The business side of the Thoroughbred breeding industry hit Emory Hamilton in a bittersweet moment Nov. 8 at the Keeneland November sale.
When Peter Brant of White Birch Farm bought Enchanted Rock for $2 million, the 13-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway left Hamilton's broodmare band, for whom she produced multiple grade 1 winner Verrazano (More Than Ready ) and grade 2 winner El Padrino (Pulpit). Enchanted Rock is back in foal to More Than Ready.
Hamilton, who sold the homebred mare through Gainesway, spent several moments talking to Brant after the hammer fell.
"We're old friends, we go way back," she said. "He left the business and now he's come back into the business, and he'll take her over to Claiborne. They're old friends too. It's a good situation."
Although Hamilton choked up at the thought of Enchanted Rock leaving her program, she was happy with the mare's new owner.
"I've got three of her fillies right now, and I have to sell something to make a little money," she said. "I usually keep all the fillies. I had no colts to sell last year, so I needed to do something. She's been good to me. She got a good buyer, so I'm pleased."
Hamilton has a 2017 Tapit colt out of the mare to sell next year, but she said she sent Enchanted Rock back to More Than Ready this season because of her previous success.
"They're mostly great-looking horses," she said of Enchanted Rock's foals. "She's a very large mare, as you can see, so I haven't tried to go to large stallions. But they're all decent-sized horses, you're not going to get a small one. I think it's good that she's in foal to More Than Ready. I personally love More Than Ready, I've had great luck with him."