She used to be known as the "Bag Lady" at the Kentucky sales because she catered lunches for barn help. But Monday afternoon at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select yearling auction, Rosilyn Polan was rolling in dough. Her muscular bay colt from the second crop of the Mr. Greeley stallion El Corredor
sold for $385,000 to California storage company mogul B. Wayne Hughes.
The price was the highest recorded among the first 200 hip numbers offered.
"B. Wayne Hughes, I'm starstruck," said Polan, who had never before sold a horse for a six-figure price. "This is phenomenal."
Polan was in tears as she talked, hugging her 7-year-old adopted daughter Laiken Ross as she answered reporters' questions.
Polan and her husband, Kenneth Ross, own 100-acre Sunday Morning Farm near Versailles, Ky., and have only eight broodmares. She used her money from catering to make farm improvements over the years, but now devotes her time to raising her daughter and breeding horses.
The El Corredor colt is out of the 9-year-old unraced Meadowlake
mare Meadow Bryte. Polan bought Meadow Bryte while the mare was carrying the El Corredor colt for $51,000 at the 2003 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Polan liked Meadow Bryte because she had a "babydoll head" and big, strong-looking hindquarters. The mare is a half-sister to three stakes winners.
Hughes, who owns Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, said his racing manager, Seth Semkin, picked out the colt, which Semkin described as the "best horse in the sale." Semkin said he was impressed with the colt's athletic appearance and graceful walk.
Polan turned down a $125,000 offer for the colt before he was shipped to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky auction.