Published in the Nov. 17 issue of The Blood-Horse
For the second consecutive year, the Adena Springs broodmare sale saw declines in gross, average, and median, but the atmosphere remained lively and the complimentary food and drink flowed freely at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky's Newtown Paddocks on Nov. 8. This year, 75 in-foal mares were offered without reserves, and each was part of a package that included a no-guarantee season to a selected Adena Springs stallion for 2002. Two mares were scratched from the 77-hip catalogue prior to the sale. The 2001 sale averaged $40,940, down 28.2% from last year's comparable figure, while the median of $29,000 represented a 17.1% decrease. The gross revenue of $3,070,500 was a decline of 21.9% from last year's figure. As a comparison, last year 64 pregnant mares passed through the sale ring, grossing $3,649,000 and averaging $57,016. The 2000 average dropped 15.9% and the gross dropped 7.2% from 1999 figures. The median price of $35,000 was a drop of 14.6% from 1999. "There were a bunch of dynamic mares in here," said Andy Stronach, who was representing the Adena Springs operation in the absence of his father, Frank. "There were a lot of good mares and a nice variety of stallions they were in foal to. I think you'll see a lot of stakes winners come out of here. "Money isn't everything; it's (the sale) accomplishing what we want to do and we want to get good results out of these mares and foals." Twist a Lime, a stakes-placed daughter of Copelan, landed a final bid of $225,000 to top all offerings at the fifth annual sale. Steve McDonald of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the former owner of Lexington-based Cable Farm, signed the ticket. Twist a Lime was one of only four mares that attracted final bids of six figures compared to the nine six-figure mares that sold last year. "She's a lovely mare, and Copelan is a good broodmare sire, and the fact that she's already produced a graded horse made her all the more attractive," said McDonald, who keeps his only three broodmares at Steve Conboy's Maple Lane Farm near Lexington. "She's the only mare I've bought this trip. I've tried to buy some over at Keeneland, but I couldn't." Twist a Lime (Copelan--Lively Maid, by Lord Rebeau) was sold in foal to 1997 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Touch Gold, with a breeding option to multiple grade I winner Golden Missile. Twist a Lime, who earned $103,083, is the dam of 3-year-old Speed Gun (by Demaloot Demashoot), winner of the Summer Stakes (Can-II) at Woodbine. She also has a 2-year-old gelding, Wild Twist (by Wild Zone), that has yet to start, and a yearling Awesome Again filly. Dell Ridge Farm secured the sale's second-highest priced mare when Des Ryan signed the ticket for $175,000 for another daughter of Copelan, 11-year-old stakes winner Fighting Jet. The mare was sold in foal to 1998 Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner and Canadian Horse of the Year Awesome Again with a breeding option to Golden Missile. Airdrie Stud owner and former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones went to $167,000 to purchase Reet Petite, an 11-year-old stakes-winning daughter of Maudlin out of the Silent Screen mare Nap Trap. Reet Petite sold in foal to Touch Gold with a 2002 breeding season to Awesome Again. The mare has a 4-year-old stakes-placed runner, Petite Deputy (by Silver Deputy), and a 2-year-old, Wire Whip (by Birdonthewire). She also has a yearling Awesome Again filly and foaled a Wild Rush filly this year. "She's (Reet Petite) a graded stakes-winning mare whose first foal is stakes-placed. She was the best mare here physically, and she throws good foals," said Jones. "If she had sold at Keeneland, without the season to Awesome Again and only in foal to Touch Gold, she could have easily brought $250,000. This is a good sale to find quality offerings at good prices." Jones also signed a $67,000 ticket for Family Silver (Silver Hawk--Family Enterprize, by Tri Jet). Unraced Family Silver has a 2001 colt by Lucky Lionel and sold in foal to millionaire Running Stag with a 2002 season to Awesome Again. Tony Ryan's Castleton/Lyons went to $135,000 to secure the Salt Lake mare Sweet Taste out of the Judger mare Say What You Mean. Sweet Taste, who is from the family of graded stakes winner Globalize and champion Jewel Princess, sold in foal to Wild Rush with a 2002 season to Golden Missile. Boyd Browning, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fasig-Tipton, said the drop in numbers was expected this year due to the condition of the market and the type of mares offered. "There were fewer top-end mares as compared to previous years' catalogues, and the market has been off a little. When the sale began, the new key stallions were received with unbridled enthusiasm, and now that enthusiasm has dropped off into a more 'what have you done for me' attitude."