07/29/2015 11:15AM

One-fifth share in Curlin sold


Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings and Elevage II purchased a 20 percent share of Hall of Famer and prominent stallion Curlin in May for $6,218,160, Blood-Horse reported.

The one-fifth interest in Curlin, an 11-year-old son of Smart Strike, was offered as part of the dispersal of disbarred lawyers Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion’s Midnight Cry Stables, as ordered by the U.S. Justice Department’s U.S. Marshals Service Asset Forfeiture Program.

Gallion is in the midst of a 25-year sentence and Cunningham is serving 20 years for taking about $94 million owed to clients from a $200 million settlement tied to the anti-obesity drug Fen-Phen. The duo was ordered to pay back about $157 million to their victims and the federal government as part of the 2009 ruling, which led to a seizure of their assets, including their share of Curlin.

The stake in Curlin also came with four annual breeding rights to the stallion, who stands at Lane’s End Farm in Versailles, Ky.

The transaction was brokered by Schumer Bloodstock in conjunction with M2 Transport, who were awarded the contract by the U.S. Marshals in March.

Cunningham and Gallion were Curlin’s original owners of record after buying him as a yearling for $57,000 at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. They sold 80 percent of their interest after his debut start to Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables, Satish and Anne Sanan’s Padua Stables, and George Bolton, in varying portions, for a total of $3.5 million.

Stonestreet later bought out Bolton and Padua Stables and maintains an 80 percent share of the horse. The operation had the right of first refusal on the 20 percent offered earlier this year.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings is owned by John G. Sikura and based in Lexington, Ky. Blood-Horse reported that Elevage II shares the same address as its partner in the purchase.

Curlin, the Horse of the Year in 2007 and 2008, finished his ontrack career as North America’s highest earner, winning 11 of 16 career starts for $10,501,800. He earned victories in the Dubai World Cup, Preakness Stakes, Breeders’ Cup Classic, Stephen Foster Handicap, Woodward Stakes, and two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Curlin also finished second in the 2007 Belmont Stakes and third in the Kentucky Derby. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

Curlin retired to Lane’s End for the 2009 breeding season and stood the 2015 breeding season for an advertised fee of $35,000.

His most notable runner is 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice. Other top foals include Grade 1 winners Stellar Wind and Curalina, Grade 2 winners Diversy Harbor and Moulin de Mougin, Grade 3 winners Ocean Knight and Off the Tracks, 2014 Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin, and 2015 Belmont third-place finisher Keen Ice.