About halfway through the first session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, grade I winner Awesome Maria sold for $4 million to owners associated with John Magnier's Coolmore operation.
A 6-year-old daughter of Maria's Mon, Awesome Maria was the first horse to reach $4 million at this year's sale. The $4 million price would have ranked fourth overall at last year's edition of this sale when three mares reached or surpassed $4.2 million.
Consigned by Lane's End, agent, the striking gray or roan mare was offered as part of the E. Paul Robsham dispersal, which was proving popular during the sale's first session. Awesome Maria is believed to be pregnant to Giant's Causeway .
"She's a lovely mare and a very good racehorse," said Coolmore's M. V. Magnier, the son of John Magnier. "She comes from a fantastic family, and she's in foal to Giant's Causeway...She's being bought for clients of ours. When I meet them later on, we'll decide as to what she's going to. That hasn't been decided yet. We'll see what the Giant's Causeway looks like."
Magnier was not surprised by the $4 million price.
"She deserved to make it. She's a nice mare," Magnier said. "It's good to see horses like that making prices like that again."
A homebred for Robsham, Awesome Maria won the 2011 Ogden Phipps Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park and won six other graded stakes and seven other stakes.