Champion and five-time Grade 1 winner Lady Eli and Grade 2 winner My Miss Sophia, both in foal to leading sire War Front, were among eight horses to bring $1 million or more during a robust day of trade to open Keeneland’s 2018 November Breeding Stock Sale.
Monday’s session featured an exclusive Book 1 with graded stakes-winning fillies and mares and exceptional weanlings catalogued. Keeneland sold 120 horses for $56,429,000 for an average of $470,242 and a median of $350,000. There are no comparable figures from Book 1 of the 2017 November Sale, which covered the auction’s first two sessions.
“It was a day of good, solid trade,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “We modified the format of Book 1 from last year and sold 25 more horses today than we did last year when we had a two-day Book 1. The weanling market was very strong, so we are pleased with how the sale is getting started. There is continued strength in the domestic market for high-quality offerings. The Yoshida family from Japan participated in a big way and we appreciate much how they support us.”
Katsumi Yoshida was the day’s leading buyer, purchasing four horses for $4,475,000. His brother Teruya, in the name of his Shadai Farm, was the session’s fifth-leading buyer, spending $2 million for two horses.
John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale both consigned and purchased Lady Eli, a 6-year-old daughter of Divine Park regarded as one of the all-time leading turf distaffers in North America. Lady Eli has resided at Hill ‘n’ Dale since her last start, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Del Mar for owner Sheep Pond Partners.
“We’re thrilled to add her to our broodmare band,” Sikura said. “We keep trying to add elite-quality mares and keep up the competition and look to the future. She is a mare that is really everything one could ask for. It’s a lot of money for a horse, but she was an extremely good value.
“She’s indomitable,” Sikura added. “She knows she’s special and commands your respect. We want to keep accumulating elite mares so we can sell elite commercial yearlings. This is a good place to start when you buy champions.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale ranked as the day’s leading consignor, selling 10 horses for $8,980,000, including three of the day’s top-priced horses.
Among those watching Lady Eli sell was trainer Chad Brown, for whom she recovered from a bout of laminitis during her career to continue racing at the highest levels, compiling a record of 10 wins and three seconds in 14 starts for earnings of $2,959,800.
Steven W. Young, agent, paid $4 million for Grade 2 winner My Miss Sophia from the consignment of Lane’s End, agent. By Unbridled’s Song, the 7-year-old daughter of Unbridled’s Song is a half-sister to Florida Derby Materiality.
Katsumi Yoshida spent $2.2 million for Tiffany’s Honour, a 7-year-old mare out of 2007 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour and a half-sister to champion and Belmont winner Rags to Riches and Belmont winner Jazil. Consigned by Lane’s End, agent, she was sold in foal to Medaglia d’Oro.
Key To My Heart (IRE), a 4-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) in foal to War Front, sold to Summer Wind Equine for $1.75 million. Eaton Sales, agent, consigned the mare, whose dam is the Grade 1-winning Bernardini mare A Z Warrior, a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Jojo Warrior, Grade 3 winner E Z Warrior and stakes winner J Z Warrior.
Claiborne Farm, agent, paid $1.5 million for Stays in Vegas, a Grade 3-winning daughter of City Zip in foal to War Front. Out of Double Jackpot, by Broken Vow, the 5-year-old mare is from the family of champion Heavenly Prize.
She was consigned by James B. Keogh (Grovendale), agent. Teruya Yoshida’s Shadai Farm of Japan paid $1.25 million for Grade 1 winner Zipessa, in foal to Medaglia d’Oro. St. George Sales, agent, consigned the 6-year-old City Zip mare who is out of Precious Princess, by Horse Chestnut (SAF).
Town & Country Horse Farms went to $1.125 million to acquire Group 3 winner Pretty Perfect (IRE), a 5-year-old daughter of Galileo in foal to War Front consigned by Eaton Sales, agent. Out of the winning Danehill mare Milanova, Pretty Perfect is from the family of French highweight and Group 1 winner Holy Roman Emperor.
Galileo’s Song (IRE), a 5-year-old graded stakes-placed daughter of Galileo in foal to Curlin, sold to Japan’s Shimokobe Farm/Polo Green Stable, agent, for $1 million.
Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned Galileo’s Song, who is out of the Storm Cat mare Song to Remember and a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Magnificent Song.
Fillies by Tapit were the day’s top-priced weanlings.
Eaton Sales, agent, sold a Tapit weanling filly who is the first foal of champion La Verdad, by Yes It’s True, to Whisper Hill Farm and Three Chimneys Farm for $800,000. She was among the six horses supplemented to Book 1.
At $750,000, the session’s second high-selling weanling is a daughter of Tapit who is a half-sister to champion Arrogate, winner of the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Classic and 2017 Pegasus World Cup Invitational and Dubai World Cup who earned a North American record $17,422,600. Clearsky Farms, who bred the filly with Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine Holdings, purchased her from Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, with Rac 04 Racing.
The filly is out of the stakes-winning Distorted Humor mare Bubbler.