Siren Serenade, a daughter of Unbridled’s Song in foal to 2016 leading sire Tapit, sold to Don Alberto Corporation for $1,025,000 to top’s Monday’s first session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale.
Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigned Siren Serenade, an 11-year-old half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) winner George Vancouver and Remsen (G2) winner Saarland. Out of multiple Grade 1 winner Versailles Treaty, by Danzig, Siren Serenade is the dam of 2015 Santa Anita Oaks (G1) runner-up Luminance, by Tale of the Cat. Her War Front filly, Lady Mamba, sold for $1 million at Keeneland’s 2015 September Yearling Sale.
“She’s a lovely individual who produces really good foals,” Hill ‘n’ Dale’s John Sikura said. “She is in foal to Tapit, so you would have to think she has the requirements that breeders are looking for. This was the year to either sell her or (keep) her. There is reason to own her (but) the reason to sell her is to provide cash to pursue other opportunities. We are happy with the price. She’s a million-dollar mare and that is what she made.”
“She is a big strong mare; it’s a lovely family,” said Reiley McDonald, who signed the ticket for Siren Serenade. “I bought her for Don Alberto Corporation, and they already own part of the family. Don Alberto is playing at the highest end of the game, so she was just the perfect mare for them. She’s a very nice mare, a graded stakes producer in foal to the very best sire in the country.”
On Monday, Keeneland sold 163 horses for $10,514,000, 22.87 percent below last year’s opening session when 182 horses grossed $13,631,200. The average of $64,503 decreased 13.88 percent from $74,897 in 2016, while the median of $35,000 was down 11.39 percent from $39,500 last year.
“Today was a continuation of what we’ve recently seen: Quality sells,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operation Geoffrey Russell said. “We weren’t fortunate enough to have a dispersal like we did last year, but this year we did have quality sales. We had a million-dollar mare, which we didn’t have last year, and we had a $700,000 mare, so the quality offerings bring top dollar.
“It’s the same story with the yearling market: The ones buyers liked were hard to buy, and the ones that didn’t meet the market, just didn’t meet the market,” he said. “That is just the kind of marketplace we are in at the moment. The horses perceived to be top quality are getting top prices.
“To nobody’s fault, there were two mares that should have sold today but couldn’t come to the sale because of the herpes outbreak in Louisiana,” Russell added. “They were probably among the nicest horses that would have been in the ring today, so we missed them.”
Bringing the day’s second-highest price of $700,000 was Delightful Joy, a Grade 3-winning daughter of Tapit cataloged as a broodmare prospect and sold to Oussama Aboughazale’s International Equities Holding. International Equities Holdings was the day’s leading buyer, spending $1,171,000 for seven horses.
“She is a just a really nice filly, great range, great scope,” said Frances Relihan, who signed the ticket for Delightful Joy. “She was a good race filly and she is from a really strong family.”
Relihan said Aboughazale, who races as Sumaya Stables, recently purchased a farm in Bourbon County, Ky.
“We are looking at a broad range of mares (at the January Sale),” Relihan said. “Mr. Aboughazale has his young stallion Protonico (who is standing at Taylor Made Stallions), so we have been looking at some young mares for him. (Protonico will) start breeding mares next month for the first time, so we are just trying to give him a little bit of a base and give him a little kick start in the market. Sumaya Stables has traditionally raced in the past, but we will see what kind of stock we are getting and hopefully we can have commercial and racing interests.”
Denali Stud, agent, consigned the 5-year-old Delightful Joy, who is out of graded stakes winner Graeme Six, by Graeme Hall. She is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Cali Star.
“She is really pretty and pretty means a lot,” Craig Bandoroff of Denali said. “She had the physical so I wasn’t surprised. When they look the part, they bring the upper end of what you hope. She is from a good family that sells well and she is by Tapit. A pretty Tapit that can run is a good combination.”
Alistair Roden Bloodstock paid $460,000 for Grosse Pointe Anne, a 10-year-old half-sister to champion and sire Uncle Mo in foal to Pioneerof the Nile. She is the dam of stakes-placed winner Indian Annie.
“She’s a beautiful mare, she’s a black-type horse and she is in foal to a serious horse, Pioneerof the Nile,” Roden said.
The mare was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, who led all consignors on Monday with sales of $3,652,500 for 36 horses. Taylor Made sold six of the 10 highest-priced horses.
Divalarious, a 9-year-old daughter of Distorted Humor in foal to 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, sold to White Birch Farm for $380,000. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned Divalarious, a half-sister to English highweights and Group 1 winners Ali-Royal and Sleepytime (IRE), Group 2 winner Taipan and Grade 2 winner Oonagh Maccool (IRE). Her dam, Alidiva (IRE), was 1997 Broodmare of the Year in Ireland and Italy.
Shadai Corporation of Japan paid $210,000 for Grade 2 winner Thegirlinthatsong, in foal to Honor Code. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the mare, a 6-year-old daughter of My Golden Song out of Belle of the Band, by Dixieland Band. She is from the family of Horse of the Year Alysheba.
Two mares brought $190,000 apiece. Grade 3 winner Sheza Smoke Show, in foal to Liam’s Map, sold to Not This Time/A. F. S. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned Sheza Smoke Show, a 6-year-old daughter of Wilko out of stakes winner Avery Hall, by A. P Jet.
Steve Castagnola signed the ticket for Sheza Smoke Show on behalf of Albaugh Family Stable and partners with the intent to breed the mare to Grade 3 winner Not This Time. Albaugh bred and raced Not This Time, a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Liam’s Map.
“Loved the fact that she could run; loved her physically,” Castagnola said about Sheza Smoke Show. “She’s a mare that really matched up well genetically to Not This Time and certainly fit what we were looking for. Obviously, we are fans of Liam’s Map; we bred Liam’s Map and sold him as a yearling, so that also was a big draw for us as he is a horse close to our heart.”
Baoma Corp. paid $190,000 for Sweet Opportunity, a 5-year-old stakes-placed daughter of Distorted Humor cataloged as a racing or broodmare prospect. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned Sweet Opportunity, a daughter of the A.P. Indy mare Sugar Canyon, a full sister to Grade 2 winner Adriano.
At $185,000, the session’s top-priced yearling was a daughter of Into Mischief sold to Machmer Hall, agent, et al. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the filly, out of the Trippi mare Anna Sun and from the family of Argentine Horse of the Year Second Reality and stakes winners Dark Thunder and Wild Mia.
“I just thought she was exceptional,” Machmer Hall’s Carrie Brogden said. “It’s all about the exceptional. I think next year or in two years, we will be talking about Into Mischief like we will talk about (leading sires) Tapit and Uncle Mo.”
Brogden said the filly, who will be owned by a partnership, would be resold later this year.
The session’s top-priced yearling colt was a son of Street Sense who is a half-brother to European highweight Certify and Grade 1 winner Cry and Catch Me sold to Bloodstock Investments IV for $165,000. Hurstland Farm, agent, consigned the colt, out of the stakes-winning Doc’s Leader mare Please Sign In. He is a full brother to Bijou, the $1.45 million sale-topper at the 2013 January Sale.
Katie Taylor of Taylor Made Farm signed the ticket for the colt on behalf of Bloodstock Investments IV, a Taylor Made bloodstock investment program that intends to resell him later this year.
“He has a great walk, he was really well balanced and we like Street Sense a lot,” Taylor said. “He met all our criteria; he is real correct and has a good mind about him. He was actually the horse we wanted the most today, so I am really pleased that we got him.”
The January Sale continues through Friday. Sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.