Home » Keeneland sells record $3 million weanling

Keeneland sells record $3 million weanling

Price spurred increases on second day of Keeneland November sale

LEXINGTON, Ky (Nov. 6, 2014) – The sale of 11 horses for $1 million or more – including the broodmare Aloof for $3.9 million and a daughter of leading sire Tapit for a North American weanling record $3 million – drove increases in gross sales, average and median for Wednesday’s second session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Keeneland Record WeanlingKeeneland Record WeanlingKeeneland sold 138 horses for $54,454,000, marking a 23 percent increase from the corresponding session last year when 129 horses sold for $44,277,000. The average of $394,594 was 15 percent higher than last year’s average of $343,233, while the median of $235,000 rose seven percent from last year’s $220,000.

Through the first two days of the 11-day sale, 18 horses have sold for $1 million or more compared to 14 that reached seven figures last year. Three of the top-priced horses this year sold for $3 million or more.

Keeneland cumulatively has sold 273 horses for $95,852,000, an 11 percent increase from the $86,532,000 recorded during the first two sessions of last year’s sale. This year’s average of $351,106 is down slightly from $357,570 last year, while the median of $200,000 is nine percent below last year’s $220,000.

At the November Sale, Keeneland presents graded stakes-winning and stakes-producing broodmares and race fillies and well-bred weanlings to major buyers from around the world. Buyers on Wednesday represented the industry’s top established and emerging breeding and racing interests. The day’s highest prices were fairly evenly distributed among domestic and foreign buyers.

“It just shows how global our market is and what Central Kentucky can offer the international market,” Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. “Breeders and consignors know this is where people from around the world come to buy horses, which means Keeneland is able to offer horses with internationally important pedigrees. These are families that are hard to get to. We’re able to market these horses very well.”

Aloof, a Group 3-winning daughter of Galileo in foal to leading sire War Front, became the highest-priced horse of the sale when she sold for $3.9 million to Mandy Pope’s Florida-based Whisper Hill Farm.

“What a lovely Galileo mare out of an outstanding family, an outstanding race horse in foal to War Front so getting a little bit of the European flair going – spreading our boundaries,” said Pope, whose recent high-profile purchases include champion Groupie Doll for $3.1 million at Keeneland’s 2013 November Sale.

Paramount Sales, agent, consigned Aloof, a 5-year-old out of the Air Express mare Airwave, an English highweight at two and three. Aloof is a full sister to French stakes winner Orator and a half-sister to Irish stakes winner Meow.

John and Leslie Malone’s Bridlewood Farm of Ocala, Fla., paid the record price for the weanling daughter of Tapit out of the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Serena’s Cat, dam of Grade 2 winners Noble Tune, by Unbridled’s Song, and Honor Code, by A.P. Indy.

The amount exceeded the previous record sales price for a weanling sold at public auction in North America, the $2.7 million that Globe Equine Management Ltd. paid for the Montjeu (IRE) weanling colt Amour Malheureux at Keeneland’s 2006 November Sale. The previous North American record for a weanling filly was the $2.6 million that Besilu Stables spent on the Medaglia d’Oro filly Miss Besilu at Keeneland’s 2011 November Sale.

“We were at the max, but Mr. Malone’s a strong guy,” Bridlewood general manager George Isaacs said. “He gave me the green light to $2 (million); I had him on the phone. I said, ‘Look, I’m good to call it quits here at $2.5 (million),’ and he said, ‘No, keep going.’ At $2.8 (million), they bid $2.9 (million), and he said, ‘Well, bid $3 (million). Go ahead.’

“You can’t scare him away,” Isaacs said. “He likes it.”

The filly was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, the session’s leading consignor with 19 horses sold for $14.84 million.

“That was the goal: to be the highest-priced filly sold in the world, so she achieved that,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale. “I thought we’d have what other people wouldn’t and we were rewarded.”

Hill ‘n’ Dale consigned five of the day’s seven-figure horses, including Grade 3 winner Peace Preserver in foal to Galileo. She was purchased by Bridlewood for $1.9 million. By War Front, Peace Preserver is a 5-year-old full sister to Grade 3 winner Jack Milton.

The session’s leading buyer, which spent $7.05 million for four horses, was Don Alberto Corp. of Chile. At $2.85 million, Don Alberto’s most expensive purchase was Modeling, a 2-year-old daughter of Tapit in foal to Distorted Humor. Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned Modeling, whose dam, Teeming, by Storm Cat, is a half-sister to champion Rags to Riches and Belmont (G1) winner Jazil. Modeling is a half-sister to Hollywood Starlet (G1) winner Streaming and stakes winner Cascading.

“She’s such a well-bred mare,” said Fernando Diaz-Valdes of Don Alberto, which is developing a broodmare band at its Central Kentucky farm, Haras Don Alberto. “We knew from the beginning (that buying her) was a difficult task.”

Don Alberto Corp. also purchased Precious Stone (IRE), a 5-year-old daughter of Galileo in foal to War Front, for $1.8 million from Eaton Sales, agent, and paid $1.6 million for Grade 3 winner Ciao Bella, a 5-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway in foal to Speightstown. Four Star Sales consigned Ciao Bella.

The November Sale continues through Friday, Nov. 14. Remaining sessions begin at 10 a.m. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.