Justice Real Estate of Lexington, Ky., had a 234-acre property for sale on Georgetown Road in Bourbon County that was formerly R.D. Hubbard’s Crystal Springs Farm, but there’s a “sold” sticker slapped across its image on the company’s website now. The new owner is Chilean Oussama Aboughazale, who also owns Haras Sumaya in Chile and has notably raced Chilean homebred champion Wild Spirit in the US. She won the G1 Ruffian for Bobby Frankel in 2003. As International Equities Holding, Aboughazale purchased 11 head for $2,251,000 through the first two days of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale and led all buyers.
Aboughazale (pictured below) bought a wide range of mares, spending from $700,000 for the Tapit broodmare prospect Delightful Joy and $575,000 for the Mineshaft mare Joyfully, in foal to American Pharoah, to $15,000 for the barren An Annika Moment, a 16-year-old Mecke Mare who’d produced G2 winner Madame Cactus.
Aboughazale (as spelled by Keeneland), whose name is also spelled Abougazale (without the h after the g) on the Haras Sumaya website, Aboughazaleh (with an h at the end and an h after the g) in some articles, and Abu-Ghazaleh in legal documents, attended the sale and told Keeneland’s press office that Delightful Joy and Joyfully — whose second dam is Personal Ensign — would be bred to War Front. Of some of the other mares, Frances Relihan, who accompanied Aboughazale, told Keeneland: “Mr. Aboughazale has his young stallion Protonico (who is standing at Taylor Made Stallions), so we have been looking at some young mares for him. (Protonico will) start breeding mares next month for the first time, so we are just trying to give him a little bit of a base and give him a little kick start in the market. Sumaya Stables has traditionally raced in the past, but we will see what kind of stock we are getting and hopefully we can have commercial and racing interests.”
Protonico is a G2 winner by Giant’s Causeway bred in the name of Aboughazale’s International Equity Holding, Inc., and raced as Sumaya U.S. Stable with Todd Pletcher. A multiple Graded stakes winner, Protonico won seven races from 16 starts and earned $997,587. The horse’s second dam is Aboughazale’s G1 Ruffian winner Wild Spirit.
Before he bred Protonico, Aboughazale had purchased the Giant’s Causeway yearling Morning Raider at the Keeneland September sale for $450,000 and also raced him with Pletcher. The colt won two of five starts and earned $53,678 and was then sent to stud at Haras Sumaya in Chile. There he sired the Sumaya champion Amani, a winner of 10 of 11 starts in her homeland. Aboughazale later sent Amani to Neil Drysdale in California where she was third in the G1 Clement L. Hirsch from three starts. She has since been bred and has a 2-year-old of ’17 by Kitten’s Joy, a yearling by War Front, and is in foal to American Pharoah. The latter’s first foal, born Jan. 3 at Brookdale Farm, is from Aboughazale’s Tizway mare Kakadu, a homebred whose dam produced Protonico and whose second dam is Wild Spirit.
Both Wild Spirit and Amani won the important G1 Clasico Alberto Solari Magnasco at Hipdromo Chile. The race is named in honor of the father of Liliana Solari Falabella, owner with her son, Carlos Heller Solari, of Haras Don Alberto in Chile and Don Alberto in Lexington, Ky. Purchased by the Solaris in 2013, Don Alberto was previously Vinery.
Don Alberto has the sale topper at Keeneland January so far. The farm went to $1,025,000 on Monday to land Siren Serenade, an Unbridled’s Song mare from Versailles Treaty in foal to Tapit. The foal she’s carrying is bred on the same cross as Unique Bella, one of the most promising 3-year-old fillies in the country. From Unrivaled Belle, also a daughter of Unbridled’s Song, the Tapit filly is owned by Don Alberto, and she won the G2 Santa Ynez at Santa Anita on Sunday.
Don Alberto had spent $1,000,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall sale in November for Siren Serenade’s daughter Luminance, and including the purchase of Vinery, the Solari operation has spent more than $50,000,000 for horses and land in Kentucky. Some high-priced mares or broodmare prospects purchased by Don Alberto since 2013 include, in addition to Luminance and her dam Siren Serenade: Baffled, for $3,500,000 in partnership with Bridlewood; Angela Rennee, for $3,000,000; Modeling, for $2,850,000; Precious Stone, for $1,800,000; Ciao Bella, for $1,600,000; Sarah Lynx, for $2,600,000; and La Cloche, for $2,400,000. The latter was purchased in foal to Tapit, and on Saturday her first foal, the Tapit filly Bellavais, now 3 and owned and bred by Phillips Racing Partnership, won her first stakes race.
Wealth, industry, horses, a nod to their parents, and Frances Relihan appear to be the common links between Sumaya and Don Alberto. Both farms are named after parents: Sumaya, the mother of Oussama Aboughazale; and Alberto, father of Liliana Solari Falabella. Relihan worked for Don Alberto at its Kentucky inception but is now with Sumaya.
Aboughazale and his family, in addition to other businesses, are major shareholders in the publicly traded company Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc., which is reportedly the third largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world. Aboughazale’s oldest brother, Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, is the chairman and CEO of Fresh Del Monte Produce.
Liliana Solari Falabella and her extended family are shareholders in Chilean-based SACI Falabella, one of the largest multi-national companies in South America. Liliana Solari and her son and daughter own their stock in SACI Falabella through their holding company Bethia S.A. — named, by the way, after Alberto Solari Magnasco’s top mare Bethia, bred at his Haras Tarapaca.
These Chilean owners and breeders are accomplished horsemen in their native country, and they have and are achieving success here with buying power and an international outlook on the sport. They are two of many examples of how global this game is getting.