11/11/2008 1:00AM

Seeking the Gold's stallion days are over


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Seeking the Gold, sire of such champions as Flanders and Heavenly Prize in his illustrious career at stud, has been pensioned at age 23 after showing signs of age-related declining fertility, Claiborne Farm announced Tuesday.

A son of Mr. Prospector, Seeking the Gold stood this year at Claiborne for $125,000 and has a handful of mares in foal, according to farm spokesman Bernie Sams.

Seeking the Gold won the Grade 1 Super Derby and Dwyer Stakes in 1988 and was runner-up in four other Grade 1's, including the 1988 Breeders' Cup Classic. At stud, he sired 88 stakes winners and 50 graded winners from 16 racing-age crops to date. Their number includes the 1994 champion 3-year-old filly Heavenly Prize and 1994 champion juvenile filly Flanders, 2000 Dubai World Cup winner and two-time English champion Dubai Millennium, French champion Seeking the Pearl, and the 2000 Canadian champion 3-year-old filly Catch the Ring.

Seeking the Gold also sired such Grade 1 winners as 2005 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home, 2006 Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, 1999 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Cash Run, and 2006 Wood Memorial victor Bob and John.

He has more than $85 million in total progeny earnings.

Seeking the Gold is a son of the Buckpasser mare Con Game and a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Fast Play and Grade 3 winner Stacked Pack. He will live out his days at Claiborne, Sams said.

"He's in good health," he said. "He's going to stay in the same stall and the same paddock."

Two fillies sell for $75,000

A pair of $75,000 racing or broodmare prospects led selling Tuesday at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale's ninth of 15 sessions, one day after a run on six-figure weanlings added a bright spot in a down market.

Tuesday's leaders at 5 p.m. Eastern included Gracious Victory, a juvenile Victory Gallop filly selling as a racing or broodmare prospect. Agent Joe Brocklebank purchased her from WinStar Racing, agent. Also selling for $75,000 was Magger Bags, whom R. Larry Johnson bought from Donada LLC (Bluewater Sales, agent). A 3-year-old Indian Charlie filly, Magger Bags is a stakes-placed winner.

Monday's session ended with figures still in deep decline. Through Monday's eighth session, the auction had sold 1,589 horses for $167,899,300, a total that was 47 percent lower than at the same point last season with 1,873 horses sold. The eight-day average was down 37 percent to $105,663, and the median dropped 33 percent to $50,000. Buy-backs rose from 23 percent to 31 percent.

The Monday session-topper was a $250,000 Tapit-Rumba Punch colt that agent Ben Glass bought from Elm Tree Farm's consignment. Another weanling colt, this one by Borrego, brought the day's second biggest price of $175,000. Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services agency consigned the son of stakes-placed Wishful Legacy on behalf of Mueller Farms, and found a buyer in Blue Sky Stables.

Other six-figure weanlings included a $160,000 Sharp Humor-Richwood Girl colt that Black Hawk Bloodstock bought from Four Star Sales, agent; a $150,000 Tiznow-Zadkiel colt that Woodland Farm bought from Eaton Sales, agent; a $140,000 Afleet Alex-Swift Princess colt that Diagonal Bloodstock bought from the Hidden Brook agency; and a $115,000 Tapit-Chapskick colt that Northern Bloodstock bought from Gainesway, agent.

The only six-figure mare on Monday was $100,000 Conchita, one of Stonerside Stable's broodmares. Consigned through the Taylor Made agency, the 3-year-old Cozzene filly went to Bedford Bloodstock. Conchita is a winner out of Desert Gold and sold in foal to Congaree.

Easier way for breeders to donate

The Jockey Club, Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, and Thoroughbred Charities of America announced a new voluntary check-off program Tuesday that will allow breeders registering foals to donate funds to TRF and TCA programs for care, retraining, and adoption initiatives for retired racehorses.

The Jockey Club will match the check-off donations dollar for dollar up to $200,000 in 2009.

* Journeyman Stud in Ocala, Fla., will lower fees for most of its horses in 2009 and will introduce four stallions to expand its roster to 11. Getting fee cuts are Bwana Charlie, to $5,000; Cashel Castle, $1,500; Mass Media, $4,000; Saint Anddan, $5,500; Sweet Return, $5,000; and Wildcat Heir, $6,500. Exclusive Quality stays at $4,000. New stallions are Circular Quay, $12,500; Cowtown Cat, $8,000; Deputy Glitters, $2,500; and Gaff, $3,000.

* Grade 1-winning millionaire The Cliff's Edge will relocate from Vinery to Margaux Stud near Midway, Ky., in 2009. The 7-year-old The Cliff's Edge, sire of two stakes-placed runners in his first crop this year, will stand for $7,500, down from $10,000.