Horses

Got $10M? It'll buy a racing stable for Christmas

Talk about your diamond and platinum studs: Neiman Marcus is offering a $10 million racing stable from Midway's Three Chimneys Farm as the ultimate Christmas gift.

The inventive and expensive Texas-based retailer traditionally offers fantasy gifts in its annual Christmas Book, and the Three Chimneys package tops the catalog's "Wow!" list this year.

"You want a working, turnkey, in-the-running thoroughbred racing enterprise right out of the starting gate? You go to Three Chimneys Farm," reads the catalog blurb for "Unbridled Passion: Horsepowered Holiday."

"They will build you a stable of 12-15 thoroughbreds and with your input will train them, house them, select races, enter them in races, provide you a personal racing concierge, and manage the entire enterprise for the next four years. As the owner, you get to name your stable and any unnamed horses, design your own silks, attend races, pose for pictures, give quotes to the media ... and keep all the purses and trophies."

The package was the brainchild of farm president Case Clay. "Every year the Neiman Marcus catalog has come to our house with the fantasy gifts, and we always enjoy looking at the wild ideas. We just thought, 'Wouldn't it be neat if we could be included?' We submitted a package and we got lucky," Clay said from Dallas on Tuesday after the catalog unveiling at Texas Stadium.

Clay said Three Chimneys has a racing syndicate but that this would be the first time it has offered such a complete package. Basically, the farm will buy yearlings, 2-year-olds, active racehorses and whatever the buyer wants, he said. "It's pretty much custom-made."

Even though the farm has been home to some of the most popular stallions in the world (Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew lived there; Kentucky Derby winner Smarty Jones stands there now; Big Brown will join him next year), it probably won't be making the racehorses from "scratch" since that might take longer than a buyer is willing to wait.

The catalog also shot a multipage spread at the farm, with stallions Flower Alley and Wild Again providing some expensive scenery.

The farm has some stiff competition for customers' stockings. Other gifts include, among other things, a Dallas Cowboys end zone from the team's soon-to-be-abandoned Texas Stadium, complete with a tailgate party with the cheerleaders ($500,000); life-size Lego sculptures of you and yours ($60,000); your own three-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed back-yard golf course ($1 million); a chance to play with the Harlem Globetrotters ($110,000); or your own Guinness home pub, including a one-year supply of fresh Guinness draught ($250,000).

Clay said he's always wondered who, if anyone, buys those gifts. Looks like he might get to find out.

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