Grade I winner Island Fashion, who is in foal to 2004 Horse of the Year Ghostzapper, sold for $950,000 around noon during the Jan. 12 opening session of the Keeneland January horses of all ages auction in Lexington. Naohiro Hosoda of the Shadai Corp. wrote the name of Katsumi Yoshida, the owner of Northern Farm in Japan, on the sale ticket.
Hosoda made his offers from the area of the sale pavilion behind the auction stand, and the bid spotter action indicated there was competition from another bidder nearby. Kentucky-based bloodstock agent Lincoln Collins was closely monitoring the proceedings while talking to someone on his cell phone, but it wasn’t clear if he made a bid.
“She was a good race mare, and she’s still young–not so young, but still young–and she’s carrying a Ghostzapper,” said Hosoda of the reason for his interest in Island Fashion. “If she was going to bring not so much money, we were going to try for her. I made a phone call to Mr. Yoshida, and he said, ‘Go.’ We expected around a million (for the price).”
Pope McLean of Crestwood Farm in Kentucky consigned Island Fashion (by Petionville ), who was part of a reduction of Jeff Nielsen’s Everest Stables. The 9-year-old gray mare, whose coat has faded nearly to white, had been consigned to three previous Keeneland auctions by McLean for Nielsen and had been scratched. In 2006, she was consigned by McLean to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed sale and was bought back for $2 million.
Produced from the stakes-winning A Native Danzig mare Danzigs Fashion, Island Fashion earned $2,037,970 during her racing career. She scored in six added-money events, including the Alabama (gr. I) and La Brea (gr. I) Stakes in 2003 and the Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) in 2004. She also won the 2004 Lady’s Secret Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. II), 2003 Delaware Oaks (gr. III), and 2003 WinStar/Sunland Park Oaks.
“We’re satisfied, but not elated,” McLean said. “In today’s market, that’s probably a fair price. She’s an extremely nice mare, and I think they made a good buy. They’ll come out on her. She’s a good investment.
“We kind of have mixed emotions,” he added, “because we’ve had her the whole time, and she’s such a nice, hard-knocking, genuine mare. It’s sad to see her go. She was bred on the farm, and is by Petionville (who stands at Crestwood). She’s got a good home, and we wish nothing but the best for her.”