05/22/2007 11:00PM

Wolfson, Millers try to cope


MIAMI - Saturday was an afternoon of mixed emotions for trainer Marty Wolfson. He won three races at Calder, including the $50,000 Maryland My Maryland Stakes with the odds-on favorite, Tacit Agreement, but lost one of his top horses when Mending Fences broke down while on the lead in Pimlico's Dixie Handicap. Mending Fences was euthanized shortly after the incident.

"We're still pretty devastated here at the barn," Wolfson said on Tuesday. "It's been a long time since I've lost a horse. The last one was five years ago when Wynn Dot Comma broke down, and that was as a result of something that happened in the morning and not during a race."

Wolfson's wife, Karla, was at Pimlico for the Dixie.

"They're all like family to us," Marty Wolfson said. "We buried Wynn Dot Comma at our farm after he had to be put down."

Mending Fences went from a former claimer to a graded stakes winner since Wolfson took over the horse's training last fall, capturing 4 of 6 starts before the Dixie after changing barns. One of those two losses was a game second-place finish behind multiple Grade 1 winner English Channel under allowance conditions last winter at Gulfstream Park.

"He was a very laid-back horse for a stallion and very striking-looking," said Wolfson. "I didn't do much with him after I got him other than stretch him out around two turns and put him back on the turf. All he wanted was to be able to relax on the lead. He was also very sound.

Wolfson said that jockey Eddie Castro had told him that "the turf course at Pimlico was very uneven and that Mending Fences just took a bad step."

Castro walked away from the frightening spill uninjured.

A blow to the Miller family

Mending Fences was owned by Farnsworth Stables LLC, which purchased the old Farnsworth Farm in Ocala, Fla., from former Eclipse Award winning owner-breeder Michael Sherman in June of 2006.

"The incident on Saturday was devastating for our family," said Myron Miller, the son of Farnsworth LLC's owner, Robert Miller. "My dad had purchased Mending Fences as a wedding anniversary president for my mom, and he's kind of been the family horse ever since. We've been traveling around with him, and we were all there on Saturday. In fact, we went out on the track and watched the whole thing firsthand after the accident."

Miller said Mending Fences was cremated and his ashes have been brought back to the family's residence in Palm Beach, Fla. Miller said his father was in the process of completing a deal to purchase Mending Fences' sister Satin Cat, now a broodmare, from Olin Gentry in Kentucky.

"She's presently in foal to Street Cry and really wasn't for sale," Miller said. "But Mr. Gentry was aware of the situation with Mending Fences and as a result was kind enough to let us purchase the mare. And for that we can't thank him enough."

Satin Cat will join a broodmare band that the Millers will maintain in Ocala.

"We presently have 10 broodmares in Kentucky in foal to fashionably bred stallions who'll be transferred to our property in Ocala," said Miller. "We've also got another 11 runners currently in training, the majority of whom are with Marty."

Miller said his father, whose main business is real estate, originally purchased the Farnsworth corporation from Sherman, including the 426-acre farm, as a real-estate investment before ultimately deciding to expand his own interests in the Thoroughbred business.

"We bought only the property and equipment, none of the livestock, and plan to parcel it off into four 100-acre farms," Myron Miller said. "We'll keep one for ourselves, which will include the training track and ultimately a state of the art equine rehabilitation center. We'll then sell off the remaining three plots of land."

Robert Miller is in the process of filming a pilot for a prospective television show called "The Other Side of Orlando," which his son described as a " 'Dynasty'-type show" to be shot around the state of Florida. Filming of the pilot is scheduled to begin in August.

Tacit Agreement to Woodbine

Wolfson said despite winning the first two legs of Calder's Senior Triple series - the 1 1/4-mile My Old Kentucky Home and 1 3/16-mile Maryland My Maryland - in easy fashion, Tacit Agreement will not attempt to complete a sweep in the 1 1/2-mile New York New York Stakes on June 9.

"It just doesn't make sense running him for a $45,000 purse when there are races at a mile and one-quarter and a mile and one-half coming up at Woodbine worth $150,000 or more," Wolfson said. "He trained well over the Polytrack earlier in his career so I think he'll like the surface up there."