11/02/2001 12:00AM

Our Dani may be sold at Keeneland


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Our Dani, the dam of Grade 1 winner You, is likely to sell at Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale, according to a representative of the small Louisiana university that now owns her.

The University of Louisiana at Monroe received Our Dani, a Homebuilder mare, as a donation from breeder Dolphus Morrison, who sold You privately to Edmund Gann for $150,000. Now, Our Dani could be a godsend for the school's department of agriculture, which has been in financial difficulty.

Tami Lewis, who runs the university's Layton Farm in Monroe, said Lane's End may consign the mare.

"The university said that if we're going to do this, we should do it right," said Lewis. "So I hope they'll agree to sell her with them."

Our Dani would sell in foal to the university's Thoroughbred stallion, the Chief's Crown horse In a Walk, who stands for $750.

But the deal isn't done yet. Because she's technically state property, Our Dani is subject to a host of regulations covering the sale of state property, including one that gives the state - not the university - proceeds from the sale of a state school's livestock.

"The university is in the process of finding a way for the sale proceeds to go to the university and to the agriculture program," Lewis explained. "We think there is a way. We know that we can sell her and that we have to sell her at auction."

The ban on private sale of state property meant that the university has had to turn down lucrative offers for Our Dani all summer. Lewis said that in August, when You defeated Cashier's Dream in the Grade 2 Adirondack Stakes at Saratoga, someone offered $125,000 for Our Dani, plus 5 percent of future sale proceeds from her foals. When You was favored before the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies - she finished fourth - Lewis received another private offer before the race, this one for $750,000.

"But it's against the law to sell her privately," said Lewis, who added that a proposed sealed-bid auction also ran afoul of regulations. "We have to sell at public auction."

The school will probably be able to fill out state paperwork that will allow it to keep the proceeds from sale at Keeneland.

Keeneland, meanwhile, has extended its entry deadline for Our Dani. Lewis intends to pay the $700 entry fee but is prepared to withdraw Our Dani if the school won't get the proceeds.

"If we can't keep the money, we'll keep the mare," Lewis said. "We're still using her in our equine science program, and, who knows - it may be that her next foal is the best one ever for the program."

For now, Our Dani is one of about 50 horses of all breeds at Layton Farm. The equine science program, which teaches stable and business management, generally sends its foals to sale at paint horse and riding auctions in Lafayette and Shreveport, La., or in Jackson, Miss. Its top sellers to date were a paint gelding and a mare, both riding horses, that brought almost $5,000, Lewis said.

This time, the students will probably leave the selling to someone else, but Lewis, at least, will be along for the ride if the mare sells at Keeneland. She and Dr. Willy Hoefler, head of the school's agriculture department, plan to attend. The students are invited, too, but the will have to pay their own way to Kentucky, Lewis said.

"This is the first time anything like this has happened to us," she said. "It's a big change, but I think it's been good exposure for our university."

Strategic Mission headed to Gainesway

Graham Beck's Gainesway Farm in Lexington has announced that it will stand Grade 3 winner Strategic Mission starting in 2002. A 6-year-old Mr. Prospector horse, Strategic Mission will stand for $7,500 live foal as the property of Gainesway and Live Oak Plantation.

Strategic Mission, a Live Oak homebred, currently is being pointed for the Grade 3 River City Handicap on Nov. 11 at Churchill Downs, which will likely be his last race.

Strategic Mission, winner of this year's Grade 3 Fort Marcy Handicap at Aqueduct, is out of the Buckfinder mare Sultry Sun and is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaires Sultry Song and Solar Splendor.

o The syndicate that owns American Chance will vote on Thursday whether to move the stallion from Vinery in Kentucky to Questroyal Stud in New York, two representatives of the syndicate said Thursday. American Chance, a son of Cure the Blues out of the Seattle Slew mare American Dance, stood for $12,500 in 2001.

o Chilean-bred stakes winner Piazza di Spagna (Great Regent-Charing Cross, by Tantoul) sold Tuesday for $70,000 to top Fasig-Tipton New York's one-day horses of racing age sale at Belmont Park. Eb Novak's New Farm purchased Piazza di Spagna, a 5-year-old mare who has earned $148,794, from trainer Rene Araya. The auction sold 95 horses for gross revenue of $1,038,400, yielding an average price of $10,931 and a median of $8,000.