Frank Stronach, owner of the Paris, Ky.-based Adena Springs and chairman of Magna Entertainment, paid $1.085 million for Miss Isella, a 5-year-old grade II-winning daughter of Silver Charm and a half-sister to grade II winner Sir Cherokee.
Miss Isella, the first seven-figure horse to sell at the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Jan. 12, was consigned by Lane's End, agent.
Bred in Kentucky by Domino Stud of Lexington from the unraced Last Tycoon mare La Cucina, Miss Isella was previously raced by Elaine Jones and trained by Ian Wilkes.
She won three graded stakes at Churchill Downs throughout her 17-start career: the 2008 Falls City Handicap (gr. II); and the 2009 Fleur de Lis Handicap and Louisville Distaff Stakes (both gr. II). In her most recent start, she finished fourth in the Personal Ensign Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga in August.
In all, her record is 6-2-1 from 17 starts, with career earnings of $648,631.
“She put her charm on me,” said Stronach with a laugh after signing the ticket for the mare from his seat in the sale pavilion. “She’s a good-looking mare, has nice bloodlines, and she’s got the race record.”
Stronach said he would most likely breed Miss Isella to his farm stallion Ghostzapper , but has not made any definite decisions. He seemed satisfied with the price he paid for the sizable gray or roan mare.
“I thought she might bring a little less, but on the other hand, if you’ve got something outstanding, there’s always somebody else there,” he said.
Stronach has been the subject of controversy since his Magna Entertainment Corp., a major racetrack operator, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last March. But Stronach has told The Blood-Horse in the past that his Eclipse Award-winning Adena operation and Magna are completely separate companies, and that his breeding business has no debt.
In January, it was announced that creditors of Magna Entertainment Corp. have apparently reached an agreement that will end the racetrack operating company’s bankruptcy case.