Decade of Dominance by Top-10 Fillies From '97 Sale

Ten years figures to be long enough to assess the impact of some of the top-priced yearlings at the 1997 Keeneland September sale. In what might not come as much of a surprise, there are more success stories among the 10 highest-priced fillies than their male counterparts, not so much on the racetrack, but by virtue of their achievements as broodmares.

While only one of the top-priced males, Desert Hero, developed into a stakes winner, two of the fillies did. Unfortunately, Desert Hero, who won the 1999 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II) and placed in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Affirmed Handicap (gr. III), didn't have an opportunity to enrich his connections as a stallion. The son of Sea Hero died early in 2000.

Like Desert Hero, both fillies, Marley Vale and Brushed Halory, were graded stakes winners. Marley Vale, who cost Eugene Melnyk $425,000 (prices were a lot lower then), scored her big win in the 1999 Test Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga. She won three other stakes, including the 2000 Shirley Jones Handicap (gr. III) and placed in such events as the Ashland (gr. I) and Matron (gr. I) stakes.

As a broodmare for Melynk, Marley Vale got off to a good start. Her first foal, the filly Indian Vale, has won four graded stakes, including this year's Fleur de Lis (gr. II) and Next Move (gr. III) handicaps for Melynk Racing Stables. The daughter of A.P. Indy recently placed in the Personal Ensign Handicap (gr. I) at Saratoga.

Marley Vale (Forty Niner--Waggley, by Hagley) also is the dam of other foals by A.P. Indy, as well as one by Storm Cat and another by Dixieland Band.

Brushed Halory, who was bought by Winsong Farms for $440,000, won three stakes, including the 1999 Delaware Oaks (gr. III) and Sabin Handicap (gr. III), and placed in three graded events. Although she hasn't produced a stakes winner, two of her foals proved popular at the sales. In 2006, her Storm Cat colt, Positive Force, commanded the third-highest price of the year for a 2-year-old, $2.2 million, at the Fasig-Tipton Florida February sale. Trainer Dale Romans bought him as agent. At that year's Keeneland September yearling sale, Brushed Halory's daughter, Sly Storm (also by Storm Cat), sold for $500,000 to Glen Hill Farm.

Brushed Halory (Broad Brush--Halory, by Halo) produced an A.P. Indy colt this year for WinStar Farm.

Another top-10 graduate, Lil Cozette (Kris S.--Lily La Belle, by Java Gold), is the dam of multiple stakes winner and graded stakes-placed Cosmic Kris, as well as stakes-placed Foret. Her 2007 offspring is a Hennessy filly.

Several other fillies from the top-10 group remain popular because of their residual value. Prayer Colony, by Deputy Minister out of the Pleasant Colony mare North Colony, is the dam of a stakes-placed runner and has a yearling colt by Sky Mesa  .

Stakes-placed Penny Hole (Seeking the Gold--Miss Turkana, by Turkoman) also has offspring by some of the top sires. Her 2-year-old filly is by Dynaformer and her 2007 filly is by Hennessy.

The same goes for Mission Girl. The daughter of Deputy Minister out of the Secretariat mare Triple Strike is the dam of an El Prado 2-year-old colt and a yearling Giant's Causeway   filly.

Most Popular Stories