Keeneland November Sale: World-Record Price; Running Notes

Keeneland November Sale: World-Record Price; Running Notes
Photo: Marc Manning
Playful Act brings a world record final bid of $10.5 million.

A world-record price for a broodmare sold at public auction was established when John Ferguson, representing Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, went to $10.5 million to acquire Playful Act from the consignment of Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent for Swettenham Stud.

In what turned out to be one of the greatest bidding duels in auction history, Coolmore principal John Magnier, who was seated inside the sale pavilion while Ferguson bid from the back walking ring, was the immediate underbidder for Playful Act.

The previous world record for a broodmare was the equivalent of $9.4 million (4.6 million guineas) paid by London Thoroughbred Services for the 4-year-old mare Magical Romance at the 2006 Tattersalls December mare sale in Newmarket, England.

The record-price for a broodmare or broodmare prospect sold at Keeneland was set in 2005 when Ferguson went to $9 million to purchase two-time champion Ashado.

Swettenham Stud was established by Robert Sangster, who died in 2004. Since that time, the company has continued to operate under the management of his sons Guy, Ben, and Adam Sangster.  They and his three other children made the decision to restructure their bloodstock interests.

It was announced in August that the Sangster family would conduct a dispersal of its approximate 250 horses in America, England, Ireland, and Australia.

English group I winner and champion Playful Act (Sadler's Wells--Magnificent Style, by Silver Hawk) had been bred to Kingmambo but aborted at 160 days.
 
"She was an outstanding filly," Ferguson said. "From a European standpoint, she was an outstanding filly on the racetrack. Sadler's Wells has proven to be a great broodmare sire, and most importantly Sheikh Mohammed was determined to have this mare as much for (the late) Robert Sangster and Swettenham Stud and for everything Robert achieved. He felt very strongly that this was a mare that he very much wanted to own."
 
Ferguson said he wanted to tip his hat to what a great man Sangster was and added that Sheikh Mohammed considered him a great friend. "I think that was part of the reason Sheikh Mohammed was determined to have this mare," he said.
 
After the hammer dropped, John Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale called it a fantastic sale. "She was a remarkable mare and a champion and had the right pedigree. Everything about her was just fabulous. When those two teams hook up neither of them want to stop. It is a test of wills and a test of egos and they bought a fantastic mare."
 
When asked what was going through his mind as he watched the price climb from the seven-figure mark to the eight-figure point, Sikura said, "When those two teams are playing you are not looking at market forces, you are not looking at respectively 'real people.' You are looking at two titans of the industry that don't quit. Without them we would not have a fantastic business. They are both fantastic teams. They are what make the horse business run when in the rare occasion you bring the right horse up they make this kind of thing happen."
 
Sikura said he believed the mare would make in excess of $5 million but said he did not expect to see the $10-million mark. "I knew something great would happen but you can never expect a mare to sell for that kind of money. But again, I wasn't totally surprised."

******

Saying he believed he would be forced to bid more based on the day's earlier results, Rick Nichols, Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Farm manager, spent $4.5 million to purchase multiple grade I winner Spun Sugar. Hidden Brook, agent for Frank Stronach's Adena Springs, consigned the mare in foal to A.P. Indy.

Bred in Kentucky by Adena Springs, Spun Sugar, by Awesome Again  , was produced from the Irish Open mare Irish Cherry.
 
Trained by Todd Pletcher, Spun Sugar earned $929,171 from a career record of 6-3-1 from 13 lifetime starts.
 
"She was just a gorgeous mare, a good race mare in foal to the right horse," Nichols said of the purchase.
 
Shadwell purchased the full brother to Spun Sugar, named Daaher, for $375,000 at the 2005 Keenealand September yearling sale from the consignment of Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent.
 
Daahr, who won the Jerome Handicap (gr. II), has a career record of three wins in four starts. He has earned $163,260.
 
"We are expecting some great things from her full brother, hopefully in the Cigar Mile (gr. I) next week," Nichols said.

******

The top-priced weanling of the afternoon is the first foal out of multiple grade I winner Madcap Escapade. The bay filly brought a final bid of $1.7 million from Eric Guillot of Southern Equine Stables.
 
Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consigned the filly by Pulpit, who was bred in partnership by Southern Equine, Bruce Lunsford, and Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings.
 
Hill 'n' Dale Bloodstock and Southern Equine purchased Madcap Escapade for $6 million at the 2006 Keeneland November mixed sale. Three days after watching Madcap Escapade go through the sale ring, Lunsford, who campaigned the daughter of Hennessy to seven wins in nine starts and earnings of $1,052,852, bought back a 50% interest in the mare
 
Madcap Escapade is kept at Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington.
Guillot said the trio opted to run the filly through a public auction ring to determine her fair market value.

“We already own a piece of her and our game plan was we were going to keep her and were going to sell her as a yearling but John thought we’d get pretty much a yearling price," Guillot said.  "She’s phenomenal. She’s got more legs than the average mare here, I thought. I remember watching her mom race and she looked like she was a different species. She always stood out.

"Already having and interest in the mare," Guillot continued, "I’d like to keep her in my care and get every benefit she can. John (Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale) and I own 50% and Bruce (Lunsford) has 50%. We bought her for Southern Equine. I’m buying him out at 30% instead of 100%."

Guillot said the filly could be pinhooked to a yearling auction in 2008 or she could race for Southern Equine.

******

Bloodstock advisor Lincoln Collins struck again, paying $3.2 million for Kamarinskaya. Lane's End, agent, consigned the mare carrying her first foal by Kingmambo. Collins was buying for Kern Lillingston Associates.
 
Kamarinskaya (Storm Cat--Mr. P's Princess) is a half-sister to Irish champion Fasliyev and is from the family of Anne Campbell.
 
Skara Glen Stables purchased Kamarinskaya for $2.2 million at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale.
 
"That pedigree is an international pedigree," Collins said after signing the sale ticket. "With an international pedigree like that, that can go either way. Being in foal to Kingmambo, that is likely to go on the grass, but we can breed her to a dirt horse and probably will."

******

One of the most highly anticipated mares to go through the sale ring during the 2007 November mixed sale, Fleet Indian, failed to find a new home. She was bought back on a bid of $3.9 million.
 
Owned by Paul Saylor and consigned as agent by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Fleet Indian was offered carrying her first foal, a colt by Storm Cat.
 
After the multiple grade I winner left the sale ring, Saylor did not comment.

Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made said one possible reason for her not meeting her reserve was that there are not too many buyers in the industry that could afford a price tag in the high seven-figure range. Taylor said he thought she was one of the nicest mares in the sale and could be one of those mares that many breeders will look back on as one that got away.

Carrying Saylor's colors in 2006, Fleet Indian reeled off six consecutive victories in added-money events. She began the streak in the Next Move Handicap (gr. III) and continued it in the Sixty Sails (gr. III), Obeah, and Delaware (gr. II) Handicaps. Her last two wins came in the Personal Ensign (gr. I) and Beldame (gr. I).

Fleet Indian suffered her only 2006 loss in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. She was the favorite in the race, but broke down. Saylor had entered her in the Keeneland November sale last year, but scratched her following her injury. She also was entered in the Keeneland January auction earlier this year and was scratched after undergoing surgery for her injuries.

Saylor purchased Fleet Indian (Indian Charlie--Hustleeta, by Afleet), through Dapple Bloodstock, for $290,000 at the 2006 Keeneland January sale from Greenfield Farm, agent. She had won the 2005 Montauk Handicap, a restricted event at Aqueduct, while owned by Stan Fulton.

Fleet Indian earned $1,704,513 during her career and won 13 of her 19 races while trained by Todd Pletcher. She won a 2006 Eclipse Award as the champion older mare.

******
 
John Ferguson, representing Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, went to $2.7 million to acquire Evil, the dam of grade II stakes winner Tiz Wonderful. Evil, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, sold in foal to Bernardini.

Evil has a 2-year-old Proud Citizen colt and a yearling Exchange Rate filly. She did not produce a foal in 2007.
 
"She was a gorgeous mare," Ferguson said. "As far as individuals go she was one of the most attractive mares here today. Her first foal, Tiz Wonderful, was very talented and he was a horse that was a good-looking yearling and breezed really well at 2 and ended up being a good horse who obviously ended up having a soundness issue. This mare is in foal to Bernardini (who stands at Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stud) a horse that we are very excited about. We are hopeful that we will get a good-looking creature out of this mare. "
 
Produced from the Mr. Prospector mare Lit'l Rose, Evil is a half-sister to stakes winners Prussian Blue and Handsome Hunk.
 

*****

The 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale kicked off in a seven-figure kind of way when Dr. Jens von Lepel, general manager of Audley Farm in Virginia, went to $1.2 million to purchase grade III winner Untouched Talent from the consignment of Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent. The daughter of Storm Cat out of the grade III winning A.P. Indy mare Parade Queen was sold in foal to Unbridled's Song carrying her first foal.

"We didn't think we would get her, and we went a little bit over what we wanted to pay for her but I think we did right," Von Lepel said. "She is a young mare in foal to a very promising and proven sire. She is carrying a colt and has a decent foaling date and has a tremendous race record. In addition, she comes from a top female family. I think she is a great mare to start with. I think maybe she will become a foundation mare for us."
 
John G. Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale purchased Untouched Talent for $850,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale.

******

The prices at Keeneland continue to rise. Bloodstock advisor Lincoln Collins went to $1.9 million for the Sadler's Wells mare Winds of March, who sold in foal to Kingmambo. Consigned by Lane's End, agent, Winds of March was purchased on behalf of Leonard Riggio, the chairman of Barnes & Noble and owner of My Meadowview Farm.
 
"She was a nice mare," Collins said. "This mare will be in the program to try and breed very good horses."
 
Collins said Riggio is buying high-class mares in an attempt to increase his growing broodmare band. The offspring of those mares will be raced under the My Meadowview Farm banner.
 
He added that some of the mares purchased by My Meadowview could be sent to Riggio's Noble Causeway, who will stand his first season at stud in 2008 at Crestwood Farm.
 
Winds of March was produced from the Chief Singer mare Alidiva and is a half-sister to group winners Taipan, Ali-Royal, and Sleepytime. She is also a half-sister to grade II winner Oonagh Maccool.
 
Six-year-old Winds of March produced her first foal, a Gone West filly, in 2007.

******

We have $2 million. Andreas Putsch went to $2.1 million for grade I winner Amorama who sold in foal to Ghostzapper from the consignment of Hidden Brook, agent for Adena Springs.
 
Putsch said Amorama, winner of the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) and John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT), would be sent to France.
 
Putsch said he has about 15 broodmares and recently purchased a farm near Deauville, France. He added that he liked everything about the mare except for the price he had to pay for her.


Grade I winner Bushfire is moving to Japan. The 4-year-old daughter of Louis Quatorze was purchased for $1.85 million by Terry Yoshida of Shadai Farm.
 
Suzanne McNew of Shadai said the bay filly would be sent to Japan for breeding purposes.
 
Consigned as agent by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Bushfire was bred in Florida by Moneau Bloodstock International and Mandolynn Hill Farm. She was trained by Eddie Kenneally for Ron and Ricki Rashinski.
 
Produced from the Mo Power mare Traki Traki, Bushfire is a half-sister to stakes winners Frosty's Girl, Frosty's On Track, and Maracaibo.
 
Bushfire ended her racing career with a record of 6-0-1 from 13 career starts. She earned $802,507. Her major stakes wins came in the Mother Goose, Ashland, and Acorn Stakes, all grade I.
 
Right after signing the ticket for Bushfire, Yoshida went to $1.4 million for the Devil's Bag mare Buy the Sport, who sold in foal to Unbridled's Song. Buy the Sport was consigned by Hidden Brook, agent for Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm. Buy the Sport will also be sent to Japan.
 
Produced from the D'Accord mare Final Accord, Buy the Sport has a yearling colt by A.P. Indy (her first foal) and a weanling Ghostzapper filly.
 
Stronach purchased Buy the Sport, in foal to A.P. Indy, for $1.15 million at the 2005 Keeneland November mixed sale.
 
******

The top-priced weanling of the afternoon is the first foal out of multiple grade I winner Madcap Escapade. The bay Pulpit filly brought a final bid of $1.7 million from Eric Guillot of Southern Equine Stables.
 
Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consigned the filly, who was bred in partnership by Southern Equine, Bruce Lunsford, and Hill 'n' Dale Equine Holdings.
 
Hill 'n' Dale Bloodstock and Southern Equine purchased Madcap Escapade for $6 million at the 2006 Keeneland November mixed sale. Three days after watching Madcap Escapade, go through the sale ring, Lunsford, who campaigned the daughter of Hennessy to seven wins in nine starts and earnings of $1,052,852, bought back a 50% interest in the mare
 
Madcap Escapade is kept at Hill 'n' Dale Farm near Lexington.

Guillot said the trio opted to run the filly through a public auction ring to determine her fair market value.

“We already own a piece of her and our game plan was we were going to keep her and were going to sell her as a yearling but John thought we’d get pretty much a yearling price," Guillot said. "She’s phenomenal. She’s got more legs than the average mare here, I thought. I remember watching her mom race and she looked like she was a different species. She always stood out.

"Already having and interest in the mare," Guillot continued, "I’d like to keep her in my care and get every benefit she can. John (Sikura of Hill 'n' Dale) and I own 50% and Bruce (Lunsford) has 50%. We bought her for Southern Equine. I’m buying him out at 30% instead of 100%."

Guillot said the filly could be pinhooked to a yearling auction in 2008 or she could race for Southern Equine.

******

Bloodstock advisor Lincoln Collins struck again, paying $3.2 million for Kamarinskaya. Lane's End, agent, consigned the mare carrying her first foal by Kingmambo. Collins was buying her for Kern Lillingston Associates.
 
Kamarinskaya (Storm Cat--Mr. P's Princess) is a half-sister to Irish champion Fasliyev and is from the family of Anne Campbell.
 
Skara Glen Stables purchased Kamarinskaya for $2.2 million at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale.
 
"That pedigree is an international pedigree," Collins said after signing the sale ticket. "With an international pedigree like that, that can go either way. Being in foal to Kingmambo, that is likely to go on the grass, but we can breed her to a dirt horse and probably will."

******

One of the most highly anticipated mares to go through the sale ring during the 2007 November mixed sale, Fleet Indian, failed to find a new home. She was bought back on a bid of $3.9 million.
 
Owned by Paul Saylor and consigned as agent by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Fleet Indian, by Indian Charlie, was offered carrying her first foal, a colt by Storm Cat.
 
After the multiple grade I winner left the sale ring, Saylor did not comment.

Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made said one possible reason for her not meeting her reserve was that there are not too many buyers in the industry that could afford a price tag in the high seven-figure range. Taylor said he thought she was one of the nicest mares in the sale and could be one of those mares that many breeders will look back on as one that got away.

Carrying Saylor's colors in 2006, Fleet Indian reeled off six consecutive victories in added-money events. She began the streak in the Next Move Handicap (gr. III) and continued it in the Sixty Sails (gr. III), Obeah, and Delaware (gr. II) Handicaps. Her last two wins came in the Personal Ensign (gr. I) and Beldame (gr. I).

Fleet Indian suffered her only 2006 loss in the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I) at Churchill Downs. She was the favorite in the race, but broke down. Saylor had entered her in the Keeneland November sale last year, but scratched her following her injury. She also was entered in the Keeneland January auction earlier this year and was scratched after undergoing surgery for her injuries.

Saylor purchased Fleet Indian, wo is out of the Afleet mare Hustleeta, through Dapple Bloodstock, for $290,000 at the 2006 Keeneland January sale from Greenfield Farm, agent. She had won the 2005 Montauk Handicap, a restricted event at Aqueduct, while owned by Stan Fulton.

Fleet Indian earned $1,704,513 during her career and won 13 of her 19 races while trained by Todd Pletcher. She won a 2006 Eclipse Award as the champion older mare.

******
 
John Ferguson, representing Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, went to $2.7 million to acquire Evil, the dam of grade II stakes winner Tiz Wonderful. Evil, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, sold in foal to Bernardini.

Evil, by Hennessy, has a 2-year-old Proud Citizen   colt and a yearling Exchange Rate   filly. She did not produce a foal in 2007.
 
"She was a gorgeous mare," Ferguson said. "As far as individuals go she was one of the most attractive mares here today. Her first foal, Tiz Wonderful, was very talented and he was a horse that was a good-looking yearling and breezed really well at 2 and ended up being a good horse who obviously ended up having a soundness issue. This mare is in foal to Bernardini (who stands at Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Stud) a horse that we are very excited about. We are hopeful that we will get a good-looking creature out of this mare. "
 
Produced from the Mr. Prospector mare Lit'l Rose, Evil is a half-sister to stakes winners Prussian Blue and Handsome Hunk.

******

Grade I winner Bushfire is moving to Japan. The 4-year-old daughter of Louis Quatorze was purchased for $1.85 million by Terry Yoshida of Shadai Farm.
 
Suzanne McNew of Shadai said the bay filly would be sent to Japan for breeding purposes.
 
Consigned as agent by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Bushfire was bred in Florida by Moneau Bloodstock International and Mandolynn Hill Farm. She was trained by Eddie Kenneally for Ron and Ricki Rashinski.
 
Produced from the Mo Power mare Traki Traki, Bushfire is a half-sister to stakes winners Frosty's Girl, Frosty's On Track, and Maracaibo.
 
Bushfire ended her racing career with a record of 6-0-1 from 13 career starts. She earned $802,507. Her major stakes wins came in the Mother Goose, Ashland, and Acorn Stakes, all grade I.
 
Right after signing the ticket for Bushfire, Yoshida went to $1.4 million for the Devil's Bag mare Buy the Sport, who sold in foal to Unbridled's Song. Buy the Sport was consigned by Hidden Brook, agent for Frank Stronach's Adena Springs Farm. Buy the Sport will also be sent to Japan.
 
Produced from the D'Accord mare Final Accord, Buy the Sport has a yearling colt by A.P. Indy (her first foal) and a weanling Ghostzapper filly.
 
Stronach purchased Buy the Sport, in foal to A.P. Indy, for $1.15 million at the 2005 Keeneland November mixed sale.

******

We have $2 million. Andreas Putsch went to $2.1 million for grade I winner Amorama who sold in foal to Ghostzapper from the consignment of Hidden Brook, agent for Adena Springs. He signed the ticket in the name of his 6C Racing.
 
Putsch said Amorama, winner of the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) and John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT), would be sent to France.
 
Putsch said he has about 15 broodmares and recently purchased a farm near Deauville, France. He added that he liked everything about the mare except for the price he had to pay for her.

Stronach purchased Amorama for $1.05 million from Narvick International at the 2005 Fasig-Tipton November mixed sale.

******

The prices at Keeneland continue to rise. Bloodstock advisor Lincoln Collins went to $1.9 million for the Sadler's Wells mare Winds of March, who sold in foal to Kingmambo. Consigned by Lane's End, agent, Winds of March was purchased on behalf of Leonard Riggio, the chairman of Barnes & Noble and owner of My MeadowView Farm.
 
"She was a nice mare," Collins said. "This mare will be in the program to try and breed very good horses."
 
Collins said Riggio is buying high-class mares in an attempt to increase his growing broodmare band. The offspring of those mares will be raced under the My MeadowView Farm banner.
 
He added that some of the mares purchased by My MeadowView could be sent to Riggio's Noble Causeway, who will stand his first season at stud in 2008 at Crestwood Farm.
 
Winds of March was produced from the Chief Singer mare Alidiva and is a half-sister to group winners Taipan, Ali-Royal, and Sleepytime. She is also a half-sister to grade II winner Oonagh Maccool.
 
Six-year-old Winds of March produced her first foal, a Gone Westfilly, in 2007.

******

The 2007 Keeneland November breeding stock sale kicked off in a seven-figure kind of way when Dr. Jens von Lepel, general manager of Audley Farm in Virginia, went to $1.2 million to purchase grade III winner Untouched Talent from the consignment of Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency, agent. The daughter of Storm Cat out of the grade III winning A.P. Indy mare Parade Queen was sold in foal to Unbridled's Song carrying her first foal.

"We didn't think we would get her, and we went a little bit over what we wanted to pay for her but I think we did right," Von Lepel said. "She is a young mare in foal to a very promising and proven sire. She is carrying a colt and has a decent foaling date and has a tremendous race record. In addition, she comes from a top female family. I think she is a great mare to start with. I think maybe she will become a foundation mare for us."
 
John G. Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale purchased Untouched Talent for $850,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale.

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