The Keeneland January Horses of Racing Age Sale got off to a strong start on Tuesday with brisk commerce from start to finish as evidenced by healthy results and the sale of Princesse Lele, a 2-year-old filly by Quality Road out of Grade 1 winner and millionaire Carina Mia, for $750,000 to Three Chimneys Farm.
On Tuesday, Keeneland sold 249 horses for $18,015,200, for an average of $72,350 and a median of $39,000. Last year, 206 horses grossed $12,095,400, for an average of $58,716 and a median of $35,000.
“We were expecting a good day of trade with some nice quality toward the end, and that’s the way it happened,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “The numbers were pretty stable with last year until about halfway through the day. Then they starting creeping ahead. We are up nearly 49 percent on gross from 2021, so that’s really strong for the first day.
“It’s great to see the domestic market very, very strong,” Lacy said. “There continues to be a lot of positivity. Demand for quality was as eager as ever.”
Three Chimneys Farm was the day’s leading buyer, spending $1.16 million to acquire Princesse Lele and another juvenile filly, Justly, for $410,000 from the consignment of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.
Justly is a daughter of Triple Crown winner Justify and champion Take Charge Brandi, by Giant’s Causeway. From the family of Grade 1 winner and millionaire Omaha Beach, she descends from Grade 1 winner, $2 million earner and Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady. Take Charge Lady is the dam of champion and Three Chimneys sire Will Take Charge, Grade 1 winner and sire Take Charge Indy and As Time Goes By, winner of the La Canada (G3) on New Year’s Day.
Three Chimneys teamed with Whisper Hill Farm to pay $470,000 for Grade 3-placed Remedy, a 7-year-old mare by Creative Cause from the family of two-time champion Beholder, leading sire Into Mischief and Grade 1 winner and young stallion Mendelssohn. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Taylor Made also consigned the 11-year-old stakes-winning Ghostzapper mare Haunted Heroine, dam of Dec. 26 Santa Anita Mathis Mile (G2) winner Law Professor, who sold to Andrew Warren for $420,000. Out of Mona Mia, by Monarchos, she is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and millionaire Celestine.
Taylor Made led all consignors during the session by selling 54 horses for $4,564,000.
Mike Cline, who signed the ticket for Haunted Heroine, said the mare would be bred to City of Light.
“She is proven, and there are not too many of them around (for sale),” Cline said. “You never know about price until you get in there (sales ring). It was full price, but we are happy to have her. Hard to find one like her in January.”
Eight-time stakes winner Hello Beautiful, a 5-year-old daughter of Golden Lad who was supplemented to the January Sale, sold for $410,000 to Larry Best’s OXO Equine. Consigned by ELiTE, agent, she is out of the Tiznow mare Hello Now.
Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach was pleased with the interest generated by the supplemental entries.
“We had a lot of quality in the initial catalog with seven of the top 10 sellers from the main catalog,” Breathnach said. “The supplements allow us the freedom to accommodate people with really good fillies like Hello Beautiful, who was a very welcomed addition, and Inthemidstofbiz, who won the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) at Keeneland and sold today for $300,000 as a supplement.
“We always felt good about the body of the catalog, but to be able to add some quality at the back end with the supplements made the catalog finish strongly and create momentum.”
Consigned by Buckland Sales, agent, Inthemidstofbiz sold to SF Bloodstock and Newgate Farm.
Narvick International paid $375,000 for the session’s top-priced yearling, a son of Gun Runner from the family of Grade 2 winners Memorette and Gervinho. Hunter Valley Farm, agent, consigned the colt, whose dam is the winning Empire Maker mare Take a Memo.
The colt was purchased for an undisclosed client by Narvick’s Emmanuel de Seroux, who said the colt would race in the U.S.
“First, he is by Gun Runner and, second, he is a very athletic horse and walks very well,” de Seroux said in explaining the colt’s appeal. “We loved everything about him. He had very good presence about him and is a very classy horse.”
Three Chimneys also was involved in the final offering of Tuesday’s session: a 2022 no-guarantee season to Gun Runner, the leading first-crop sire of 2021, which was auctioned to raise funds for relief efforts for people affected by the recent catastrophic tornadoes in Western Kentucky. Gun Runner stands at Three Chimneys and is co-owned by the farm and Ron Winchell.
Bill Layni paid $130,000 for the season, which the stallion’s owners donated.
“This was a wonderful gesture by Ron Winchell and Three Chimneys, and Keeneland was happy to have been able to support their effort,” Lacy said. “It’s great to see the horse industry get behind the Western Kentucky tornado relief effort, which is very important to our state.”
The January Sale continues Wednesday with the second of four sessions that run through Friday. All sessions begin at 10 a.m. ET.
The entire auction is livestreamed on Keeneland.com.
TVG2 will feature live coverage of tomorrow’s session from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
The entire sale is shown on the Watch TVG App.