The Stars Come Out at Fasig-Tipton

Monomoy Girl in the ring | Fasig-Tipton

by Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY – A dazzling array of race fillies proved demand for high-quality bloodstock remains high during a frenetic renewal of the Fasig-Tipton November Sale at Newtown Paddocks Sunday. Champion Monomoy Girl (Tapizar), who captured her second GI Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff Saturday, topped the sale when bringing a final bid of $9.5 million from B. Wayne Hughes's Spendthrift Farm. The 5-year-old mare, who will return to training with Brad Cox, spearheaded a remarkable night of bidding for the Spendthrift team, which purchased 12 horses for $25,030,000.

“It was a remarkable evening,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning Sunday night. “I think if I would have told someone six months ago when our world kind of changed, or six weeks ago, or six days ago, or even yesterday that we were going to sell $80 million worth of horses tonight and 22 horses for a million dollars or more, they probably would have said I was delusional. But the success of the sale this evening was built upon having a tremendous catalogue of quality horses. It's as simple as that. It really does begin and end with the quality of the horses who were entrusted to us for this catalogue. It was a spectacular catalogue.”

Fasig-Tipton sold 142 horses Sunday for a total of $80,237,000. The average was $565,049 and the median was $200,000. With 69 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 32.7%.

A year ago, 128 head grossed $68,011,000 for an average of $531,336 and a median of $300,000.

Six of the 22 horses who sold for seven figures Sunday were purchased by Hughes's Spendthrift operation.

“I think the kind of mares we zeroed in on for this sale are just not affected very much by market conditions,” said Spendthrift General Manger Ned Toffey. “We were pretty sure that for these high-end mares, it would be pretty competitive. What will the lesser mares and on through the books at Keeneland bring? Who knows. We are as curious to see as anybody.”

Spendthrift captured Saturday's GI Longines Breeders' Cup Classic with Authentic (Into Mischief) before continuing its domination in the sales ring Sunday.

“If Wayne Hughes isn't an inspiration to everybody involved in our industry, I don't know who is,” Browning said. “He is an innovator, he puts his money up, he puts his ideas up and he puts his heart in it. You may not always agree with what he does or what he thinks in terms of business philosophy, but he is willing to get behind his product and he's willing to be different. He's a remarkable man. You can see why he has been an enormously successful businessman. He is a blessing and a great asset to our industry. The participation that Spendthrift demonstrated tonight, and honestly have demonstrated in the stallion game in the last 24 months, has been remarkable and there are bright days ahead for Spendthrift. But I would be completely remiss not to say tip of the cap and a thank you to Mr. Hughes and the whole team there because they were a huge part of the success of the sale tonight.”

While international participation in the marketplace has been limited in recent months due to travel restrictions caused by the global pandemic, Japanese buyers were out in force Sunday at Newtown Paddocks. Katsumi Yoshida purchased four horses for seven figures, led by the $2.2-million Miss Besilu (Medaglia d'Oro), while Shadai Farm purchased Competitionofideas (Speightstown) for $1.3 million.

“There was a broad buying bench with significant participation from Japanese buyers,” Browning said. “I am not surprised. I think one thing we've watched over the last 25 years is that the Japanese breeding industry has a long-term perspective, a much longer term perspective than we do in America and even than the Europeans do. They are looking to acquire the best equine athletes in the world and produce quality racehorses. They bought some exceptional horses tonight. You could kind of sense that there would be a perceived buying opportunity combined with an exceptional catalogue of horses who fit their profile.”

The November sale began with a large offering of weanlings. Larry Best's OXO Equine purchased the highest-priced foal when going to $600,000 for a colt by City of Light. But the buy-back rate remained high throughout much of the weanling section.

“The foal market was as expected: selective,” Browning said. “I don't think there was a question that, overall, the weanling pinhookers who bought in 2019 and sold in the 2020 market had a very difficult year. So it was logical that there would be a little more restraint among the pinhooking group and some of the higher-priced weanlings were sold to end-users. We know that the target continues to get a little narrower–you've got to vet, you've got to have enough pedigree, you've got to be physically good enough. I think there was a little more hesitancy on the weanling side of things tonight than there would have been a year ago and understandably so.”

Monomoy Girl Shines Brightest on Night of the Stars

When Brad Weisbord and Liz Crow's Elite Sales sold two-time champion Tepin (Bernstein) for $8 million at the 2017 renewal of this auction, the partners never imagined they could top that moment, but they did just that Sunday when selling their beloved champion Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) (Hip 192) for a sale-topping $9.5 million to B. Wayne Hughes's Spendthrift Farm.

“I am really proud of her and proud of our whole team,” said Crow after hugging Weisbord and trainer Brad Cox. “It was a really emotional day. It was kind of hard not knowing what was going to happen going up to the ring. We obviously had a lot of interest in her from everyone. You just want her to go to the right hands and I am glad they got her. They obviously know what they are doing with campaigning top horses such as [GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero] Authentic (Into Mischief). I am sure they will do great things with her next year.”

Crow picked out Monomoy Girl for a modest $100,000 at the 2016 KEESEP sale on behalf of Michael Dubb, Sol Kumin's Monomoy Stables, the Elkstone Group and Bethlehem Stables. Entrusted to Cox, the chestnut has won 13 of her 15 starts, with seven of those being Grade Is, and earned over $4.4 million. She already has one Eclipse Award on her resume and is guaranteed to win another this year after capturing her second GI Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff Saturday across town at Keeneland. Monomoy Girl missed her entire 2019 campaign after a battle with colic and then a hamstring injury, but returned better than ever in 2020 with four decisive victories.

“There is a lot of emotion after that,” said Cox. “It was electric to say the least. I am hoping to meet the new connections and lobby for a 2021 campaign.”

Cox was one of the first to congratulate Spendthrift's General Manager Ned Toffey after the hammer fell and was successful in his mission. Toffey announced that Monomoy Girl would return to Cox's care for a 2021 campaign.

While Monomoy Girl will have a chance to add to her long list of racetrack accomplishments before joining Spendthrift's broodmare band, her dam and siblings have also contributed to her already illustrious resume as well. Her dam Drumette summoned $1.85 million from Bridlewood at the 2018 Fasig-Tipton November Sale while carrying a foal by Mastery. Her 3-year-old half-brother, 'TDN Rising Star' Mr. Monomoy (Palace Malice), won one of the divisions of this year's GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds, but was knocked off the GI Kentucky Derby trail with a minor injury. Monomoy Girl's 2-year-old half-brother Superman Shaq (Shackleford) was a $550,000 OBSAPR buy and is also a'TDN Rising Star'.

It was a banner night in many ways for Weisbord and Crow's operation, which sold seven mares for a whopping $22.05 million with an average of $3.15 million. Their star-studded line-up also included $5-million champion Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) (Hip 185); $4.1-million Eclipse winner Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) (Hip 228); $1.3-million GISW Competitionofideas (Speightstown) (Hip 259); $1.05-million GISW Mirth (Colonel John) (Hip 186); $850,000 GSW Bellera (Bernardini) (Hip 248); and $250,000 Voting Agreement (More Than Ready) (Hip 280), a half-sister to Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Vequist (Nyquist).

“We were a little afraid about the economy and the horse market, but we are really thrilled with the results that we got,” Weisbord said. “I think the Monomoy Girl sale and the result from this weekend will be something that, unfortunately, we are never going to top. My partner Liz found her at public auction and she has won 13 of her 15 races. A big knock on our company was we targeted proven horses for many years, especially when I started solo. I teamed up with Liz in 2015 and have seen her rise to the top in the last five years. Monomoy has been a huge part of it and she continues to back it up with [champion] British Idiom (Flashback) and [undefeated GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf heroine] Aunt Pearl (Ire) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). It's just a dream come true. It has been a dream night so far.”  @CDeBernardisTDN

Spendthrift Proves Unstoppable in Their Quest For Star Power

B. Wayne Hughes's Spendthrift Farm has proven to be a force to be reckoned with in the Thoroughbred industry in many ways over the years and Sunday's Fasig-Tipton “Night of the Stars” was no exception. The nursery and stallion operation struck hard and fast throughout the day, taking home many of the star-studded auction's most coveted offerings, topped by $9.5-million sale topper and two-time GI Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Monomoy Girl (Tapizar) (Hip 192).

“They are all really nice mares and we thought it would be a good time to add some more quality to our broodmare band,” said Spendthrift's General Manager Ned Toffey, who did the bidding and signed the tickets on behalf of Hughes.

Toffey said Monomoy Girl, who is a lock to win her second Eclipse Award this year, would return to trainer Brad Cox and prepare for a 2021 campaign.

“She is a superstar. She is an all-timer,” said Toffey. “She will go back to Brad Cox. That's the plan right now, but we will let her decide, as long as everything stays the same. She appears very sound. The vet checked her out and everything looks good. She will train for another year and we have a stallion or two that will suit her. We will sit down with Brad and assess from there.”

The long-term goal for 2021 would be an attempt for a third Distaff. Should she accomplish this feat, Monomoy Girl would actually be the second three-time Breeders' Cup winner in Spendthrift's broodmare band, which is ruled by four-time Eclipse winner Beholder (Henny Hughes).

“She is so tough, talented, great-looking and competitive. The consistency is remarkable,” Toffey said. “She certainly seems to be very sound. We will let her dictate things and, if she continues to be that way, we will let her go through the year and [a third Distaff win] would be a great way to finish up.”

As for the price, Toffey said, “That was very close to what we thought we would have to pay. We thought this is the kind of mare people are looking for. She is very special. That is very close to the high end of our range, but we thought the reality was, she was going to cost that much.”

Spendthrift did not stop there, however. They were back in action immediately, buying the next two hips after Monomoy Girl: hip 193, $1.8-million Mother Mother (Pioneerof the Nile), and hip 194, $800,000 Motion Emotion (Take Charge Indy).

Mother Mother was one of several million-dollar purchases hailing from the Bob Baffert barn. The MSW and MGISP 4-year-old was consigned by Gainesway as a racing or broodmare prospect on behalf of a partnership that included Gainesway, Barry Lipman, Mark Mathiesen, Barry Hall and Andrew Molasky.

“She is a beautiful mare. I love her,” Toffey said. “She will come to the farm and be a broodmare. We didn't have a stallion in particular in mind. She is just a really nice mare we wanted to add to the band.”

Spendthrift purchased a total of 12 horses Sunday, nine of which were mares, for $25.03 million. In addition to Monomoy Girl, the dozen was highlighted by a trio of Grade I winners in Bast (Uncle Mo) (hip 245), She's a Julie (Elusive Quality) (hip 208) and Got Stormy (Get Stormy) (hip 168).

Three-time Grade I winner Bast was the Spendthrift team's second most expensive purchase of the day at $4.2 million. Last seen winning the GII Santa Ynez S. in Jan. 5, the Baffert runner was retired six weeks later due to a soft tissue injury and bred to Triple Crown hero Justify (Scat Daddy).

“No secret here,” Toffey said. “When you see that kind catalogued, you hope you come out here and you're not disappointed. When you see her, you're certainly not disappointed–she's just a big, impressive filly. She's just a superstar; the talent, plus the pedigree, and in foal to a heck of a horse, so we're excited.”

He continued, “He's a wonderful sire–or we think he can be a wonderful sire, I should say. If you can get a chance to get a mare in foal to a horse like that, that's always exciting.”

Toffey went to $3 million to secure stunning, dual Grade I heroine She's a Julie, who will now retire to the Spendthrift broodmare band and is likely to visit the farm's superstar sire Into Mischief.

“This is just a big, gorgeous, talented race mare,” Toffey said. “She will probably go to Into Mischief. She fits him well on paper. She is a really nice mare. We couldn't be more excited to have her. She is a superstar. There aren't too many better looking ones out here than that.”

Racing fans will also get another chance to see two-time Grade I winner and 2019 GI Breeders' Cup Mile runner-up Got Stormy (Get Stormy) compete as Toffey said she will also return to training for 2021.

“She will go back to Mark Casse,” Toffey said. “Mark feels she is very sound and obviously Mark knows her best. She will go to his place in Ocala and get a little time off. Again, we will let the horses tell us, but she also appears to be very sound. We will let Mark give her a little break and then gear up for another campaign.”

As for the mare's future mate, Toffey said, “We have a pretty nice stallion that warrants a mare like that.”

Spendthrift kingpin Into Mischief has had a career-best year in 2020 thanks to the exploits of GI Kentucky Derby and GI Breeders' Cup Classic hero Authentic, who proved the stallion's produce was not distance limited. In addition to Into Mischief's success in the stud barn, he carried Hughes's orange and purple silks to a Grade I victory on the racetrack and his half-sister Beholder is guaranteed a spot in the Hall of Fame after four championship seasons for Spendthrift.

“I was interviewed about Into Mischief the other day and somebody asked me if I knew when we took him to stud, what he was going to be,” Toffey said. “I would be the biggest liar in the world if I said we knew what we had. There is just no way to predict this stuff. He is just a remarkable, remarkable stallion. We think the world of him and we are just glad he is in our barn.”

As for what's next for Authentic, Toffey said, “Stay tuned!” @CDeBernardisTDN

Galileo Date for Rushing Fall

Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) (hip 205), fresh off a runner-up effort in Saturday's GI Maker's Mark Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, is expected to ship to Ireland for a date with super-sire Galileo (Ire) after bloodstock agent Jamie McCalmont went to $5.5 million at Fasig-Tipton Sunday to acquire the 5-year-old on behalf of Coolmore's M.V. Magnier.

“What's not to like?” Coolmore's Adrian Wallace said when asked about the mare's appeal. “She is a wonderful physical. She's a mare that we loved from the moment we saw her. The plan is to send her to Ireland to go to Galileo. The future is bright.”

Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan purchased Rushing Fall on behalf of Bob Edwards's e Five Racing Thoroughbreds for $320,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Yearling Sale. The bay became Edwards's second Breeders' Cup winner when she won the 2017 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf. She also won the 2019 GI Longines Just a Game S., 2018 GI Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup S., and 2020 GI Diana S. , as well as the 2019 and 2020 renewals of the GI Coolmore Jenny Wiley S. at Keeneland. On the board in 14 of 15 starts, she won 11 times and earned $2,893,000.

“She was wonderful from start to finish,” Ryan said. “She never let us down. She is the best filly I've ever bought and one of the best fillies I've ever seen. From a physical appearance standpoint, she was a 10 out of 10. She's gone to a great home. I can't wait to see the offspring out of her.”

Edwards's New Money Honey (Medaglia d'Oro) captured the 2016 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, while his champion 2-year-old Good Magic (Curlin) won the 2017 GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

“The first crop for Bob was New Money Honey and the second crop was Good Magic and Rushing Fall,” Ryan said. “He's had four Breeders' Cup starters, three winners and a second. It's very gratifying and, for the market to appreciate her, it's a wonderful ending.”

Coolmore won out on Rushing Fall following an extended duel, with bids volleying between the pavilion and the back walking ring.

“We were probably running out of petrol,” Wallace admitted. “It was spirited bidding and it's lovely to see on a night like tonight. All of these mares are household names and it's great that people are here in a year like this to be able to support the industry and support those owners and trainers who campaigned them so well. It's great that we can all be here to do it.”

Among the underbidders on Rushing Fall was Hunter Valley Farm's Fergus Galvin, who was doing his bidding on behalf of a partnership in the balcony of the pavilion. Galvin was also an underbidder on the $9.5-million Monomoy Girl (Tapizar).

“They were probably the top two lots in the sale, Monomoy Girl and Rushing Fall,” Galvin said. “They were both exceptional race fillies and physicals. We thought it might have been a little bit of a down year, but the market always has a place for the highest quality and those two were that.”

Asked if he would be back in action when bidding began at Keeneland Monday afternoon, Galvin said, “We'll see. We'll take a deep breath after this and go from there.” @JessMartiniTDN

Allen Buys Out Bisou Partners

Allen Racing's Chuck Allen, seated in the front row next to Bloom Racing's Jeff Bloom, simply couldn't part with their five-time Grade I-winning mare Midnight Bisou (Midnight Lute) Sunday, and fended off some stiff competition to buy out his partners on a winning bid of $5 million. The near $7.5-million earner was consigned as hip 185 by ELiTE.

“I didn't know how that was going to play out, but in the end, Chuck Allen, one of the partners decided he wanted to have her,” said Bloom, who bought Midnight Bisou for just $80,000 at the 2017 OBS April sale. “I'll have to get with Chuck, and obviously I'll help him out with what the future plans are going to be. She's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Chuck to incorporate into his program. I couldn't think of a more impressive broodmare to add to the portfolio for him.”

Midnight Bisou, winner of the 2018 GI Santa Anita Oaks and GI Cotillion S. (via DQ over fellow Friday seller Monomoy Girl {Tapizar}); the 2019 GI Apple Blossom H., GI Ogden Phipps S. and GI Personal Ensign S.; and second this year in both the Saudi Cup and Personal Ensign on either end of a GII Fleur de Lis S. romp, retired at the end of September.

Bloom's outfit and Chuck and Lori Allen were her original owners, with Sol Kumin's Madaket Stables buying in after she finished third to the Kumin co-owned and aforementioned Monomoy Girl in the 2018 GI Longines Kentucky Oaks.

“I'm in shock; I'm really in shock more than anything,” Bloom said. “It's surreal, and it happened so fast even though it was a slow process. I'm just trying to process it more than anything… He's a partner in on the horse, and he was enjoying the bidding. He asked me what I thought. He was on his own at that point–he decided he wanted to have her.”

Bloom said he and the Allens had partnered on most of Bloom's ventures in recent years: “They teamed up with us a number of years ago, and they have their own racing horses and a little bit of breeding, and most recently we've done almost all of our stuff together at Bloom Racing. It's been a great relationship.”

He noted that, “The reality is, it's easier to let it happen in the ring and let the market dictate what the valuation is… If you're going to sell, the best way to decide the number is to put them in the ring.

“I think Chuck realized that this is an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime mare to have as part of your broodmare band. I think a lot of it is in the moment, and you never know how someone's going to react or respond, but it's a win-win. Everybody's happy.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Bast Sale a Business Decision for Chus

Bast (Uncle Mo) (hip 245) won a trio of Grade I races as a 2-year-old last year for Susan and Charlie Chu's Baoma Corp. and the mare further rewarded the operation when selling for $4.2 million to Spendthrift Farm Sunday night in Lexington.

“We want the Chus to treat the horse industry as a business,” explained the couple's bloodstock advisor Donato Lanni. “We enjoy buying horses and Susan needs to realize that there are some horses we need to sell just to keep it going as a business. She loves her horses and every year we want to sell a couple for her and then start over and find another Bast for her.”

Bast broke her maiden in the GI Del Mar Debutante S. last August and added a win in the GI Chandelier S. Third in the GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, she ended her juvenile campaign with a win in the GI Starlet S. In her lone start at three, the bay won the GII Santa Ynez S.

“She was a very decorated filly who was beautiful and ran very well,” Lanni said. “And she was in foal to Justify. The stars lined up and we were very happy with the price.”

Baoma Corp. has been represented by a pair of 'TDN Rising Stars' this year, with Private Mission (Into Mischief) and Happier (On My Way) graduating impressively for trainer Bob Baffert.

“We have some nice fillies for her in California that we are excited about and hopefully one of them turns out to be another Bast,” Lanni said. @JessMartiniTDN

Uni Purchased By Longtime Admirer

With most of his horses in training with Chad Brown, White Birch Farm principal Peter Brant spends a lot of time in the leading trainer's barn, giving him an opportunity to study more than just his own runners. One Brown trainee in particular really caught the horseman's eye over the years and on Sunday she finally became his when Brant went to $4.1 million to secure champion turf mare Uni (GB) (More Than Ready) (Hip 238).

Brant did his bidding over the phone and Brown, who watched the mare sell through the pavilion window, was thrilled to hear his client purchased the 6-year-old mare.

“Peter had the opportunity to see her train a lot,” said Brown after finishing a phone call with Brant. “He spends a lot of time at the barn and he knows all my horses very well, particularly her. He really liked her. He is a hands-on horseman and an excellent horseman. I am thrilled that he bought her. I wasn't sure he was going to bid on the horse, but, like I said, he knows my horses very well, better than any buyer would.”

Elite Sales' Brad Weisbord and Mandore International's Nicholas de Watrigant teamed up to privately purchase Uni on behalf of Michael Dubb, Sol Kumin's Head of Plains Partners, Robert LaPenta and Bethlehem Stables after her first stakes win in France in 2017. Transferred to Brown, her first Stateside win came in that year's GII Sands Point S. at Belmont. The chestnut was four-for-four in 2018, capped by a victory in the GI Matriarch S. and her Eclipse-winning 2019 season was topped by wins in Keeneland's GI First Lady S. and the GI Breeders' Cup Mile. Uni successfully defended her title in the First Lady this term and was fifth in the BC Mile Saturday.

“The owners had four amazing years campaigning her,” Weisbord said. “It is awesome to hear Peter got her. He has become a good friend of mine. We will get to see her for the next 10 or 15 years and be around her foals. I am sure Chad will get to train them. It made a lot of sense. Peter bought Unaided (GB) (Dansili {GB}), Uni's dam, a couple of years ago in France [for €1,250,000 at the Arqana December Sale], so I know how excited he is about the family. Nobody outside of the owners saw Uni train more than Peter.”

Brown paid homage to his champion, who retires with a record of 22-11-3-4 and earnings of $2,650,880.

“She has tremendous durability,” the conditioner said. “She is an extremely sound horse. I'd say she has the fastest turn of foot of any horse I've ever trained. She runs the fastest last quarter of any horse I've ever trained. She has a wonderful temperament. She is a pleasure to train. She will be a hard one to replace.”

Uni's stall will not be the only empty one in Brown's shedrow. Brant retired another of Brown's Eclipse and Breeders' Cup-winning turf mares this week in Sistercharlie (Ire) (Myboycharlie {Ire}). Also, six time Grade I winner Rushing Fall (More Than Ready) (Hip 205)–who finished a close second in Saturday's GI Breeders' Cup F/M Turf–sold during Sunday's auction, going to Coolmore for $5.5 million.

“Now I know how those college coaches feel when they have three top 10 picks in the draft,” Brown said. “They want to be happy for the connections moving on, but they have big shoes to fill. That's what it feels like. You never take it for granted. You have to be optimistic new stars will come, but you have to work your butt off to get them in the barn and when you get them, you really have to take care of them. I'd also like to mention my team. They do such a good job keeping these horses sound. Look at Rushing Fall and Uni's careers, how consistent they were, they were kept safe and sound.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Blum Buys Back Flawless

Prominent commercial breeder Peter Blum made a last-minute decision Saturday night to offer 13-year-old mare Flawless (Mr. Greeley) at Sunday's Night of the Stars after her son Authentic (Into Mischief) sealed up Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old honors, but ultimately bought her back for $4.1 million. Consigned as hip 288 by Blum's longtime advisor Bridie Harrison, the 'TDN Rising Star' was carrying a full-sibling to the Bob Baffert-trained superstar and appeared to garner live bids from the likes of Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Farm.

“I've had this family for at least 20 years,” Blum noted when reached by phone Sunday night. “I'm very familiar with the family. This mare ran as a 3-year-old in New York and won her first start by 13 1/4 lengths under wraps… Not that long after she was retired, Flawless's dam Oyster Baby (Wild Again) died. She was only seven years old. I bumped into [Flawless's trainer] Bill Mott at Keeneland a year or two later and told him, 'I'm a commercial breeder and I don't know whether I can sell foals out of the mare that would bring much money because the page is going to have two blank dams.' Bill's comment to me was, 'Sell your other mares, but keep her.'”

Flawless, who bested a full-sister to none other than Tapit in her debut romp, was second in her only other start at the allowance level. She is a granddaughter of GSW Really Fancy (In Reality) and hails from the female family of highest-level winners Seventh Streeth, Reynaldothewizard and American Gal.

Authentic, her fourth foal, was a $350,000 KEESEP yearling.

“She didn't bring what I expected, and she's worth more to me,” Blum concluded. “She is due to foal a full-brother to Authentic in January.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Bradley and Partners Rewarded Sunday

You couldn't necessarily see it behind his mask, but it was still a safe bet that Pete Bradley was all smiles Sunday after he and his partners' She's a Julie (Elusive Quality) garnered a winning bid of $3 million from the Spendthrift team. The two-time Grade I winner, who was campaigned by Bradley Thoroughbreds, Tim and Anna Cambron, Denali Stud, Rigney Racing and Madaket Stables, was consigned by the Bandoroff family's Denali as hip 208.

“In this year, it is so hard to have expectations–that's the thing,” the bloodstock agent said when asked how the final price stacked up to what he was anticipating. “If you looked at what she was… I told somebody, if this was 2019, she's $2.5 million to $3 million. Here, I didn't know. It's good to see that quality sells; that pedigree, beauty and race record can bring that kind of money. When we all get lucky enough to get a filly like that, you should reap a reward. She's a beauty, and I'm so glad Spendthrift bought her; I'm so glad I'll be able to see her offspring run.”

Bradley had passed on She's a Julie at the 2016 Keeneland September sale when she sold for $160,000, but led a group to buy into her after she took the 2018 GIII Iowa Oaks (click for more). That investment soon proved shrewd, as she finished second in the GI Alabama S. next out, took two more Grade IIIs and then annexed the GI La Troienne S. last year on the GI Kentucky Oaks undercard. She added the GI Ogden Phipps S. this June, ultimately retiring with seven wins and nearly $1.2 million in earnings under Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen's tutelage.

“I'm always cautiously optimistic, but she was way over her reserve; our racing partnerships are here to sell when we are finished with the racing end of it,” Bradley said when asked if seeing other high-dollar mares sell well prior to She's a Julie gave him any added confidence. “What Steve Asmussen did with this filly is unbelievable; we were lucky to get in when we got in on her. This is another one that nobody passed the vet on as a yearling, and I hope that keeps echoing back to the buyers of yearlings that they don't have to be perfect to be sound. She was everything we could've hoped for and it was one of the best rides I've ever had, and I've been lucky to have some good ones.”

Past Bradley stand-outs to sell at Fasig November include Dayatthespa (City Zip) (2014, $2.1 million) and Dacita (Chi) (Scat Daddy) (2017, $1.85 million). —@BDiDonatoTDN

Got Stormy Gets Mare Portion Started

MGISW turfer Got Stormy (Get Stormy) was the first big-name mare through the ring Sunday evening at Fasig-Tipton, and GI Breeders' Cup Classic-winning Spendthrift Farm came out on top to take her home for $2.75 million. The 5-year-old was consigned to the sale by Meg Levy's Bluewater Sales as hip 168 on behalf of owner Gary Barber.

“Starting out with this being the first [mixed] sale of 2020, I didn't really know what to expect,” Levy admitted. “And this was the first big mare we were taking through the ring tonight. The foal market looked a tad spotty to me–just starting out, but it's really two separate markets. So, I have to say I was a bit nervous walking up here. She had plenty of attention, but 2020 has been filled with surprises–now it's a happy one.”

Produced by a half-sister to Grade II winners Smooth Air (Smooth Jazz) and Overdriven (Tale of the Cat), Got Stormy was a $45,000 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-year-old in 2017. She was sold privately to Barber off a fourth-place run as a maiden at Gulfstream second out the following January, and was turned over to Mark Casse. The chestnut annexed the GIII Ontario Colleen S. that summer, but really hit her stride last year in the second half of her 4-year-old season, besting the boys in the GI Fourstardave H. at Saratoga, finishing second in the GI Breeders' Cup Mile and adding the GI Matriarch S. She cut back this fall to take the GIII Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint S. and GIII Buffalo Trace Franklin County S., and was fifth in the GI Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint on Saturday.

Bluewater had a very strong sale here 12 months ago in no small part thanks to Barber, whose Canadian Horse of the Year Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d'Oro) brought $2 million; Belvoir Bay (GB) (Equiano {Fr}), who had upset that year's Turf Sprint, who went for $1.5 million; and Grade II winner Road to Victory (Quality Road), co-owned with John Oxley and in foal to War Front, who sold for $1.45 million.

“He's been very kind to us and put most of his good fillies through the ring with us,” Levy said of Barber. “Last year was a banner year, but it's hard to expect that every year. I'm glad [Got Stormy] will stay in America–that's even more fun.” @BDiDonatoTDN

Japan's Northern Farm Stays Busy at Fasig

Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm is always quite active at both November sales, collecting top mares to bring home to Japan. Despite the pandemic, this year was no different, as the farm's Manager of International Affairs Shingo Hashimoto signed four tickets Sunday, topped by $2.2-million Miss Besilu (Medaglia d'Oro) (Hip 273).

Ben Leon's Besilu Stables purchased the regally bred mare for $2.6-million as a weanling at the 2011 KEENOV sale as part of the Edward P. Evans dispersal. Three Chimneys acquired her as part of a package of horses they purchased from the now extinct Besilu operation. Out of SW & GSP Quiet Dance (Quiet American), the MGISP 'TDN Rising Star' is a half to Horse of the Year Saint Liam (Saint Ballado); GISW Funtastic (More Than Ready); and GSW Quiet Giant (Giant's Causeway), who is the dam of Horse of the Year Gun Runner (Candy Ride {Arg}).

Miss Besilu's first foal Gun It (Tapit) also summoned $2.6 million, but as a Keeneland September yearling, and was purchased by Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm. The colt followed in his dam's hoofprints as a 'TDN Rising Star' and was multiple graded stakes placed. Miss Besilu is also responsible for the unraced 3-year-old gelding Portinari (Candy Ride {Arg}) and unraced juvenile filly Minha Paixao (Curlin). She did not produce a foal in 2019 and her 2020 Into Mischief colt (hip 272) preceded her into the ring, RNAing for $1 million. She is back in foal to Into Mischief.

“The mare was hugely popular because people have seen her foals, including the one in the sale, and Gun It brought $2.6 million,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made, who consigned the mare and foal on behalf of Three Chimneys. “She comes from this unbelievable family, hopefully soon to be a sire-producing family with Gun Runner. The mare herself was just an oil painting. She is just beautiful. She has so much class. She was a hard mare to appraise all week, but we knew she would bring a lot. I think that was a fair price. She is going to Japan. They have a hell of a product and she has a lot of blue sky left with her pedigree. I think it was a great sale.”

Hashimoto also signed Yoshida's name on the tickets of $1.95-million Paris Bikini (Bernardini) (Hip 196), the dam of GI CCA Oaks winner Paris Lights (Curlin), who sold in foal to Curlin; $1.1-million GSW La Sardane (Fr) (Kingsalsa) (Hip 177), carrying her first foal by Justify; and $1.05-million GISW Mirth (Colonel John) (Hip 186), who is carrying her first foal by Constitution.

Hashimoto noted that a decision on when or if the mares would ship to Japan would be made after his shopping was complete later this week. @CDeBernardisTDN

Friday Results Lead to Sunday Profits for Ocala Stud

The O'Farrell family of Ocala Stud couldn't have drawn up the results of Future Stars Friday at the Breeders' Cup any better, as they were holding a half-sister to GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile hero Essential Quality (Tapit) in foal to red-hot freshman sire Nyquist, who was represented by GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies upsetter Vequist. Ocala Stud paid $130,000 for unraced Indelible (Tiznow) in foal to Bernardini at last year's Keeneland November sale, and cashed out Sunday to the tune of $1.6 million. The Lane's End consignee (hip 269) was purchased by Japan's Nobutaka Tada and, as if her pedigree needed any more recency, she hails from the family of recent Japanese Triple Crown winner Contrail (Jpn) (Deep Impact {Jpn}).

“It was a great result; obviously, Friday was a big day,” David O'Farrell said. “We bought the mare last year from Godolphin–we like to try to buy mares in foal from nice young families and from good outfits. This was just one where everything came to fruition. It was just unbelievable how things worked out. We're very fortunate. Lane's End did a great job and we wish the owners the best of luck.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Positive Spirit Keeps Partnership Alive

Mike Ryan and longtime friend and partner Gerry Dilger enjoyed their biggest success as breeders when Always Dreaming (Bodemeister) captured the 2017 GI Kentucky Derby. The Derby winner was out of Above Perfection (In Excess {Ire}), a mare the two Irishmen purchased for $450,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton November sale. While Dilger passed away in March, the partnership enjoyed one last success with Above Perfection when her graded-stakes winning daughter Positive Spirit (Pioneerof the Nile) (hip 226) sold for $1.5 million to Spendthrift Farm Sunday at Fasig-Tipton.

“We bought the mare here in 2006 carrying Hot Dixie Chick (Dixie Union) and when she won the Spinaway, we thought we were geniuses,” Ryan recalled. “It was nothing on our part, we didn't do the mating. But we did breed Always Dreaming, which was a career highlight for both of us.”

Ryan continued, “And then Above Perfection followed up with this filly who surpassed our expectations. She got injured as a yearling and we couldn't sell her, but she turned out to be a good race filly.”

Racing for Ryan and Dilger, Positive Spirit won the 2018 GII Demoiselle S. and was second in the 2019 GII Gazelle S.

Of the decision to sell the 4-year-old filly, Ryan said, “We have a Curlin yearling half-sister and we have a filly foal by Quality Road who is very nice. And the mare is in foal to Justify, so it was a business decision. The fact that we have siblings coming along made it a lot easier. It's very emotional because my friend's not here, but Always Dreaming's name will always be on the top of the rafters at Churchill Downs.” @JessMartiniTDN

Dorman Broodmare Band Off to Fast Start

Matt Dorman has been racing horses with trainer Phil Schoenthal for the last decade, but after buying a farm in Maryland this year, he made the plunge into the breeding industry and got his fledgling broodmare band off with a bang with the $1.1-million purchase of Desert Isle (Bernardini) (hip 187) Sunday evening at Fasig-Tipton. Dorman did his bidding in the pavilion alongside John Sikura and Schoenthal.

“We've been in the business for about 10 years, but this is the year we actually bought a farm, so we are starting to build out a broodmare band and we are working with John on some stallions as well,” Dorman, co-founder of Credible Behavioral Health Software, said. “For the right price, we will probably be buying between five and 10.”

Dorman first became a fan of racing when going to the track with his late father, longtime Maryland state senator Arthur Dorman. He campaigned stakes winner Sonny Inspired (Artie Schiller) in the name of his D Hatman Thoroughbreds.

“I've been in the business a while,” Dorman said. “I used to go to the track with my father and I was always attracted to the breeding side. Phil has been my trainer for 10 years and we've done well racing-wise, so we are just taking it up to the next level. Some of the mares will be based in Maryland, but this mare will be based at Hill 'n' Dale.”

Part of the dispersal of historic Sam-Son Farm, Desert Isle is a daughter of champion Eye of the Sphynx (Smart Strike) and is a half-sister to champion Eye of the Leopard (A.P. Indy). The 5-year-old mare, a stakes winner on the track, sold Sunday in foal to American Pharoah.

“I stretched further than I wanted to, but I grew up appreciating Sam-Son,” said Sikura. “They are one of the last great breed-to-race outfits. They were enormously successful and I have complete appreciation for Ernie Samuel and the founders and how they developed these pedigrees. I think it is a unique opportunity to get into a terrific reproducing family. I started in the business when I was 15 years old and for the last 40 or 50 years, every year it's Sam-Son, Sam-Son, Sam-Son. So I have respect for what they've developed. They deserved to get the premium. Bernardini is a great broodmare sire and the mare had talent and it's already on the page with daughters and granddaughters that trace back to a fantastic family. I think it's a selective market. I gave beyond where I wanted to be, but in the end I have a great new partner who wants to establish a boutique group of mares. That's always been something I strive for.”

Also Sunday at Fasig-Tipton, Dorman, under the name Determined Stud, purchased Hollywood Royal (Distorted Humor) (hip 172) for $425,000, Andina (Ire) (Singspiel {Ire}) (hip 240) for $200,000 and Benvenutta (Tapit) (hip 249) for $400,000. @JessMartiniTDN

City of Light Colt Shines at Fasig

A colt from the first crop of MGISW City of Light (Quality Road) (hip 129) was the day's highest-priced weanling, hammering to Larry Best's OXO Equine for $600,000. One of the underbidders involved in the frenzy for the colt was City of Light's trainer Mike McCarthy, who was bidding on behalf of the stallion's owners Mr. & Mrs. William Warren.

“I have watched him win some of those big, big races and I was always in awe of him,” said Best. “It wasn't as much about the pedigree as the physical. I really fell in love with the physical. When I went back and considered the pedigree, it was strong enough. It is the first time I have bought a colt out of an Into Mischief filly, so we will see. It was really driven by the visual. This horse looks like he will grow up to be a two-turn horse. I hope.”

Best also bought a trio of mares, topped by $1.3-million One True Kiss (Warrior's Reward) (hip 195), who sold in foal to Into Mischief.

The Hyde family of Camas Park Stud purchased hip 129's dam Breaking Beauty (Into Mischief) for $300,000 with this colt in utero at the 2019 Keeneland November Sale. This colt is the first foal for the half-sister to to GSWs Osidy (Storm Cat) and Quetsche (Gone West).

“He was vetted at least a dozen times,” said Fergus Galvin of Hunter Valley Farm, who consigned the colt. “It sailed past our reserve and our expectations. Obviously he was a beautiful colt, but in this current climate, you can't get too ambitious with reserves. He had a realistic reserve and brought a great price.”

A $710,000 KEESEP yearling purchase, City of Light captured four Grade Is, including the 2018 GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and 2019 GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S. for earnings over $5.62 million.

“We are active on both fronts, selling and buying weanlings, and we have seen a few City of Light weanlings who are really nice,” said Galvin. “He is really stamping his stock. They have great frames, great physiques with nice movement about them.”

Three members of City of Light's first crop went through the ring Sunday for a total of $1.215 million and an average of $405,000. @CDeBernardisTDN

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