Eugene Melnyk was just on HRTV, and told the story of his acquiring Flower Alley.
He was at the Keeneland September sales in 2003 - the year Funny Cide had won the Kentucky Derby. He had already made his selections, and was waiting as the sale progressed. Looking through the catalogs, saw there was a son of Distorted Humor out of Princess Olivia. Olivia was his 1 year old daughter's name, and he always called her "Princess". Told his people to check the yearling out, and if there wasn't anything wrong with him, to go ahead and get him. They replied that he didn't look bad, so they bought him. (According to the Keeneland site, for $165k, which was the lowest price he paid of the 13 horses listed he bought at that sale. Two individuals were $1.75 and $2.8M)
Then he had to include his 4 year old daughter's wishes, so he let her help name him. She wanted it to be something pretty, so selected Flower Alley, a location in Barbados they all knew.
As a late foal (May), Flower Alley didn't blossom until later in his 3 yo year. But of course went on to win the Jim Dandy, the Travers, and then almost caught St Liam in the Breeders Cup Classic.
Oh, yea, and is the sire of I'll Have Another. And his book went overnight from 57, to a full book of 120 after the Derby, also after doubling the price overnight.
And by the way, Anna House at Belmont is named after Melnyk's 4 year old daughter. (per Wikipedia)
Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes
This is a great story, so thanks for sharing! However, I can't help chuckling at the thought of having enough $$$ that dropping $165K on a horse just because you like the name of the sire and dam is par for the course... wow!
I was very curious as to what's happened with Flower Alley's stud fee, so I appreciate that tidbit as well. I wondered if they could raise it immediately and apparently that is the case (I'm sure just for future bookings - those who are already locked in must be patting themselves on the back for their wisdom).