When the hammer fell at $150,000 for a filly she co-bred, Amy Boulton embraced consignor Pat Costello of Paramount Sales as tears flowed from her eyes.
The Atreides filly did not top the Sept. 19 session at the Keeneland September yearling sale, but the six figures paid by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong were plenty this day for Boulton and co-breeder Brad Auger. Boulton said her Britannia Farm in Versailles, Ky. has faced some challenging years in a challenging industry.
"It's just that we're facing a lot of bills. Frankly, the last few years have been pretty difficult for us," Boulton said. "I think everyone knows this industry can be tough."
Things looked up this week, as the Atreides filly turned some heads.
"She just had everything; the look, the walk," Boulton said.
Then it was just a matter of seeing that interest translate to the sales ring where the filly (Hip 2719) was consigned by Paramount.
"That's awesome. (Boulton) bred it and sold it; she hadn't had many touches like that before," Costello said. "It's great to see."
Costello said Paramount puts its top effort into each horse. He said the celebration served as the latest reminder of the investment in each horse offered.
"It's very important to each of these breeders," Costello said. "Amy has a small farm out in Versailles and she needs a break like that. It's great to see."
The filly is out of stakes winner Wonderful Luck, by Trust N Luck, who has produced stakes winner Rockshaw (Maclean's Music ) and stakes-placed Leprechaun Kid (Seeking the Dia). While carrying the Atreides filly, Wonderful Luck sold to Sentorita Laura Bacon for $9,500 at the 2015 Keeneland November breeding stock sale where she was consigned by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency.
Freshman stallion Atreides stood the 2017 season for $5,000 at Hill 'n' Dale Farms in Lexington.
The $150,000 price tied for the the top number paid for a yearling consigned by Paramount Sales during Tuesday's session. For the session, Paramount had 25 yearlings sell for a total of $1,208,000 and an average of $48,340. For the entire sale through Tuesday, Paramount has sold 76 yearlings for a total of $12,777,500 and an average of $168,125.
Costello said the sale has continued to be very strong through Book 4, which wrapped up Tuesday.
"It's strong. We're coming up with low reserves on some of these and they're bringing $20,000, $30,000," Costello said. "So it's good, great really."
Costello said Keeneland's new format, that saw a single, select Book 1 session, has helped build momentum deep into the sale.
"It certainly has carried through all of the books," Costello said. "It's nearly panic buying."