12/13/2011 1:12PM

Former Sez Who property in Florida sold

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Part of Richard Simon’s former Sez Who Thoroughbreds property in Ocala, Fla., has been sold to an Ocala realtor.

Real estate agent William Bello paid $2 million for 87-acre Foxtrotter Ranch in November, according to the Ocala Star-Banner, and intends to resell it. Bello told the paper that he already is negotiating with an unidentified potential buyer in Canada who probably would use the farm as a second home. In 2009, the farm’s value was assessed at $5 million.

Mellon United National Bank foreclosed on property in late 2010, alleging that Simon had defaulted on more than $8.1 million in loans. From its base at the Ocala property, Simon’s Sez Who operation expanded first to a 270-acre property across the street from Foxtrotter and then into New York, where in 2005-2007 it became the Empire State’s leading Thoroughbred breeding operation by earnings. Simon often sent New York-bred young stock back to Ocala to raise and prepare them for sale.

But the economic downturn, oversupply in the horse market, and the delay in slots revenue to the New York breeding business pushed Thoroughbred prices down and eventually prompted Simon to get out of the business. Sez Who’s New York farm, Sez Who Thoroughbreds North in Stillwater, is listed with Select Sotheby’s International Realty in Saratoga Springs for $1.95 million.