The Jan. 14 second session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale proved particularly lucrative for Eaton Sales, who established themselves as the second-leading consignor with 15 sold for gross receipts of $1,829,000. The operation wrapped up Tuesday having sold three of the top 12 earners through the ring during the first half of the day.
The first to hit big was Hip 448, a bay filly by Into Mischief out of the Indian Charlie mare Silent Circle. Purchased for $260,000 by Blue Sky Stables as part of a pinhooking partnership, Brian Graves, who signed the winning ticket, said the yearling was exactly what the group was looking for.
"I liked everything about that filly," said Graves. "She's leggy and a very elegant type with a long neck and a nice square behind with a good walk to her. She's by a leading sire—No. 1—and we will bring her back again and sell her."
Bred in Kentucky by Athens Woods, the filly is a half sister to American Derby (G3T) winner Sonic Boom and grade 2-placed Galientos. She is from the extended female family of grade 1-placed Coxwold and stakes-placed winners Seainsky and Niji''s Grand Girl.
"(The price) was pretty close to in line with what I thought," said Graves. "Maybe a few bids more, but it's always like that."
Acting as agent for the Estate of William D. Graham (Windhaven Farms), Eaton Sales consigned Hip 496, a 4-year-old bay filly named Tiz Breathtaking. Offered as a racing or broodmare prospect, the daughter of Tiznow was purchased for $375,000 by WinStar and Larry Taylor.
"We bought her to go to Constitution ," said David Hanley of WinStar. "We love Tiznow broodmares. She's a beautiful quality mare and was a very good 2-year-old and had plenty of speed. We just loved the package. We love the family and have had some luck with the family so we were keen to get her."
A registered Ontario-bred, Tiz Breathtaking is out of the Elusive Quality mare I'm Breathtaking and is a half sister to stakes winner Matador and stakes-placed My Cousin Martha. Campaigned by Windhaven Farms and trainer Michael Doyle, Tiz Breathtaking earned black-type honors at 2, winning the Mazarine Stakes (G3) at Woodbine.
Hanley said he felt the mare would be a perfect match for Constitution, whose pedigree has already proved to have a penchant for Tiznow mares.
"He loves Tiznow and he has (Champagne Stakes, G1, winner) Tiz the Law obviously. I think physically she'd suit him and she's just a lovely mare. She was the one we liked and the one we were waiting to try and buy," he said.
The Jamie Railton Sales Agency went to $345,000 to secure Hip 531, a bay War Front filly out of the Speightstown mare Agreeable Miss. Bred in Kentucky by Frank Hutchinson, the yearling is a half sister to King Neptune and Faydhan—both stakes-placed winners in Europe.
"She was a typical War Front with a big huge walk. Average size, short-coupled, big hip, and a nice loose flowing walk," said Reiley McDonald of Eaton Sales. "After the November sales closed it was thought that she might stand out a little better in January and she did. There aren't many like her in here. I think it was a fair trade. They got good value and I thought she was sold where she should have been."
Railton, who declined to disclose the client for whom he had purchased the filly, said she will likely join her siblings across the pond.
"She will be sent to the United Kingdom," said Railton. "She was bought on behalf of a collection of investors. It's hard to find fillies with that kind of pedigree. That's what you have to pay for them when they show up. When they appear, you have to buy them."