Longtime owner/breeder Mike Rutherford of Lexington's Manchester Farm fended off several stiff challenges to ultimately land an American Pharaoh half-sister to unbeaten GII Amsterdam S. romper Yaupon (Uncle Mo) for $1.2 million.
The chestnut (hip 291) was consigned to the sale by Bill Betz's Betz Thoroughbreds and bred by Betz, J. Betz, CoCo Equine, former Chicago newscaster Ron Magers and Burns.
“She is beautiful, gorgeous,” said Rutherford while rushing out of the sales pavilion. “Best filly I have seen. Let's hope she can run.”
Rutherford said he currently has six other sons and daughters of American Pharaoh in training. He said he hadn't yet decided on a trainer for hip 291, but he has employed Yaupon's trainer Steve Asmussen in the past.
Betz paid $195,000 for mare Modification (Vindication) at the 2010 Keeneland November sale. She was carrying her first foal by Spring At Last that day, and that $100,000 KEESEP yearling eventually because MGSP Sawyer's Hill. Other sales out of Modification include a $475,000 Candy Ride (Arg) filly, also trained by Asmussen to a couple wins. Yaupon was a $350,000 KEESEP grad, $485,000 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream RNA and $255,000 OBS June purchase by Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt.
Rutherford was congratulated after the sale by Heiligbrodt representative Susan Montanye, and Rutherford said that Heiligbrodt was one of the underbidders on the filly.