FOOLS IN LOVE, consigned by Lane’s End, agent, as Hip No. 514, was purchased by Cheveley Park Stud Ltd. for $1 million to highlight Thursday’s third session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in Lexington, Kentucky.
“She was very expensive, but she is proven and she is an outcross,” said Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park. “We came here to buy special pedigrees and special mares. She is a proven producer. She has a good connection to the U.K. She will be going home now (to Cheveley Park), but to whom she will (be bred) we are not quite sure.”
The stakes-winning daughter of Not for Love has already produced a trio of black-type performers, beginning with her first registered foal, Grade 3-placed Urban Bourbon. One year later she foaled Frank’s Folly, who would go on to be stakes-placed, and saw her next foal, Seahenge, capture the Champagne Stakes (Eng-G2) and finish third in the Dewhurst Stakes (Eng-G1) this season.
“It was a big update there in the pedigree,” said Bill Farish of Lane’s End. “The two-year-old (Seahenge) is now a (Group 2 winner and Group 1-placed). She’s had three stakes horses in her first three foals, and she’s open and ready to go, so I think she appealed to a lot of people. We thought she’d sell very well. We thought that was a very good price for her.”
Fools in Love is out of the French Deputy mare Parlez, making her a half-sister to multiple Grade 2-scoring millionaire International Star and a full sibling to stakes victor D C Dancer. This female family also boasts Grade/Group 2-winning sires Halory Hunter and Van Nistelrooy.
The 11-year-old mare was mated to Speightstown on May 16 but is not believed to be in foal.
On Thursday, 229 horses sold for $31,774,000, a miniscule rise of 0.4 percent over last year’s corresponding session when 222 were purchased for $31,634,000. The $138,751 average dipped 2.6 percent when compared to the 2016 average of $142,495, but the day’s $120,000 median rose 17 percent over last year’s $102,500.
“Today’s session had a lot of different buyers, along with some new people coming into the market,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “But still we have some people left over from Book 1 who are shopping away. There is plenty of action in the barns, and people are pleased with what they’re seeing out there.”
Earlier in Thursday’s session, CURLIN HAWK brought $800,000 when selling to Japan’s Shimokobe Farm, Polo Green Stable, agent, as Hip 459 to be the second-highest price on the day. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, the seven-furlong daughter of Curlin is believed to be pregnant to Malibu Moon on an April 28 cover.
Curlin Hawk’s first registered foal is this year’s Pilgrim Stakes (G3) victor, Seabhac.
“At first I did not know about the (catalog) update,” Yukio Shimokobe said. “She is in great shape and is a good walker. The face – she had a lovely face. Then the consignor told me that her first foal won (the Pilgrim).
“We will bring her back to Japan. We need a new international pedigree to add to the Sunday Silence line. Many, many stallions are by Sunday Silence, so we need another line.”
Curlin Hawk is out of the Hawkster mare Maggy Hawk, making her a half-sister to champion and sire Afleet Alex, who romped in the 2005 editions of the Preakness Stakes (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1). The dark bay mare’s second dam is Grade 1 heroine Qualique.
“She is young and a proven graded stakes producer, so she kind of stuck out,” said Mark Taylor, Taylor Made’s vice president of marketing and public sales operations. “That was our thinking when we put her in Book 2 (so) she could be a bit of a standout. She is a very good-looking mare. She has a nice Strong Mandate foal back at the farm that we were showing pictures of, and it’s just a great (catalog) page. The first dam takes up the whole page.”
The top-priced weanling on Thursday was Hip 420, a bay son of Pioneerof the Nile consigned by Bedouin Bloodstock, agent. Foaled April 23 by the stakes-winning Not for Love mare Bobbie Use, he was purchased by Baccari Bloodstock.
“The first time I saw him I knew I was going to have to own him, so I knew that going into it because he’s a very special horse,” Chris Baccari said. “He’s a later foal, but he’s just got such a big, strong walk. Every time you saw him he never ever missed a beat, ever. I knew he was probably going to be anywhere from that $500,000 to $700,000 range.
“Just like any case when you have sire power like that sire (Pioneerof the Nile), and you have a little female pedigree to go with it, they’re going to be very, very expensive.”
The Kentucky-bred colt is a half-brother to Starship Truffles, who went from claimer to Grade 1 winner in 2013. This is the same female family as ill-fated 2006 Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Barbaro.
“I thought that was a great price,” said Neal Clarke, partner with Conor Doyle in Bedouin Bloodstock. “He was so well received at the barn the last two days. He has a beautiful walk. He is a little immature, but he has plenty of room for improvement and I think everyone saw that. Everyone was bidding on him; it was exciting.”
With three days complete, 430 horses have sold for a total $115,770,000, a 14 percent drop as compared to last year when 475 had been purchased for $134,553,000 with three days in the books. The cumulative average of $269,233 is 5 percent lower than the 2016 average of $283,269, and the median has declined 7.4 percent, falling from $170,000 to $157,500.