Favorite Gal, a Hard Spun filly out of champion Hollywood Wildcat, brought $310,000 early during the second session of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale Oct. 26 in Lexington. The price was the highest so far for the auction.
Lewis Lakin of Lakland Farm signed the sale ticket for the chestnut yearling, who is a member of her sire’s first crop. Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned Favorite Gal for her breeder, Irving Cowan, who is dispersing his horses.
“She looks just like the kind I like,” said Lakin, who was sitting in the sale pavilion with Florida horsewoman Becky Thomas. “She has a great family. I don’t think you can replace it for that kind of money anywhere. You don’t often get a chance to do something like this in a situation like this, so I just couldn’t turn it down. I’m in the business to breed, and you look for broodmares like this. It’s almost impossible to get this kind.”
Lakin will send Favorite Gal to Thomas to be prepared for racing.
“I’m planning to keep her; I didn’t buy her to resell her,” Lakin said. “I wish I had partners in her. I had to come up with all the money myself, but I was glad to pay that. I probably would have paid a little more. Obviously, I would have liked to have gotten her for less, but I thought that was a fair price.”
Kentucky-bred Favorite Gal is a half sister to four stakes winners, including War Chant (by Danzig), who captured the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT), and Ivan Denisovich (by Danehill), who scored in the 2005 TNT July Stakes (Eng-II). Their dam, a 20-year-daughter of Kris S., was the champion 3-year-old filly in 1993, when she triumphed in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I) and Hollywood Oaks (gr. I). Hollywood Wildcat won the Gamely Handicap (gr. I) in 1994.
“It was a little less than I thought it would be,” said Taylor Made’s Mark Taylor of Favorite Gal’s price. “I think the filly’s residual value is north of $200,000 if you never raced her and you just turned her out. Mr. Cowan was a little disappointed in what she brought, but he’s getting out, so you’ve got to take what the market will give you.
“We missed the deadline for the earlier sales, and we had to really try to do a marketing blitz to make sure people knew that a pedigree like that was available. We got the word out pretty good, I think.”
Cowan described selling Favorite Gal as the type of situation that is “always emotional and somewhat nostalgic. I think the buyer made a very astute purchase. Obviously, I thought she was worth more. She comes from the Danzig line (her sire is a son of Danzig) and has the family to go with it, being out of a champion mare. You don’t usually see those in the lower six figures (in terms of price), but that’s the way it is. I understand totally how the market is now, and that is why I decided to sell her (for that amount).”
Cowan’s wife, Marjorie, died in February 2009.
“Nothing has been quite the same since, and it’s one of the reasons that I’m dispersing,” Cowan said. “You also get to where you’re carrying too many horses sometimes. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. I see all these guys who disperse and nobody ever can quite leave (the Thoroughbred business). They say once it gets in your blood, it stays in your blood.
"You end up fooling around with one or two horses here and there or whatever. Of course Hollywood Wildcat will never be sold.”
Cowan said he owned about 70 horses when he decided to disperse his stock.