Don Alberto owners busy on the back of Midway success
Solari and Heller buy three mares for a total of $4.8 million
Just three days after winning the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with Battle Of Midway, Don Alberto Stable owners Liliana Solari and Carlos Heller bought three mares for a total of $4.8 million at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale and indicated that at least one might be bred to the son of Smart Strike.
After acquiring Dacita, a six-year-old by Scat Daddy who was a champion in Chile and a multiple Grade 1 winner in the US, Solari mentioned Battle Of Midway as the first possibility when considering possible matings.
Fernando Diaz Valdes, bloodstock advisor to Don Alberto, confirmed that consideration is being given to retiring Battle Of Midway, who also finished third in this year's Kentucky Derby.
"It could be a possibility. We're in conversations, but we don't know yet what we're going to do. We have to discuss it with [trainer] Jerry [Hollendorfer], who has been doing an outstanding job," Diaz Valdes said.
Don Alberto, the giant Chilean breeding establishment that jumped into the US market by buying the Vinery farm in Lexington and a number of expensive mares in 2013, owns Battle of Midway with WinStar Farm after purchasing the colt privately in April from Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm.
Top ten lot
Dacita was particularly attractive to Don Alberto since she was an outstanding runner in Chile, where she was bred. Flown in for the Fasig-Tipton sale from California after finishing fourth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf won by Godolphin's Wuheida, Dacita was one of two mares acquired by Don Alberto that were among the top ten sold at the auction.
Raced by Sheep Pond Partners and Bradley Thoroughbreds, Dacita was sold for $1.85m.
"She belongs to Chile and she was a very good mare. We are happy to have a Chilean mare here [in Kentucky] and I think she will do well," Solari said, noting that in addition to Battle Of Midway, Don Alberto also co-owns prominent sire Empire Maker and first-year stallion Tourist, winner of the 2016 Breeders' Cup Mile.
Earlier in the Fasig-Tipton sale, Don Alberto paid $2.2m for American Story, a ten-year-old daughter of Ghostzapper who is the dam of Grade 1 winner American Gal. Only six mares brought higher prices at the sale, which was topped by $9.5m champion Songbird.
"She's a big, strong, beautiful mare," Heller said of American Story, who is a half-sister to Grade/Group 1 winners Seventh Street and Reynaldothewizard. "Maybe we'll breed her to Tapit. We like Tapit."
Don Alberto proved its affinity for Tapit by paying $750,000 for Sweet Assassin, an unraced three-year-old filly by the top US sire. Sold as a broodmare prospect, Sweet Assassin is a sister to Grade 1 winner Cupid and a half-sister to graded winners Heart Ashley and Ashley's Kitty.
Solari said Don Albertos Kentucky broodmare band currently includes about 80 mares, with another 300 based in Chile.