by | 11.17.2010 | 12:46am

Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year whose  first foal failed to sell at the Keeneland September Sale for a record buyback price of $7.7 million, was bought back by her owner, Michael Paulson, on Monday at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale  for $4.4 million.

The daughter of Jade Hunter in foal to Horse of the Year Ghostzapper was the center of attention on the opening day of the sale, but left a pavilion full of puzzled looks from spectators as she was led out of the ring when the bidding stopped and  no one signed a ticket. 

Leading up to the sale, John Sikura, who consigned Azeri on behalf of Paulson through his Hill 'n' Dale sales agency, was confident the mare would be sold. Sikura was one of the bidders, telling reporters he was active up until about $4 million for his own interest, but said he was not certain what the reserve price was.

Another bidder was Coolmore associate Paul Shanahan, who bid at least $3.5 million for the mare. Another report suggested Darley Stud's Jimmy Bell may have been the underbidder at $4.3 million.

NOTE TO READERS: The original version of this story erroneously reported that Azeri herself had been bought back in November.

Twitter Twitter
Paulick Report on Instagram