06/11/2014 4:59PM

Melnyk to retire, disperse stock at Fasig-Tipton


Prominent owner/breeder Eugene Melnyk, a multiple Sovereign Award winner and perennially among the earnings leaders in the U.S., has announced that he will retire from Thoroughbred racing, with a dispersal of his remaining stock planned for the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale on July 14 in Lexington.

Melnyk owns Winding Oaks Farm in Ocala, Fla., having purchased the former Mockingbird Farm property in 2001. At the peak of business, he owned about 550 horses between his racing and breeding operations. As of early 2013, he owned about 200 horses, which were further pared down to 170-180 following the dispersal of much of his breeding stock at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky winter mixed sale.

“As a young boy who grew up watching and admiring the horses at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, it still remains very overwhelming to know how privileged and fortunate I have been to be part of such a wonderful and close-knit community of people who share my passion for horses and the sport of horse racing,” Melnyk said. “None of my horse racing achievements would have been possible without my staff at Winding Oaks Farm and Melnyk Racing Stables who all know how deeply grateful I am for their dedication and commitment to our horses. While I will always remain a part of horse racing, I feel I have accomplished all that I set out to and now is a good time to step back from the sport. I came into this sport 20 years ago with plenty of dreams and I leave with a lifetime of memories.”

Melnyk, a Toronto native who turned 55 in May, made his fortune in the pharmaceutical business and is known elsewhere in the sporting world as owner of the Ottawa Senators in the National Hockey League. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association’s National Owner of the Year in 2005, Melnyk won the Sovereign Award as Canada’s outstanding owner in 2007 and 2009, and was named outstanding breeder in 2009.

Melnyk’s top runners include millionaire Speightstown, who captured the 2004 Breeders’ Cup Sprint to earn the Eclipse Award as outstanding sprinter, and Flower Alley, who won the 2005 Travers Stakes and finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Horses campaigned by Melnyk have combined to win all three legs of Canada’s Triple Crown. He also bred and raced the 2007 Canadian Horse of the Year and Triple Tiara winner, Sealy Hill.

A number of Melnyk’s runners have gone on to successful stud careers, notably WinStar Farm stallion Speightstown, who was second on the general sire list in 2013 and third in 2012. Three Chimneys Farm’s Flower Alley recorded a breakthrough season in 2012, siring dual classic winner and champion I’ll Have Another from his second crop. Other current or former stallions who campaigned in Melnyk’s colors include Archers Bay, Graeme Hall, Harlington, Marchfield, and Stratford Hill.