(Mandy Pope at Keeneland / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

From the Keeneland Media Team:

$700,000 Broodmare Leads Tuesday at Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale

Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm paid $700,000 for Sebago Lake, a 5-year-old mare by Tapit in foal to Justify, to record the highest price during Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale. Supplemented to the auction, Sebago Lake was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent.

For the session, Keeneland sold 205 horses through the ring for $14,049,200, for an average of $68,533 and a median of $30,000. The gross declined 29.28% from $19,865,000 recorded for the second session in 2023. The average was down 13.41% from last year’s $79,143, while the median was 25% lower than $40,000 for the comparable session in 2023.

After two sessions, 430 horses have sold for $31,596,700, which is 12.54% lower than the corresponding period last year when 475 horses grossed $36,126,900. The average of $73,481 dipped 3.39% from $76,057 last year, and the median declined 23.75% from $40,000 to $30,500.

“The session started off very healthy. Through the day, there were a couple of spots that got a little slower, but it ended really strong,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “Quality was to the fore. Young mares who were bred to exciting young stallions sold extremely well. Farms are reloading; we saw the same pattern yesterday. There was a strong, competitive environment for yearlings by the right stallions with the right physicals. There’s a lot of confidence out there. Speaking with sellers, they feel it is a very strong market. Buyers found it very competitive. If you brought the right stock to market, you were going to get rewarded for it.”

“The market was fair, and the clearance rate was better today,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach said. “The gross was down a bit, but the average stayed within range of last year. It’s a solid market; very good at the top. Buyers are finding what they want and fighting for them hard. The high number of outs we experienced today is a factor of the time of year we’re in. Weanlings are becoming yearlings; they are changing a lot and sellers are happy to wait until the September Sale.”

Sebago Lake, a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Family Way, is from the family of Irish highweight and sire Caravaggio. Her dam is Susie’s Baby, by Giant’s Causeway.

“She’s a beautiful mare, in foal to the right horse (Justify),” Eaton Managing Partner Reiley McDonald said. “She’s by Tapit and looks like a Tapit. We’re really pleased with it. There’s plenty going on (with the female family). They got a good buy; seller got a good price – a fair exchange.”

On Tuesday, two horses sold for $430,000 each.

Cherry Knoll Farm paid the amount for a yearling colt by Not This Time from the family of Grade 1 winner Ask the Moon. Consigned by Warrendale Sales, agent, he is out of the winning Unbridled’s Song mare Dalsaros.

“That was a great sale,” Warrendale’s Hunter Simms said. “He was a horse that ticked all the boxes for everybody. All the top people were on that horse coming up here. He was well-received. We are very honored to sell a horse like that and best of luck to all the connections.”

Resolute Bloodstock paid $430,000 for a yearling filly by Candy Ride (ARG) consigned by Stone Farm, agent. Out of the Union Rags mare Rags Pauline, the filly is from the family of Grade 2 winners Keen Pauline and Doneraile Court.

“She was absolutely stunning, she has great size,” said Gavin O’Connor, buyer for John Stewart. She was balanced, she was squeaky clean. Just a great quality, classy, young filly. We’ll probably keep her right now; she screams racehorse. She’s just a fabulous filly.”

“She’s by Candy Ride, who is obviously a very good sire,” Stone Farm’s Lynn Hancock said. “She came up here and showed great. She didn’t turn a hair. She was very popular. She’s got a great walk. She moved well, showed well. I think she had all the right people on her. (It was) a little bit of a bidding war. It’s hard not to be happy with that.”

Resolute Bloodstock acquired four horses for $703,000 to lead buyers during the session.

Two horses each sold for $400,000.

P B Bloodstock spent the amount to acquire a yearling colt by Justify from the family of Canadian champion and Grade 1 winner Negligee and English Horse of the Year Zilzal. Consigned by Conley Bloodstock (Carolyn Conley), agent, he is out of the Lawyer Ron mare Undercover Justice.

“From the first time we saw him at the barn, we knew we had to have him – he was our star horse for the day,” buyer Jenny O’Callaghan said. “Obviously he’s by Justify, who is exceptional (siring successful runners) on turf, dirt, colts, fillies, juveniles. We hope there will be a big market for him (at yearling sales later this year). He’s beautifully presented; we just hoped that we could get him.”

Shadai Farm paid $400,000 for multiple Grade 3 winner Dolce Zel (FR), a 5-year-old daughter of Zelzal (FR) consigned by Mill Ridge Sales, agent. Out of Dolce Attesa, by Dr Fong, she is a half-sister to French stakes winner Pure Zen and from the family of Grade 1 winners Musical Romance, Rigoletta, Battle of Midway and Pattern Recognition.

Lane’s End Farm was the session’s leading consignor with sales of $1.69 million for 18 horses.

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Two sessions remain in the January Sale, which continues Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. The entire auction is livestreamed atKeeneland.com.