08/20/2004 12:00AM

Signs point to Sanan attending Keeneland sale

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Satish Sanan, who boycotted the Fasig-Tipton July and Saratoga yearling sales to protest the lack of a code of ethics in the bloodstock market, looks likely to attend the Keeneland September sale.

Sanan said he is encouraged that the Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton auction houses have joined a task force to develop a code of ethics. The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association announced earlier this month that it would lead the task force, which was prompted by Sanan's Alliance for Industry Reform. The reform group had called for a code that would abolish dual agency and require full disclosure of horses' ownership and veterinary procedures on horses for sale.

"I want to see what the next task force meeting is all about, who actually is in the task force, what the agenda and timeframes are, and whether we are moving in the right direction," Sanan said. "If we are, then I have no reason not to go to the sales."

Sanan, 56, owns Florida-based Padua Stables with his family. Padua is among the top 15 yearling buyers in the world. Last year, the Sanans spent more than $4 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, including their $2.7-million bid for the sale-topping Unbridled colt. Their presence was missed at this year's auction, which posted moderate declines.

At last year's Keeneland September auction, the Sanans bought five yearlings for a total of $2.25 million.

Sanan said he would like to see the task force develop a code of ethics within a year, if possible.

"Ultimately, there has to be an industry-recognized independent body that would not only develop the code of ethics, but make sure they are simple, practical, and can be implemented and enforced, and that the people who don't stick to the code of ethics are punished," he said. "I'm not sure how we're going to get there, but we'll get there."

Big crops not always necessary

Conventional wisdom says you need as many runners as possible to get a top freshman stallion, and it certainly doesn't hurt. Seven of the current top 10 first-crop sires have 50 or more juveniles this year. Fourth-ranked Giant's Causeway has the largest crop, with 125.

But the rankings also show it's possible for less-expensive studs with fewer 2-year-olds to find a place in the sun. As of Aug. 20, the current leading first-crop sire is Successful Appeal, a Valid Appeal horse standing for $6,000. He hit the No. 1 spot from a crop of 35 juveniles and 13 runners. He recently relocated from Ocala, Fla., to John T. L. Jones's Walmac International in Lexington.

Padua Stables' Dance Master stands for just $3,500 and has only 17 juveniles this year. He is eighth on the list with just five runners, led by stakes winner Flamenco. Another, more expensive, Padua horse, Yes It's True ($10,000), is ranked third and has a larger crop of 64 juveniles.

Just below Dance Master in ninth is Bernstein, a Storm Cat horse that may provide Buck Pond Farm with a second consecutive home run. Buck Pond stood Seattle Slew's son Doneraile Court last year for $7,500, then sold Doneraile Court to Hill 'n' Dale after he became 2003's third-leading freshman sire. The farm looks set to do it again with Bernstein. Bernstein stands for $7,500 and has a crop of 35 juveniles. To date, nine of those have run, and six have won.

Tenth on the list is $6,000 Straight Man at Signature Stallions in Florida, who got some help from a large crop of 65 juveniles and 17 runners. Six of those are winners.

Fund assists children of employees

The Horse Farm Workers' Educational Assistance Fund announced Thursday that it has awarded 40 scholarships for the 2004-05 school year to children of full-time central Kentucky Thoroughbred farm employees. The fund provides scholarships, usually of $2,500 per year, for post-high-school education. Eligible applicants are considered based on need, merit, essays, and personal interviews.

"Our goal is to provide enough money to help these deserving children get to college or a vocational training program without having to work an excessive number of hours away from their studies," said fund president Rob Whiteley.

The Horse Farm Workers' Educational Assistance Fund is run on a voluntary basis and funded by contributions. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the fund at P.O. Box 66, Versailles, Ky, 40383.