By Christie DeBernardis
Coming off a strong November sale, Keeneland looks to pick up 2019 right where they left off with the four-day Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale, which kicks off at 10a.m. Monday.
The 1,583-horse catalogue is highlighted by champion Abel Tasman (Quality Road), who sells as Hip 288 during the opening session. There are 709 broodmares/broodmare prospects, 601 yearlings, 258 horses of racing age and six stallions.
“I think it starts with the quality offerings the consignors have brought to the sale,” said Keeneland’s Vice President of Sales Bob Elliston. “It starts with champion mare Abel Tasman and then recentle Fatale Bere, Grade I winner of the Del Mar Oaks. Those two would make headlines at any kind of breeding stock sale, so we are very excited about that.”
A Grade I winner at ages two, three and four, Abel Tasman won an Eclipse Award and six Grade I events, earning a total of $2,793,385 for Clearsky Farm, China Horse Club and Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.
“I think that she’s one of these rare collector’s items that don’t come around very often,” said Mark Taylor, whose Taylor Made Sales is consigning the mare. “A lot of those great mares are in private hands, they don’t see the sales ring, so she’s unique. Winning six Grade Is, for anybody that races horses, I mean winning a Grade I is difficult. To do it six times, and then the iconic races that she won in the fashion she won them in, and her versatility. She’s rare, and it’s really, really a privilege to have her in the barn. Mares like her just don’t come around very often.”
The January sale boasts some impressive recent graduates, such as MGISW Catholic Boy (More Than Ready), G1SW Mind Your Biscuits (Posse), MGSW Flameaway (Scat Daddy) and GSW and GISP Mucho Gusto (Mucho Macho Man).
“If you bring these kinds of quality racehorses, as well as quality broodmares and short yearlings, with the outstanding successes that have occurred, people are keen on coming to January,” Elliston said.
At last year’s January sale, 909 horses sold for a gross of $34,996,000 with an average of $38,499 and a median of $12,000. The 2018 renewal was topped by MGSW Mrs. McDougal (Medaglia d’Oro), who summoned $1.6 million from bloodstock agent Steve Young. The highest-priced yearling was a $1 million son of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah purchased by Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier.
The January sale runs through Thursday with sessions beginning at 10a.m. daily.