05/29/2002 12:00AM

Our Emblem deal made

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The syndicate that owns War Emblem's sire, Our Emblem, has agreed to sell him to Taylor Made and WinStar Farms of Kentucky.

Under a partnership agreement, Our Emblem, a 11-year-old Mr. Prospector stallion, will stand at Taylor Made in Nicholasville, Ky., and both Taylor Made and WinStar will have a hand in managing his breeding career. Doug Cauthen, a WinStar official, said Wednesday that the farms would probably wait until fall to set a stud fee.

The sale will return Our Emblem to the Bluegrass, where he began his career at Claiborne Farm before that operation sold him last year to Allen and Audrey's Murmur Farm in Darlington, Md.

The Murrays, who purchased Our Emblem privately for a price believed to be about $200,000, syndicated the horse for $7,500 a share and stood him for $4,000, though that fee went up to $7,500 in the wake of War Emblem's Kentucky Derby and Preakness victories.

WinStar would not comment on the sale price. Last week, Audrey Murray said that there had been offers of up to $6.5 million for the stallion.

Cauthen said WinStar and Taylor Made have not decided whether to syndicate Our Emblem in Kentucky.

WinStar and Taylor Made, who also stand 2000 Horse of the Year Tiznow in partnership at WinStar, became interested in Our Emblem just before War Emblem's Illinois Derby victory in April, Cauthen said.

WinStar owners Bill Casner and Kenny Troutt nearly purchased War Emblem but dropped that plan when the colt failed a veterinary inspection because of ankle chips.

"After the Derby, we went to Maryland to look at him," Cauthen said of Our Emblem, "and we went up again after the Preakness.

"His first few crops are the size of one crop by other horses' standard," he added, pointing out that Our Emblem has sired just 35 foals in his first crop and 51 in his second.

"With that limited opportunity, he's doing a lot with very little, in terms of numbers."

With three crops to race so far, Our Emblem has sired Triple Crown contender War Emblem; Grade 2 Arkansas Derby winner Private Emblem; and Grade 3 Railbird Stakes winner September Secret.

Our Emblem, a son of undefeated Breeders' Cup Distaff winner and former Broodmare of the Year Personal Ensign, currently leads the nation's sires with progeny earnings of $3,558,618 to date.