11/02/2008 12:00AM

Godolphin buys Vineyard Haven


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Vineyard Haven, the winner of the Grade 1 Champagne Stakes and Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes earlier this year, has been sold by owner-trainer Bobby Frankel to the Maktoum family's Godolphin Racing, Frankel said on Sunday.

The deal was finalized on Saturday, said Frankel, who would not disclose the price.

“I had an offer I couldn't refuse,” Frankel said. “That's why I sold."

Vineyard Haven is currently with Frankel's stable at Belmont Park and is scheduled to be shipped to Dubai in coming weeks.

This is the second time that Vineyard Haven has changed hands this year.

A winner of 3 of 4 starts and $419,000, Vineyard Haven won his debut at Calder in June for owner, trainer and breeder Lynne Scace. During the summer, the colt was acquired by Frankel in partnership with Joe Torre, the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Louis Lazzinnaro.

For them, Vineyard Haven finished third in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga on July 24, and then reeled off convincing wins in the Hopeful Stakes, by 2 1/4 lengths, at Saratoga on Sept. 1 and the Champagne Stakes, by 5 3/4 lengths, at Belmont Park on Oct. 4.

Frankel held Vineyard Haven out of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita last month, saying at the time that he wanted to give the colt a break in advance of the major Kentucky Derby prep races of the winter and spring. Last month, Frankel said he planned to keep Vineyard Haven in Florida this winter.

With the purchase of Vineyard Haven, the Maktoum family owns two of the leading 2-year-olds that raced in the United States this year. Earlier this year, they acquired Midshipman, the winner of the BC Juvenile, as part of a package of horses previously owned by Robert and Janice McNair's Stonerside Stable.