Just as she distanced the competition at Royal Ascot in her heyday, Lady Aurelia (Scat Daddy) was far and away the top seller at Sunday’s record-setting Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November Sale. The former English and French highweight commanded $7.5 million from Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, her breeder and co-owner who bought out partner Peter Leidel.
Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, as Hip No. 200, Lady Aurelia sparked a spirited bidding war from the beginning. The auctioneer began by soliciting a $10 million bid, but the first bid was gaudy enough at $2 million, and it spiraled from there with only a momentary pause.
Lady Aurelia, out of the Grade 2-winning Forest Wildcat mare D’ Wildcat Speed, first sold to George Bolton and Leidel for $350,000 as a Keeneland September yearling. Stonestreet joined the partnership, and the trio campaigned her for the bulk of her first two seasons of racing.
Trained by Wesley Ward, Lady Aurelia blasted to a new 4 1/2-furlong track record at Keeneland in her career debut, then took Royal Ascot by storm with a seven-length romp in the Queen Mary (G2). She added the Prix Morny (G1) over six furlongs, but her stamina limitations were revealed in her third in the Cheveley Park (G1).
Lady Aurelia ranked as the highweight juvenile filly of 2016 in both England and France, and she continued her dominance early in her three-year-old season. After defeating older distaffers in the Giant’s Causeway at Keeneland, she was much the best over older males in her Royal Ascot return in the 2017 King’s Stand (G1). Bolton subsequently sold his share and she raced for remaining partners Stonestreet and Leidel. Lady Aurelia lost her perfect mark by a nose in the Nunthorpe (G1) at York, where she was nabbed on the line by Marsha, and ended the year with a flat 10th as the 4-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) at Del Mar.
Brought back for a four-year-old campaign, Lady Aurelia settled for second in her Giant’s Causeway title defense. She tried Royal Ascot a final time, checking in seventh in the June 19 King’s Stand, and connections called time on her career. Lady Aurelia bankrolled $834,815 from her 10-5-2-1 line.
Stopchargingmaria (Tale of the Cat), the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner, sold for $4.4 million to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm. The seven-year-old mare is carrying her second foal on a March 23 cover to Tapit. Appearing late in the evening as Hip 234, the multiple Grade 1 heroine and $3-million earner was offered by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Whisper Hill had just secured Stopchargingmaria’s first foal, a weanling filly by Pioneerof The Nile, for $1.9 million – according to Daily Racing Form, a record price at this sale for a weanling. The February 2 foal, also from the Taylor Made consignment, preceded her dam into the ring as Hip 233.
Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier went to $3.5 million for Daddys Lil Darling, Hip 180. Another Scat Daddy like Lady Aurelia, the Grade 1-winning millionaire was likewise listed as a broodmare prospect by her consignor, Gainesway as agent for Normandy Farm.
Grade 1 vixen Pretty City Dancer (Tapit) brought the same $3.5 million from Stroud Coleman Bloodstock. Carrying her first foal to Medaglia d’Oro on a February 25 cover, Hip 122 was another offered by Taylor Made.
Don Alberto Corp. bought Grade 1 winner Constellation (Bellamy Road), in foal with her first on a February 22 cover by Curlin, for $3.15 million, and spent $3 million on racing or broodmare prospect Salty (Quality Road), last seen landing the May 4 La Troienne (G1).
Multiple Grade 1 heroine American Gal (Concord Point), cataloged only as a broodmare prospect, was another scooped up by Whisper Hill for $3 million.
Bridlewood Farm prevailed at $2.3 million for Song of Bernadette (Bernardini), the dam of Travers (G1) and Belmont Derby (G1) winner Catholic Boy who finished a banged-up 13th in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The nine-year-old mare is in foal to War Front on a May 24 cover.
Earlier, Bridlewood also purchased Drumette (Henny Hughes), the dam of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner and presumptive champion Monomoy Girl. In foal on a May 11 cover to first-season sire Mastery, the 10-year-old mare fetched $1.85 million.
Last year’s Juvenile Fillies (G1) winner and divisional champion, Caledonia Road (Quality Road), was sold to Narvick International for $2.3 million as a racing or broodmare prospect.
A Raving Beauty (Mastercraftsman), a close third after setting the pace in Saturday’s Filly & Mare Turf (G1), brought $2 million from Haruya Yoshida. A German highweight before importation, she became a multiple Grade 1 scorer this season for Chad Brown.
Flower Bowl (G1)-winning stablemate Fourstar Crook (Freud), seventh in the Filly & Mare Turf, went to Katsumi Yoshida for $1.5 million. The same buyer took home a pair of Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) also-rans, Finley’sluckycharm (Twirling Candy), also for $1.5 million, and Skye Diamonds (First Dude) for $500,000.
Rounding out the $1.5 million sellers was Grade 1 victress La Coronel (Colonel John), a racing or broodmare prospect acquired by K I Farm.
Further down the leaderboard but noteworthy as a well-fancied also-ran in the Filly & Mare Sprint, Selcourt (Tiz Wonderful) attracted a top bid of $800,000 from Keith Abrahams and Medallion Racing.
Several RNA’d at lofty prices – Cover Song (Fastnet Rock) at $3.9 million, a Grade 3-winning half-sister to U S Navy Flag and Roly Poly in foal to Dubawi; Akron Moon (Malibu Moon) at $2.7 million, carrying a full sister to Bellafina, fourth as the Juvenile Fillies favorite; Loving Vindication (Vindication) at $1.45 million, the dam of Canadian champion and Distaff also-ran Wonder Gadot in foal to Curlin; and Love the Chase (Not for Love) at $1.3 million, the dam of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome in foal to Uncle Mo.
Love the Chase’s Pioneerof the Nile weanling colt did sell, with OXO Equine buying the California Chrome half-brother for $600,000. And in other California Chrome news, his first weanling to appear at public auction, a filly out of She Cat (Bluegrass Cat), sold to TB Thoroughbreds for $160,000.
Fasig-Tipton reported that 140 horses grossed $89,473,000 – reportedly a sale record – and an increase of 20.6 percent from the $74,200,000 realized by 115 sellers at last year’s sale. The average dipped nearly 1 percent, from $645,217 to $639,093, but the median soared by 31 percent, from $250,000 to $327,500.
For complete results, visit fasigtipton.com.
The sales action shifts to Keeneland Monday, when the opener of its 12-day November Breeding Stock Sale features champion Lady Eli (Divine Park), in foal to War Front, as Hip 111.