07/23/2003 12:00AM

Spendthrift buys half of Cuvee

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Spendthrift Farm in Lexington has announced that it has purchased a half-interest in the promising juvenile stakes winner Cuvee.

The deal ensures that the colt will stand at Spendthrift at the end of his racing career. Until then, he will continue to campaign carrying the Winchell colors and with Spendthrift listed as partner. Steve Asmussen will continue to train Cuvee, who is pointing for the Aug. 13 Saratoga Special.

Winchell Thoroughbreds' homebred Cuvee, a 2-year-old son of Carson City, won his debut at Churchill Downs by 6 1/4 lengths before taking the Grade 3 Kentucky Breeders' Cup Stakes by 8 1/4 lengths. Most recently, he finished third in the Grade 3 Bashford Manor.

Cuvee is out of the Star de Naskra mare Christmas Star, who also produced stakes-placed Christmas Party.

Suzie Oldham, a Spendthrift spokesperson, said that the partners would most likely convene at the end of Cuvee's 3-year-old season to determine whether to continue racing the colt or to retire him to stud at Spendthrift then.