Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown winner, hasn't been resting on his laurels while Seattle Slew was Tripling in 1977 - and some larcenous soul(s) either knows it, or doesn't know just what he (they) wrought in the theft of the mare Fanfreluche from Claiborne Farm at Paris, Ky.
Fanfreluche, 10, was Canadian horse of the year and North American champion filly in 1970. She's a daughter of 1964 Kentucky Derby winner Northern Dancer and a $238,000 winner in her own right. Her offspring, L'Enjoleur, twice has been named Canada's top thoroughbred racer.
And now, Fanfreluche, carrying at least a half-million-dollar baby courtesy of Ol'Sexy, at last word had Kentucky State police, sheriffs' departments and the FBI in a tizzy. Someone cut through a fence to get into her pasture, led her along a hedgerow, cut another fence and evidently hauled her off in a waiting van this weekend. There the trail ended.
With no ransom demand immediately issued, neither Seth Hancock, operator of Claiborne Farm, nor Pierre Levesque of the Canadian family that owns the mare could guess whether the culprit(s) were aware of the distinguished guest's identity. Levesque said Fanfreluche was no insured - "her book value is minimal. On paper, she is worth only the stud fee, perhaps $50,000." The horse has not been in foal long enough that the pregnancy is obvious.
As we were saying, Secretariat has been earning his keep; nine of his offspring - six colts and three fillies - will be up for auction at Keeneland's July 18-19 yearling sale. Who knows, this unborn one could be the cream of the crop, but if - . . .