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La Presle Farm

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The North American racing entity of brothers Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, who breed their horses in this country and France as Wertheimer et Frere (and brother)

Based in Switzerland, the brothers are members of the French family that owns the world famous Chanel perfume manufacturing business. They have continued the family's longstanding involvement in Thoroughbred racing while extending the Wertheimer influence into North America

Their first stakes winner in this country, Kotashaan, won the 1993 Breeders' Cup Turf and was voted Horse of the Year and champion male grass runner in North America. Kotashaan was bred by the brothers and raced for La Presle Farm throughout his North American campaign, during which he won five grade I stakes for trainer Richard Mandella. The Wertheimers sold him to a Japanese syndicate (headed by Lex Stud president Mutsuaki Doi), who took over ownership after the Breeders' Cup and for which Kotashaan finished second in the 1993 Japan Cup after jockey Kent Desormeaux misjudged the finish line. Kotashaan earned $2,619,014 in 1993

This year, the brothers made headlines when two of their homebreds, Dare and Go and Atticus, scored major upsets over runners from the powerful stable of trainer Bill Mott. Dare and Go ended Cigar's 16-race winning streak with a victory in the $1-million Pacific Classic on Aug. 10, and Atticus won Turfway Park's Kentucky Cup Classic from a field that included Wekiva Springs on Sept. 21. Dare and Go, a member of the last crop of foals sired by Alydar (who died in 1990), was produced from the Secretariat mare Partygoer, whom the brothers purchased for $215,000 at the Tartan Farms/John A. Nerud dispersal at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November breeding stock sale in 1987. Their late father Jacques initially campaigned Dare and Go in France, where he was a stakes winner at two and three before being brought to North America and turned over to Mandella in the summer of his 3-year-old season, 1994. Atticus likewise raced initially in France, where he won a group III race and finished second in that country's classic 2,000 Guineas equivalent, the group I Poule d'Essai des Poulains, last year at three. Sired by Nureyev, Atticus also was produced from a daughter of Secretariat, Athyka, who was bred by Jacques Wertheimer and was a multiple group winner in France

The brothers also won stakes in North America with Corrazona in 1994-95 and Gold Splash in 1994

Family history: Alain and Gerard Wertheimer inherited Chanel upon the death of their father Jacques on Feb. 6 of this year at age 86. Their grandfather Pierre was a bastion of the European Turf, winning English classics with Lavandin (1956 Epsom Derby) and Mea (1935 1,000 Guineas) and racing many other top horses. The patriarchal Wertheimer died in 1965, and the famed blue and white colors passed to his widow, who was France's leading owner in 1972, then on to Jacques after her death in 1974. The stable at that time included enough stars to make Jacques Wertheimer France's leading owner in 1975, when Ivanjica and Green Dancer won the French equivalents of the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, respectively, and Val de l'Orne won the French Derby. Ivanjica won Europe's most important race, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, the following year, becoming the first of two fillies to land the prestigious event for the Wertheimers. The second was Gold River, who won the Arc at 53-1 odds in 1980. Gold River the previous year had defeated males in France's St. Leger equivalent, the Prix Royal Oak

Alec Head trained for the family in Europe until his retirement in 1984, then Head's daughter Christiane (Criquette) took over

The brothers own approximately 60 broodmares, based primarily at their farm, Haras de Saint-Leonard-des-Parcs near Courtomer, France. They breed a number of mares each year to U.S. stallions. The Wertheimer mares are regarded as the best in France alongside those of Daniel Wildenstein and the late Stavros Niarchos

The family's best runners overseas, in addition to Ivanjica, Gold River, Gold Splash, and Green Dancer, have included French classic winners Red Lord (1,000 Guineas), Dancing Maid (2,000 Guineas), and Reine de Saba (French Oaks), other group I winners Riviere d'Or, Carwhite, Gay Mecene, and Princesse Lida, plus Animatrice, Soviet Lad, Goldneyev, Burn a Buck, Fabulous Hostess, Polyzena, Didyme, Green Tune, and Poliglote (second in last year's French Derby). The family also developed a number of top stallions, including Lyphard, Riverman, and Green Dancer

The family's first Breeders' Cup representative, Val des Bois, was bred by Jacques and raced by Edmund A. Gann, running second in the Mile in 1991 and fourth in 1992. Kotashaan was the first Breeders' Cup starter for the brothers, who had no runners in the Breeders' Cup in 1994 and 1995.

NOTE: Stats include North American and selected international races. Click here to view selected international race list.

Biographies on jockeys, trainers and owners are from the Breeders' Cup World Championships events from 2001 through 2009, and are intended as informational resources. Biographies will be updated if an individual is again a participant in the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Biographies are available for most horses appearing in the top 100 money earnings list, and/or for those who are frequently making headlines in the news starting with the 2006 Triple Crown season.


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