09/26/2002 11:00PM

More farms drop stud fees

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NEW YORK - A number of farms in Kentucky have reacted to falling yearling prices at this summer's auctions by reducing the stud fees of their stallions, especially at the high end of the market.

Claiborne Farm will reduce the fees on four of its stallions, including freshman sire Coronado's Quest, whose fee will be slashed from $75,000 to $35,000. Claiborne will raise the fee on only one of its stallions, Pulpit, the sire of Hopeful Stakes winner Sky Mesa. Pulpit will stand for $75,000 next year, compared with $60,000 in 2002.

Lane's End Farm will reduce the fees of nine of its stallions, according to the prices posted on its website, although the fees for its most expensive studs, A.P. Indy ($300,000) and Kingmambo ($200,000), will stay the same. The fee for Lemon Drop Kid will drop from $75,000 to $50,000, however, and the fee of Dixieland Band is being dropped from $75,000 to $60,000.

On Thursday, Three Chimneys, citing weakness at the yearling sale, announced that it would cut the fees on five of its stallions. Sales and average dropped by double digits at all three boutique sales this summer, at Keeneland July, Fasig-Tipton August, and Keeneland September.

Ric Waldman, stallion manager at Overbrook Farm, said that the fees for all of Overbrook's stallions would remain the same in 2003. Overbrook stands perhaps the most sought-after stallion in the U.S., Storm Cat, whose fee is $500,000 live foal.