Brisk trade produced healthy results during Tuesday’s second session of the January Horses of All Ages Sale, topped by the sale of the multiple Grade 3-winning Distorted Humor mare House Rules, in foal to Quality Road, to WinStar Farm for $750,000.
On Tuesday, Keeneland sold 242 horses for $17,805,100, for an average of $73,575 and a median of $35,000. During the second session in 2018, 229 horses grossed $15,036,900, for an average of $65,663 and a median of $25,000.
Through two sessions of the four-day January Sale, 465 horses have grossed $38,857,300, for an average of $83,564 and a median of $37,000. During the corresponding period in 2018, 415 horses brought a total of $28,302,000 for an average of $68,198 and a median of $37,000.
“Today was very good; trade was quite strong all the way through,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “It was a continuation of yesterday with short yearlings selling exceptionally well. The mares did step up to the plate today with competitive bidding. I give credit to the consignors. These are very professional people. They have a good gauge on the market. They know what sells. The market is bringing the prices. I give them credit for pricing the horses correctly.”
The session-topping House Rules is an 8-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor out of the Mutakddim mare Teamgeist (ARG), a multiple group winner in Argentina. She was consigned by Blackwood Stables, agent for Phase 1 Dispersal of JV Shields Jr. Shields, a longtime Thoroughbred owner and breeder who was involved with numerous racing organizations, died in October.
“House Rules in foal to Quality Road was the complete package,” Russell said. “She’s going to a good home in WinStar Farm. We are sorry for the circumstances of the sale because Mr. Shields was a good friend, but I’m glad it all worked out.”
“It is a very bittersweet moment, but we are glad the market appreciated all of Jerry Shields’ horses. said Katey Caddel, Director of Client Relations and Bloodstock for Blackwood Stables. “He was an avid supporter of the sport and truly loved this game and that is reflected in his horses. We are proud to sell them here, but obviously a bittersweet moment.”
“She’s a ton of quality, a really beautiful mare that was obviously a top runner and we love the cover, so we’ve been waiting for her all day,” WinStar General Manager David Hanley said about House Rules. “Delighted to get her. It’s tough to buy the mares you want, but she’s the one we wanted to get today so we’re really happy. We haven’t discussed (who she will be bred back to), but we’re excited to see the Quality Road (foal) out of her. I think that’s a great mating for her.”
With two purchases for $1,085,000, WinStar was Tuesday’s leading buyer.
Three Chimneys Farm purchased 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) runner-up Best Performance, supplemented to the January Sale, for $560,000. Cataloged as a racing or broodmare prospect by Lane’s End, agent, the 4-year-old daughter of Broken Vow is out of the winning Smart Strike mare Give My Regards. She is from the family of Grade 3 winner Broadway Empire.
“She’s by a stallion we’ve got a lot of respect for, and she could run,” Three Chimneys Chief Operating Officer Chris Baker said. “In this day and age, if you like them or like that many things about them you’ve gotta stretch to get them. We’re happy to have her. We don’t know who to yet, but she’ll be bred in 2019.”
“We are very happy with the price,” said Erin Birkenhauer, Racing Manager and Communications Manager for West Point Thoroughbreds, which raced Best Performance with partners. “She was a little tough to gauge. But she was so precocious as a 2-year-old and combined with her looks – she is gorgeous – she is a (blank) canvas. We are excited to see what she can produce. Not many 2-year-olds showed up as many times as she did. She was so consistent on both dirt and turf. She was versatile. We knew with the market being so hot right now that it was a good time to let her go on to a be a broodmare.”
Lane’s End, agent, was the leading consignor Tuesday with sales of $2,429,000 for 22 horses.
Gabriel Duignan’s Springhouse Farm paid $450,000 for Media Mischief, a 5-year-old daughter of Into Mischief in foal to Pioneerof the Nile. Eaton Sales, agent, consigned Media Mischief, a half-sister to multiple French Group 1 winner Nebraska Tornado, French Group 2 winner Burning Sun and Grade 3 winner Mirabilis. Their dam is Grade 2 winner Media Nox (GB), by Lycius.
“She’s a nice mare with a nice page, a lot to like about her,” Duignan said. “I haven’t made any (breeding plans) yet for her.”
Sweet Dreams, a 7-year-old stakes-placed daughter of Candy Ride (ARG) in foal to leading sire Tapit, sold to Eaton Sales Bloodstock for $420,000. Consigned by Hidden Brook, agent, she is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Strike Charmer and from the family of champion Gold Beauty. Her dam is the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Cat Charmer.
“She was bought for a partnership and will be bred to (2018 Triple Crown winner) Justify,” Eaton’s Reiley McDonald said. “I thought it was a great buy since she’s a mare in foal to Tapit. She is from a good family and with a good covering sire. I think in (Keeneland’s) November (Breeding Stock Sale) she would have brought another $100,000 possibly. She was a nice January mare. She was well sold and well bought. Fair trade.”
Montia Holdings purchased Lavender Chrissie, a 7-year-old stakes-winning daughter of Scat Daddy in foal to Union Rags, for $400,000. Lane’s End, agent, consigned the mare, a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Baby J and stakes winner Laureate Conductor.
“We have known her since she was a yearling, and we knew her as a racehorse,” said bloodstock agent David Ingordo, who signed the ticket. “She is in foal to Union Rags and (her sire) Scat Daddy needs no introduction. We think he is going to be a super broodmare sire. She is as pretty a mare as is going to walk up here. The buyer is going to build a racing and broodmare band. He knows I work at Lane’s End and he knew the mare was there so he said, ‘If you like her, buy her.’ She will probably go to one of our stallions at Lane’s End.”
Albert Racing spent $390,000 to acquire Tuesday’s top-priced yearling, a colt by Union Rags consigned by Indian Creek, agent. He is the first foal out of the Bernardini mare Zondaq, a half-sister to Grade 2 winners Discreet Dancer and Travelin Man and stakes winner Sweet N Discreet.
“That sale price was very good; he was a really nice colt that was well received,” Indian Creek President Shack Parrish said. “It was above what we expected, but we loved it. The credit must go to our former farm manager, who did the majority of the prep on this guy.”
Two yearlings brought $250,000 each.
McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, agent, went to that amount to acquire a colt from the first crop of champion Runhappy who is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Sandbar. Consigned by Clarkland Farm, he is out of the stakes-winning Vicar mare Summer Cruise.
“We are really excited about the Runhappy yearlings,” Mike McMahon said. “Jamie (Hill) and I marked him as one of the sires we wanted to buy (offspring of) for our pinhooking partnership. This colt reminds me of Runhappy. He is one of the colts that most resembles his sire and he is a cool, classy colt.”
A colt by Kitten’s Joy out of the winning Officer mare Illegal Search brought a final bid of $250,000 from Dudley Racing. Consigned by Indian Creek, agent, the colt is from the family of multiple graded stakes winner Lemhi Go.
A yearling colt by Cairo Prince out of the Elusive Quality mare Lady Lapuma, consigned by Stuart Morris, agent, brought $230,000 from B B N Bloodstock.
“We’re very excited with the result,” Morris said. “He is a lovely colt and has been his whole life. My father (Jeffry Morris) bred and raised him so I’ve been around him since he was a baby. This is very rewarding for my father, who bought the third dam (Raise a Holme) when I was in high school. I foaled his mother, his grandma, and it has been very rewarding for the two of us because he was a 30-year project for my dad.
“The price was well over the reserve; my father is a seller and we’re farmers. We bring our crop to market, put it at a fair price and then let the market determine its value.”
“He’s a beautiful colt,” said WinStar’s David Hanley, who signed the ticket. “One of the best Cairo Princes I have ever seen. I love that his dam has a (stakes-placed filly, Makena, by Cairo Prince’s sire) Pioneerof the Nile. And we love that the second dam is by Lord At War (ARG) and Pioneerof the Nile’s broodmare sire is Lord At War. We really like this colt for a racehorse and we are very happy to get him.”
The January Sale runs through Thursday. All sessions begin at 10 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live on Keeneland.com.