05/23/2007 11:00PM

Lakin decides to stay involved


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Lewis Lakin, who announced plans last year to disperse much of his breeding stock, is staying in the game after all.

Lakin recently teamed up with New Jersey-based West Point Thoroughbreds, a public syndicate headed by Terry Finley, to make headlines. On Tuesday, the partnership purchased the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic preferred juvenile auction's sale-topper, a Broken Vow colt named Grand Vow, for $575,000. A few days earlier, they sold an unspecified interest in their Grade 2 stakes-winning filly Dream Rush, who is pointing for the Acorn Stakes on the Belmont Stakes card.

"I like the sport so much, I'm going to continue in it, but not at the same level as before," Lakin said Thursday.

Lakin, 73, operated the highly successful Lakland Farms in Hudson, N.Y., and Versailles, Ky., with longtime pinhooking partner Becky Thomas before dispersing stock starting in 2006. Lakin said at the time that he hoped to "cash in on what we've done" and focus on estate planning.

Lakin still owns the Kentucky farm and said now he's interested in focusing on that operation and his racing string, which numbers about 15 juveniles and 3-year-olds with trainers Patrick Biancone, Rick Violette, and Bob Holthus.

"I'll keep about 25 to 30 mares at Lakland in Kentucky and do some Kentucky breeding and racing, do some partnerships, and invest in some stallions," Lakin said.

This year, Lakin said he has purchased shares in stallions, including Borrego, Bandini, Artie Schiller, and War Front.

"I'll support those stallions with my mares and not just be a speculative breeder," he said.

His involvement with West Point came out of nearly a decade of knowing Finley through their shared advisor, bloodstock agent Buzz Chace.

West Point and Lakin own three horses in partnership, with Lakin holding a 50 percent interest in each. They are Dream Rush; a $285,000 Smoke Glacken filly named Irish Smoke, who is a 2-year-old; and now Grand Vow.

The partnership has benefited West Point Thoroughbreds, too, by allowing the syndicate to spread its risk and buy more expensive offerings.

"With a colt like this, a big-time colt with an expensive price tag," Finley said, referring to Grand Vow, "instead of looking at 100 percent we have to grind out, we're looking at syndicating 50 percent, and we already have 25 percent done. This allows us to stretch a little farther and dig a little deeper in our pockets."

In return, Lakin is getting to enjoy himself with West Point and on his own. Outside his West Point holdings, Lakin said he will campaign his racing stable in the name of Lakland Farm.

Exchange Rate moving to Kentucky

Exchange Rate, the nation's leading juvenile sire and sire of Grade 1 winners Ermine and Swap Fliparoo, will relocate from Padua Stables in Florida to central Kentucky's Three Chimneys Farm for the 2008 breeding season, Three Chimneys announced Thursday.

Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables has sold a minority interest in the 10-year-old Danzig horse to Three Chimneys, owned by Robert Clay. His 2008 fee has yet to be announced.

Exchange Rate has sired seven stakes winners, led by 2007 Apple Blossom winner Ermine and 2006 Test winner Swap Fliparoo. Both fillies hail from his first crop, foaled in 2003. In addition to leading the juvenile sires' table, Exchange Rate also is ranked fourth on among North America's third-crop sires. He stands this year for $10,000.

Exchange Rate is a Grade 2 winner out of the Grade 3-winning Seeking the Gold mare Sterling Pound, making him a half-brother to Group 3 winner Sabre d'Argent. He follows in the steps of Yes It's True, who launched his stud career at Padua in Summerfield, Fla., before shipping to Three Chimneys for the 2005 breeding season.