Lookin At Lucky: a suit has been filed by Fifth Third Bank against his breeder Gulf Coast FarmsPICTURE: Jessie Holmes/EquiSport photos
Lawsuit filed against prominent US breeder
GULF Coast Farms, the breeder of last year's American champion three-year-old Lookin At Lucky, is the latest American thoroughbred operation to incur the wrath of Fifth Third Bank after defaulting on over $15 million worth of loans.
The past year has seen Fifth Third Bank file major lawsuits against Zayat Stables and Stonewall Stallions. The Zayat case, in which Ahmed Zayat was sued by Fifth Third for over $34 million last January, was settled after Zayat filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and presented a reorganisation plan that was accepted.
Stonewall Stallions also filed for bankruptcy protection and sold the majority of their bloodstock holdings after Fifth Third launched a lawsuit relating to $15.4 million in defaulted loans.
According to the suit relating to Gulf Coast Farms, the operationowes $6.87 million and $7.59 million in loans made in 2009 and 2010, as well as an additional $664,500 on a swaps transaction. The chief defendants are named as Gulf Coast Farms, Gulf Coast Farms Investments and the operation's founders Gerald Bailey andLance Robinson.
Gulf Coast Farms began dispersing its 120-head of mares through Taylor Made Sales at the Keeneland November Sale last year, with 88 lots selling for a total of $7,954,500. A further 23 mares were sold for $396,100 at the Keeneland January Sale.
Horses bred by Gulf Coast Farms won over $5.6 million in the US during 2010 led by Preakness Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky and dual Grade 3 winner Conveyance. Bailey and Robinson also purchased and raced Thunder Gulch before selling him to Michael Tabor, in whose colours he won the 1995 Kentucky Derby.