A Beautifully Grey Day

Nov 4, 2012: The lovely mare Well Monied, a Grade 2 winner by Maria's Mon shown here in foal to Giant's Causeway.

Nov 4, 2012: The lovely mare Well Monied, a Grade 2 winner by Maria’s Mon shown here in foal to Giant’s Causeway.

In November 2012, I attended some of the sales in Kentucky. They’re so much fun. You never know who you’ll run into or which horses you’ll get a chance to see up close. Most of the horses sold at these breeding stock sales are fillies and mares, but there are usually several weanlings and the occasional stallion up for sale as well. Now, if someone would just loan me a few million bucks…

The photos here are from the 2012 Fasig-Tipton November sale. Such a gorgeous place to visit!

Nov 5, 2012: Ponche de Leona, shown here in foal to Tapit, is the dam of '13 Breeders' Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man.

Nov 5, 2012: Ponche de Leona, shown here in foal to Tapit, is the dam of ’13 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man.

Nov 4, 2012: Tapitsfly, trained by Dale Romans, won the '09 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and became a two-time Grade 1 winner in 2012.

Nov 4, 2012: Tapitsfly, trained by Dale Romans, won the ’09 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and became a two-time Grade 1 winner in 2012.

Nov 4, 2012: Tapitsfly.

Nov 4, 2012: Tapitsfly.

Nov 4, 2012: Versailles Song is a daughter of the amazing mare Versailles Treaty, who won four Grade 1 races during her career. This makes Versailles Song a half-sister to George Vancouver, winner of the '12 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf.

Nov 4, 2012: Versailles Song is a daughter of the amazing mare Versailles Treaty, who won four Grade 1 races during her career. This makes Versailles Song a half-sister to George Vancouver, winner of the ’12 Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf.

Trinniberg’s Mama

Nov 4, 2012: Bella Dorato at the Fasig-Tipton sales barn.

Nov 4, 2012: Bella Dorato at the Fasig-Tipton sales barn.

This lovely mare is Bella Dorato, the dam of 2012 Champion Sprinter Trinniberg. She’s shown here at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton November sale, just before she sold to Stonestreet for $460,000. She stood out to me even before I knew who she was because she bounced and danced everywhere she went. I don’t know if that’s just her personality or if she was on her toes because of the constant flow of people through the sales barns, but she had quite a spring to her step.

Trinniberg has retired to Rockridge Stud in Hudson, NY after a rather lackluster year, but he was always one of my favorites on the track. Here’s hoping that he passes on the good looks and speed that mama Bella gave him!

Beautyandthebeast

This lovely mare is Beautyandthebeast, a Grade 2 winner by Machiavellian. She raced in England, Ireland, and the US during her career and has had a few foals since being retired as a broodmare. She’s shown here at the Keeneland November sale in foal with a Lemon Drop Kid colt. Her two-year-old filly by Bernardini, Bikini Beauty, won her debut in September for Christophe Clement by almost four lengths and has already competed in the Grade 3 Miss Grillo at Belmont Park.

I just loved this mare’s calm demeanor at the sale. About five minutes after this photo was taken, a weanling broke away from his groom and came trotting down the path towards her. Her head went straight up and she walked forward to stand right in front of him as his groom ran to catch up. She seemed to be scolding him, with a look that said, “Bad boy! I’d never let my kids behave that way!”

Nov 7, 2011: Beautyandthebeast at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Nov 7, 2011: Beautyandthebeast at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.

Take Charge!

A beautiful yearling sold today at Keeneland, a filly by Indian Charlie out of the amazing mare Take Charge Lady. Mandy Pope won her with a final bid of $2.2 million. If that name seems familiar, it’s probably because she purchased 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace last year for a whopping $10 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale. Pope then paid $4.2 million for Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty a day or two later. She’s certainly collecting a stellar group of fillies and mares.

Take Charge Lady won multiple Grade 1, 2, and 3 races during her career on the track and earned over $2.4 million as a race horse. As a broodmare she has produced several foals, including Grade 1 winners Take Charge Indy (’12 Florida Derby) and Will Take Charge (’13 Travers Stakes). Both of those colts participated in the Kentucky Derby, and Will Take Charge went on to participate in the Preakness and Belmont as well.

It’ll be fun to see how their little sister fares at the track! She should head into training next year if all goes well.

May 3, 2012: Calvin Borel and Take Charge Indy at Churchill Downs.

May 3, 2012: Calvin Borel and Take Charge Indy head out for a gallop at Churchill Downs. Check out their matching tongues.

May 18, 2013: Will Take Charge chows down on the grass behind the stakes barn at Pimlico after the Preakness.

Good Luck to Royal Delta!

November 7, 2011: Royal Delta at the Keeneland November sale.

Royal Delta, the 2011 Champion Three Year Old Filly and 2012 Champion Older Female, is on track to ship out sometime in the next week for a second try in the $10 million Dubai World Cup (run on March 30). Here’s hoping she has better racing luck this year!

Royal Delta won the last two runnings of the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic, along with several other graded stakes throughout her career. The images shown here are from the 2011 Keeneland November sale, which was held two days after her first Breeders’ Cup win. One day later she sold for a whopping $8.5 million to Benjamin Leon’s Besilu Stables. I can’t thank him enough for keeping her in training at age 5, which is a rare treat for such an expensive purchase! Her dam, Delta Princess, was sold at the same sale to Adena Springs for $2.6 million in foal to Distorted Humor. While at the sale, I also got a look at Royal Delta’s baby sister by Smart Strike, who is now named Crown Queen. The entire family is absolutely stunning!

I have my friend Jennifer to thank for introducing me to the wonderful world of walking the sales barns and watching the bidding from the walking ring. These sales are one of the most wonderful ways to see some truly amazing horses, and it’s exciting to see the bids jump up to outrageous amounts on some of these horses. I always end up running into friends at these events, which makes me wish I could live closer and attend them more frequently than I currently do. I’ve also had the most fantastic conversations with total strangers, which reinforces my belief that horses really are a tie that binds. I could talk horses for days at a time.

Ah well, at least I make the most of every visit I can manage! You should see the schedules we put together for Kentucky trips. There’s barely time for eating and sleeping, and that’s no exaggeration.

November 7, 2011: Royal Delta is shown to perspective buyers at the Keeneland sales barns.

November 7, 2011: Royal Delta’s dam, Delta Princess, is just as big and lovely as you’d expect. There is a very definite family resemblance.