Premium Red, the dam of major winner Premium Tap, sold for $700,000 Monday as the Keeneland January horses of all ages auction got under way in Lexington. The sale ticket went to Frank McGovern, who said the 14-year-old unraced Thirty Six Red mare was purchased for the stable of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and sons, which races Premium Tap.
"We just like him (Premium Tap), so we wanted her, and we liked also the covering sire," McGovern said. " We didn't think she would make that much. She's quite a small mare, and she's getting on in age. "
Premium Tap, a 6-year-old horse, won the 2006 Clark Handicap (gr. I) and Woodward Stakes (gr. I) while owned by George Kline, Peter Alevizos, and David Whelihan. In 2007, the son of Pleasant Tapwas a group I winner in Saudi Arabia and finished second in the Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup (UAE-I).
McGovern, whose bidding competition included Richard Galpin of Newmarket International and Jack Brothers, said Premium Red, who is in foal to First Samurai, will be sent to Saudi Arabia.
"We haven't decided who we'll breed her to, but we've got quite a few stallions there; we have several options." he added.
Tommy Eastham and Mark Toothaker's Legacy Bloodstock consigned Premium Red for Ken Clark of Louisiana.
We're extremely excited." Toothaker said. "Our client is just overjoyed. He's from Louisiana, and he's never owned a mare like that. He's just absolutely elated. He bought her privately while she was in foal to Holy Bull, and he's had her since.
"We were wondering how the market would appraise her because of having just a tad of age on her and her not being the biggest of mares." Toothaker continued. "But she's thrown big, leggy foals, and we knew anybody that had seen her foals would know that even though she is average-sized, she throws a bigger foal. She proves that if you bring a quality mare to Keeneland you're going to get paid."