Horse Racing

Filly fetches whopping US$8.2 million at Keeneland September Sale

Friday, September 13, 2019

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What will be the final foal sent to auction out of blue hen mare Leslie's Lady, who has produced champion Beholder and sire Mendelssohn, hammered for a sales-topping — and historic — US$8.2 million on Wednesday at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

The total made Hip 428 the most-expensive yearling filly ever sold at Keeneland and tied her for fourth on the all-time September sale list.

To little surprise, Mandy Pope, who has gone to great lengths to acquire top broodmare prospects in recent years, purchased the daughter of American Pharoah after a frenetic round of bidding in the Keeneland sales pavilion.

“She's got a lot more pedigree than some of them, but she doesn't have the race record yet,” said Pope, who once made history by going to US$10 million for Horse of the Year Havre De Grace. “So we've got a lot of racing to do.”

She added that there's no trainer in mind yet.

“We've got to get her there first,” said Pope, who will break the filly and begin her training at her expanded Whisper Hill Farm facilities in Florida that now include a track.

Pope was expecting to spend in the range of just US$4 million. Instead, she doubled Tuesday's US$4.1 million Godolphin purchase of a Curlin colt that had marked Keeneland's most expensive yearling sold since 2010 and also made Hip 498.

Property of Clarkland Farm, Leslie's Lady, a Tricky Creek mare, is 23 years old.

“But in my opinion, this was the best individual the old mare has ever had,” said Clarkland's Fred Mitchell. “Can you believe a (23)-year-old mare had something like this? But Leslie's Lady, she still thinks she's 12 or 13 years old.”

She's currently in foal to a filly by Kantharos, and Mitchell said that one will not go to auction.

“We dream of breeding a nice horse, and this is what it's all about for the little consignors and the small guy,” he added. “The farm has been in the family since 1774, and it'll be there for the children for the rest of their lives. “We're keeping two fillies out of the old mare, this is the last one to sell out of her. The fillies will stay there for the kids and grandkids.”


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