Positive reception for Pharoah's first foals
One particular filly sells for $1 million at November Sale
The first foals by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to be offered at public auction drew international attention and rave reviews from buyers and consignors alike when they stepped into the ring at Fasig-Tipton's November Sale in Lexington.
A flashy filly, and half-sister to Grade 1 winner Bodemeister - sire of this year's Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming in his first crop, topped the quintet of American Pharoah foals offered when sold for a cool $1 million to Yoshiyuki Ito's Grand Farm of Japan.
That price was enough to make her the co-highest priced weanling of the record-breaking, single-session sale conducted on Monday.
Coolmore, who stand American Pharoah, purchased the filly's dam, Untouched Talent, for $5m at Fasig-Tipton five years ago after Bodemeister finished second in the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
"We loved her type and obviously her pedigree is outstanding," said bloodstock agent Emmanuel de Seroux after representing Ito in purchasing the filly. "There is enough pedigree there and the conformation to go with it, so we think she is a nice prospect for us. Mr Ito is a breeder so he will keep her to breed, of course."
Coolmore are also connected with the weanling American Pharoah half-brother to its Group 1-placed Giovanni Boldini. That colt, from the family of Argentine champion La Galerie brought $525,000 from the International Equities Holdings of Chilean-based Oussama Aboughazale, who is enhancing his farm and bloodstock in Kentucky.
"They're all great movers with good strength - they seem to be very much like him," MV Magnier said of the American Pharoah foals. "They're selling great."
Consignor Reiley McDonald of Eaton Sales, which handled the filly out of Untouched Talent at Fasig-Tipton, was effervescent about the potential of the foals.
"I'm going to tell you these American Pharoahs are going to blow through the roof. The ones I've seen are outstanding and he's stamping them - they have huge shoulders and great hips, good length and scope. This is just the beginning," McDonald said.
The price for the filly out of Untouched Talent was not a surprise, he added.
"I think every time you get to seven figures you're doing pretty well and probably above expectations, but we knew she was going to break loose. She had a great way of moving, a great disposition and she is out of a wonderful mare," he said.
The buyer of the first of the American Pharoah foals to be offered at public auction was Irish native Peter O'Callaghan of Woods Edge Farm, a particularly savvy pinhooker. He signed the $250,000 ticket for a grey filly out of the Pulpit mare Pulsating, a sister to Grade 2 winner Mini Sermon, under the name Northface Bloodstock.
"They're really unbelievable movers," O'Callaghan said of the American Pharoah foals. "They're all a little different in their make-up, but one common denominator is their movement. They're very impressive when they move. There's not one of them you look at and say that couldn't be a racehorse.
"I think they're going to grow into lovely yearlings. If they walk like they do as foals, they'll be in high demand as yearlings," he added.
"You have to give him a chance - he was such an amazing racehorse and he's from a great sire line. It's hard to imagine that [his offspring] won't run. I'll be a fan and a believer, and as long as the dream is alive, we'll keep going [to buy them]."
Overall, the five American Pharoah foals sold at Fasig-Tipton generated a total of $2,375,000 for an average price of $475,000. Coolmore stood the son of Pioneerof The Nile for an advertised fee of $200,000, but gave many breeders an option to breed two mares to the horse for that price.
Another 22 foals by American Pharoah were cataloged for the Keeneland November sale, which begins on Tuesday, but ten of those had been withdrawn prior to the first session.