Darley USA president Jimmy Bell struck early Wednesday, buying a Trippi filly named White Lamb for $550,000 during the first hour of the second session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March select sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Florida.
Bell purchased the dark bay or brown filly in the name of Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock manager John Ferguson. During the auction’s first session Monday, Bell bought a Pure Prize — Time for a Crown colt for $550,000.
Ferguson did not attend the sale, but he reviewed workout videos and various information about the horses that were offered, according to Bell.
“When John went through all the horses here, he came out with a colt and a filly that he was the most excited to discuss with Sheikh Mohammed,” Bell said. “We got yesterday’s colt, and John felt like this filly was the one that he and Sheikh Mohammed wanted to pursue. We were happy that we got both of them. They are very, very similar types. The horses that perform the way these have, they answer all your questions. Both have a lovely disposition, and they are very straightforward.”
White Lamb worked an eighth of a mile in :10. She is out of the 13-year-old unraced Silver Hawk mare Chi, who is a half-sister to Sherriff’s Deputy, the dam of 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin.
“That’s obviously the most notable name running right now, and it jumps off the (catalog) page at everybody and would not go unnoticed,” Bell said. “But as we all know, the individuals have to step up and perform and that (Curlin in the pedigree) is an added bonus as well. John’s feeling was she had answered all the questions and her physical prowess on the racetrack was really what persuaded him to want to follow her to an end.”
Bryan and Holley Rice’s Woodside Ranch consigned White Lamb as agent for New Bridge Bloodstock. Bryan Rice, as agent, bought the filly for $60,000 at the 2007 OBS August yearling sale. New Bridge Bloodstock is a partnership venture involving the Rices and Chester Weber, whose mother, Charotte Weber, operates Live Oak Stud, a prominent Florida Thoroughbred Farm.
“We knew that she was very popular, and we thought she would maybe be as high as $350,000 or $400,000, but $550,000 sure is a welcome surprise,' Bryan Rice said. " She's special because of her frame, and her balance, and her strength.”
White Lamb is the most expensive horse ever sold by the Rices at public auction.
“ It’s new ground for us,” Bryan Rice said.