08/03/2007 12:00AM

Padua sending Pico Central to Korea

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Padua Stables last week announced it was moving the base of its operations from Florida to Kentucky, but one stallion will not be making the trip. The Korean Racing Association has made a successful bid for the syndicated Pico Central, an 8-year-old Brazilian-bred son of Kentucky Derby winner Spend a Buck.

"It's pretty much a done deal," said Bruce Hill, Padua Stable's farm and stallion manager. "He covered 75 mares in '06 and around 40 this year. Foreign pedigrees are a tough sell in the Florida market."

Pico Central earned champion sprinter and Horse of the Year honors as a 3-year-old in his native Brazil. Exported to the U.S., the bay horse won three Grade 1 stakes at 5 in 2004 - the Metropolitan Mile, Vosburgh, and Carter. He retired to stud at Padua Stables last year for a fee of $10,000, but this fee was lowered to $7,500 for this year's breeding season.

Hill and family will also be relocating to Kentucky, as soon as the Padua Stables takes root there.

"I started in Texas, moved on to California, came to Florida when Padua Stables became operational, and now to Kentucky," Hill said. "I have a lot of friends in Kentucky. Moving around makes for lots of friends everywhere."

Report: Zoning issue affected Padua

There has been much speculation in media reports regarding the closing down of the Ocala-based operations of Padua Stables. Reasons have ranged from a more favorable economic climate in Kentucky to lack of stallion support in Florida. Nadia Sanan Briggs, daughter of Padua owner Satish Sanan and general manager of Padua Stables, told the Ocala Star Banner this week that the impetus for the move happened two months ago when the Marion County Commission denied the family's request to rezone a portion of the Padua Stables property to accommodate an upscale housing project. Briggs said in the Star Banner that after the request to rezone was denied, "we really could not generate the kind of revenue we needed."

Another reason, according to Briggs, is that the farm had to "beg" local breeders to book to Exchange Rate. The Jockey Club statistics for the past several years indicate that Exchange Rate covered an average of 100 mares per year, with 92 mares covered last year by the son of Danzig. Briggs was also critical of Florida's breeders' incentive program. She noted that New York and New Jersey have more lucrative breeders programs than Florida.

Fewer Florida-breds in sale

Time was, when it was Saratoga yearling sales time, that van loads of Florida-breds would make the long trek from Ocala and thereabouts to upstate New York. But, those times have truly changed.

The four-day Fasig-Tipton selected yearling sale is now a two-day auction - Monday and Tuesday. And concomitant with this reduction of sales dates is the reduction of Florida-breds cataloged.

There are 10 Florida-breds cataloged in this year's select yearling auction, and only one of them, Hip No. 95, is by a current Florida sire. The other nine are by stallions who stood in Florida and have relocated to Kentucky, or the dams of these yearlings were sent to be covered in Kentucky.

Kaizen Sales is the consignor of Hip No. 95, who is by the Ocala Stud stallion Trippi. The colt is the seventh foal out of Sea Ditty, by Afleet. Sea Ditty is a Grade 3 stakes winner and is the dam of the Grade 3 stakes winner M B Sea, by Alphabet Soup.