By BRADEN KEIL
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TOO HIGH? Eddie Gordon's widow is asking $75 million for his estate, Three Ponds Farm, which comes with nine-hole golf course and grassy tennis court.
- Doug Kuntz *

August 21, 2003 -- ONE Hamptons broker howled, "Someone must be smoking crack," at the reported $75 million asking price for the late real estate mogul Eddie Gordon's property in Bridgehampton.
"To ask that price for anything north of the highway, with the possible exception of [privately held] Gardiner's Island, is just bizarre. It's such an abstract and absurd number, that it defies logic."

Indeed, several brokers we spoke with found the price of the 60-plus-acre Gordon estate, now under the control of Eddie's widow, Cheryl Gordon, to be "extremely optimistic."

Maybe brokers at Allan M. Schneider took note that The Post named the estate, known as Three Ponds Farm, one of the Hamptons' top 10 properties - and tacked on an extra $25 million.

Sure, it's a spectacular piece of property, with gardens galore, a 75-foot pool, a verdant grass tennis court, several outbuildings and its own professionally designed nine-hole golf course. And the 4-year-old, 25,000-square-foot Mediterranean-style main house has eight bedrooms, twice as many bathrooms, a large wine cellar, elevator, theater and imposing great room.

But it's in an area where two-acre plots average nearly half the price of like-sized lots south of Montauk Highway.

The lofty price tag makes Ira Rennert's nearly completed monstrosity in nearby Sagaponack seem like a relative bargain. Rennert paid a mere $11 million for the 63-acre oceanfront potato field in 1998, when the market was on an upswing.

Gordon "might get less than half of her asking, tops," insists a local appraiser. "And that [sum] would probably come from a very wealthy golf nut who can't get into any of the clubs."

Just the maintenance of the property is a financial bogie. Upkeep on a professionally maintained nine-hole golf course can cost $500,000 to $750,000 a year.

Another factor that could further handicap the value of the property is the mansion's extremely close proximity to the Bridgehampton Polo Club - which hosts a spirited series of polo matches, attended by thousands of fans, on six consecutive Saturday afternoons each summer.

It was an event that never sat well with Eddie Gordon.

For years, he and his attorneys waged a litigious war against the club, charging various quality-of-life infractions. Only after Gordon died in 2000 did his estate finally drop the time-consuming, and seemingly fruitless legal battle.