A filly by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah - who is a half-sister to four-time champion Beholder, Grade 1 winner Mendelssohn and Grade 1 winner and leading sire Into Mischief - sold for a record $8.2 million to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm at Keeneland on Wednesday.
WATCH ? Keeneland representative @gabby_gaudet_ runs through the highlights of a historic day 3 of the September Yearling Sale, including the record-breaking sale of the American Pharoah filly out of Leslie's Lady. #KeeSept pic.twitter.com/p14QuOoeiT— Keeneland Sales (@keenelandsales) September 11, 2019
The $8.2 million price set a September Sale record for a filly and equals the fourth-highest price for a yearling sold at the auction. It is the highest price paid at the September Sale since the $11.7 million given for Meydan City in 2006.
Clarkland Farm bred and sold the top-selling filly, whose dam is the stakes-winning Tricky Creek mare Leslie’s Lady.
“I don’t have any words,” Clarkland’s Fred Mitchell said. “It’s unreal. But in my opinion, this was the best individual the old mare has ever had. Can you believe a 22-year-old mare (in 2018) had something like this? But Leslie’s Lady, she still thinks she’s 12 or 13 years old.”
In 2006, Clarkland bought the-then 10-year-old Leslie’s Lady in foal to Orientate for $100,000 at Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale. Clarkland sold Beholder, by Henny Hughes, for $180,000 at the 2011 September Sale and sold Mendelssohn, by Scat Daddy, for the 2016 sale-topping price at $3 million.
Mitchell said the record-setting daughter of Leslie’s Lady was special from birth.
“She was born with muscle,” he said. “She was correct when she was born, and she just has such a mind on her. When I watch her – compared to Beholder and Mendelssohn growing up – it looked like she had Beholder’s sprinting speed because when the other fillies came to her out in the field and were running, she was like, ‘I’ll see ya,’ and had another gear. She’s just been special since day one.”
Selling the filly for $8.2 million was “something we never dreamed of in our life,” Mitchell said. “We dream of breeding a nice horse, and this is what it’s all about for the little consignors and the small guys. The farm has been in the family since 1774, and it’ll be there for the children for the rest of their lives. We’re keeping two fillies out of the old mare; this is the last one to sell out of her. The fillies will stay there for the kids and grandkids.”
“You can’t fault her,” Pope said about the filly. “She’s perfectly balanced. She’s gorgeous – not too big or small.”
Pope said the filly was the only horse in the September Sale she really wanted, adding, “This will probably put me out of shopping in November; I think I pretty much went through my broodmare budget for November.”
Wednesday’s leading buyer with her lone purchase, Pope said the filly would enter training at Whisper Hill’s training centre in Florida.
So much excitement at the @keenelandsales. Congratulations to Whisper Hill Farm's Mandy Pope the proud new owner of hip #498.@Gabby_Gaudet_ speaks to her about the 1/2 to Beholder, Into Mischief and Mendelssohn. Hear what the plans are for this top yearling. pic.twitter.com/WzttUFzpwA— TVG (@TVG) September 11, 2019
OTHER TOP LOTS
Mike Ryan, agent for e Five Racing Thoroughbreds, paid $2.1 million for a Pioneerof the Nile colt who is a half-brother to two-time 2019 Grade 1 winner Guarana.
Shawn Dugan, agent, paid $2 million for a filly by Empire Maker who is a half-sister to 2018 champion two-year-old-filly Jaywalk. Consigned by Gainesway, agent, she is out of the Orientate mare Lady Pewitt and is a half-sister to stakes winner Danzatrice.
The second horse in the ring on Wednesday was a colt by American Pharoah who sold for $1.3 million to Jamie McCalmont, agent for Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier and Sarah Kelly.
“We are absolutely delighted to get him,” Magnier said. “He will go to (Southern California-based trainer) Bob Baffert. He was very high on the horse. He has a couple of very good American Pharoahs. And (trainer) Aidan O’Brien is pretty confident with Monarch Of Egypt (a Group 1-placed two-year-old by the stallion) in Ireland. American Pharoah is going so well at the moment.”
Two colts sold for $1.2 million each. West Bloodstock, agent for Robert and Lawana Low, paid the amount for a son of Curlin who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Mo Town. Consigned by Glennwood Farm, agent, the colt is out of the Bernardini mare Grazie Mille.
Ben McElroy, agent, purchased the other $1.2 million colt, a son of Medaglia d’Oro who is the first foal out of the Grade 2-winning Pulpit mare Keen Pauline. “He’s by a top stallion,” said Simon Callaghan, who will train the colt for Qatar Racing.
"Sheikh Fahad is upping his interest in racing in America and is spending more time in California, so he wants to go after some of these high-end colts and go down the road of the (Kentucky) Derby."
New River Equine paid $1.1 million for a filly by Medaglia d’Oro who is the first foal out of Grade 3 winner Gloryzapper, by Ghostzapper.
The September Sale takes a one-day break on Thursday then resumes on Friday with the first of the two-day Book 2 sessions. The sale ends on September 22nd.
From start to finish you could feel the electricity during a record-breaking Book 1 of Keeneland September! Here's to an outstanding three days of trade at the world's most prominent yearling sale.— Keeneland Sales (@keenelandsales) September 12, 2019
The momentum continues into Book 2 beginning Friday morning at 10 a.m.#KeeSept pic.twitter.com/LEKbvzoDZK