Ancient Peace, a Sam-Son Farm-bred 3-year-old filly by War Front who was impressive when she scored her first victory in December on the turf at Santa Anita by 4 1/4 lengths, was purchased by Boardshorts Stables for $650,000 to headline a robust day of selling during Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale.
For the day, Keeneland sold 251 horses for $19,865,000, up 5.33 percent from last year’s gross of $18,859,500 for 263 horses. The average of $79,143 rose 10.37 percent from $71,709 in 2022, while the median of $40,000 remained unchanged.
Through two sessions this year, Keeneland has sold 475 horses for $36,126,900, just off the $36,848,700 reported for 511 horses sold in 2022. The average of $76,057 increased 5.47 percent from last year’s $72,111, while the median of $40,000 remained unchanged.
“The session started strong and held pace,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “We’ve got to be very encouraged with the consistency within the market. Quality was selling well. There was hunger for the good stock and it was very competitive on the buying front – with frustrated buyers in certain cases – but people were happy with what they were getting for most of the stock. There was good energy around the place, and I think it bodes well as we power into 2023 and the breeding season ahead.
“There is great diversity in the domestic buying pool,” Lacy added. “The top 15 horses were bought by 14 different entities. The short yearlings were very strong, and there was strong demand for them. Young mares off the track and proven mares were extremely appealing, and people were paying a premium for them. Quality is in strong demand. People aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on something they don’t feel has strong marketable value. I think it is going to be healthy all the way through the sale. If you have a nice individual, it will be found.”
Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach agreed.
“The whole day had good energy and good trade,” he said. “It is always nice to finish with a couple of highlights like we did. It gives energy going into the next day.”
Ancient Peace, who was supplemented to the January Sale, is out of Grade 2 winner Deceptive Vision, by A.P. Indy, and from the family of Canadian Horse of the Year Quiet Resolve; additional Canadian champions Eye of the Sphynx, Eye of the Leopard and Desert Ride; and Grade 2 winner Cleopatra’s Strike. She was consigned by Indian Creek, agent.
“We are happy that she was supplemented to the sale,” Hunter Rankin, who signed the ticket, said. “We are building a stable and think she is a really good foundation horse. Even if she never wins another race, she has a great catalog page.”
“The timing worked out with her win,” Indian Creek’s Sarah Sutherland said. “She came in looking fantastic, and the pedigree speaks for itself. She showed great and was well received.”
“The supplements allow us to keep the catalog fresh and add a few select offerings with current updates,” Breathnach said. “They keep the people here through the session and bring additional people when you add this caliber of horse. It serves the whole sale well. We are proud of the whole catalog, but the supplements add a little bit of sizzle. You get a lot of attention with the horse in the brick-and-mortar auction ring.”
Boardshorts was the session’s leading buyer, spending $1.1 million for two horses. It also spent $450,000 on Empire Hope, a 4-year-old winning daughter of Empire Maker who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Sassy Image. Empire Hope also was consigned by Indian Creek, agent.
England’s Rose, a 7-year-old stakes-winning daughter of English Channel who was second in the Matriarch (G1) at Del Mar in December, sold to James Schenck, agent, for $600,000. Consigned by Lane’s End, agent, she is out of stakes-placed Gingham and Lace, by Kris S., and from the family of Grade 2 winner Leggs Galore and Grade 3 winner and sire Conveyance.
“My brother (the late) David Banks was a trainer here in town,” new owner Gigi Lazenby said, “and I have an oil company in Eastern Kentucky. For the last couple of years, I’ve decided to step it up a little bit with help from Walker Hancock (of Claiborne Farm) and James Schenck, who has been a friend and a friend of my brother for years. This is all sort of for him (David Banks). We’d like to have four or five mares. We’re really interested in selling (the offspring). I’m happy with this mare, and we’ve got a lot of stallions to talk about. I’m just glad I’m in a position at this time to invest back into this community. I love it.”
West Bloodstock, agent for Repole Stable, paid $550,000 for Grade 3 winner In Good Spirits, a 6-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Bal Mar Equine. Out of the winning Arch mare Mon Arch Lass, she is from the family of stakes winners Sir Five Star, Overpass and Amazing Star.
“She was a very fast mare and by a stallion that is really making his name as a broodmare sire,” Jacob West said. “She always ran in great company and held her own. She has been purchased for (stallion) Life Is Good. Mike (Repole) is a shareholder and wanted to make sure he supported him with a top-quality mare.”
“A beautiful mare,” Mark Taylor said about In Good Spirits. “(Trainer) Al Stall Jr. did a great job developing her. She had a great career. She was a high-class race mare, and Ghostzapper is the broodmare sire of four Grade 1 winners. There was a lot to sell there. She is what everybody is looking for. She’s fresh off the track and ready to breed. She’s got the pedigree, and she’s got the race record. I knew she would sell well.”
Joining the aforementioned Empire Hope to bring $450,000 was Palio Flag, a 6-year-old winning daughter of Curlin in foal to Maclean’s Music, who sold to Gage Hill Stable. From a family that includes Racing Hall of Famer Personal Ensign and Grade 1 winners Miner’s Mark, Traditionally and My Flag, Palio Flag is out of Grade 2-placed winner Private Ensign, by A.P. Indy, and is a half-sister to stakes winner Great Sister Diane. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for STH.
“I’ve watched her run, and I always thought she had ability,” David Ingordo, who signed the ticket, said. “She is from a great family that goes back to the Phipps family breeding. (Covering sire) Maclean’s Music is an emerging sire, and we all know he can get good runners.”
Selling 28 horses for $3,063,000, Taylor Made Sales Agency was the session’s leading consignor.
Two horses brought $425,000 apiece.
Mike Akers, agent, paid the amount for Orinoco River, a 4-year-old, stakes-placed winning daughter of War Front in foal to Wootton Bassett. Out of Coin Broker (IRE), by Montjeu (IRE), she is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed Donna Veloce and from the family of Grade 1 winners Cash Run and Forestry. Orinoco River was consigned by Paramount Sales, agent.
Akers said Orinoco River was purchased for a client in Europe.
“She will go back over there,” Akers said. “She is very typical of a War Front: correct, well-balanced. I’m bullish on Wootton Bassett. I’ve been watching his yearlings over there, mainly produced out of French mares. Now that he’s at Coolmore (Stud in Ireland) with that stallion base behind him, there’s definitely going to be an uptick with his offspring in the sales ring and at the track. He’s a good-sized stallion with a lot of bone, and they should complement each other quite well.”
Mallory, agent for Determined Stud, paid $425,000 for Dream Passage, a 9-year-old, winning stakes-placed mare by Stormy Atlantic in foal to Gun Runner. Out of Raffie’s Dream, by Raffie’s Majesty, she is a full sister to Grade 3 winner Stormy’s Majesty. Dream Passage was consigned by Mulholland Springs, agent.
“I had pegged her somewhere in that price range,” consignor John Henry Mulholland said. “She’s just such a beautiful and classy mare and has a lovely Constitution yearling filly. She’s in foal to the best young sire in the world, probably. She stood out here and sold really well. I’m pleased.”
A colt by Uncle Mo became the session’s most expensive yearling when he sold for $340,000 to Castleton Way. Consigned by Lane’s End, agent, he is out of the winning Candy Ride (ARG) mare Canteen and from the family of Grade 3 winner English Affair.
“This is for my pinhook partnership, Castleton Way,” buyer Marshall Taylor said. “He had a great walk; he’s a beautiful physical. He’s a late May foal, and I thought he’d keep improving and keep getting better. He just looked like a horse with a lot of upside. In this market, you’ve got to be aggressive. Today was really strong.”
A yearling colt by Uncle Mo who is out of the Yankee Victor mare Victory Party, a half-sister to champion Beholder and Grade 1 winners and sires Mendelssohn and Into Mischief, sold to Jackpot Farm/Corinne and Bill Heiligbrodt for $335,000. He was consigned by Eaton Sales, agent.
“(Jackpot and the Heiligbrodts) are among the partners on (2022 Grade 1-placed stakes-winning Uncle Mo colt) Gulfport, so let’s see if we can find another Gulfport,” said Bobby Powell, who signed the ticket. “There are options on table for what we do with him: Whether he’s a resale later in the year or for the racing stable. We’ll let the horse grow up, and time tell us what to do. He was the right type for us. I looked at him at the barn, and I liked his size, I liked his attitude and his presence. When this horse walked out of the barn, it was like ‘Wow’.”
“He is a very tidy version of Uncle Mo, and we weren’t surprised at all at that price,” Eaton’s Reiley McDonald said. “You buy yearlings like that (later in the year) for $500,000 to $600,000. We thought he was really nice right now so we put him in the January Sale, where he could stand out.”
The January Sale resumes Wednesday with the third of four sessions that run through Thursday. All sessions begin at 10 a.m. ET.