LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Even though Allen Paulson, co-owner of Kentucky Derby favorite Arazi, bases his vast racing and breeding empire in Kentucky, he is a big supporter of Maryland's thoroughbred industry.
He still owns 50 percent of Opening Verse, the son of The Minstrel, who won the Breeders' Cup Turf last year and then was retired to Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City.
Paulson also owns 25 percent of two other Maryland stallions -- Allen's Prospect and Corridor Key, which stand at Country Life Farm in Bel Air.
Paulson is an active supporter of all three stallions.
In addition to sending about eight mares to Opening Verse, Paulson sent 16 mares this spring to Allen's Prospect and Corridor Key.
Paulson has bred two Maryland Million winners -- X-Ray and Richard's Lass. The crystal bowls that he received as winning breeder are prominently displayed in his plush offices at Brookside Farm.
Additionally, Paulson is considering running Loach, recent winner in a dead heat with Profit Key of the Ben Ali Handicap at Keeneland, in the Pimlico Special on May 9.
Another Paulson runner, Cudas, is also being considered for the Special.
Paulson won the race with Blushing John three years ago.
* Paulson said yesterday that Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid al Maktoum, who owns half of Arazi, was not originally planning to attend the Kentucky Derby. "But I have pretty much insisted on )) it," Paulson said. "He said he was entertaining members of the British royal family this weekend." Paulson said he expected to know by yesterday if he would be attending.
* Paulson said that he has had no recent contact with Ralph Wilson, the breeder of Arazi who sold the colt to him as a weanling at Keeneland.
"But if he's at the Kentucky Derby, I'm going to invite him to come down and join us in the winner's circle, if we do win," Paulson said.
Paulson said that not only did Wilson sell Arazi as a weanling, he also sold his dam, Danseur Fabuleux. The buyer? Sheik Mohammed.
"I guess he [Wilson] just wants to forget he had these great horses, and got rid of them," Paulson said.
Paulson said he gets about a dozen phone calls a day about Arazi.