La Galerie, a champion in Argentina, brought $800,000 Monday as the Keeneland January mixed sale's opening session approached the midway point. The buyer was Rick Trontz of Hopewell Farm, who was acting on the behalf of Golden Eagle Farm's Betty Mabee. It was Mabee's sixth purchase of the day and brought her total expenditures to $2 million.
"She's great physical; she's a great outcross; and a great race mare," said Trontz of La Galerie, who is in foal to War Chant. "She's in foal for the first time on the first cover to a young sire that has been well-received. There's nothing but blue sky."
La Galerie, an 8-year-old daughter of Southern Halo, is a full sister to Argentine group I winner Gouache, who is the dam of Argentine champion Guernika (by Luhuk). La Galerie also is a half-sister to Argentine group I winner Apeles (by Senor Pete). Their dam, Aquarelle (by Logical), was a stakes winner in Argentina.
"That was a pretty good price," said Trontz of his $800,000 bid for La Galerie. "You'd always like to get them for a little less."
Three Chimneys Sales, agent, consigned La Galerie. The mare was owned by Three Chimneys owner Robert Clay and Gary Biszantz of Cobra Farm.
Earlier in the day, Mabee spent $1.2 million for four mares and one broodmare prospect. Those horses included the $350,000 Heaven to Earth (in foal to Mr. Greeley) and the $320,000 Cee's Elegance, a graded winner and broodmare prospect.
"She's trying to upgrade and add some new blood to her broodmare band," said Trontz of Mabee. "She'll have a commercial operation. She'll sell some, and she'll keep some to race. It will depend on the individual foal."
Following the death of her husband, John, in 2002, Betty Mabee said she would stay in the business, but would be reducing the number of horses she owned. Her January participation is her first significant purchasing effort since her husband died.
Trontz said Betty Mabee would have made a big effort to buy mares at last year's Keeneland November breeding stock sale, but "the fires in Southern California put a crimp in her plans." A division of Golden Eagle suffered some fire damage.
"She's still in the business, and she's going to stay in the business," said Trontz, who boards approximately 20 of Mrs. Mabee's mares at his Hopewell Farm in Kentucky.
Forever Partners, winner of the 2002 Colleen Stakes, brought the early session second-highest price of $410,000.
Frank Stronach purchased the 4-year-old daughter of Not For Love, who was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the filly.
"She was a very, very fast filly and very talented," said Dan Hall, the general manager for Stronach's Adena Springs Farm in Kentucky. "She also has all the physical qualities that we like. She's very well balanced, and she has a great hind leg. She's a beautiful filly."
Hall said Forever Partners might be bred to Golden Missile, an Adena Springs stallion.
Forever Partners, who also finished second in the Spinaway Stakes (gr. I) and third in the Miss Preakness Stakes (gr. III), is a half-sister to added-money winner Pal's Partner (by Rakeen). Their dam, My New Pal, is a 13-year-old winning daughter of Saratoga Six.
Forever Partners raced for Skeedattle Associates, which purchased her for $50,000 at the 2001 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale.Results from Keeneland