'Quest' entering home stretch of career Colt will be retired after 2-3 more races

September 10, 1998|By Tom Keyser | Tom Keyser,SUN STAFF

Coronado's Quest, the sensational 3-year-old colt bred and owned by Stuart S. Janney III, will be retired in two months and sent to stud as one of the country's top stallion prospects in years.

Janney, who lives in Butler in Baltimore County, said yesterday that plans call for Coronado's Quest to race at least twice more -- in the Woodward Sept. 19 at Belmont Park and the Breeders' Cup Classic Nov. 7 at Churchill Downs. Then, in time for next RTC year's breeding season, he will join Janney's other 20 horses at Claiborne Farm in Kentucky.

For purposes of assembling a syndicate that will own the colt at stud, a value of $15 million has been placed upon Coronado's Quest.

Janney said several factors went into the decision to retire the colt after his 3-year-old season instead of racing him at 4 or 5, as with such horses as Skip Away and Silver Charm.

"Unlike some of the other horses that continue to race, this horse, because of his breeding, has gotten to be extremely valuable," Janney said.

Since Coronado's Quest won the Haskell Invitational Handicap at Monmouth Park and the prestigious Travers Stakes at Saratoga this summer, Janney said: "He's pretty close right now to his highest value."

In addition, Janney said, "I'm a breeder. I can get just as excited seeing his offspring do well -- whether they're in my stable or somebody's else's -- as I can watching his accomplishments on the racetrack."

Those accomplishments have been stellar. Coronado's Quest has earned $1.9 million by winning 10 of 14 races. He has displayed dazzling speed in setting the 6 1/2 -furlong record at Aqueduct and tremendous courage in winning the 1 1/4 -mile Travers.

David Schmitz of The Blood-Horse magazine said Coronado's Quest is an extremely attractive stallion prospect because of his combination of racing success and strong breeding.

Asked whether the colt's temperament, which resulted in unruly behavior before some races, would put off breeders, Schmitz said: "I don't think they'll pay any attention to that at all."

Other horses, most notably Storm Cat, entered stud with bad-boy reputations. Today, Storm Cat commands the highest published stud fee: $150,000.

Janney said the fee for Coronado's Quest would probably be about $60,000.

He said the colt's behavior problems did not play a major role in the decision to retire him later this year. Anyway, Janney said, he believes the problems have been corrected mainly by throat surgery to cure a breathing problem.

Coronado's Quest is a son of Forty Niner, an Eclipse Award-winner at 2 and a highly regarded sire. He is a grandson of Mr. Prospector, known as a sire of sires. And the female side of Coronado's Quest, which has produced the likes of Ruffian, Private Terms and Icecapade, is among the strongest of any potential stallion.

Janney arranged the breeding -- his broodmare Laughing Look to Forty Niner -- and retained full ownership of Coronado's Quest until the week before the Preakness.

Then he sold one quarter for an undisclosed price to Stonerside Stable. Now, as part of the syndication process, he is selling one half to 25 others. Based on the colt's $15 million value, each share is selling for $300,000 -- for a total of $7.5 million. Janney will keep one-quarter ownership.

The syndication members will have no say over what's left of Coronado's Quest's racing career, Janney said. In addition to the Woodward and Breeders' Cup Classic, the Cigar Mile Nov. 28 at Aqueduct is a remote possibility, he said.

Those races will decide whether Coronado's Quest earns the Janney family its third Eclipse Award. Ruffian, whom Janney's parents bred and owned, won two championships. Coronado's Quest is a leading contender for an Eclipse Award as top 3-year-old male.

Pub Date: 9/10/98

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