Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown sold by IEAH

Big Borwn having a bath the morning after his Kentucky Derby win

IEAH Stables (International Equine Acquisitions Holdings) who was majority owner of 2008 champion 3-year-old male Big Brown during his racing career, has sold all of their interest in Big Brown. The interest was sold to a group of current investors in the stallion, including Three Chimneys Farm. Three Chimneys, in Midway, Ky., has stood the 8-year-old Kentucky Derby winner since his first season at stud in 2009. The Stallion Company brokered the private deal.

Jamie LaMonica of The Stallion Company brokered the deal between IEAH principle Michael Iavarone and the investor group, confirmed that IEAH “no longer has any ownership” in the stallion, whose first crop of foals were 2-year-olds of 2012.

“It was a good trade,” LaMonica said. “(IEAH) needed to get some cash, and we believed in Big Brown and wanted to buy him. He’s bred more mares each year that he’s been at stud, a testimony to the quality of his foals. We think the best is yet to come – he’s a horse with positive momentum – so we purchased the shares.”

Big Brown was bred in Kentucky by Dr. Gary Knapp’s Monticule Farm, sold as a yearling in Kentucky for  $60,000 and then was purchased by Paul Pompa Jr.  IEAH bought a 75% interest in Big Brown from Pompa after the colt’s debut win as a 2-year-old.  After Big Brown won the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs – his fourth win without a loss – Three Chimneys struck a 60-share syndication deal that reportedly put a value on the horse upwards of $50 million but left IEAH with a significant ownership position.

IEAH has struggled financially in recent years. IEAH, led by managing partner Mike Iavarone, has faced financial difficulties the last several years. In May, the publicly traded American Basketball Association signed a letter of intent to buy IEAH’s pinhooking operation while maintaining IEAH as the operation’s manager. Pinhooking is best described as the purchase of a yearling and the training and development of that horse for resale as a 2 year old in training.

IEAH owns the Ruffian Equine Medical Center that it built in 2009 near Belmont Park, but the clinic closed in 2011. At a reported cost of $18 million, it closed its doors in March 2011 and has not reopened. IEAH’s bloodstock holdings have fallen to the point that the stable, according to its website, had just nine starts in 2012 for earnings of $191,845, a huge decline from Big Brown’s championship year when IEAH won 58 races from 243 starts and over $10.7 million.

Big Brown enters his fifth season at Three Chimneys in Midway, Ky., with a stud fee of $35,000 live foal. He wound up 11th leading first crop sire of 2012.  Last March, Big Brown’s son out of the mare Cool Ghoul topped a Florida select juvenile sale when Coolmore bid $1.3 million for him.

See our webnsite for more photoe of Big Brown and his 2008 Kentucky Derby win