A dark bay or brown filly by Medaglia d'Oro fetched a final bid of $1.1 million from Dr. Karen Sanderson, who was making her first purchase at the Keeneland September yearling sale during the marathon auction’s fourth session Sept. 11.
The $1.1 million bid marks the highest price of the fourth session through almost six hours of selling.
The filly, produced from the Forty Niner mare Amizette, was consigned by Trackside Farm (Tom Evans), agent for Rob Whiteley’s Liberation Farm, et. al. The filly was bred in Kentucky by Liberation and Stonewall Farm, who purchased Amizette for $90,000 at the 2006 Keeneland January mixed sale.
“She deserved to bring that level,” said Whiteley. “It’s always hard to know on Thursday whether that is realistic to expect that she would bring that level. But she combines everything. Physically, she is lovely and athletic and she’s by the most promising sire that I’ve been around at this stage.”
Discussing why she was interested in purchasing the filly, Sanderson, who is an oral surgeon near London, said, “We have a great deal of confidence of King of Rome (half-brother to Medaglia d’ Oro filly who is a group II winner in Ireland for trainer Aidan O'Brien and owners Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, and Susan Magnier) on the racetrack and we feel this is a very firm purchase because she is a very fine filly, she walks very well and there is everything about her to like. My trainer (Paul D’Arcy) said she was the nicest filly he had seen for the day and I stand by his judgment. We came to buy the best and we feel we have bought the best lot of the day.”
D’Arcy, who has 20 runners in his yard, including two for Sanderson, said he liked the filly due to her athletic build, walk, catalog page, nice deep chest, and good eye.
Sanderson added she believed she was the underbidder on the filly and was more than pleasantly surprised when the sale ticket was delivered to her.
Talking about why she traveled from Europe to purchase yearlings in America, Sanderson said, “I think the way breeding is now and the way the gene pool is going it is more sensible to come out of Europe. I think outcrosses are very important and I think it is important for the genetic pool that we go forward."
Concerning the price, Sanderson said, “We knew she was going to be expensive, but we came with a purpose so we decided to just go for it. The exchange rate (dollars to pounds) made a big difference.”