04/13/2015 4:03PM

Twenty percent interest in Curlin offered for sale


A 20 percent interest in two-time Horse of the Year and Lane’s End stallion Curlin belonging to disbarred lawyers Shirley Cunningham Jr. and William Gallion’s Midnight Cry Stables will be offered for sale, along with four annual breeding rights.

The sale will be brokered by Schumer Bloodstock in conjunction with M2 Transport. The companies were awarded the listing contract to disperse the undivided share in the horse by the U.S. Justice Department, U.S. Marshals Service, Asset Forfeiture Division.

Gallion is in the midst of a 25-year sentence and Cunningham is serving 20 years for taking about $94 million owed to clients from a $200-million settlement tied to the anti-obesity drug Fen-Phen. The 2009 ruling also required the lawyers to pay $127 million to the victims and forfeit $30 million to the federal government, which has led to the seizure of their assets, including the share in Curlin. Stonestreet Farm, which owns 80 percent of the horse, will have the right of first refusal.

Midnight Cry was Curlin’s original owner of record, buying him for $57,000 at the 2005 Keeneland September yearling sale. He raced for Midnight Cry and trainer Helen Pitts in his debut effort at Gulfstream Park, which he won by 12 ¾ lengths.

After that start, Midnight Cry sold 80 percent of its interest in Curlin to Jess Jackson and Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables, Satish and Anne Sanan’s Padua Stables, and George Bolton for about $3.5 million. The transaction left Stonestreet with a 31 percent interest in Curlin, and Padua Stables with 29 percent, while Bolton and Midnight Cry each had 20 percent.

Padua Stables sold its share to Stonestreet and Bolton in November 2007 shortly after the colt’s win in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. About a month later, Stonestreet increased its share to 80 percent when Jackson bought out Bolton’s interest in the horse.

Curlin finished his on-track career as North America’s highest earner, winning 11 of 16 career starts for $10,501,800. His Horse of the Year-winning campaigns in 2007 and 2008 included victories in the Dubai World Cup, Preakness Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup Classic, as well as the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap, the Woodward Stakes, and two editions of the Jockey Club Gold Cup. Curlin also finished second in the 2007 Belmont Stakes and third in the Kentucky Derby.

The 11-year-old son of Smart Strike was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2014.

Curlin retired to Lane’s End in Versailles, Ky. for the 2009 breeding season, where he now has four crops of racing age, and stands for an advertised fee of $35,000.

His most notable runner is 2013 Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice. Other top foals include Grade 1 winner Stellar Wind, Grade 2 winners Diversy Harbor and Moulin de Mougin, Grade 3 winner Ocean Knight, and 2014 Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin.