Mushka was the sales topper midway through the second day of the Keeneland November Sale.

Mushka was the sales topper midway through the second day of the Keeneland November Sale.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Mushka Sells for $2.4 Million

Grade II winner Mushka was purchased by Elizabeth Moran’s Brushwood Stable for $2.4 million to keep the second session of the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale rolling along Nov. 4 at the Central Kentucky auction house.

Mushka, who sold as a racing or broodmare prospect, was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent for Ahmed Zayat’s Zayat Stables. Zayat consigned more than 70 horses, including racing, broodmare, stallion prospects, and a few weanlings to the auction.

Bred in Kentucky by Diane Snowden, Zayat purchased Mushka (Empire Maker - Sluice, by Seeking the Gold) for $1.6 million at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale. Her price topped the auction.

“The whole package is there. She’s got great size, she’s correct, she can run now and she has tremendous potential as a broodmare,” said Franny Abbott, who signed the ticket on behalf of Moran.

Mushka, who won the grade II Demoiselle, will remain in training with Bill Mott. She has earned $229,823.

Abbott added he originally found the filly at the Saratoga auction but did not buy her. “I saw her as a yearling in Saratoga, and Mrs. Moran could not be in Saratoga. She normally likes to be at the sale when she buys horses. She couldn’t be here today, but she knew about the filly and liked her a lot.”

Commenting on the price, Abbott said he would have bid further than her hammer price of $2.4 million to acquire the mare. “I think Mrs. Moran really love the filly and wanted to have her. When she gets determined, she likes to go for it,” he said. “She brought $1.6 million as a yearling, so you had to know that her price would be somewhere above that. He wasn’t going to give her away for less than that. And what she has done, and the way she grown up physically, we were prepared to be right there where we were.”

Tom VanMeter of Eaton Sales said he was pleased with Mushka’s $2.4 million price tag, saying she has it all—race record, pedigree, and looks.

“This is part of the (Zayat) business plan,” Van Meter said. “He wants racehorses. He doesn’t want to be in the breeding business, and these are great horses. He bought her for $1.6 million and she still has run in her. She could win a grade I race.”

Van Meter said it was six-month process to package the horses that Zayat wanted to sell during this auction. “There has been a lot of give and take between us all. The main thing, we already know they are great horses, they were hand selected. They have the pedigree, and the conformation, the race records. They have the whole package. It has been a process. But the main thing we wanted to do was bring them over here and let the market know they could buy these horses. He set very fair reserves.”