By Esther Marr and Frank Angst
Graded stakes winner Snow Top Mountain brought an impressive price of $950,000 from Audley Farm during the second session of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Jan. 8.
Consigned by Four Star Sales, agent for Brownwood Farm as Hip No. 584, Snow Top Mountain is in foal to 2010 champion older horse Blame .
The grey or roan mare is out of the Storm Cat mare Motokiks, who is a full sister to stakes winner Catoki. Snow Top Mountain herself is a half sister to multiple graded stakes winner Keertana (by Johar), who sold for $1 million earlier in the day to Craig Bandoroff of Denali Stud.
While racing as a homebred for the late Barbara Hunter, Kentucky-bred Snow Top Mountain scored in the 2012 Suwannee River (gr. IIIT) and the Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT), plus the 2011 Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf Stakes. Trained by Tom Proctor, she placed in seven other black-type events, including the 2010 Garden City (gr. IT). She owns a career slate of 7-8-2 from 24 starts, for earnings of $525,303.
Snow Top Mountain's new owner Audley Farm is best known as the breeder of Arkansas Derby (gr. I) winner and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Bodemeister .
Veterinarian Jens von Lepel of Audley said Snow Top Mountain will be a fine addition at the Berryville, Va. farm. Bodemeister's dam, Untouched Talent, sold for $5 million at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale.
"(Snow Top Mountain) is a very nice mare, very well bred, great racing performance, and good conformation," von Lepel said. "That's all that you look for. She's quality all over."
"She comes home to a good farm in Virginia. We are very happy," he added. "It's very hard to find quality mares. There aren't that many and everybody's looking for that quality."
Earlier in the sale, Salty Strike, a 5-year-old Smart Strike mare, brought $800,000 from bloodstock agent John Moynihan on behalf of Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables.
Consigned by Lane's End, agent, as Hip No. 553, she is out of the winning Salt Lake mare Lake Huron and is a half sister to stakes winner Salty Response (by Cozzene).
While racing as a homebred for Craig Singer and trainer Kenny McPeek, Salty Strike captured the 2012 Gardenia Stakes (gr. III) and 2011 Dogwood Stakes (gr. III). The dark bay or brown mare, who won five other stakes on the Midwest circuit, holds a career record of 9-1-2 from 20 starts, for earnings of $485,266.
"(Smart Strike) has turned out to be a really great broodmare sire and this mare could really run, so we're excited to get her," said Moynihan, who indicated Salty Strike would join the Stonestreet broodmare band, but doesn't yet have a mating plan in mind.
"You don't see many (Smart Strike mares) that look like that," Moynihan added. "She's got beautiful balance and stayed around the racetrack for a long time."