During the 4 1/2 year existence of the Paulick Report, we've had many highlights to celebrate. Breaking big news stories, bringing our readers rare access to behind-the-scenes action and overwhelming support from the industry we serve are all things we are very proud of over the years. But nothing quite compares to the rush and thrill (dare we say up our leg) we get from our annual Breeders' Cup or Bust charity drive raising money for Breeders' Cup Charities.
With this year's Breeders' Cup again at Santa Anita, Ray, Scott and I will be loading up a mini van thanks to the good people at Avis and heading out westward bound. Of course, I'll be dusting off my old chops as a musical theatre actor and singer (hopefully) honoring our country at Keeneland, Remington Park and Santa Anita for the Breeders' Cup with a bari-tenor rendition of the Star Spangled Banner. Anyone who ever had a big dream in their younger years will understand what an awe-inspiring opportunity this is for a guy who in his heart would love to be singing eight times a week on a Broadway stage. Of course, I'm also incredibly blessed to be in the position I am having created and built the Paulick Report with Ray but old dreams do die hard.
Plum Pretty, winner of the 2011 Kentucky Oaks (G1), sold for $4.2 million to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm to top Tuesday's opening session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, as agent for John and Elizabeth Fort, Plum Pretty is a four-year-old daughter of Medaglia d'Oro out of the A.P. Indy mare Liszy. Among the filly's five wins were victories in the aforementioned Kentucky Oaks, Apple Blossom (G1), Cotillion (G2) and Sunland Park Oaks, for career earnings of more than $1.6 million.
“We are trying to obviously upgrade our broodmare band, and make some big adjustments in the quality that we have,” Pope said. “(Plum Pretty) is a fantastic race mare and a very kind mare. She is very well balanced and has a lot of size to her. I also liked her dam, who I thought was pretty and had good size. Hopefully that will transform into the next generation of babies.”
Pope said Plum Pretty will be sent to Wayne and Cathy Sweezy's Timber Town Stable near Lexington.
“She's just a beautiful mare; classy and smart, great conformation, a classic winner,” said Frank Taylor of Taylor Made. “I thought it was a fair price. The market is good right now; the top looks unbelievable.”
Taylor Made ranked as the session's leading consignor, selling 24 horses for $10,265,000.
On Tuesday, Keeneland sold 100 horses for $27,665,000, for an average of $276,650 and a median of $127,500. On opening day in 2011, 147 horses brought $63,276,500, for an average of $430,452 and a median of $230,000.
Boosting last year's total were the 63 horses sold for $40,684,500 as part of the record dispersal of the estate of Edward P. Evans' Spring Hill Farm.
Session-to-session comparisons when numbers for the Spring Hill dispersal are not included in last year's totals reflect increases in 2012. This year, 100 horses were sold for $27,665,000, an increase of 22.45 percent over $22,592,000 for 84 horses in 2011. Average price of $276,650 rose 2.86 percent over $268,952 in 2011, while the median of 127,500 was down 22.73 percent over last year's $165,000.
“It's tough, if even impossible, to compare the sessions as this year we are minus the Spring Hill dispersal,” said Keeneland Vice President of Sales Walt Robertson. “All-in-all, it was a pretty good horse sale. There was quite a bit of depth at the top. By and large, when you back out the gross from last year's Spring Hill dispersal, which was the highest-grossing Thoroughbred dispersal sold at public auction in North America, I thought it was a pretty good day.”
Nicolas de Watrigant's Mandore International Agency, on behalf of an undisclosed client, bought three of the day's five seven-figure horses, purchasing Grade 1 stakes winner Harmonious for $2.8 million; stakes winner Shotgun Gulch, in foal to Bernardini, for $1.6 million; and Canadian champion Negligee, in foal to Distorted Humor, for $1.25 million.
Harmonious, a five-year-old mare by Dynaformer out of the Storm Cat mare Jade Tree, won the 2010 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1) and American Oaks (G1). She was consigned as a broodmare prospect by Lane's End, agent for Pam, Martin and Emily Wygod. Shotgun Gulch, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, is a five-year-old stakes-winning daughter of Thunder Gulch out of the Boston Harbor mare Rosieville. Negligee, champion two-year-old filly in Canada and winner of the 2009 Darley Alcibiades (G1), was consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, agent. Negligee is a five-year-old mare by Northern Afleet out of the stakes-winning Relaunch mare Naughty Notions.
Mandore International Agency was the session's leading buyer, purchasing four horses for a total of $6,035,000.
Shunsuke Yoshida paid $2.1 million for Grade 1 stakes winner Zazu, signing the ticket on behalf of his father, Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm in Japan.
“We have her half-sister, Art Princess (purchased by Katsumi Yoshida for $400,000 at the 2012 Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale),” said Yoshida. “Zazu was a very nice racehorse, and we looked at her for the first time here and decided we wanted her.”
A four-year-old daughter of Tapit, Zazu won the 2011 Las Virgenes (G1) and Lady's Secret (G1). She was consigned as a broodmare prospect by Lane's End, agent, for owners Jerry and Ann Moss.
An Irish-bred filly by Galileo (IRE) from the family of English champion Three Valleys sold for $625,000 to Badgers Bloodstock to be the day's top-priced weanling. She was consigned by VanMeter Sales, agent.
The November Sale continues through Friday, November 16. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. EST. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.
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