11/15/2004 12:00AM

Vinery intends to sell Australian holdings


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Vinery operation, owned by Dr. Tom Simon, has announced that it will disperse all its Australian Thoroughbred holdings in order to concentrate its bloodstock interests in North America.

Vinery recently began construction work on a new 220-acre facility in Ocala, Fla., which will serve as a training center for Vinery stock as well as a stallion center. Peace Rules, whom Vinery acquired earlier this year, will be the first stallion to stand there. Vinery also has a farm in Lexington.

Vinery operates two farms in Australia, the Vinery Stud in New South Wales's Hunter Valley and another division at Longwood in Victoria. Both facilities will be put on the market, along with about 100 broodmares, about 140 weanlings and yearlings, and between 40 and 50 horses in training, according to Vinery's general manager in North America, Bates Newton. All will be dispersed in 2005, with yearlings likely headed for the Magic Millions and Easter yearling sales, where Vinery traditionally sells.

"This has been a very difficult decision to make," Simon said in a statement released to Australian media Monday. "My family and I have loved the time we have spent in Australia, the friends we have made, and what we have achieved here is such a short time."

Simon indicated that his inability to spend more time in Australia was one factor in his decision. "I do not wish to become an absentee owner," he said. "This is not the way I want to be part of the industry here and not why I invested here so heavily."

The farm will continue to stand stallions in Australia, including 2004 top freshman sire Mossman. Newton said Vinery will continue to shuttle stallions to Australia.

"With starting up the farm in Florida, it's a lot to handle personally," Newton said Monday. "He's made a huge commitment to the Florida farm, and that's what this is: a shift of commitment."

Bolsa sells for $400,000 as broodmare

One day after a $210,000 weanling topped the Keeneland November sale's fifth session, mares returned to the spotlight on Monday. The afternoon's top seller, by a wide margin, was $400,000 Bolsa, a Mr. Prospector mare from the prestigious Middlebrook Farm consignment.

Gulf Coast LLC was the buyer. Bolsa, a daughter of Grade 1-placed stakes winner Mochila (by In Reality), is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Serape, a graded stakes producer, and to Montera, also a graded stakes producer. Bolsa sold in foal to Deputy Commander.

On Sunday, weanlings were in demand at the auction's seventh session. A Yonaguska colt sold by Clarkland Farm made the day's top price of $210,000. Peter O'Callaghan's Bloodstock Services bought the son of Jetazelle (Tri Jet). The colt is a half-brother to stakes winner Runaway Jet.

Another Yonaguska weanling, this one a filly out of stakes winner Gate Swinger, brought $200,000 from Vinery Stables. Vinery stands Yonaguska. Moreau Bloodstock International consigned the filly.

The highest broodmare price was $200,000. Two mares brought that. One was Totally Crafty, a stakes-placed Crafty Prospector-Teewinot mare in foal to Posse that Pennston Farm bought from Taylor Made, agent. The other was Lyrics'n Laughter, a Stop the Music-Distant Doll mare that Bill Murphy's Ballinswood Sales, agent, sold to Ben Glass, agent.

Through Sunday, the last session for which totals were available, the auction had sold 1,692 horses for $257,217,900, well ahead of the number for last year at the same point. In 2003, the seventh session brought the totals to 1,661 horses sold for $222,629,500.

The seven-day cumulative average this year was $152,020, and the median was $62,000. Although it is difficult to compare yearly results of breeding stock sales because of the highly variable quality of the offerings from year to year, the Keeneland November sales in 2004 are running ahead of last year's numbers. Through last season's seventh session, the auction had posted a $134,033 average and a $55,000 median.

Olmodavor's fee set at $10,000

Olmodavor, who retired earlier this fall, will stand at the Adena Springs Kentucky division near Midway, Ky., for a $10,000 fee in 2005.

A Grade 3-winning son of A.P. Indy and Corrazona (El Gran Senor), Olmodavor accumulated a 15-5-5-1 record and $706,540 in earnings. He won the 2003 Native Diver and the 2004 Whirlaway handicaps. In his last race, the Grade 2 Washington Park Handicap, he finished second, a head behind Eye of the Tiger.