Pennsylvania horseman Russell Jones spent the Triple Crown season wearing a tan and brown Union Rags hat, but could have just as easily donned the purple and white of I’ll Have Another.
“It doesn’t mean anything, but we sold that horse’s sire and dam,” said Jones, founder of Walnut Green, the Pennsylvania sales agency now owned by Mark Reid and partners.
It’s true. Three weeks apart in 2003, Walnut Green sold Flower Alley and Arch’s Gal Edith as yearlings. Together, sire and dam made I’ll Have Another.
At the 2002 Keeneland November Sale, Virginia horseman Bruce Smart bought the then weanling Flower Alley (Distorted Humor—Princess Olivia, by Lycius) for $50,000. Less than a year later, Walnut Green consigned the chestnut colt at Keeneland September for Smart. Eugene Melynk spent $165,000 to buy the Kentucky-bred, who went on to earn more than $2.5 million with trainer Todd Pletcher before retiring to Three Chimneys Farm as a stallion. The Grade 1 winner sired I’ll Have Another in his second crop.
On the distaff side, breeder Linnie Scott sent her yearling filly (Arch—Force Five Gal, by Pleasant Tap) to Walnut Green in advance of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s Eastern Fall Yearling Sale. The Pennsylvania-bred sold for $36,000 to Auburn Ark Stable. Harvey Clarke bought her the next March for $80,000 at Ocala and the rest is history.
Jones, who advises Union Rags’ owner Phyllis Wyeth on her horses, enjoyed the associations.
“It’s one of those non-essential, exciting facts and just goes to show that you never know,” said Jones. “When you’re connected to a good horse, any good horse in any way, all you do is go along for the ride.”