01/22/2013 5:21PM

IEAH sells its interest in Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown

Barbara D. Livingston
Big Brown

IEAH Stables has sold its interest in its 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown to a group of current investors in the stallion, including Three Chimneys Farm. Three Chimneys, in Midway, Ky., has stood the 8-year-old Boundary horse since his first season at stud in 2009.  The Stallion Company brokered the private deal.

“I represented a group of investors—current shareholders that included Three Chimneys and some of their partners—that bought out IEAH’s holdings in Big Brown,” said The Stallion Company’s Jamie LaMonica. “It was 11 shares. IEAH needed to make a sale; we thought that the horse was doing well. He’s a unique horse that has bred more mares every year he’s been at stud, which is indicative of really good foals. We’ve gotten great feedback from trainers and think the best is yet to come. So we thought it was a good opportunity to increase the position on the horse.”

Big Brown’s first crop hit the racetrack last year and was led by stakes winner Brown Almighty, who is Grade 3-placed. Big Brown is the sire of U.S. juvenile winners Darwin, Insolvent, Brown Eyes Blue, Archer Hill, and Miss Lucky Sevens, among others. Last March, Big Brown’s son out of the mare Cool Ghoul topped Fasig-Tipton Florida’s select juvenile sale when Coolmore went to $1.3 million for him.

“It consolidates ownership a little bit, and allows them to have a firmer control of the direction in which he will go,” LaMonica said of the purchasers, adding that it would be business as usual for the stallion, who is expected to continue shuttling to the Southern Hemisphere after the breeding season in the U.S.

IEAH, led by managing partner Mike Iavarone, has faced financial difficulties the last several years. In May, the publicly traded American Basketball Association signed a letter of intent to buy IEAH’s pinhooking operation while maintaining IEAH as the operation’s manager. IEAH owns the Ruffian Equine Medical Center that it built in 2009 near Belmont Park, but the clinic closed in 2011.