Millionaire grade I winner Unrivaled Belle (by Unbridled's Song ) was purchased by Betty Moran’s Brushwood Stable for $2.8 million from the Eaton Sales consignment Nov. 8 as the second session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale continued the momentum seen during the opening session.
The price for the 5-year-old mare, consigned as Hip No. 261, was the first of the day to exceed seven figures.
Unrivaled Belle was quite fractious in the sale ring and had to be walked out of the ring as bidding reached $1.2 million. The sale continued with the mare out of view.
The bidding was handled by Keeneland auctioneer Justin Holmberg, who was on the telephone with Moran while standing in the rear of the sale pavilion.
“She said that’s the most she’s ever paid for a cribber,” Holmberg said jokingly about Moran's comment, noting that he believed the owner was willing to go higher to acquire the mare.
Unrivaled Belle, who had 13 top three finishes from 14 starts and earnings of $1,854,706 for breeder/owners Gary Seidler and Peter Vegso, was retired earlier this year after she broke her withers after falling backward in the paddock while waiting to be saddled for the Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park June 18.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Unrivaled Belle won the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) over subsequent champion 3-year-old filly Blind Luck. During the Nov. 7 opening session of the November sale, Blind Luck was purchased by Dr. Mark Dedomenico, who was buying out his partners, for $2.5 million, one of 14 horses to bring prices in excess of $7 million.
Unrivaled Belle, who was produced from the Bertrando mare Queenie Belle, also won the La Troienne Stakes (gr. II) and the Rampart Stakes (gr. III) and ran second in the Ogden Phipps, the Beldame Stakes (gr. I), and the Ruffian Invitational Handicap (gr. I). In her two starts this year she finished second in the La Troienne and third in the Rampart.