05/06/2004 11:00PM

Go for Gin to stand in Maryland

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Go for Gin, the 1994 Kentucky Derby winner and sire of $3 million earner Albert the Great, will stand at the Boniface family's Bonita Farm in Darlington, Md., starting in 2005.

A 13-year-old Cormorant stallion, Go for Gin currently stands at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky. One of his owners, Joe Cornacchia, recently bought out partners William Condren and Claiborne by matching a foreign offer to purchase the horse. Cornacchia made the deal to stand the horse in Maryland. Cornacchia already has a connection to Bonita Farm through his involvement in two of the farm's other stallions, Mojave Moon and Ops Smile.

Go for Gin will finish out the 2004 breeding season at Claiborne, where he stands for an advertised $7,500 fee.

Bill Boniface, owner of Bonita, said he would offer an introductory fee of $5,000 to encourage area breeders to book their mares early to Go for Gin. Boniface said hopes that Go for Gin's current 2-year-olds, bred in 2001, when Albert the Great was winning Grade 1 races, will give the stallion a boost.

"Looking over the book of mares he had that season, we felt that could be his best crop yet," Boniface said.

In addition to Albert the Great, Go for Gin also sired stakes winners San Nicolas, Rhum, Poker Brad, and Go for Cat, as well as graded-placed Curule, Tasty Caberneigh, and other stakes performers. He is out of the Stage Door Johnny mare Never Knock and thus is a half-brother to 1992 champion older male Pleasant Tap.

From six crops to reach the races so far, Go for Gin has progeny earnings of more than $9.6 million.

Boniface said he expected Go for Gin to arrive at Bonita by Aug. 1.

New high-end owners sought

Wintergreen Farm co-owner and manager John Greely IV, who raised potential Preakness starter Borrego, is getting into the public racing partnership business. Greely and partners Jay Peterson, president of the New York film and television production company K2 Pictures, and Phil Elliot, a financial advisor to Bank One Securities, recently launched Kitchwa Stables, partly to introduce new players to racing.

Kitchwa will offer 37 shares, at a cost of $300,000 each, which will include expenses such as veterinary care and insurance for four years. The management team will purchase a share in Kitchwa Stables. If the stable earns a net profit, the team will take a management fee of 11.9 percent of the net profits.

The plan, Greely said, is to buy five or six horses, all 2- or 3-year-olds, in the $500,000 to $3 million range. Kitchwa will race the horses, then either sell them or stand them at stud.

"I've taken to my father's conservative method of not buying anything without residual value, because this business is hard to do well in," Greely said, referring to his father John "Bud" Greely III, breeder and majority owner of Wintergreen. "We're planning to buy only proven racehorses with residual value in terms of pedigree. We want to allow people to have their own sports franchise at a high level of the game, and obviously our goal is to be able to win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Breeders' Cup races.

Greely's brother, Beau Greely, will train the Kitchwa runners. Beau Greely is based in California and currently trains Borrego.

"The horses will be stabled at Hollywood Park, but they'll run in California, Florida, New York, Kentucky, Arkansas," Greely said. "Wherever the right race is, that's where they'll run.

"The owners can be as involved as they want. If they want to come out in the mornings and talk to the trainer, the jockey, the grooms, they can do it. Or if they want to be hands-off and just come to the track for big races, they can do that, too. If they need to arrange a limo, a plane, dinner reservations, we'll have a team that will handle that for them."