Phipps mares in demand at Book 2 of Keeneland

Easy Feeling: daughter of Elusive Quality was offered in foal to War Front

Phipps mares popular at Book 2 of Keeneland
By Frank Angst and Evan Hammonds of Blood-Horse 12:01PM 11 NOV 2016

THE OPENING Book 2 Keeneland November breeding-stock sale session saw strong interest in broodmares and broodmare prospects – helped in part by a Phipps Stable reduction – as sale numbers improved compared with the same session in 2015.

While last year's third session saw the Tapit filly Royal Obsession sell for $1.15 million, she was the only horse to sell for $500,000 or more on that day. This year's third session saw four horses – all broodmares or broodmare prospects – sell for $500,000 or more.

Two of the four broodmares to bring $500,000 or more were part of the Phipps Stable Reduction. Breeder Charles Fipke went to $530,000 early in the session to purchase 2005 Grade 1 Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home, in foal to Orb. The ticket was signed by agent R J Bennett.

Later in the day, Gasparilla Inn, a winning daughter of Street Cry believed pregnant to Super Saver, was purchased for $500,000 by Shimokobe Farm and Polo Green Stable. Gasparilla Inn is out of Grade 2 winner Boca Grande, by A.P. Indy.

In all, the nine broodmares offered in the reduction sold for $2,592,000.

"The Phipps mares sold very, very well, I thought, from start to finish; and we appreciate their support," said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell, noting that Keeneland wanted to offer all of the mares as a group in a single session. "We didn't feel that they all belonged in Book 1. They didn't want to have two or three in Book 1 and then the rest. We wanted to generate interest and momentum, which it obviously generated. It was well-marketed and worked very well."

Phipps Mares Prove Popular at Keeneland

The Book 2 opener, the third session overall, saw total sales improve three per cent to $31,634,000 compared with the same session last year. The average jumped six per cent to $142,495 and the median was up three per cent to $102,500.

Through the auction's first three days, total sales were down four per cent to $134,553,000 but the average was up three per cent to $283,269 and the median jumped six per cent to $170,000. Total horses sold is down seven per cent to 475 with RNAs up ten per cent to 212.

Pleasant Home, a 15-year-old, won the Distaff in her final career start. Her first foal, S'Avall, is the dam of Fipke's Tale Of S'avall, by Fikpe's stallion Tale Of Ekati. Tale Of S'avall has been placed in two stakes races this year, including the Grade 3 Dwyer Stakes.

"I own Tale Of Ekati and he's the only one that goes with this mare," Fipke said. "I feel Tale Of S'avall will be a Grade 1 winner and that will make the page and of course I'm interested that the foals out of her by Tale Of Ekati will be 3×3 to Maplejinksy. That will be great breeding stock."

Thursday's session-topper was not from the Phipps reduction, as that honor went to Easy Feeling, a young Elusive Quality mare in foal to War Front who sold for $650,000. Aisling Duignan signed the ticket for buyer David Nagle's Barronstown Stud, which is based in Ireland. Duignan said Nagle was travelling at the time of the purchase and she didn't want to comment until speaking with him.

Consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent, Easy Feeling is a four-year-old out of Wonder Woman, by Storm Cat. She is a half-sister to stakes winners War Officer and Doo Lang, and stakes-placed Verdura.

Easy Feeling's second dam is the Grade 2 winner Wandering Star, by Red Ransom. Wandering Star also has produced Group 2 winner War Command, by War Front; and Group 3 winner Naval Officer, by Tale Of The Cat .

Jewel in the crown for Timber Town

The Bedouin Bloodstock-consigned Bryan's Jewel commanded the day's second-highest price at $580,000. Eight-year-old Bryan's Jewel, in foal to Speightstown, sold to Wayne and Cathy Sweezey's Timber Town and Jane Winegardner, with Virginia-based bloodstock agent Patrick Lawley-Wakelin signing the ticket.

"We were absolutely looking forward to buying her all day," said Lawley-Wakelin, noting that they like breeding to Speightstown. Lawley-Wakelin said the connections will meet over the next two or three days to discuss her breeding for next season.

Bryan's Jewel's second dam, stakes-placed Marshesseaux, is the dam of champion older male Left Bank, and stakes winners Marsheslew and Flag On the Play.

"The partners are Timber Town Stable, Wayne and Cathy Sweezey, and Jane Winegardner who has been a dear friend of theirs for a number of years and has decided she would like to get in on a few mares," Lawley-Wakelin said. "She really wanted to do that with Wayne and Cathy and they are all having fun doing it."

Earlier in the session, the team purchased five-year-old Queenie's Song, in foal to Lemon Drop Kid, for $470,000.

The top-selling weanling of the day was a daughter of Speightstown selling for $390,000 to Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables. Bred in Kentucky by SF Racing Group, the bay was consigned by Bedouin Bloodstock and is the second foal out of Canadian Grade 3 winner Nikkis Smartypants, by Smarty Jones.

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