The first reported foal from the initial crop by 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify was born Jan. 3 at Amaroo Farm in Kentucky, owners Audley Farm reported the following afternoon.
Audley stood America's first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton, after he swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes in 1919.
"We were the first farm to stand a Triple Crown winner, so it's pretty amazing, really, that we're the farm that bred the first foal out of the most recent Triple Crown winner," Audley's Jamie McDiarmid said.
While Audley is located near Berryville, Va., the Justify filly will be designated a Kentucky-bred after Foreign Affair was boarded at Amaroo near Lexington to drop her foal there. The filly was born around 11 p.m. ET Friday, a few days ahead of her expected arrival.
"The mare was due to foal on the 10th, so it's just a few days early, but that's OK," McDiarmid said. "The main thing is that the foal is happy and healthy. So far, everything has gone really well. She'll come back to be Virginia-registered, and the mare will stay here and foal out a Virginia-bred next year. That's the plan."
Foreign Affair was purchased by Audley Farm Equine while carrying the Justify filly in utero for $385,000 from Brookdale Sales' consignment to The November Sale, Fasig-Tipton's marquee autumn breeding stock sale in Kentucky. McDiarmid said the chance to buy a mare carrying a foal from the 2018 Triple Crown winner's first crop filled a void in their band.
"That was obviously one of the factors," he said. "We bred a mare to Justify last year, and unfortunately she didn't actually get in foal, so we were looking for one. But we very much liked the mare, forgetting what she's in foal to. She has a nice pedigree from a young family that's very well supported. There's success in Europe in this family, so hopefully the mother of this mare will go on and be a success and so will ours."
Foreign Affair, bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall out of the Songandaprayer mare Hopeoverexperience, will be bred back to More Than Ready .
"We were looking for a very internationally appealing sire, and More Than Ready keeps doing it time and time again," McDiarmid said. "We haven't bred to him in quite some time, so we're excited."
Audley Farm, a 3,000-acre facility located in Northern Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley, has produced a number of fine Thoroughbreds in the past few years. Among them are grade 1 winner Bodemeister , sire of 2017 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) winner Always Dreaming .
Justify stood his first season at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky in 2019 for an advertised fee of $150,000. According to statistics provided by The Jockey Club, the son of Scat Daddy covered 252 mares in his initial season, a number mirrored only by fellow Ashford stallion Mendelssohn . Justify attracted 41 grade 1-winning mares, the largest number bred by a North American stallion. His 2020 fee remains advertised at $150,000.