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Demand for young, stakes-caliber mares, led by the $1.3 million paid for 2011 American Oaks (G1) winner Nereid, ruled opening Monday at Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale, which saw double-digit growth in gross and average price.
Keeneland sold 201 horses on Monday for $15,331,400, up 10.04 percent over 2012 when 209 horses brought $13,932,200. Average price rose 14.42 percent from $66,661 to $76,276, while the median of $30,000 dipped 6.25 percent from last year’s $32,000.
“It was a good sale today. Five horses sold for $500,000 or more each compared with two during the first session last year,” said Keeneland Vice President of Sale Walt Robertson. “Buyers gave a lot of money for nice horses all day.”
Lane Seliger of Baumann Stables purchased Nereid, a five-year-old daughter of Rock Hard Ten out of the Belong to Me mare Dowry. In addition to her win in the American Oaks, which came in a dead heat, Nereid finished second in the Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) and third in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and Del Mar Oaks (G1). She was consigned as a broodmare prospect by Don Robinson’s Winter Quarter Farm, as agent for owner Eric Kronfeld. Kronfeld purchased Nereid for $190,000 at Keeneland’s 2009 September Yearling Sale.
“She was extraordinary in this sale; she was clearly the star,” Robinson said of Nereid. “She had a presence that grabbed people. I expected her to bring a very nice number and she did.”
“The November (Breeding Stock) Sale was a very good horse sale, and not everyone was able to fill their orders,” added Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s Director of Sales. “Buyers have very strict guidelines when it comes to buying broodmares; either they meet the guidelines or they don’t. So having a mare like Nereid in the sale helps dramatically.”
The day’s second- and third-highest priced horses – Potesta and Princess Arabella – sold back-to-back early in the session.
Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings went to $800,000 to acquire Potesta, winner of the 2012 Hollywood Oaks (G2) and Torrey Pines Stakes in track-record time.
“The way she ran, she was rocket fast and could carry it two turns,” said bloodstock advisor John Moynihan, who signed the ticket on behalf of Stonestreet. “It (the price) was a lot, but those kind don’t come around too often. She has a lot of class and we’re happy to have her.”
The four-year-old Potesta is by Macho Uno and out of the stakes-winning Furiously mare Katzen. She is a half-sister to Kabu, Group 1 stakes placed in Peru. Potesta was offered by Three Chimneys Sales, agent, as a broodmare prospect.
Immediately following the sale of Potesta, 2012 Sunland Park Oaks winner Princess Arabella, in foal to leading sire Tapit, sold for $725,000 to Jane and Frank Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm.
By Any Given Saturday, the four-year-old Princess Arabella is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Tortuga Lady, a full sister to Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Invisible Ink. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, who ranked as the session’s leading consignor, selling 30 horses for $3,121,200.
“She’s a beautiful mare that obviously had tons of talent. She’s young and she’s in foal to the right stallion. So we’re happy to add her to our broodmare band,” said Jane Lyon.
Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Stud paid $600,000 for Big Tiz, a graded stakes-placed daughter of Tiznow consigned as a broodmare prospect by Greenfield Farm, agent. The five-year-old mare is out of stakes winner Squall City, by Carson City, and is a full sister to stakes winner Lady Chace and a half-sister to stakes winner Vindy City.
Graded stakes-placed Maristar brought a final bid of $500,000 from Case Clay, who purchased the six-year-old Giant’s Causeway mare for his family’s Three Chimneys Farm. Maristar is out of 1996 champion older mare and Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner Jewel Princess, and is a half-sister to stakes winner One Nice Cat. She was consigned by Gerard Butler Racing.
“I loved her physical, loved her family, and loved her mother,” Clay said. “The (pedigree) page is really what jumped out at us. She’s a quality mare and we’re very interested in quality.”
A colt by Distorted Humor brought the day’s top price for a yearling, selling for $300,000 to Regis Farms. Consigned by Cara Bloodstock, agent, the colt is the first foal from the A.P. Indy mare Endless Journey, a full sister to Saratoga Special Stakes (G2) winner and sire Jump Start.
The January Sale continues through Friday, January 11. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. EST. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.