Thoroughbred Mistaken Identity Case Settled

Trainer Bret Calhoun of Grand Prairie, Texas, and officials from the Keeneland sales company have reached a settlement regarding a misidentified racehorse that was sold last fall at public auction, according to reports in the Dallas Morning News. Details of the settlement were not disclosed.

Calhoun purchased the horse in September as a yearling at Keeneland for $7,500. According to the sale catalog, the chestnut colt was out of the Secretariat mare Ravel and by Ogygian, whose yearlings sold for an average $30,893 at auction. The horse was consigned by William Harrigan, agent.

The Jockey Club later raised questions about the colt's identity. The horse's markings didn't match the foal papers, and attempts to clarify the markings only raised more questions, which were further complicated by the death of the Ogygian colt. Then in mid-March, based on a blood analysis, the purchased horse was identified as a son of Seeking the Gold, whose yearlings averaged $324,094. At some point prior to the sale, the two horses were mistakenly switched.

The horse Calhoun picked out, paid for and brought home to Texas was actually a colt named Stock Exchange, out of the mare Jurisdictional and a full-brother to Secret Savings, who earned $184,540, with six wins from 17 starts, while racing from 1993-1996. Owned by Odgen Mills Phipps, Secret Savings ran fifth in the 1994 Jerome (gr. I).

On March 27, Calhoun said, the colt was loaded onto a van and returned to Kentucky. "I think Keeneland (officials) did everything they were supposed to do and were very fair," Calhoun said. At the time of the mix-up, Calhoun was in the process of selling the colt. Although that sale was never completed, Keeneland also satisfied any claim the potential buyers might have had, Calhoun said.

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