Santa Catarina, brought $4.8 million at Keeneland's Tuesday session.

Santa Catarina, brought $4.8 million at Keeneland's Tuesday session.

Anne M. Eberhardt

'Young and Beautiful' Mares Boost Keeneland's Second Session

Strong demand for young mare, especially those from the highly Strong demand for young mares, especially those from the successful racing and breeding program of Bob and Beverly Lewis and from the dissolution of the breeding partnership of Stone Farm and Stonerside Stable, boosted Tuesday's second session of Keeneland's November breeding stock sale.

Keeneland reported 211 horses sold Tuesday for a gross of $81,487,000, which was up 15.7% over the same session one year ago. The average price rose 5.3% to $386,194 and the session median was also up, at $210,000. The 45 horses that did not attain their reserves represented a buyback rate of 17.6%.

At the comparable session one year ago, 192 horses grossed $70,432,000, for an average of $366,833 and a median price of $192,500. The 58 horses that did not sell represented 23.2% of the total through the ring.

There were 18 horses that sold for seven figures or more Tuesday, compared with 12 such transactions last year. Cumulatively, there have been 33 million-dollar sales this year, compared with 23 in 2003.

The sales company reported that through two sessions this year, 424 horses averaged $383,169 from gross receipts of $162,463,500. The cumulative median price is $200,000 and cumulative buyback number of 96 represents 18.5% of the total offered. Through two sessions in 2003, Keeneland had sold 366 head for a total of $140,093,000, for a cumulative average of $382,768 and a median of $190,000. There were 132 horses not sold during the first two sessions last year for a 26.5% buyback rate.

Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell said the numbers indicate continued demand for young mares in foal to top stallions and the overall stability within the U. S. economy.

"It's a continuation of last year, it's young and beautiful," Russell said of the type horses in demand. "The market has improved and there is stability in our country's economy. There is more discretionary income."

Russell said some of the strength within the market was fueled by buyers who have recently purchased farms in central Kentucky.

Tuesday's top price of $4.8 million was paid by Eaton Sales partner Reiley McDonald for 4-year-old graded stakes winner Santa Catarina. Santa Catarina was consigned on behalf of the Lewises by the Denali Stud of Craig and Holly Bandoroff.

Bidding on the mare in foal to A.P. Indy began at $1 million and rose steadily until it came down to a bidding war between McDonald and agent John Ferguson, who were standing on opposite sides of the chute at the rear of the sales pavilion. Ferguson, who represents Sheikh Mohammed and was bidding while talking on his cell phone, finally closed the phone and walked away after bidding $4.7 million.

McDonald, who was bidding on behalf of an unnamed partnership entity that bought Take Charge Lady for $4.2 million Monday, said mares like Santa Catarina are a rarity.

"She is a big, pretty correct daughter of Unbridled and there aren't many of those left," McDonald said in reference to the late sire of the mare.

McDonald said he was prepared to pay "whatever it took to get her. You have to pay that for that kind of mare."

Second-highest price of $2.2 million was paid by Elizabeth Moran's Brushwood Stable for Storm Beauty, a stakes-winning Storm Cat mare in foal to A.P. Indy. Produced from the stakes winning Illustrious mare Stick to Beauty, Storm Beauty produced Renaissance Lady and is from the immediate female family of champions Gold Beauty, Sky Beauty, and Dayjur.

Earlier, Renaissance Lady, a grade III-placed daughter of A.P. Indy in foal to Elusive Quality, was purchased by Frank and Jane Lyons' Summer Wind Farm for $1.6 million.

"We are looking for a few quality mares to add to our broodmare band and she fit the criteria," Jane Lyons said, adding that the final price was higher than they thought they would have to pay but was "typical of this sale."

Summer Wind also purchased Fashion Star, a graded stakes-placed daughter of Chief's Crown in foal to Vindication, for $1.3 million from the consignment of John Stuart's Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services, as agent for Carl Rosen Associates.

Craig Bandoroff said the Lewis horses brought final bids in the "upper end" of the consignor's estimates, but that he was not surprised.

"They are beautiful mares with beautiful pedigrees," Bandoroff said. "When people come to the barn to see them, they are very special. We are just blessed that people like Mr. and Mrs. Lewis have the confidence in Holly and I to give us this opportunity to sell horses like this. Somebody has to give you a chance, and they gave us the chance."

Denali was the session's leading consignor with 10 horses sold for a total $13,520,000.

The session's third-highest price of $2.1 million was paid by Gerald Ford's Diamond A Farms for Be Gentle, a multiple grade II-winning daughter of Tale of the Cat in foal to A.P. Indy. The 3-year-old filly was consigned by Eaton Sales.

Ford, who raced 2003 Breeders' Cup Classic – Powered by Dodge (gr. I) winner Pleasantly Perfect, said he was attracted to the filly because she was "a very correct horse," noting that she was approved by trainer Richard Mandella and farm manager Ted Carr.

Acting on behalf of an unnamed client, Reynolds Bell, Jr. went to $2 million to acquire Blithe, a daughter of Unbridled consigned by Stone Farm, as agent for the Stonerside Stable-Stone Farm breeding partnership. A half-sister to Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner and sire Fusaichi Pegasus, Blithe was unraced because the partners decided to breed her upon the death of her dam, the Danzig mare Angel Fever.

You, a daughter of You and I who earned $2.1 million and was offered by Mill Ridge Sales in foal to A. P. Indy, did not bring her reserve and was bought back at $2 million.

With competitive bidding for the top lots, some Keeneland regulars found themselves consistently outbid Tuesday.

After signing the ticket for Words of War, purchased for $1,950,000, in the name of his Malibu Farm, owner B. Wayne Hughes said he did not know of the mare's future breeding plans because he had no expectation that he would be the successful bidder.

"It's very tough, we've been outbid yesterday (Monday) and today" said Hughes, who bought the mare Stylish for $1.5 million Monday. "It's tough. I am going to keep bidding, but I don't know if I will be buying."

Narvick International, buying mainly for Jess Jackson, who has acquired a Bluegrass farm, was leading buyer during the session with 52 head bought for $14,307,000.

Top Prices ($1 Million and above) -- Tuesday Session

Price -- Hip No. -- Description -- Consignor -- Buyer

$4,800,000 -- 337 -- Santa Catarina , bay mare, Unbridled-Purrfectly, by Storm Cat -- Denali Stud (Craig Bandoroff), agent for Robert B. and Beverly J. Lewis -- Eaton Sales, agent

$2,200,000 -- 372 -- Storm Beauty, dark bay/brown mare, Storm Cat-Stick to Beauty, by Illustrious -- Denali Stud (Craig Bandoroff), agent for Robert B. and Beverly J. Lewis -- Brushwood Stable

$2,100,000 -- 444 -- Be Gentle, dark bay/brown mare, Tale of the Cat-Gentlelilstar, by Risen Star -- Eaton Sales, agent -- Diamond A Farm

$2,000,000 -- 449 -- Blithe, dark bay/brown mare, Unbridled-Angel Fever, by Danzig -- Stone Farm, agent for Stonerside Stable and Stone Farm -- Reynolds Bell Jr., agent

$2,000,000 -- 494 -- Dimitrova, bay filly, Swain-The Caretaker, by Caerleon -- Indian Creek (Dave Parrish, Jr.), agent -- Abbott Bloodstock

$2,000,000 -- 596 -- Miss Lodi, chestnut mare, Mr. Greeley-Firtide, by Big Spruce -- Denali Stud (Craig Bandoroff), agent -- Skara Glen Stables

$1,950,000 -- 413 -- Words of War, bay mare, Lord At War-Right Word, by Verbatim -- Stone Farm, agent for Stonerside Stable and Stone Farm -- Malibu Farm LLC

$1,950,000 -- 533 -- Gaviola, gray/roan mare, Cozzene-Forest Key, by Green Forest -- Eaton Sales, agent for Twilite Farms Inc. -- ClassicStar LLC

$1,900,000 -- 537 -- Golden Sonata, dark bay/brown mare, Mr. Prospector-Elissa Beethoven, by Royal Academy -- Hartwell Farm, Agent II -- Skara Glen Stables

$1,600,000 -- 326 -- Renaissance Lady, chestnut mare, A.P. Indy-Storm Beauty, by Storm Cat -- Denali Stud (Craig Bandoroff), agent for Robert B. and Beverly J. Lewis -- Summer Wind Farms

$,1500,000 -- 538 -- Got Koko, bay mare, Signal Tap-Baby North, by Northern Baby -- Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent -- Narvick International

$1,400,000 -- 397 -- Unbridled Beauty, gray/roan mare, Unbridled's Song-Dreamscape, by Mt. Livermore -- Denali Stud (Craig Bandoroff), agent for Robert B. and Beverly J. Lewis -- Forging Oaks Farm

$1,300,000 -- 518 -- Fashion Star, chestnut mare, Chief's Crown-Miss Ivor, by Sir Ivor -- Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services (J. Stuart), agent for Carl Rosen Associates -- Summer Wind Farms

$1,200,000 -- 512 -- Fairest Care, dark bay/brown filly, Storm Cat-Myth, by Ogygian -- Michael C. Byrne, agent -- Skara Glen Stables

$1,100,000 -- 345 -- She's a Beauty , dark bay/brown mare, Storm Cat-Now That's Funny, by Saratoga Six -- Paramount Sales, agent -- Manganaro LLC

$1,050,000 -- 591 -- Mer De Corail, dark bay/brown mare, Sadler's Wells-Miss Tahiti, by Tirol -- Eaton Sales, agent -- France Pur-Sang/6C Stallions Ltd.

$1,050,000 -- 617 -- Nonsuch Bay, chestnut mare, Mr. Greeley-Brighter Than Gold, by Light Idea -- Mill Ridge Sales, agent -- Never Tell Farm

$1,000,000 -- 332 -- Rubywood, gray/roan mare, Woodman-Ruby Slippers, by Nijinsky II -- Ashview Farm LLC (Mr. and Mrs. Wayne G. Lyster III), agent -- Reynolds Bell, Jr., agent

Results, leading buyer, leading consignor, leading sire lists from Keeneland