11/07/2007 12:00AM

Sanan: Dispute led to Curlin sale

EmailLEXINGTON, Ky. - A disagreement over whether to sell Breeders' Cup Classic winner and probable Horse of the Year Curlin led Satish and Anne Sanan's Padua Stables to sell its 29 percent share in the colt to partners Jess Jackson and George Bolton, Satish Sanan said Wednesday.

Sanan would not disclose the price Padua received but said that a disagreement over selling the colt and "other issues that I can't discuss" led his family to cash out of the partnership.

"If you can't come to a consensus with your partners, you might as well go your separate ways," Sanan said. "We felt that the best way to establish a value for Curlin and decide what to do was in an auction . . . but the other two partners didn't want it, and so it wasn't to be."

Padua, Jackson's Stonestreet Stable, and Bolton purchased a combined 80 percent interest in Curlin in February. The colt's original owner, the Midnight Cry Stable of Bill Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr., retained a 20opercent interest in the colt. But Gallion and Cunningham, both Lexington attorneys, were jailed in August in connection with charges that they defrauded more than 400 clients in a $200 million class-action settlement over the diet drug fen-phen. Kentucky Judge William Wehr ruled earlier this year that Gallion and Cunningham owe their former fen-phen clients at least $42 million and, this month, he said that the clients were entitled to any financial assets accruing to Gallion and Cunningham's Tandy LLC, the entity through which the two manage their 20opercent interest in Curlin.

Sanan acknowledged that Gallion and Cunningham's situation had become a complicating factor in the partnership. After Wehr allowed the fen-phen clients access to Tandy's financial assets, plaintiffs' attorney Angela Ford said that Jackson, Bolton, and the Sanans were debating whether to sell the colt privately or at auction.

"There's a lot of truth in that," Sanan said. "It had gotten to a stage where the partners' objectives were different. It was a tough decision for us. We've enjoyed the racing as much as anyone else, and we love the horse. But we made a decision that was best for us."