Ron Volkman, one of the owners of Wild Again, has denied a report in the Daily Racing Form that a 50% interest in the horse had been sold to Eugene Klein for $6 million.
"There have been discussions and negotiations with Mr. Klein, but there is no deal," Volkman said. "And I don't know at this time if there will be one."
Klein, former principal owner of the San Diego Chargers, also denied the story, which said that Wild Again, stabled at Santa Anita, would switch trainers, going from Vincent Timphony to Wayne Lukas, who trains Klein's horses.
Wild Again, after earning $1.35 million last November for winning the $3-million Breeders' Cup Classic at Hollywood Park, the richest race ever run, finished the year with more than $2 million in purses. His winnings ranked him third in the country behind Slew o' Gold with $2.6 million, and John Henry with $2.3 million.
Volkman, of Dallas, owns 25% of Wild Again. William Allen of Turnbury, Fla., owns 58%, and Terry Beall of Riverside owns 17%. Timphony reportedly is scheduled to receive approximately a 20% share of Allen's interest in Wild Again, a 5-year-old who was purchased in 1981 for $35,000.
Volkman said that before the discussions with Klein, Wild Again's owners had a serious offer for an interest in the horse from William Reed, a prominent veterinarian who owns Mare Haven Farm in Lexington, Ky.
Negotiations broke off with Reed because he wanted to retire Wild Again and send him to stud. Wild Again's owners would like to run him again this year. Their current objective is the Santa Anita Handicap March 3.
"The horse is sound," Volkman said. "He has a one-inch quarter crack (a minor hoof injury) that hasn't been patched yet. And after X-raying him, they found a small spur and a bubble in a suspensory ligament. But we'd like to tackle Gate Dancer and Interco and anybody else who's out there this year."
Gate Dancer was disqualified from second to third in the Breeders' Cup Classic. Interco won four of five stakes last year but didn't run after June because of sore feet. Both horses are now in training at Santa Anita.