Stellar Wind Shines at Keeneland November Opener


Stellar Wind | Keeneland

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini, Ben Massam

LEXINGTON, KY – With the $6-million sale of champion Stellar Wind (Curlin) providing the fireworks, the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale opened its 12-day run in Lexington Monday with a solid day of trade.

“I think the opening session went extremely well,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “It was great to see a good variation of buyers at the top, both domestic and international and there was strong Japanese participation.”

From a first-session catalogue of 179, 130 horses went through the ring and 96 horses sold for a gross of $42,304,000. The average of $440,667 ticked up 1.04% from last year’s slightly longer session and the median rose 15.38% to $300,000. The buy-back rate was 26.15%. It was 33.14% a year ago.

Last year’s first session, with 240 head catalogued, saw 115 horses sell for $50,155,000. The average was $436,130 and the median was $260,000.

“Book 1 is a little lighter in numbers this year, but our average and median are very good today,” Russell said. “And if we had more horses, our gross would be the same.”

Stellar Wind, champion 3-year-old filly of 2015, attracted the day’s biggest price when selling for $6 million to Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier. The mare was one of eight to bring seven figures on the day and all were purchased by different buying interests.

Bridlewood Farm teamed with Don Alberto to secure the day’s second highest-priced offering, GI Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss), who sold for $2.3 million. Bridlewood, on its own, also purchased the $1.5-million Street Fancy (Street Sense).

At last year’s opening session, 10 horses sold for seven figures, led by the $3.5-million purchase of Secret Gesture (GB) (Galileo {Ire}).

There was buoyant trade for weanlings Tuesday, as end-users and pinhookers vied for the top offerings. Chris Baccari secured the day’s top-priced weanling when stretching to $775,000 for a daughter of Tapit.

“I thought the foals sold very well, to end users as well as pinhookers,” Russell said. “The ones that jump through all the hoops, I thought they got premium prices for. I think the weanling-to-yearling pinhookers did very well last year, so they are back here in force. And I think end users have decided this is a good place to buy horses, so there is added competition through those two forces.”

The Keeneland November sale continues Wednesday with the second and final Book 1 session of the auction commencing at 11 a.m.


Champion Stellar Wind (Curlin) (Hip 153) proved to be a fitting centerpiece for day one of Keeneland’s November Sale, bringing $6 million from the Coolmore partners. M.V. Magnier, who signed the winning ticket, explained that Stellar Wind fit all the criteria to justify her price tag.

“She is very good looking,” Magnier said. “She’s a champion and she was brilliant throughout her career. Let’s hope we can do a good job with her and she does equally as good as a broodmare.”

One night after Coolmore brought home champion Tepin (Bernstein) for $8 million at Fasig-Tipton November with the intent to breed her to their Irish-based Galileo (Ire), Magnier said Stellar Wind would likely remain Stateside for a date with Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile).

“We came here before the Breeders’ Cup and went around looking at a lot of the American Pharoah foals, and they have really impressed us,” Magnier said. ” And we’ve seen at the sales last night and so far today, the reaction to them has been quite amazing. So speaking to all the lads, we are going to send her to American Pharoah.”

In the context of what has by all accounts been a competitive November market, Stellar Wind’s sales price more than doubled the next highest price at the sale. According to Bill Farish, owner of Lane’s End, the results came as no surprise.

“It’s in the ballpark of what we expected it would be,” Farish said. “Based on [Monday] night, I thought the market would be very strong and it played out that way.”

Voted Eclipse Award champion 3-year-old filly of 2015, Stellar Wind was a two time Grade I winner at four, defeating four-time Eclipse winner Beholder (Henny Hughes) on both of those occasions. She put forth another strong campaign as a 5-year-old in 2017, annexing the GI Apple Blossom H., GI Beholder Mile and GI Clement Hirsch S. for Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler. Standing not far from Magnier in the back walking ring, Sadler took in the experience of watching his stable star pass through the ring.

“It’s really exciting,” Sadler said. “We loved her a lot, we had her for three years, and she was so great for us. We’re sad to see her go, but we’re excited that she’s going on to her next career…It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Stellar Wind sold twice as a yearling for $40,000 at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga sale and $86,000 at that auction house’s Midlantic Fall sale before being privately purchased by Hronis Racing off a maiden win at Laurel Park. She went on to bank over $2.2 million in earnings for her connections with 10 wins from 16 career starts.

Sadler explained that Stellar Wind’s proficiency as a racemare can be attributed to her favorable temperament and athleticism–qualities the trainer believes will also lead to success as a broodmare.

“She’s very feminine, very light on her feet—a really beautiful mover,” Sadler said. “I think she probably checked all the boxes for somebody who wants to breed a really top horse. She’s a lovely mare and she’s been great.” —@BMassamTDN

Bridlewood, Don Alberto Team for Cathryn Sophia

John and Leslie Malone’s Bridlewood Farm teamed with the Solari family’s Don Alberto Corporation to acquire 2016 GI Kentucky Oaks winner Cathryn Sophia (Street Boss–Sheave, by Mineshaft) (hip 30) for $2.3 million during Tuesday’s opening session of the Keeneland November sale. The 4-year-old mare sold in foal to Pioneerof the Nile.

“She’s an Oaks filly in foal to a nice horse on an early cover. What’s not to like,” Bridlewood manager George Isaacs said. “We partnered with Don Alberto–we bought Baffled with them last year. We’re very friendly with them; they are like minded. We both want to breed nice horses, race nice horses and sell nice horses.”

Bridlewood and Don Alberto teamed up to purchase Baffled (Distorted Humor) for a sale-topping $3.5 million at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale.

A $30,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall yearling purchase by Chuck Zacney, Cathryn Sophia carried the Cash is King colors to victory in the Oaks, as well as the 2016 GII Davona Dale S. and GII Forward Gal S. She sold, unmated, to SF Bloodstock for $1.4 million at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Asked if he had considered buying the Oaks winner last year, Issacs smiled, “I did. I guess I just didn’t get my mind around it early enough. It certainly would have been better value to buy her last year.”

Isaacs purchased two mares for Bridlewood Monday evening at Fasig-Tipton, including the $1.5-million Gomo (Uncle Mo).

“It’s a strong market,” Isaacs said of the early bloodstock sales season. “Obviously, if you’re going to play on the upper end of the commercial market, you’re going to have to pay to get the quality that you’re looking for. I actually, thought that price was okay in comparison to what I saw at Fasig-Tipton last night. Maybe because it’s early in the sale, we got a little value. I hope.”

Bedouin Bloodstock consigned Cathryn Sophia on behalf of SF Bloodstock.

“It was a great result for a lovely filly and a great racemare,” Bedouin Bloodstock’s Conor Doyle said. “It’s been a real pleasure to have her around for the last year. She was just so stunning on the racetrack and she was really popular here. We wish Bridlewood all the very best with their purchase and I hope they get a beautiful foal in early January.”

Of the mare’s quick turnaround in the sales ring, Doyle added, “There is always doubts about broodmare capability and all the rest, but I think people liked the mating and she’s done well physically, too. She’s really let down into a stunning mare in the year that elapsed.

He continued, “SF Bloodstock quite often do that. They like to buy successful race fillies and keep their options open. Plenty of them will come back carrying their first foal.” @JessMartiniTDN

Pearson Has a Reason to ‘Party’

Deron Pearson of D.P. Racing has been a fixture on the buying side of the market for years, mostly for yearlings and 2-year-olds heading to trainer Jim Cassidy, but he got involved on the selling side Tuesday with a previous high-profile buy.

With Cassidy acting on his behalf, Pearson scooped up the then stakes-winning and graded-stakes-placed 3-year-old turf filly Oscar Party (Dixie Union) for a sale-topping $510,000 at the Barretts Del Mar Paddock Sale in 2013. She’d go on to finish second in the GII Indiana Oaks on dirt two starts later, and paid back Pearson handsomely Tuesday for his initial investment.

Offered in foal to none other than leading sire Tapit and consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent LII as hip 114, Oscar Party garnered $1.9 million from Reynolds Bell on behalf of Jon Clay’s Alpha Delta Stables.

“I was expecting $1.2 million to $1.4 million,” said Pearson. “It was great to get that price.”

Oscar Party’s first foal, a Tapit colt, followed his dam into the ring, but was bought back for $675,000.

Out of MSW/MGSP Dream Lady (Old Trieste), Oscar Party is a half-sister to Grade III-winning juvenile Major Gain (More Than Ready) when Pearson and Cassidy picked her up, and her page got even stronger when her year-younger half-sister Room Service (More Than Ready) dead-heated in the 2014 GI Central Bank Ashland S. and then annexed the GI American Oaks.

“The market’s been good, and I’ve got a lot of mares,” Pearson said of the decision to sell Oscar Party now. “I mostly race. I’m actually happy the baby didn’t sell after, because I’ll race the baby. It’s nice to still have the baby now that I sold her.”

Pearson estimated that he has about 30 broodmares, and another 100 or so horses in training, including seven or eight in Europe. Pearson is a Las Vegas-based technology entrepreneur and investor who was formerly CEO of Nexus IS, Inc.


‘Rising Star’ Heading to Japan

Multiple graded stakes-winningTDN Rising Star‘ Tammy the Torpedo (More Than Ready) will be heading to Japan for a potential date with sire sensation Deep Impact (Jpn) after Dr. Masatake Iida of Chiyoda Farm fended off all challengers to secure her for $1.65 million in foal to War Front Tuesday. Out of a half-sister to MGSW Criminologist (Maria’s Mon), in turn the dam of MGSW Inspector Lynley (Lemon Drop Kid), Tammy the Torpedo was consigned as hip 163 by Claiborne Farm.

A $225,000 OBSAPR 2-year-old buy, Tammy the Torpedo won five of her 11 starts for trainer Chad Brown, Long Lake Stable and Beacon Hill Thoroughbreds, including the 2016 GIII Suwanee River S. and GIII Violet S. She retired following that win in the Violet in September 2016 with earnings of $355,530.

Japanese buyers were very active during Monday’s Fasig-Tipton November sale, and continued to play at the top end during the KEENOV opener, with Shadai Farm also buying two of the day’s pricier lots to give Japan three of the top nine.

“The economy’s great in Japan right now, and sales overall there have been very strong,” said Nobu Araki of Kentucky-based Polo Green Stable, who was alongside Iida for the bidding process.

Last year at Keeneland November, Iida purchased $1.3-million GISW Summer Soiree (War Front) in foal to Medaglia d’Oro; the stakes-winning 6-year-old mare Goin to the Window (Tapit), also in foal to Medaglia d’Oro, for $420,000; and a Declaration of War weanling colt for $200,000. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Street Fancy to Bridlewood

George Issacs of Bridlewood made his second seven-figure purchase of Tuesday’s first session of the Keeneland November sale when going to $1.5 million to acquire the 4-year-old mare Street Fancy (Street Sense–Bold Angel, by Cat Thief) (hip 158). The bay, in foal to Medaglia d’Oro, won the 2015 GI Starlet S.

“I only had a few mares on my list today and she was my top pick,” Isaacs said. “She’s a Grade I winner, she’s big and strong and in foal to a top stallion on an early cover. It’s everything I’m looking for in a top commercial-type mare. If she just has a good foal, we’re in good shape.”

Street Fancy RNA’d the first four times she went through the sales ring, most notably for $400,000 after working a co-bullet :9 4/5 furlong at the 2015 Barretts Sale. She won the Starlet in her third career outing for Agave Racing Stable.

Covered by Tapit, she was offered not in foal at last year’s Keeneland November sale and sold for $725,000 to Double Way Investments.

“It was unfortunate that this mare didn’t get in foal [last year],” said Frank Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency, which consigned the mare on behalf of a group of investors. “It just seemed like people were concerned about her not being able to get in foal, but we knew that was not the case. She had just come off the track and it was late in the year. So we felt really confident that she would get in foal. So that is what discounted her the first time through [in 2016]. And then we got lucky and bred her to Medaglia d’Oro and we couldn’t have picked a better horse. We just thought she was value last year and we put a Medaglia in her and just got lucky. She’s really a nice mare.” @JessMartiniTDN

Her Emmynency to Reign at Shadai

Tetsuya Yoshida of Shadai Farm signed for three mares Monday night at Fasig-Tipton’s November Sale and continued to make his presence known in the Kentucky market, acquiring Grade I winner Her Emmynency (Successful Appeal) (Hip 56) for $1.5 million at Tuesday’s Keeneland November Sale. Winner of the GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland in 2016, Her Emmynency was offered in foal to Pioneerof the Nile.

“She’s a very, very good looking horse–I love her,” said Yoshida, who did his bidding from the back walking ring. “We have not yet decided where we will go with her.”

A $115,000 KEESEP buy by Ike and Dawn Thrash, Her Emmynency retired in the summer of 2016 with a record of 11-4-2-0 and earnings of $560,595. The 5-year-old, whose career was highlighted by her QEII win and a second in the 2014 GI Del Mar Debutante S., RNA’d for $1.425 million at last term’s Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Her Emmynency was undoubtedly one of the most distinguished mares in the Keeneland Sale, and Yoshida said he was pleased to land her for a reasonable price. Nevertheless, the strength of the November market has necessitated an adjustment in expectations for many buyers.

“It’s been a bit too strong,” Yoshida said with a laugh when asked about the competitiveness of the market, referring to the plethora of high-priced mares to sell at the November Sales. “It’s strong today, but it’s a good market.”

Shadai was also the high bidder on two million-dollar mares at Fasig-Tipton Monday night, bringing home GSW & MGISP Land Over Sea (Bellamy Road) for $1.3 million in foal to Nyquist; and GISW Illuminant (Quality Road) for $1.1 million. Yoshida nearly reached that threshold again late in the day Tuesday, going to $950,000 to acquire MGISP Top Decile (Congrats) (Hip 170).


Summer Wind Blows into Keeneland Early

Prominent breeder Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Farm got the action started right off the bat at Keeneland November Tuesday as she woke up the sales pavilion with a winning $1.4-million bid on the first hip of the session and sale. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent CXLVI on behalf of WinStar Farm, Weekend Whim (Distorted Humor) (hip 1) is a full to Grade I-winning millionaire Any Given Saturday and already the dam of last year’s GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner and this term’s GI Belmont Oaks Invitational heroine New Money Honey (Medaglia d’Oro). Weekend Whim is carrying a full-sibling to that talented Chad Brown trainee.

“She’s a producer, and my plan this year is to try to buy mares who have produced,” Lyon said. “I’m going to try to stick with it if I can, and this looked like a pretty nice opportunity to start my new program. That’s why I bought her.”

When asked about the price, Lyon said, “She cost a touch more than I wanted, but not more than I expected. I’m happy to get her.”

Lyon admitted that she had hoped to get a bargain due to Weekend Whim’s early placement in the catalogue.

“I had hoped it would be advantageous, but I’m kind of wondering how much of an edge we got,” she said. After last night [at the Fasig-Tipton November sale], prices were going so high that I assume everything will cost a little more here too.”

Distorted Humor is emerging as a top broodmare sire, and has been represented by the likes of brilliant ‘TDN Rising Stars’ Arrogate (Unbridled’s Song) and Elate, who is also by Medaglia d’Oro.

“I have several Distorted Humor mares, including Funny Feeling [the stakes-winning dam of GSP GI Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile competitor Gato Del Oro {Medaglia d’Oro}],” Lyon noted. “I think he’s proving to be quite a good broodmare sire… His horses run, and then they also produce, so I’m happy to have another one.”

New Money Honey was a $450,000 KEESEP yearling, and followed full siblings who brought $600,000 and $625,000 as yearlings. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Flay Lands Life Well Lived

Life Well Lived (Tiznow) (Hip 84) has enjoyed a prolonged run of success as a broodmare–most notably producing 2017 GI Maker’s 46 Mile hero American Patriot (War Front)–and the 10-year-old brought healthy attention at Keeneland Tuesday, hammering for $1.25 million to James Delahooke, bidding on behalf of Bobby Flay. Life Well Lived was offered in foal to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

“She’s been a good producer,” said Delahooke, standing in the back walking ring near Flay and Duncan Taylor of Taylor Made Sales, which consigned the mare. “She’s bred a Grade I winner, she’s a half to one as well. Her 3-year-old’s been going well, also. What’s not to like if she’s in foal to a top horse? She’s a beautiful mare, and I bought her for Bobby Flay.”

Her full-brother Well Armed captured the G1 Dubai World Cup in 2009, and Life Well Lived is also a half to GSW Witty (Distorted Humor) and GISP Helsinki (Distorted Humor).

In addition to American Patriot, Life Well Lived recently received two significant boosts when her 3-year-old Well Humored (Distorted Humor), a WinStar Farm homebred, ran her record to two-for-two with a score in an Oct. 28 allowance test at Keeneland, while 5-year-old Muqtaser (Distorted Humor) earned his second graded stakes placing with a runner-up finish in the GII Knickerbocker S. at Belmont Oct. 9.

Given the pedigree power of the mare, Delahooke said her final price was well within the expected range.

“I think she’s well worth [the price],” Delahooke said of the bay, who will join Flay’s broodmare band. “We haven’t had a chance to look at [which stallion] she’ll visit [next].”

As for American Pharoah, Delahooke said his positive impressions of the young stallion made Life Well Lived all the more appealing.

“The [weanlings] look good,” Delahooke observed. “One sold for a half-a-million just ahead of her. He’s doing fine, and I’m sure his yearlings will do well next year.” —@BMassamTDN

Baccari Splurges for Tapit Filly

“I just try to surround myself with the best horses I can possibly get and she happened to be one that we landed on today,” Chris Baccari explained after signing the ticket at $775,000 to acquire a weanling filly by Tapit out of Grade I winner My Conquestadory (Artie Schiller). The bay filly (hip 105) was consigned by Bedouin Bloodstock on behalf of SF Bloodstock, which purchased My Conquestadory with this foal in utero for $1.5 million at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

“She is a very nice filly with a huge pedigree,” Baccari said of the May 11 foal. “She just looks to me like she was born a little late, but she looks like the kind of filly who could develop into anything–with her mother having the race record that she did and being by Tapit.”

Baccari continued, “The plan is to pinhook her. I’ll offer her for resale, if not, we’ll race her.

Baccari purchased a Medaglia d’Oro half-sister (hip 72) to Miss Temple City for $650,000 Monday evening at Fasig-Tipton and he admitted it was competitive bidding for the quality offerings.

“I think if you have good physicals, by the right sire with enough female pedigree, they’ll bring whatever,” he said. “There is just a shortage of those horses. There are some horses who have the right pedigree, but they don’t have the right physical. If they have everything, they are very scarce, so when you find them, you have to go ahead and go after them. I would have loved to have the filly for $600,000, but that wasn’t happening. The filly we bought last night, the same thing. I would have loved to have the Medaglia filly for $500,000, but that’s just not going to happen with that female family.”

Baccari returned later in Tuesday’s session to acquire a weanling colt by Pioneerof the Nile (hip 101) for $425,000.

The sale of the Tapit weanling capped a successful day for Bedouin Bloodstock, which sold three horses on behalf of SF Bloodstock: Cathryn Sophia for $2.4 milllion, Her Emmynency for $1.5 million and the Tapit filly for $775,000.

“It’s just been a great day for Bedouin. We’ve gotten support from SF and had three in and three sold,” said Bedouin’s Conor Doyle.

“She’s a gorgeous filly,” Doyle said of the weanling. “I think the world of her. I am sure Chris will bring her back and make lots of money, but for today, it’s a great result for us.”

Racing for Conquest Stables, My Conquestadory won the 2013 GI Darley Alcibiades S. and GII Summer S. She sold out of the Conquest dispersal last November. Her first foal, a colt by Tapit, sold as a weanling at that same auction for $410,000 before RNA’ing at $525,000 at this year’s Keeneland September sale.

“The filly is very similar to her dam,” Doyle said. “The mare is a big robust mare and this is a late foal with great size for a May 11 foal. She has as much quality as her mom.” @JessMartiniTDN

Five for ‘Ten’ Filly

The market has met the first foals by Triple Crown-winning Horse of the Year American Pharoah with great enthusiasm so far, and among those youngsters to prove popular during Tuesday’s opening KEENOV session was hip 82, a daughter of MGISW Life At Ten (Malibu Moon) consigned by her breeder Adena Springs. The filly cost $500,000 and was signed for by Gainesway’s Brian Graves as Blue Sky Stables. She was acquired on behalf of a pinhook partnership that includes McMahon and Hill’s Spruce Lane pinhook partnership.

“We bought her for a partnership and we intend to resell her next year,” Graves said. “We just thought she was a beautifully balanced filly and maybe one of the best in the sale. American Pharoahs have been selling well, and she’s out of a Grade I winner, so we decided to take a shot.”

Adena paid $1.95 million for Life At Ten at the 2011 Keeneland November Sale. She preceded her daughter into the ring Tuesday as hip 81, and went for $550,000 to SF Bloodstock while in foal to Shackleford.

When asked how he viewed the American Pharoah babies as potential pinhook prospects, Graves said,” The sky’s the limit. He’s a Triple Crown winner. We just bought something by a Triple Crown winner out of a Grade I winner, so we can’t be that wrong.”

Fasig-Tipton’s single-session November Sale Monday saw an American Pharoah filly bring a co-sale-record $1 million, and five weanlings by the Coolmore resident sell for an average of $475,000. At Keeneland, another youngster (hip 76) went for $400,000. So far, American Pharoah’s overall weanling average is $467,857. —@BDiDonatoTDN

O’Callaghans Strike for More Pharoah

Peter O’Callaghan signed the ticket to acquire the first foal of American Pharoah sold at auction Monday evening at Fasig-Tipton and the O’Callaghan brothers were back in action Tuesday at Keeneland, going to $400,000 to obtain a colt from the first crop of the Triple Crown winner (hip 76).

“He had a great presence and a great walk,” Robert O’Callaghan said of the weanling. “For me, he was the best American Pharoah here. The sire speaks for himself. He was such a wonderful racehorse, so we had to get a piece of the action. It’s a lot of money, but he was such a good horse.”

The weanling is expected to return to the sales ring as a yearling next fall.

“We’ll know what the price is worth next September when he comes back,” O’Callaghan said.

Of the weanlings he has seen by American Pharoah, O’Callaghan said, “They all have tremendous action and great presence. We’ve liked what we’ve seen of them so far. They all look like they’ll run.”

The weanling is out of stakes winner and multiple graded stakes placed Kindle (Indian Charlie). He was consigned by Darby Dan Farm on behalf of breeder Henry Nothhaft’s HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing, which purchased Kindle for $50,000 at the 2009 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. @JessMartiniTDN

Androeah Rewards Partnership

A colt by Medaglia d’Oro (hip 8) got a day of brisk weanling trade off to a strong start when selling for $350,000 to the pinhooking partnership of Blue Sky Stables. He was consigned by Stonereath Stud, as agent for Anderson Farms.

“He sold above our expectations, but we always go into the sale with realistic and moderate expectations,” Stonereath’s Peter Berglar said of the result. “We’re very happy with how he sold.”

The bay colt is out of Androeah (Arch), a full-sister to Grade I winner Archarcharch. Stonereath and David Anderson teamed up to buy Androeah, in foal to Candy Ride (Arg), for $240,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale. Her Candy Ride colt sold for $280,000 at last year’s November sale and brought $350,000 when returned to the sales ring at Keeneland this September.

“We have a few mares in partnership with David Anderson and we bought this mare with him,” Berglar said. “She has a fantastic pedigree and she’s by Arch, who we believe is a proven broodmare sire.”

Stonereath also sold a colt by Giant’s Causeway (hip 48) for $300,000 and the mare Inventive (Dixie Union) (hip 66) for $800,000 Tuesday at Keeneland.

“We are very happy with our results today,” Berglar said. “It’s a strong market and the nice horses make good money and are selling well.” @JessMartiniTDN

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