Walmac Farm paid $260,000 for Carella, a 10-year-old half-sister to champion and leading sire Bernardini who is in foal to Kantharos, to record the highest price of Wednesday’s third session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. Carella was sold by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Godolphin, who led all consignors and was represented by five of today’s top six highest-priced horses.
With the purchase, Walmac was the session’s leading buyer.
Keeneland on Wednesday sold 246 horses for $5,605,700, for an average of $22,787 and a median of $8,000. The total rose 2.45 percent from $5,471,700 from the corresponding session last year, the average was up 7.86 percent from $21,126 and the median declined 20 percent from $10,000.
The cumulative gross through three sessions is $41,732,600 for 721 horses compared to $42,320,400 for 770 horses sold during the same period last year. The average of $57,882 increased 5.31 percent from $54,962 in 2022, while the median of $27,000 is up 8 percent from last year’s $25,000.
Godolphin also consigned the day’s second-high seller, Orchestrate, a 9-year-old daughter of Tiznow in foal to Frosted, who sold to J.S. Company Ltd. Out of Contrive, by Storm Cat, she is a half-sister to champion Folklore and from the family of champion Essential Quality.
Other Godolphin mares who sold for six figures were Face Paint, a 4-year-old by Candy Ride (ARG) in foal to Frosted ($175,000 to Park City Investments), Omkara, a 4-year-old by Ghostzapper in foal to Cairo Prince ($160,000 to Stone Farm) and Hidden Wonder, a 4-year-old by Curlin in foal to Street Boss ($150,000 to Adena Springs).
Godolphin USA Director of Bloodstock Michael Banahan said he was pleased with the sale.
“For our mares today, the market was very strong; to have five mares get six figures is a great sale for us,” Banahan said. “We had a lot of foot traffic through the barn yesterday. The same number of people we had over two days last year, we had on one day this year. We were very busy and anticipated the mares would sell well.”
This marks the second consecutive January Sale to include the Godolphin consignment.
“We want to keep our broodmare band as tight as we can,” Banahan said. “We need to make room for fillies coming off the race track that are young fillies we want to give a chance. So it’s a mixture that are going through the sale: young mares that were bred once and sold again and some mares that we felt we’d given a chance and maybe they’d be luckier for someone else down the road, but still with very nice pedigrees.
“People love jumping in and buying our families when they get the opportunity to get in there,” he added. “They know they will be well covered from siblings and sisters and mothers, so they know there’s an opportunity that something good will happen in the family.”
With sales of $1,798,700 for 27 horses, Godolphin was the leading consigner.
A yearling colt from the first crop of Grade 1 winner Vekoma who was supplemented to the sale sold for $180,000 to G1 Investments. Consigned by St George Sales, agent, he is out of the stakes-winning Include mare Inconclusive and from the family of Canadian champion Marchfield; Grade 1 winners Vigliotto and Devil May Care; and Grade 2 winners Minister Eric and Regal Ransom.
The January Sale concludes Thursday with a session beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The auction is livestreamed on Keeneland.com and the FanDuel Plus App.