Lexington, Ky. – The second day of the Keeneland November Sale saw substantial gains in gross, average and median prices on Tuesday.
The sale of 14 seven-figure horses, led by the $6 million paid for champion Take Charge Brandi and a North American weanling record of $3.2 million bid for a War Front filly, highlighted a day of strong trade.
For the session, Keeneland sold 143 horses for $63,784,000, up 17.13 percent from 2014 when 138 horses grossed $54,454,000. The average of $446,042 was 13.04 percent higher than last year’s $394,594, while the median rose 6.38 percent from $235,000 to $250,000.
The premier Book 1, which spanned the opening two days of the sale, Nov. 2-3, saw 279 horses sell for $108,878,000, an increase of 13.59 percent from last year’s comparable period when 273 horses brought $95,852,000. The cumulative average of $390,244 rose 11.15 percent from $351,106 in 2014. Median price was up 15 percent, from $200,000 to $230,000.
The Keeneland November Sale is globally acknowledged as the leading market for graded stakes-winning and stakes-producing broodmares and race fillies and weanlings from exclusive families.
Fourteen horses brought seven figures during Tuesday’s session compared with 11 in 2014. Those 14 horses were bought by 12 different buyers representing the world’s major owners.
A total of 21 horses have sold for seven figures during the first two days versus 18 last year.
“The upper end of the market is very, very strong and it showed today,” Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. “There were many different people buying at the top. They are still very particular in what they buy, but they’re willing to give top dollar for the good horses. Overall, that is very rewarding for the market.
“We anticipated that we had a box full of Cracker Jack foals and they certainly delivered,” Russell continued. “We were very confident before the sale that the market would react very favorably toward these foals, and today’s results topped our expectations. Then to have Take Charge Brandi: She’s a beautiful mare. Mr. (Willis) Horton bought her from Keeneland (as a yearling), watched her race and then sat here and watched her sell, which I’m sure was very tough for him. He obviously recovered well because he bought the last horse in the ring.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned Take Charge Brandi, a 3-year-old Giant’s Causeway filly out of the Seeking the Gold mare Charming purchased by Horton at Keeneland’s 2013 September Yearling Sale for $435,000. Charming is out of multiple Grade 1 stakes winner Take Charge Lady, by Dehere, and is a half-sister to champion Will Take Charge and Grade 1 winner Take Charge Indy.
Horton raced Take Charge Brandi to win five races in 11 starts and earn $1,692,126. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, she won the 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1), Starlet (G1) and Delta Downs Princess (G3) to be the overwhelming choice as 2014 champion 2-year-old filly.
John G. Sikura/Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine purchased Take Charge Brandi for $6 million, the co-sixth-highest price ever paid for a broodmare or broodmare prospect at the November Sale and the highest amount spent at the auction since 2007, when Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent for Swettenham Stud, sold Playful Act (IRE) for $10.5 million.
“I thought she was a $5-6 million mare,” Sikura said about Take Charge Brandi. “She’s a champion, unique pedigree, beautiful physical. You saw the weanling filly from the immediate family brought $3.2 million, so it’s a highly coveted family in the marketplace. It’s very rare (they sell). She was top to bottom on any metric of the way you want to measure value, she had it: pedigree, performance, champion, temperament, active family, by the right sire. Complete A to Z, first class. I got excited. I wanted to own her so bad we kind of jumped our own bid.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency sold 22 horses, including eight of the 14 seven-figure horses, for $23,875,000 to lead all consignors. Sikura/Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine was the leading buyer with two purchases for $7.8 million. The other acquisition was the broodmare prospect Aurelia’s Belle, purchased for $1.8 million. The 4-year-old Grade 3 winner by Lemon Drop Kid out of Aurelia, by Danzig, was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.
“We’re buyers and sellers and are trying to be active in different segments of the marketplace,” Sikura said. “It’s been good. Good way to start off the next couple of weeks.”
Following Take Charge Brandi in the ring was a close relative: a weanling War Front filly out of Take Charge Lady. She sold for a North American weanling record price of $3.2 million to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm.
The filly was one of six weanlings that brought seven figures on Tuesday.
“I paid a lot of money for her half-sister, I’ll Take Charge,” Pope said, referring to her purchase of the Indian Charlie filly for $2.2 million at Keeneland’s 2013 September Yearling Sale. “This one will go to the farm, get raised and then race. She has a good amount of length to her for a War Front. She (had a lot of presence). Nothing really bothered her. She seems well-minded.”
Eaton Sales, agent, consigned the weanling.
“She is one of a kind,” said Eaton’s Reiley McDonald, “probably the best filly from her crop in the United States. It is hard to ever put a value on any horse of that type. There were a good five people bidding at well over $2 million. I think everybody realized her true value, and I am very happy that Mandy Pope ended up with her.”
Grade 1 winner Photo Call (IRE), a 4-year-daughter of Galileo (IRE), brought $3 million from Crupi’s New Castle.
“I thought this filly was a real nice filly,” J.J. Crupi said. “We’re going to race her for a while and then she’ll go into our breeding program, which she’ll definitely fit. (The client) is going to race her and she’s going to go to (trainer) Todd Pletcher. Once she gets done with her racing career, she’ll go to our broodmare band.”
Denali Stud, agent, consigned Photo Call, who is out of the Rock of Gibraltar (IRE) mare Theann.
M.V. Magnier paid $2.6 million for the weanling War Front colt who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Honor Code and Grade 2 winner Noble Tune. Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned the colt, out of Serena’s Cat, by Storm Cat. His third dam is Racing Hall of Famer Serena’s Song.
“He’s by War Front and out of a very good mare that comes from a great American family,” Magnier said. “We’ve had a lot of luck with Serena’s Song in the past. He’s a nice horse and comes from a great farm. We’ll bring him back to Ashford and see what we do next summer. In fairness to the horse, he probably deserved the ($2.6 million).”
Willis Horton paid $2 million for the final horse in the ring: the weanling War Front filly out of Grade 1 winner Awesome Maria. She was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.
“(She’s the) heir to (Take Charge) Brandi,” Horton said. “(Awesome Maria) winning the kind of money she did and such a good mare, and then out of (War Front), that puts it all together. This filly was well-built conformation-wise. I just really liked her. I didn’t want to pay that much money but you do things when you don’t want to sometimes. We may bring her back to the sale next September and she might bring $5 million, you never know.”
Selling for $1.9 million to Moyglare Stud Farm was Terrific (IRE), a daughter of Galileo (IRE) in foal to War Front. Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned the 4-year-old mare, out of the Pennekamp mare Shadow Song. Terrific is a full sister to Group 3 winner Together (IRE) and a half-sister to Group 1 winner Jan Vermeer.
Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned Group 3 winner Wonderfully (IRE), a daughter of Galileo (IRE) in foal to Smart Strike and sold to Ballylinch Stud of Ireland for $1.8 million. The 4-year-old out of the stakes-winning Danehill mare Massarra is a half-sister to Italian highweight Nayarra (IRE).
“We particularly liked this mare,” said John O’Connor, Ballylinch’s managing director. “She’ll go back to Europe, to Ireland. I loved the look of her. She’s got a lot of elegance, a lot of quality. She’s by Galileo and comes from a very successful family that was developed by Prince Faisal. It’s a family of two very important sires in Europe. I think she’s a very interesting mare and could breed a stallion family.”
The fifth horse in the ring of Tuesday’s session was Bella Jolie, dam of Saturday’s TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner, Runhappy. Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings purchased the mare, in foal to Cairo Prince, for $1.6 million.
“I liked her looks,” Banke said. “She’s young enough and has produced a wonderful, wonderful racehorse (in Runhappy) and that’s always a good indicator. She has a long career ahead and we’ll take very good care of her.”
Wayne, Bryan and Gray Lyster’s Ashview Farm, agent, consigned Bella Jolie, an 8-year-old winning daughter of Broken Vow out of the Northern Jove mare Jolie Boutique. The Lysters bred Runhappy, Bella Jolie’s first foal.
“We couldn’t be more pleased,” Wayne Lyster said of the sale. “That’s a pretty big deal for Ashview Farm. We’re a small farm. I run it with my two sons and family.”
Lacadena, dam of recent Grade 3 stakes winner America and in foal to Bernardini, sold to Cecil Seaman, agent for Heider Family Stables, for $1.3 million. Stone Farm, agent, consigned Lacadena, a 10-year-old daughter of Fasliyev out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Butterfly Blue (IRE).
“The second dam is the dam of (2007) Broodmare of the Year (Better Than Honour),” Seaman said. “She looks like her family.”
Sold for $1.3 million to Crupi’s New Castle was the weanling daughter of Tapit who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winners Executiveprivelege and Hoppertunity. J.J. Crupi said the filly would be sent to Crupi’s New Castle Farm to be broken, enter training with Pletcher and eventually join the client’s broodmare band.
“That’s why we bought her: for her breeding,” Crupi said. “She had a perfect physical. She had everything in the right places, just moved good. She was just perfect.”
Eaton Sales, agent, consigned the filly, out of the Unaccounted For mare Refugee. Her third dam is Racing Hall of Famer Davona Dale.
A weanling filly by Galileo (IRE) who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Bodemeister sold to Hunter Valley Farm for $1.2 million. Eaton Sales, agent, consigned the filly, out of the Grade 3-winning Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent.
Bringing $1.15 million was Grade 1 winner Sam’s Sister, consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, as a broodmare prospect. The 4-year-old daughter of Brother Derek is out of the Include mare Kittery Point. She was purchased by Colts Neck Stable.
“She’s a rocket and she’s very beautiful,” said agent James Delahooke. “The family has produced Grade 1 winners from stallions that an Englishman might never heard of. You can just imagine what might happen if she was mated to a stallion with sire power. They are obviously very tough, fast, sound animals.”
Sold for $1.1 million to Shadwell Estate Co. Ltd. was the weanling daughter of Tapit who is the first foal out of multiple Grade 1 winner Marketing Mix, by Medaglia d’Oro. Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned the filly.
“She’s out of a great race mare and top sire,” said Rick Nichols, Shadwell’s vice president and general manager. “Gorgeous filly. (The price was) about where we had her (appraised). Her momma ran on turf. We’ll let her grow up (and see what she becomes).”
The November Sale continues through Friday, Nov. 13. Sessions start at 10 a.m. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com