Craig Bandoroff of the Paris, Ky.-based Denali Stud, paid $950,000 for Bon Jovi Girl, a stakes-winning daughter of Malibu Moon , and a half-sister to multiple grade I-winning millionaire Gio Ponti at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale. The 4-year-old filly currently tops the Jan. 12 session.
Bandoroff bought the filly on behalf of an undisclosed, non-local owner who is a veteran in the business.
“I bought some mares for him in November,” said Bandoroff of the filly, who was consigned by Gainesway, agent. “We’re going to send her to (trainer) Bill Mott and put her back in training, and see if she can put a grade II or grade I to her name.”
Bon Jovi Girl, who is out of the stakes-placed Alydar mare Chipeta Springs, is a three-time stakes winner at Delaware Park. Bred in Kentucky by Kilboy Estate, she won the Fairway and Blue Hen in 2008, and in 2009 took the Susan’s Girl. Boasting an overall record of 5-3-3 from 15 starts, she earned $512,443 for former owner/trainer Tim Ritchey, who also conditioned 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes (both gr. I) winner Afleet Alex.
The dark bay or brown filly’s half-brother, Gio Ponti (by Tale of the Cat ), is the leading candidate for both champion older male and turf male, and will stay in training in 2010. Campaigned by Castleton Lyons, he is being pointed to the $10-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) in March.
Also bred in Kentucky by Ryan’s Kilboy Estate, 4-year-old Gio Ponti won in succession the Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap (gr. IT), the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT), the Man o’ War Stakes (gr. IT), and the Arlington Million (gr. IT) before finishing a game second to unbeaten Zenyatta in the Breeders Cup Classic (gr. I).
Bon Jovi Girl is also a half-sister to additional stakes winner Fisher Pond (by A.P. Indy) and is from the family of group I victors Salt Spring and Mongoose.
“(Bon Jovi Girl) was bought for a long-term broodmare program,” said Bandoroff, adding that the client who he purchased the filly for keeps several mares at his farm. “We watched her (race) videos, and talked to Bill (Mott) about her races…she’s 4 years old, and a couple years ago, you’d retire her and breed her, but right now, you go out there and see if you can earn some money. We’d like to have her at Denali Stud soon, but we’ll wait until (her new owners) have some fun first."
Bandoroff said he expected Bon Jovi Girl to sell for at least $950,000 due to the quality of her pedigree.
“A couple years ago, she would have brought $1.5 or $1.6 million,” he said. “We’re very fortunate…(when the price reached) $750,000, I was tickled to death because I though that’s where I thought we were going to get her. ($950,000) is a lot of money…we’ll see if Bill Mott can make her look like value.”
When asked what he liked about the pedigree, Bandoroff explained, “She’s by Malibu Moon, and I happen to like young sires who are well bred. He’s by A.P. Indy out of a good mare (Macoumba). You’ve got Alydar on the bottom side, and Gio Ponti is still going for you. I’m not sure if she’s a turf filly just by looking at her physically, but there’s turf form there."
Bandoroff added that Bon Jovi Girl’s x-rays were “amazingly clean.”
“If she’s sound, there's every reason to think she can improve. We’re taking a chance; she doesn’t have to do anything. If we send her out there, and she says she wants to become a mamma, she’ll become a mamma. But we think there’s some racing left in her.”