Jerry Crawford, founder and managing partner of Donegal Racing, confirmed on Wednesday his group has been fielding offers from parties based in the Middle East to purchase multiple Grade I winner Dullahan.
Dale Romans, trainer of Dullahan, initially said during an online chat with Bloodhorse.com Tuesday that a large offer had been made for the son of Even the Score. Though Crawford declined to specifically name who the offers have came from, he said Wednesday there have been offers from “multiple interests”.
“The latest offer was both very, very large on the one hand and, we thought, less than appropriate on the other hand,” Crawford said. “He is in various future books listed as the favorite for the 2013 Dubai World Cup and while that is a ways off, it means he has as good a chance as any at that $6 million (first place) purse. Especially when you through in what he might do in the (Grade I) Jamaica Handicap (at Belmont on October 6) and in the Breeders’ Cup.”
The substantial monetary gain that could come from selling Dullahan is something Crawford concedes can not be ignored. However, the emotional investment he and his partners have in the chestnut colt as well as the thought of what he could ultimately achieve lends a bittersweet element to any possible sale.
“Oh absolutely, it would be tough,” Crawford said. “When the offer came in, my partners and I had a conference call and I let everyone think about it for a couple of days and they were strongly against the sale. That’s not to say there isn’t a number that couldn’t change their mind. Also, we’re still very keen on him being given the opportunity to be a Grade I winner on all three surfaces. That’s something that’s only been done once before (Lava Man). He was just a length away in the Kentucky Derby so I don’t think (winning a Grade I on dirt) is unrealistic.
“One option is we run this horse through his 4-year-old year and then sell him as a sire domestically. I would love to think the domestic offers would be in the same range as the foreign offers.”
All three of Dullahan’s career victories have in Grade I races over synthetic surfaces. After breaking his maiden in the Grade I Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity at Keeneland last October, the half brother to 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird won the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes over the same track this April and defeated some of the top older horses in the country last time out in the Grade I Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
Dullahan will shoot for his first Grade I win on turf when he starts in the Jamaica Handicap on October 6. Depending on how that outing goes, the debate will be on as to whether he goes in the Breeders’ Cup Turf or tries the dirt again in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“The door is open (for the Classic) but we’ll see how the next ten days of racing goes,” Crawford said. “You know, he’s kind of the last horse standing (in the 3-year-old class). When we bought him we bought him because he looked like the kind of horse who can stay very sound and he’s done exactly that. And he’s kept moving forward, forward and forward.”