Bloodstock agent Thomas Clark only had one mare on his list when he arrived at the Jan. 11 opening session of the Keeneland Horses of All Ages Sale. It was Hip 154, a 6-year-old daughter of Giant's Causeway named Beau Belle who was eventually knocked down to Clark for $300,000.
"She's for a partnership that I'm involved in," said Clark. "We do this regularly. She's just a beautiful mare. A proper Giant's Causeway. She's very attractive and pretty and has a nice pedigree, too. That's about what we thought we'd have to pay for her, so we were happy."
Consigned by Denali Stud, Beau Belle was bred in Kentucky out of the German-bred stakes winning mare Binya (by Royal Solo). As a runner, the mare's best score came in September 2020 when she came in third by a length in the Glens Falls Stakes (G2T) at Saratoga Race Course for trainer Tom Albertrani.
While Beau Belle is by far the most accomplished runner for her dam, Binya, the mare's family does not lack for winners. Her half brother, Be Perfect, was stakes-placed and her unraced sister, Dynaire, passed along the racing gene to her son Sadler's Joy (Kitten's Joy ), winner of the 2017 Sword Dancer Stakes (G1T) and three other graded stakes and earner of more than $2.6 million.
Clark said the current plan will be to breed Beau Belle to Lane's End stallion Quality Road and likely offer her at auction again next year. As for the current state of the market, Clark said he's pleased that there is still plenty of strength at the top.
"For breeding stock that is worth having, the market is strong," said Clark.