Book 2 brings solid business
Miss Exclusive and Marquee Miss each sold for $750,000 as the Keeneland November breeding stock sale reached the end of its Book 2 portion with positive figures.
Through the first three sessions of Keeneland November, comprising the auction’s single-session Book 1 plus two days designated as Book 2, a total of 574 horses sold for gross receipts of $125,227,000. The similar section of the market last year grossed $144,097,000 for 660 horses over two Book 1 sessions and two Book 2 sessions.
The cumulative average price through Books 1 and 2, $218,166, was virtually unchanged from $218,329 through the same two books last year. The median price sat at $150,000, up 15 percent from the comparable $130,000. The buyback rate was 27 percent, compared with 26 percent.
A total of nine horses sold for half a million or more during Keeneland’s two Book 2 sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, fueling an average price of $151,537 for the book. That figure is up 16 percent from a Book 2 average of $130,939 last year. Miss Exclusive sold for $750,000 to Mt. Brilliant Farm during Wednesday’s session to tie for the top price of Book 2. Five-time stakes winner Marquee Miss sold for the same price on Tuesday, going to WinStar Farm.
Miss Exclusive, in foal to Noble Mission, was consigned by Mill Ridge Farm, as agent for breeder Juddmonte Farms, which rarely offers fillies from its top families at public auction. The daughter of Unbridled’s Song is out of 2005 Eclipse Award champion turf mare Intercontinental.
“We tried to buy something from this family from Juddmonte at Tattersalls year before last, and we got outbid,” Mt. Brilliant owner Greg Goodman said. “We’ve wanted to be in the family for a long time, to get a mare like this for a long time, so we’re excited.”
Intercontinental, by Danehill, won eight graded stakes in the U.S. highlighted by the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. She is the dam of stakesplaced Abseil.
Intercontinental is out of Juddmonte’s great mare Hasili, making her a full sister to Eclipse Award and Cartier Award European champion Banks Hill, Canadian Horse of the Year Champs Elysees, multiple Grade 1 winner Cacique, and Group 2 winner Dansili, and a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Heat Haze and Grade 3 winner Deluxe.
Marquee Miss, a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Promises Fulfilled, will join WinStar’s broodmare band after selling on Tuesday. WinStar executive Elliott Walden said plans for the mare’s first mating will be finalized later.
“Haven’t figured that out yet,” Walden said. “We’ve got a few options.”
WinStar has a 22-horse stallion roster, with two new additions to support this year in Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Grade 2 winner Good Samaritan. WinStar also co-owned Triple Crown winner Justify, who will begin his stallion career at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud.
Marquee Miss, by Cowboy Cal, won the 2015 ArlingtonWashington Lassie in her career debut, and took the Dixie Belle and Martha Washington stakes early the following year at Oaklawn. She went on to win the 2016 Holiday Inaugural Stakes at Turfway Park and won the Flashy Lady Stakes this September at Remington Park.
Bolt d’Oro retired to stud
Multiple Grade 1 winner Bolt d’Oro has been retired and has settled in at Spendthrift Farm, where he will begin his stud career in February.
Bolt d’Oro has not started since finishing 11th in the Metropolitan Handicap on June 9 for owner and trainer Mick Ruis. The Medaglia d’Oro colt subsequently was moved to trainer Steve Asmussen and freshened, with a long-range goal of starting in the Grade 1 Clark Handicap on Nov. 23 at Churchill Downs as a possible career finale. Bolt d’Oro had been working steadily at Churchill Downs in recent weeks, but emerged from his final published work, on Oct. 17, with a slight setback, and the decision was made to retire him to Spendthrift, which had secured his breeding rights in the fall of his 2-year-old season. The colt has been showing to breeders this week during the major November breeding stock sales in Lexington.
“He’s settling in really well,” Spendthrift’s Ned Toffey said. “We gave him about a week on the farm to settle in and acclimate before we started showing him, but he’s such a good-minded horse. I think the first time we laid eyes on him, we could appreciate that about him . . . . He’s a really intelligent horse, and I think that was something that was a good part of his success, and is helping him settle in really well.”
Bolt d’Oro won the first three starts of his career, including the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity and Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes, before finishing third in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar. He returned to win the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes via the disqualification of McKinzie in March, then finished second to eventual Triple Crown winner Justify in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby. He was 12th on the sloppy track in the Kentucky Derby before starting in the Met Mile five weeks later.