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Opening Day of Keeneland November Sale Posts Across-the-Board Gains, Seven Million-Dollar Horses

Published: 11/03/2015


LEXINGTON, KY (Nov. 2, 2015) - Millionaire and multiple Grade 1 winner Hard Not to Like sold to DATTT Farm for $2.2 million to headline Monday's strong opening session of Keeneland's premier November Breeding Stock Sale. Enhanced by the Breeders' Cup World Championships, held Oct. 30-31 at Keeneland, the 12-day November Sale kicked off with large crowds that included the world's major buyers, the sale of seven horses for $1.2 million or more, and increases in gross, average and median prices.

On Monday, Keeneland sold 136 horses for $45,094,000, up 8.93 percent from 2014 when 135 horses brought gross receipts of $41,398,000. The average of $331,574 rose 8.13 percent from last year's $306,652, while the median surged 19.12 percent from $170,000 to $202,500. 

"The session was very good, very consistent with last year," Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. "We had seven million-dollar horses today and seven million-dollar horses last year. The range from about $400,000 up was very strong today for everything: broodmare prospects, mares in foal and foals themselves. That next level of the market obviously helped dramatically because the median and average were up considerably."

The session benefited from Keeneland's inaugural hosting of the Breeders' Cup.

"We saw the positive effect of the Breeders' Cup yesterday in terms of the large number of people looking at horses on the sales grounds," Russell said. "We were very busy both for day one and day two. Some agents told us they've seen people they normally don't see here in November. Hopefully, that will add some extra competition this week."

Hard Not to Like, a 6-year-old daughter of Hard Spun out of the stakes-winning Tactical Cat mare Like a Gem, has eight wins in 21 starts, including victories in the Gamely (G1) and Diana (G1), in which she set a course record, for earnings of $1,261,671. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, as a racing or broodmare prospect. A year ago at the November Sale, Hard Not to Like sold for $1.5 million to Speedway Stables, Peter Fluor and K.C. Weiner.

"She's a beautiful mare with a lot of class," Taylor Made President and CEO Duncan Taylor said. "You rarely find a mare that is genuinely sound from (ages) two to six. She's beautiful, she can run and she's got pedigree. She comes from a great E.P. Taylor family."

"Nice filly," said Gary Bush, farm manager of Denali Stud, which manages DATTT's broodmares, about Hard Not to Like. "We're looking for a nice filly to add to our broodmare band. She may race one more time; we'll just see how it goes."

Shook Up, runner-up in this year's Longines Kentucky Oaks (G1) and Fair Grounds Oaks (G2), sold for $1.65 million to Three Chimneys Farm. The 3-year-old daughter of leading sire Tapit out of Grade 1 winner Sugar Shake, by Awesome Again, was consigned as a broodmare prospect by Three Chimneys Farm, agent for the Complete Dispersal of Regis Farms, agent.

Shook Up was injured when jostled around in the Acorn (G1) in June. Three Chimneys Chairman Goncalo Torrealba said the filly's successful recovery at Three Chimneys while being prepared for the sale inspired him to bid on her.

"Since we got her at (Three Chimneys) for prep (for the November Sale), she's only gotten better," he said. "She's a lovely mare. We didn't think we could afford her so we're happy (to get her)."

Also bringing $1.65 million was Canadian champion Spring in the Air, carrying her first foal by War Front and purchased by Prince Faisal's Nawara Stud. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the 5-year-old daughter of Spring At Last out of the Unbridled mare Unbridled Run.

"She's a lovely, scopey mare," said bloodstock agent Hugo Merry, who signed the ticket. "She walked like (Horse of the Year) Zenyatta out back, dancing around, just a lovely-shaped mare. (Prince Faisal) was very keen to buy a good race mare to add to his broodmare band. It's a good Runnymede Farm family. It's very much the Prince's pick and he's a brilliant horseman."

Colonial Flag, a 6-year-old half-sister to 2010 Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) winner Shared Account, who is in foal to Tapit, sold for $1.6 million to Reynolds Bell for John Clay's Alpha Delta Stable. Lane's End, agent, consigned Colonial Flag, a Grade 3 winner by Pleasant Tap out of Silk n' Sapphire, by Smart Strike.

"She will go back to Lane's End," Bell said. "(Clay is) a commercial breeder and he races some, too. She fit what he was looking for. She obviously had ability on the race track and she's a half-sister to a Breeders' Cup winner."

Following Colonial Flag in the ring was Comedy, an 11-year-old graded stakes-producing daughter of Theatrical (IRE) also in foal to Tapit. Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings paid $1.5 million for Comedy, dam of Grade 2 winner Taris and stakes winners Theatre Star and Stoweshoe.

"She's beautiful. We like her foals," Stonestreet owner Barbara Banke said. "We like the fact that she's had stakes winners. She's obviously a good addition to our broodmare band. She seems to work on the A.P. Indy line."

Select Sales, agent, consigned Comedy, a daughter of Grade 3 winner Don't Be Silly, by Lord At War (ARG).

Grade 1 stakes winner Sunset Glow brought a final bid of $1.375 million from Bryant Prentice's Pursuit of Success. A 3-year-old filly by Exchange Rate out of the stakes-placed Dynaformer mare Perfectforthepart, Sunset Glow won the 2014 Del Mar Debutante (G1) and Sorrento (G2) at Del Mar. She was consigned as a racing or broodmare prospect by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent

"She will go to the breeding shed," Prentice said. "She faced very competitive horses. She certainly proved (herself). I like Dynaformer on the bottom side."

Selling for $1.2 million to Katsumi Yoshida of Japan was Grade 1 winner Don't Tell Sophia, in foal to leading sire Medaglia d'Oro. Trainer and co-owner Phil Sims' Spring Trace Farm, agent, sold the 7-year-old daughter of Congaree out of Lost Expectations, by Valid Expectations.

"She's a really good mare," said Yoshida's son, Shunsuke Yoshida. "She was second in the Breeders' Cup (Distaff) last year in a good race. I think the price was really fair. I think (she'll be bred to leading Japanese sire Deep Impact), who is a very busy stallion."

At $475,000, the session's top-priced weanling is the colt by Medaglia d'Oro out of Grade 1 winner Emma's Encore, by Congrats. Darley Stud Management purchased the colt, consigned by Lane's End, agent.

"Obviously, Medaglia d'Oro is a special horse to us," said Dan Pride, COO of Darley's Jonabell Farm, where Medaglia d'Oro stands. "(The weanling is) the first foal out of a very good race mare, a Grade 1 winner. (He) fits our program. He'll go to our farm and hopefully he'll show up in big races in a few years.

"(The price) was about where we appraised him. He was a special horse in this group. He sold about where we thought he would, and we're happy to have him."

The session's leading consigner was Taylor Made Sales Agency, who sold 35 horses for $12,810,000, including three of the day's seven-figure horses.

With the purchase of Hard Not to Like, DATTT Farm was the session's leading buyer.

The November Sale continues through Friday, Nov. 13. Tuesday's session begins at 11 a.m. ET. Remaining sessions start at 10 a.m. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.  

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For more than 75 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. As the world's largest Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland conducts sales every January, September and November. Its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. In 2015, Keeneland hosted the Breeders' Cup World Championships on Oct. 30-31. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a private, for-profit corporation that returns its earnings to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses, and it has donated millions of dollars in charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. To learn more about Keeneland, visit Keeneland.com.
 
For more information contact Amy Gregory at 859 361-3490 or Amy Owens 859 421-2566