Cozzene's Angel, brought $1.35 million at Keeneland sale.

Cozzene's Angel, brought $1.35 million at Keeneland sale.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Keeneland Sale Gains Momentum as Toccet's Dam Sells For $1.35 Million

Cozzene's Angel, the dam of multiple grade I winner Toccet, sold for $1.35 million Tuesday as the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale gained momentum and shot ahead of last year's pace.

Through the end of the auction's second session, the gross revenue was up 7.8% to $38,145,600, and the average price was up 4.0% to $74,942. The median price for the 509 horses sold enjoyed the biggest gain, rising to 8.1% to $40,000. Meanwhile, the buy-back rate was down, falling from 24.0% to 22.3%.

"It was better than I thought it was going to be," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "Last year's second session was very, very strong and to surpass it was very exciting. I just think it's a rollover of the market (surge in 2004). The market continues to roll on. There's more complaints from buyers that they're not able to buy, and that's always positive."

The results for the second session alone were 258 horses sold for a gross of $22,314,500, an average of $86,490, and a median of $40,000. Compared to last year's second session, the number sold was down 2.6%. However, the gross and average grew 8.8% and 11.7%, respectively, while the median remained the same. The buy-back rate increased from 18.2% last year to 22.5% this year.

Reiley McDonald of Eaton Sales purchased session topper Cozzene's Angel, outlasting Dr. Tony Ryan of Castleton Lyons, the Kentucky farm where Toccet stands at stud. Former Castleton Lyons president Gabriel Duignan bought Toccet for $3.35 million last November at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky select mixed sale.

McDonald said Cozzene's Angel, an 11-year-old daughter of Cozzene, would be owned by an undisclosed partnership and would remain in this country. Acting on the behalf of the same partnership, McDonald bought Santa Catarina for $4.8 million and Take Charge Lady for $4.2 million at the 2004 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Cozzene's Angel is in foal to Pulpit, and McDonald said that offspring probably would be sold as a yearling at Saratoga or Keeneland in September.

"She (Cozzene's Angel) is a big, stout, good-looking mare; she's the best mare in the sale by far," said McDonald, whose high-powered clients include Coolmore Stud and Betty Moran. "I thought she probably would have gone for $1.5 million or $2 million in November."

Cozzene's Angel was a winner that placed twice in added-money events. Out of the winning Trepan mare Charming Pan, she is a half-sister to stakes winners Courtly Candor (by Fight Over) and Miss Walkie Talkie (by Miswaki).

John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency consigned Cozzene's Angel as agent for Mary Lou and Terry Griffin, who own the 30-acre Griffin Place near Buckley, Wash. Mary Lou Griffin purchased Cozzene's Angel (in foal to Aggressive Chief) for only $35,000 at the 2000 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November mixed sale.

"I'm thrilled," Mary Lou Griffin said. "This is one for the small breeder. Sometimes your dreams do come true."

The Griffins and Sikura own Cozzene's Angel's Deputy Minister yearling colt together. He is scheduled to be sold later this year at Keeneland in September, Sikura said.

Crazy Ensign, a group I winner in Argentina and a stakes-winning, grade I-placed runner in this country, brought the second session's second-highest price of $925,000. The 9-year-old daughter of Firery Ensign – Crazy Fitz, by Fitzcarraldo, is in foal to Gone West. Margaux Stud, agent, purchased Crazy Ensign from Gainesway, agent.

A tall, athletic-looking Unbridled's Song filly, who is a full sister to Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I) winner Buddha, was the session's most expensive yearling, bringing $900,000. The price was the fourth-highest for a yearling filly in the Keeneland January sale's history, and the amount was the most brought by any yearling since the colt Value Plus sold for $1.1 million in 2002.

Frank Justice's Dell Ridge Farm of Kentucky purchased Buddha's gray sister, with Desmond Ryan signing the sale ticket. The immediate underbidder was Debbie Easter, the bloodstock manager for Ken Luke's Eldon Farm of Virginia.

"She's a lovely filly, and she's a full sister to a lovely horse," Ryan said, adding that the yearling would be a top prospect for Dell Ridge's broodmare band after she is finished racing.

Paramount Sales consigned the Unbridled's Song filly for her breeders, Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds and Ryan's Castleton Group. The filly's dam, the 16-year-old unraced Storm Cat mare Cahooters, also was sold Tuesday by Paramount, bringing a $230,000 bid from bloodstock agent Omar Trevino.

Results From Keeneland's Second Session