There is considerable buzz surrounding the Jan. 7-11 Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, thanks in large part to the 80-horse dispersal of Issam Fares' Fares Farm.
Among the highlights of the group of mares, yearlings, and weanlings that will be sold without reserve by Lane's End, agent, is a pair of half sisters to two-time Horse of the Year Curlin .
The horses are out of the Deputy's Minister mare Sherriff's Deputy, who was bred by Fares Farm along with Curlin.
The first to go through the ring is Hip No. 570, a newly turned yearling daughter of Distorted Humor .
"She's a May foal, so she has some maturing to do, but she's got a great body and looks like she's going to mature into a very nice filly," said Bill Farish of Lane's End. He added the chestnut filly has similar physical attributes to Curlin, who scored his major victories in the grade/group I Preakness, Breeders' Cup Classic, Emirates Airline Dubai World Cup, Stephen Foster, Jockey Club Gold Cup, and Woodward Stakes.
Curlin, who will stand the 2013 season at Lane's End for $25,000, was additionally named North America's champion 3-year-old colt and older horse, as well as the Dubai champion older horse during his race career. He retired with earnings of more than $10.5 million.
Curlin's other half sibling in the sale is Hip No. 735, an unraced 6-year-old mare named Deputy Saint who hails from the only crop of the late Horse of the Year Saint Liam. Deputy Saint produced a Speightstown filly last February and is foal to Lemon Drop Kid for 2013.
"She's a young mare and unraced, but she's in foal to Lemon Drop Kid on an early cover and has a super pedigree," noted Farish. "It's hard to tell how good of a broodmare sire Saint Liam is going to be, but he certainly has all the credentials to be one."
The second dam of Curlin and his half siblings is grade II winner Barbarika (by Bates Motel), who is the granddam of Japanese group III victor Red Spada (by Taiki Shuttle) and other Japanese stakes-winning millionaire Brave Fight (by Dance in the Dark).
Barbarika, who is out of the stakes-winning Wise Exchange mare War Exchange, is a half sister to grade III winner Lucky Lady Lauren (by Carnivalay).
"Both (Hip 570 and Hip 735) are fairly consistent," said Fares Farm manager Shannon White. "They are both compact and they're fast. They're very athletic. They're very similar physical types. They are little rockets, both of them."
White added that while the dispersal is bittersweet, she is proud of the group of horses Fares Farm is sending through the sale.
"We have a wonderful, compassionate team at Fares Farm and these mares and foals have been kindly raised by a special group of people who care about Mr. Fares and have worked dutifully in his best interests," she said. "For that, I am most appreciative and grateful to them."