Three Chimneys Offerings Sell Well
Monday, March 23, 2015
Three Chimneys Congrats filly - hip No. 33 - sells for $725,000

The following article appeared in the March 18, 2015 edition of the TDN 

by Brian DiDonato

A trio of juveniles owned or co-owned by Three Chimneys Farm proved popular in the OBS sales ring yesterday--hip 33, a Congrats filly, brought $725,000 from Charles Fipke; hip 61, a Distorted Humor colt, went to Spendthrift Farm for $650,000; and hip 27, a daughter of Tale of the Cat, was scooped up by bloodstock agent Mike Ryan for $250,000. Eddie Woods consigned hips 33 and 61, while Niall Brennan Stables, Agent XXIX, offered hip 27.

Hip 61, who hails from a deep Ned Evans family that includes Horse of the Year Saint Liam (Saint Ballado), is part of a 50-horse partnership with Ben Leon’s Besilu Stable. The grey’s stakes-winning dam Dance Quietly (A.P. Indy) was a $2-million Besilu buy at the 2011 Keeneland November Sale. Leon spent an incredible $11.4 million on five mares and a weanling filly at that sale from the complete dispersal of the late Evans’s Spring Hill Farm and $22.4 million at the event overall.

Besilu and Three Chimneys announced their partnership in August. Brazil’s Borges Torrealba family became a partner in the Clay family’s Three Chimneys in 2012, and the Midway, Ky. powerhouse has aimed to increase its commercial operations since that time.

Chris Baker, longtime general manager of Spring Hill, joined Three Chimneys as chief operating officer in 2013 and was instrumental in linking Leon and Three Chimneys chairman Goncalo Torrealba.

"Mr. Leon and I had a relationship back when I was working for Mr. Evans at Spring Hill Farm--Mr. Leon approached me prior to the dispersal because he was looking to ramp up what he was doing,” recalled Baker. “So he and I struck up a friendship and went through all the horses and I was very close to going to work for him."

Baker continued, "So, we had that relationship and I introduced him to Mr. Torrealba. We also found, funny enough, that Mr. Torrealba's sister, who lived in Miami for 15 years, and Mr. Leon's family had the same hairdresser, so Mr. Torrealba's sister had already met the Leon's through their hairdresser...when Mr. Leon and Mr. Torrealba got together at the Kentucky Derby last year, they hit it off and had a great time together. From that, they started talking about opportunities to do something together in the business, and that led to this partnership."

Baker acknowledged the added personal significance of seeing a horse with Spring Hill roots do well for Three Chimneys.

"Prior to the Evans dispersal, this family rarely, if ever, saw the sales ring, so that this mare's first foal had this level of commercial appeal, while not surprising, is certainly gratifying," Baker said. "Three Chimneys has a commercial focus that the Evans operation did not, the sale of this colt and the other two fillies earlier in the day, clearly shows that we will bring good horses to the marketplace and sell them to further our goals as a top commercial farm. Mr.Torrealba was particularly pleased because each of thehorses we sold came from a different market segment: hip 27, which sold for $250,000 was a pinhook, hip 33 was a homebred, and hip 61 was from the Besilu partnership."

Of the Three Chimneys strategy, Baker added, "It's a team approach, with Doug Cauthen, vice chair of our board, helping on the farm's big picture and focusing on stallions and strategy, and Case Clay focusing on strengthening our existing relationships and developing new ones, particularly in the commercial realm. Three Chimneys is looking to expand its reach by creating partnerships and associations with like-minded horsemen who share our goals. Our associations with Benjamin Leon’s Besilu, Willis Horton and Will Take Charge, Dogwood Stables and Palace Malice, are prime
examples of Three Chimney's collaborative philosophy."

Among the Three Chimneys/Besilu offerings to sell Wednesday is hip 360, a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister to the dam of hip 61 whose own dam brought $800,000 from Leon in foal to Quality Road at the 2011 Keeneland November sale.

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