06/08/2009 11:00PM

Overbrook to disperse horses


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The late W.T. Young's Overbrook Farm, home of one of the most successful sires in recent memory in Storm Cat, will disperse its Thoroughbred holdings, Young's son Bill Jr. said Tuesday.

The exception is Storm Cat, who was pensioned in 2008 and will continue to live out his days on the farm, Young said. The majority of the farm's other horses, totaling about 200, will sell at the Keeneland September yearling sale and November breeding stock sale in 2009 and the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale in 2010. Eaton Sales will act as agent.

"It's just something that I guess I've been personally considering for a period of time," said Bill Young Jr., 60, who has headed the farm since his father's death in 2004. "Unlike my father, I just don't think I'm that passionate about the sport. I think that really is what's behind this. I've discussed it with my family, and we're all in agreement, so that really was the driving factor."

Young said the farm's active stallions - Jump Start, Cape Town, and W.T. Young's homebred 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone - will likely be dispersed to other farms privately. Overbrook sold another stallion, Storm Cat's half-brother Pioneering, to Brazilian interests recently.

"Since we'll no longer be operating a breeding service, we'll try to make arrangements with other farms in central Kentucky or wherever they would best suit," Young said. "Certainly Grindstone, after he finishes his career, we would bring him back to Overbrook and pension him here."

The auction dispersal will consist of about 75 broodmares, 50 weanlings, 50 yearlings, and 20 to 30 horses of racing age, according to a news release issued Tuesday by Keeneland. They will include such mares as 1994 juvenile filly champion Flanders; her daughter, 2000 champion 3-year-old filly Surfside; 1995 juvenile filly champion Golden Attraction; and Grade 1 winner Cotton Blossom, whom Overbrook paid $1.9 million for in 2007.

The dispersal also will include Honest Pursuit, a 4-year-old Storm Cat filly from one of the most famous and productive families of the modern age. She is a daughter of Honest Lady, one of four Grade 1 winners from the 2002 Broodmare of the Year Toussaud. The Juddmonte Farms family is highly prized and, being privately held by Juddmonte owner Khalid Abdullah's homebreeding program, very rarely available.

Overbrook's dispersal also will include several female descendants of Flanders, Surfside, and Hopespringsforever, the dam of several graded performers. Also on offer is Final Legacy, a 9-year-old mare by 1996 juvenile champion Boston Harbor out of Terlingua, making her a half-sister to Storm Cat.

The Young family will offer the farm for lease but had yet to approach possible lessees, Young said. Overbrook is located south of Lexington on rolling land between Tates Creek Road and Jacks Creek Pike and covers about 2,300 acres.

Bill's son Chris, who was to turn 32 on Wednesday, will continue to operate a small racing stable in the Overbrook name, but the elder Young said that details such as the stable's size and trainer or trainers were undetermined.

"I suspect he would just select horses from our existing racing stable and continue to run them," Young said.

"I'd like it to be remembered really for what it was," Young said of Overbrook. "It was created by my father by combining a lot of different non-horse farms, and one of the things he enjoyed most about it was improving the farm, the buildings, the fences, and everything. But I think the record is remarkable, with multiple Eclipse Award winners, multiple graded stakes winners, and all of this created from nothing, really, by a man who, we've said many times, didn't know one end of a horse from the other. But he had a lot of fun with it."

W.T. Young made his fortune with W.T. Young Foods Inc. as the original manufacturer of Big Top peanut butter, later known as Jif. He built a business empire that included warehousing, real estate, trucking, and soft-drink interests, and was a renowned philanthropist. He won the Eclipse Award in 1994 as outstanding breeder. Under his development, Overbrook produced champions Flanders, Boston Harbor, Golden Attraction, and Surfside, as well as Derby winner Grindstone and 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Cat Thief. Young also co-owned 1994 juvenile champion Timber Country and campaigned classic winners Editor's Note and Tabasco Cat.

"It's a bittersweet moment," Bill Young said. "People in this business come and go all the time, and we're going to be making available some of the most unique and valuable bloodstock in the world. So I think it's a great opportunity for somebody to pick up where we left off."