Minding’s sister How among fillies sold to US

How: daughter of Galileo has placed three times from five starts

PICTURE: Caroline Norris Minding's sister How among fillies sold to US
By Michele MacDonald 11:59AM 19 AUG 2016

AN AMERICAN partnership consisting of Hill ‘n' Dale Farms, Glen Hill Farm and Heider Family Stables has acquired a group of fillies, mares and foals from Coolmore entities and associates that includes the juvenile sister to brilliant champion Minding and two Group stakes-performing three-year-olds.

John Sikura of Hill ‘n' Dale and Craig Bernick of Glen Hill confirmed the acquisitions after Bernick posted photos of Minding's sister How, stakes winner and Group 2-placed Earring and Group 3 winner Most Beautiful on his Twitter account. The three fillies will be raced in the US.

"It's an exciting group," Bernick said, adding the trio has arrived at Fair Hill Training Center in Maryland and will be conditioned by Tom Proctor for the partnership.

Neither Bernick nor Sikura would reveal how many other horses were included in the purchase or other details, but Bernick gave credit to Sikura and his connections with Coolmore for making the acquisitions possible.

"We do plenty of business with Coolmore as well, we breed to their stallions and have done deals with them before, but it's John's relationship, and Scott Heider and I were happy to be part of it," Bernick said.

"[Coolmore] have the best pedigrees in the world and they're the only outfit in the world that has that kind of quality stock that does sell. The fillies weren't cheap but we were happy to purchase them.

"With the mares and foals, we'll be breeding, keeping, racing and selling some."

Heider, who has horses in training with Proctor and boards mares at Hill ‘n' Dale Farms in Lexington, sought to be part of some of the group's commercial breeding efforts, Bernick said.

Glen Hill and Hill ‘n' Dale are major partners, and last year sold the Tattersalls December sale-topper Hanky Panky, a half-sister to Giant's Causeway by Galileo and in foal to Dubawi, for 2,700,000gns to John Ferguson. Hanky Panky had been bred and raced by Coolmore partners and acquired privately.

How, who has placed three times in five starts this year for Aidan O'Brien while racing for Derrick Smith, Susan Magnier and Michael Tabor, has finished second twice at Naas and was sixth in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot on her last start. She is one of five foals, all fillies by Galileo, produced by multiple Group 1 winner Lillie Langtry, by Danehill Dancer.

"We're thrilled to be able to buy her," Bernick said. "We're not kidding ourselves that she's going to turn into a champion filly in America, but if she can win a race or two and possibly get black type, it would be great. And she's a filly who has a globally influential, attractive pedigree, so we can go a number of ways with her in the future."

Earring and Most Beautiful also have potential to perform well in American racing.

A Group 3 winner at the Curragh last year and third to Ballydoyle and Minding in the Group 2 Debutante Stakes, Most Beautiful is by Canford Cliffs out of Pretty Polly Stakes winner Saphira's Fire, by Cape Cross. She had raced for Ronan O'Gara and Mrs Paul Shanahan while trained by David Wachman.

"She was a really good two-year-old," Bernick said of Most Beautiful. "We're hoping that not only is she just coming into form, but there are a lot more opportunities for horses like her, especially in California, with the 6½-furlong down-the-hill-races, and there are sharper turns so that a lot of six- and seven-furlong fillies in Europe can run a mile in California."

Earring, a daughter of Dansili and Grade 1 winner Together, by Galileo, won a maiden race at Gowran Park last year and was a half-length second to Bocca Baciata in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes for O'Brien and the Coolmore partners on her last start.

"I was in Ireland for her race and was amazed," Bernick said, praising Earring's effort and noting that he is very familiar with her pedigree as her dam defeated Glen Hill's multiple Grade 1 winner Marketing Mix in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Keeneland in 2011.

Sikura said he does not like to discuss private acquisitions, but he did describe the opportunity to obtain How as "incredible" and added that the racing potential of the other two fillies is promising.

In general terms, Sikura said Hill ‘n' Dale, a leading American commercial breeder and consignor while standing 13 stallions including Curlin, seeks to acquire elite horses with international appeal.

"I view the right horse as a global currency, so the more international and widespread the appeal, the more customers we have and the more insulated we are to market vagaries," he said.

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