It is, however, a real drain on the bank account. When John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms decided to part with their 30% interest in broodmare extraordinaire Better Than Honour, majority partner Mike Moreno’s Southern Equine Stable had no choice but bid against all comers at Fasig-Tipton’s November sale. It took all of thirty seconds for bidding to soar from $1 million to a world-record $14 million, but in the end Moreno will take his prize mare home to Southern Equine’s new facility at Parrish Hill Farm in Midway, Kentucky where they plan to breed-to-race—how refreshing!
If my math is correct, and Moreno paid $14 million for 30%, wouldn't that make her overall value in the neighborhood of $46 million?
Southern Equine also purchased from Hill ‘n’ Dale the mares Point Ashley ($1.4 million), Last Song ($1 million), and Crystal Current ($3.1 million), all three in foal to Distorted Humor, as well as Sensation in foal to AP Indy ($1.1 million), 3-year-old filly Surprises Welcomed ($2.5 million), an unnamed filly by Distorted Humor out of Point Ashley ($275,000) and an unnamed colt by Thunder Gulch out of C’est La Cat ($85,000). All told, the split between Southern Equine and Hill ‘n’ Dale cost Moreno nearly $23.5 million at auction.
One of the former partnerships’ mares Madcap Escapade opened the sale with an impressive $3.1 million bid by Sikura, but that proved to be only the third highest price paid, as G1 BC Juvenile Fillies victress Stardom Bound brought $5.7 million from IEAH, who will place her with trainer Rick Dutrow (I don’t know if I can ever root for this talented filly again).
The under bidder on Stardom Bound was Frank Stronach—guess running racetracks in the ground is profitable enough to still afford to buy more racehorses. As it turns out, his Adena Springs got some very nice horses, including Honey Ryder ($1.75 million) in foal to Giant’s Causeway, Ariege ($1.8 million), Intangaroo ($1.8 million), and Dearest Trickski ($650,000).
John Ferguson, bloodstock agent for Darley, purchased four horses, including Magnificience ($1 million), Malibu Mint ($1.3 million), Panty Raid ($2.5 million) and an unnamed colt by Maria’s Mon out of Crystal Current ($350,000). Shadwell Farm made only one purchase, the classy Lear’s Princess ($2.7 million).
West Point Thoroughbreds paid $60,000 for an unnamed weanling filly by Malibu Moon out of the Crafty Proposition mare Astickyproposition, and $65,000 for an unnamed weanling colt by Indian Charlie out of the King of Kings mare King’s Fancy.
While the top sellers performed well, a number of very talented fillies and mares failed to meet reserve, include Miraculous Miss ($1.1 million), Rated Fiesty ($395,000), Sky Mom ($485,000), Unbridled Belle ($1.2 million), Lady of Venice ($900,000), Control System ($135,000), Blitzing ($140,000), Candy Ball ($190,000), Graeme Six ($245,000), Ticket to Seattle ($300,000), Jazzy ($300,000), Audacious Chloe ($450,000), Foxy Danseur ($450,000), Memorette ($800,000), Backseat Rhythm ($250,000) and even Grass Skirt ($190,000), the dam of Grasshopper and Turf War.
Oprah Winney ($400,000), in foal to Ghostzapper, is on her way to Sandra Rasmussen’s River Ridge Ranch in Runnells, Iowa, along with Tricky Truth ($70,000), a three-quarter sister to Dearest Trickski, who is in foal to More Than Ready—seriously, those sound like two bargains to me!
Of the two mares (in addition to Honey Ryder) that I was interested, only Kettleoneup ($750,000) sold; Green Door failed to meet reserve at $120,000. Agent Russell J. Bennett purchased Curlin’s sister Deputy in foal to Smart Strike, for a suspiciously-low $220,000, while her weanling Fusaichi Pegasus colt failed to sell at $55,000.
On to Keeneland!