Spendthrift Farm paid $3.1 million for the Grade 1-winning Curlin filly Paris Lights to lead Wednesday’s Book 1 opening session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Paris Lights, who was supplemented to Book 1, was the third-to-last horse to appear in the ring during the session, which featured seven horses who sold for more than $1 million each and the highest price paid for a weanling at public auction in North America this year.
“It was a good, steady, strong session,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “We felt great about the way today went. It was as we had expected and hoped. We heard a lot of people say it was tough to buy. They didn’t get to fill their orders so hopefully they’ll be looking to do that in the next nine sessions.”
Keeneland sold 118 horses Wednesday for $50,634,000, for an average of $429,102 and a median of $330,000. Last year, 128 horses sold for $49,775,000, for an average of $388,867 and a median of $280,000.
“Overall it was a very honest, fair, encouraging session,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “The popularity and success of American pedigrees across the world is evident. (International buyers) are excited to be back (after the pandemic travel restrictions of the past). As we welcome more visitors from around the world, we see a more diverse group. They are active and they are going to be active into Books 2 and 3. They are not going anywhere anytime soon. That is encouraging as we step forward into the next year or two.”
Paris Lights was consigned by ELiTE, agent, as a racing or broodmare prospect. A 4-year-old filly out of the winning Bernardini mare Paris Bikini, she is from the family of Broodmare of Year Better Than Honour, Grade 2 winner Smolensk and Grade 3 winners America and First Captain.
“Very classic American racehorse – big, scopey filly,” Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said. “I think she will fit Into Mischief (who stands at Spendthrift) really well. We are happy to have her.”
Toffey said, “The market is very strong. It was pretty good across the board and very competitive. We tried on one earlier and didn’t get her. (The price for Paris Lights) was very much what we thought we would have to pay. We were hoping to get her for less. She comes from as good a family as we have in the stud book. We are (always) trying to add select mares to our broodmare band.”
Paris Lights raced for the WinStar Stablemates Racing partnership.
“For her to be our first Grade 1-winning filly in such a short time period is very special in and of itself,” WinStar Stablemates Director Mary Cage said. “And for her to then be able to come to Keeneland November and sell for such a high price tag really speaks to the quality of fillies and mares that we’re able to offer to these people to be part of the ownership experience.
“Partnerships and syndicates are so important to getting people into the sport for a fraction of the cost, a fraction of the risk,” Cage added. “And to be able to do it at this level, I think is a second-to-none sort of experience that they’re gonna remember forever.”
Masahiro Miki of Japan paid $2.3 million for the Grade 3-winning Tapit mare Pink Sands, who is carrying her first foal by Into Mischief. Consigned by Gainesway, agent, the 6-year-old mare is out of Grade 1 winner Her Smile, by Include.
“She exceeded what we thought we’d get for her coming here by a bit,” Gainesway General Manager Brian Graves said about Pink Sands. “It wasn’t a lot more than we felt we could possibly get for her, but obviously everybody’s really happy. She was really quality. We felt we had a chance to be one of the best mares in Book 1 with her, and we’re just really thrilled with that.”
Miki was the session’s leading buyer, spending $3,675,000 for three horses.
Claiborne Farm, agent, went to $1.4 million to acquire Satin And Silk (IRE), a 4-year-old daughter of Galileo (IRE) carrying her first foal by undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify. Consigned by Eaton Sales, agent, the mare is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Materiality and Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed My Miss Sophia and from the family of Grade 1 winners Embellish the Lace and Afleet Express. Her dam is stakes winner Wildwood Flower, by Langfuhr.
“(Satin And Silk was purchased) for a farm client,” said Bernie Sams, Claiborne’s Stallion Seasons & Bloodstock Manager. “We liked her, and My Miss Sophia is at the farm and we know the family.”
The family recorded a recent update when Annapolis, a colt by War Front out of My Miss Sophia won the Oct. 3 Pilgrim (G2) at Belmont Park.
Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings spent $1.15 million for the Scat Daddy mare Downside Scenario, who is carrying a full sibling to Grade 2 winner Mutasaabeq. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, the 8-year-old mare is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Cool Cowboy. Her dam is Grand Breeze, by Grand Slam.
“That was a little above expectations,” seller Will Daugherty of BlackRidge Stables said about the price for Downside Scenario. “We bought this mare in 2018 (at Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale) for $250,000 and obviously had a great success right off the bat with Mutasaabeq (sold for $425,000 at the 2018 November Sale). And she just kept delivering for us all the way through the end. We had a great partner in Randy Hill on her from start to finish. We’re glad to see her move on.”
Taylor Made Sales Agency was the session’s leading consignor, selling 29 horses for $8,615,000.
Three horses sold for $1.2 million apiece.
Dana Bernhard paid the amount for the winning, stakes-placed Tapit filly Mind Out, who was cataloged as a broodmare prospect. Consigned by Gainesway, agent, Mind Out is a 4-year-old half-sister to Canadian champion Miss Mischief whose dam is the stakes-placed Lemon Drop Kid mare Kid Majic. She is from the family of Grade 1 winners J P’s Gusto and Letruska.
“She’s a beautiful Tapit filly, showed a lot of talent on the track,” said Matt Weinmann, who represented the buyer. “It’s a really nice family. We’ve played with a few horses in that family. We’re really excited about her. The Bernhards are just getting their broodmare band going, and she’s going to be one of our standout broodmares at the farm.”
Bernhard also spent $700,000 for Glitter and Gold, a half-sister to champion Swiss Skydiver who is in foal to Curlin. Glitter and Gold is a winning daughter of Bodemeister.
“Those are our first two broodmares,” Weinmann said, “and we’ll see where it goes from here.”
Grade 1 winner Maxim Rate sold to Ever Union Shokai for $1.2 million. Eaton Sales, agent, consigned the 5-year-old daughter of Exchange Rate, who was cataloged as a racing or broodmare prospect.
Ken Mishima, who signed the ticket, said Maxim Rate would go to Japan to be bred.
“The price was high, but she is a nice mare,” Mishima said.
Mt. Brilliant Farm spent $1.2 million for Book 1 supplement Look Me Over, a half-sister to Saturday’s undefeated TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance winner and presumptive champion 2-year-old male Corniche. Consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, agent, Look Me Over is a 4-year-old mare who is carrying her first foal by Kitten’s Joy. Her dam is Grade 2 winner Wasted Tears, by Najran.
“We had three horses all day that we liked and this last one (Paris Lights) we couldn’t afford and then the one we bought (Look Me Over),” Mt. Brilliant owner Greg Goodman said. “We loved her, she was our first choice. We’re really happy. She’s beautiful. We’ve talked about it (who to breed her to in the future), we just haven’t decided yet.”
At $800,000, the session’s top-priced weanling was a daughter of Frankel who is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Arizona (IRE) and Grade 2 winner Nay Lady Nay (IRE) purchased by Phil Schoenthal, agent for Matt Dorman’s D. Hatman Thoroughbreds. Four Star Sales, agent, consigned the filly, whose dam is the English Channel mare Lady Ederle. She is from the family of European champion Dabirsim and Group 1 winner Bright Generation (IRE).
Dorman said having Frankel as her sire made the filly especially attractive.
“It’s a great page, great family,” Dorman said, “and she’s got great conformation, so she ticked all the boxes. She’ll be in the racing program and hopefully improve her page and go from there. She’s long term for us.”
Dorman said the market is “pretty strong. There’s some really good horses that people have brought out, and there’s still a lot of pent-up demand.”