09/20/2001 11:00PM

Unbridled undergoes colon surgery


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Popular Claiborne Farm stallion Unbridled is recuperating after a 70-minute surgery Friday morning to remove a diseased section of his large colon, according to Claiborne manager Gus Koch.

Specimens from a three-foot section of Unbridled's bowel were sent to the University of Kentucky's Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Lexington for analysis, and Koch said results are not expected back until later this week.

"We think he's going to be fine," Koch said Friday afternoon. "He's had sporadic mild colic this summer, and he had it again Thursday. Dr. Kim Sprayberry and Dr. Doug Byars came and did diagnostic procedures at the farm.

They were concerned that he might have a mass. Sure enough, they found a diseased and thickened piece of large colon."

Unbridled, A 14-year-old son of Fappiano-Gana Facil, by Le Fabuleux, ranks 15th on the list of leading North American sires, with more than $3.2 million in progeny earnings. He stands for a fee of $225,000.

TOBA seeks more members

The Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, which named Gary Biszantz its new chairman in August, will consider its future and set priorities at a strategic planning session on Oct. 4 in Lexington.

Biszantz, who recently announced that he is shifting his Cobra Farm base to the Kentucky racing circuit, will join TOBA president Dan Metzger as host of the one-day session for TOBA's executive committee and trustees.

The goal, Biszantz said, is to identify a group of core issues that the organization realistically can tackle in the next several years. Membership development is high on Biszantz's agenda for the organization, which currently has about 3,000 members who each pay $225 in annual dues.

TOBA also receives revenue as the sole shareholder in the trade magazine The Blood-Horse, for a total annual budget of "a couple million dollars or even less," Biszantz said.

Biszantz said he would like to increase TOBA's budget to allow for more ambitious participation in political lobbying, owner recruitment efforts, and development of a national owners' license.

Several years ago, under the leadership of former chairman Stuart Janney and president Drew Couto, TOBA had considered a possible sale of The Blood-Horse to raise revenue, but Biszantz said that idea is off the table. Instead, the two organizations are exploring ways to work together to recruit new owners, an effort Biszantz feels would increase both Blood-Horse subscriptions and TOBA memberships.

To that end, TOBA may take over TheGreatestGame.com, an ownership recruitment program that the National Thoroughbred Racing Association launched last year.

Though funded by several industry groups, including TOBA, TheGreatestGame.com relied heavily on information already developed by TOBA, which has conducted new owners seminars for the last decade.

Biszantz said he would like TOBA to be instrumental in monitoring purse and simulcast revenue distributions on behalf of owners; take a greater role in discussions about uniform medication rules; increase political lobbying activities; and promote a national licensing effort.

Keeneland prices dropping

As of 4:30 p.m. Eastern, Friday's early leader at the Keeneland September sale's 10th session was a $50,000 Mr. Greeley-Vacherie (Vigors) filly. Bruce Headley purchased the filly, a half-sister to Panamanian stakes winner Super I, from the consignment of Beth Bayer, agent.

On Thursday, the auction's ninth day and the last session for which complete figures were available, 236 yearlings sold for $3,333,200 for an average price of $14,124 (down 25 percent from last year's ninth session) and median of $7,350 (down 39 percent). Thursday's high price was $90,000, which Jack Smith Thoroughbreds paid for Steve's Trial, a Mr. Greeley colt out of the Zonic mare Lona's Love. Spendthrift Farm, agent, sold the session-topper.