities."

The Taylors have said that they will make a decision regarding Seattle Slew's breeding future at a later date, depending on his recovery and his welfare. Dr. Barrie Grant, who led the surgical team on both occasions, has estimated the recovery time for this operation to be about six to eight weeks.

Seattle Slew, a son of Bold Reasoning and the winner of the 1977 Triple Crown, is the oldest living Kentucky Derby winner. He has sired more than 100 stakes-winners, including former Horse of the Year A. P. Indy and champions Surfside, Slew o' Gold, Swale, Capote, Landaluce, and Digression, among other top stakes-winners.

He was to stand this season for a private fee, but no-guarantee seasons to him have sold for $150,000. He covered nine mares in 2002 before being taken out of stud service on Feb. 25.

Etc. . . .

Walmac International owner John T. L. Jones Jr., Walmac representative Kerry Cauthen, and agents David Greathouse and Dan Kenny have teamed up to form a new consigning agency, Four Star Sales, in Kentucky. The new company will consign horses to major yearling sales, according to a release issued Thursday. . . . David and Ginger Mullins, who scored a personal best when they sold Canadian champion Saoirse for $2.2 million at the 2001 Keeneland November sale, are set to offer yearlings for the first time. The couple, who sell as agents in the name of their Doninga Farm near Lexington, have nominated several horses to the Keeneland July yearling sale; those include a Storm Cat half-sister to Canadian horse of the year Chief Bearheart.