Juddmonte jewels sparkle at Keeneland as Prince Khalid rationalises his herd
Miss Exclusive topped Wednesday's session at $750,000
As part of ongoing efforts to streamline its bloodstock holdings, Juddmonte Farms offered US breeders a rare opportunity to buy into some of Prince Khalid Abdullah’s most esteemed bloodlines during Wednesday’s third session of the Keeneland November Sale.
Having been outbid two years ago at Tattersalls when he tried to buy into the most prized of the Juddmonte families, the line of 2006 English Broodmare of the Year Hasili, Mt. Brilliant Farm owner Greg Goodman determined he was not going to let another chance elude him.
Stationed at the base of the Keeneland ring, Goodman and his team, including agent Marette Farrell, kept on bidding until they had landed Miss Exclusive, an imposing six-year-old daughter of Unbridled’s Song and Hasili’s US champion daughter Intercontinental, by Danehill.
Even though the $750,000 price was beyond what Goodman thought he would have to pay for the dappled gray, who was in foal to Noble Mission and who topped the session, he was jubilant to have finally landed one of the Juddmonte gems.
“We really liked her. We’ve been looking at her for a few days. We tried to buy into the family from Juddmonte at Tattersalls the year before last and we got outbid in guineas,” Goodman said. “We've wanted to be in the family for a long time - to get a mare like this out of this family. So we're excited to be able to get her.”
Miss Exclusive’s catalogue page glows with black type of the highest value. Intercontinental is a full-sister to Canadian Horse of the Year and sire Champs Elysees, European and US champion Banks Hill, European heavyweight and outstanding sire Dansili and Grade 1 winner and sire Cacique, as well as a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Heat Haze.
After watching Miss Exclusive being led out of the ring, Juddmonte’s US manager Garrett O’Rourke said her sale and the sale of five other mares - all offered without reserve - for a total of $1.45 million during the session was part of Juddmonte’s strategy of keeping its numbers under control.
“You’re always hoping she’s going to make big money,” he said, reacting to the price for Miss Exclusive. “She’s obviously from a lovely family. They’re collectors’ items, those mares. We’re lucky to have enough of them to be able to pass one on.
“We’ve got to get the numbers down, so that means mares like that, every now and again, have to find another home, but it’s great when they go to very good homes. I’m delighted for people like the Goodmans to have jewels like that,” he added.
Miss Exclusive raced twice, winning a maiden race on the turf at Ellis Park for trainer Bill Mott. To date, she has produced one foal, a yearling colt by Noble Mission.
The second-highest priced of the Juddmonte group offered at Keeneland was three-year-old Compression, a daughter of First Defence and European champion Special Duty - who was promoted to first place in the 1,000 Guineas and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, as well as a half-sister to the dam of last weekend’s Breeders’ Cup Mile victor Expert Eye.
Agent Steve Young, who often buys mares for Ramona Bass, signed the $420,000 ticket for Compression, who was sold as a broodmare prospect.
Breeder Fred Hertrich acquired another of the Juddmonte lots, paying $130,000 for the unraced two-year-old Turning Tide, by Malibu Moon and out of the Empire Maker sister to Grade 1 winner Emollient. Turning Tide’s catalogue page also features Florida Derby runner-up Hofburg and Prix Marcel Boussac winner Denebola, while the family also includes Machiavellian.
O’Rourke said Juddmonte is aiming to keep about 70 mares in Kentucky and 200 in Europe, numbers he said represent “a comfortable level moving forward.”
Prince Khalid’s Kentucky branch has been restructuring its broodmare band to a degree, acquiring mares such as Grade 1 winner Paulassilverlining, by Ghostzapper, and Grade 2 winner Golden Mischief, by Into Mischief, who might better suit young stallion Arrogate than more turf-oriented mares.
“I think we’re always trying to keep the quality to the highest level and not have any slippage,” O’Rourke said. “I think there are plenty of people out there trying to compete or unseat us so you’ve got to keep the quality at the highest level possible in order to produce the quality of horses that we’re constantly trying to produce.
Goodman also is trying to upgrade the quality of his mares and added two others through the first three Keeneland sessions, spending a total of $1.535 million for the trio. He paid $700,000 for eight-year-old multiple graded winner Strike Charmer, by Smart Strike out of stakes winner Cat Charmer, by Storm Cat.
In foal to Tapit, Strike Charmer is from the high-class family of champion Gold Beauty.
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