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Stonestreet's Barbara Banke goes to $1.025m for Ghostzapper filly

The Ghostzapper filly that caught the eye of Stonestreet's Barbara Banke
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Buoyed by vibrant sales of yearlings bred by her Stonestreet Farms during the first few days of the Keeneland September Sale, Barbara Banke decided on Wednesday it was time to switch roles and become a buyer.

Sitting in the last row of seats in the sale pavilion, Banke succeeded in securing the full sister to her Grade 1 winner Molly Morgan for $1.025 million (£785,000/€882,000).

Her winning bid on the bay Ghostzapper filly, who was the third last yearling to go through the ring on the day, earned Banke a thankful kiss on the cheek from Irish native Peter O'Callaghan of Woods Edge Farm, who was celebrating a second seven-figure yearling sale of a weanling pinhook.

“She looks the part. She looks like she’ll be rugged and fast and we’ll be happy to take her to the races,” Banke said of the filly.

View sales results and buyers

Through the first three days of sale action, Stonestreet had sold 11 of 12 yearlings offered through a variety of consignors, with its top sale a Curlin colt who is the first foal out of Molly Morgan. Larry Best of Oxo Equine paid $1.8m for that colt, consigned through Summerfield, in the first sale session.

Banke said with a big smile that Stonestreet sales, and the market in general, have been “very good".

“So, I’d better buy some or I won’t have anything to race,” she quipped after signing the ticket for the filly, a bay daughter of the stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare Capitulation who had been a $335,000 weanling purchase in November by BT Bloodstock.

Banke visited Molly Morgan, who had been a $1.35m purchase as a broodmare prospect in 2015 and who is now nine, at her farm earlier in the day and then inspected the yearling sister, offered as Hip 740, on the grounds at Keeneland.

“They are like Irish twins,” she said.

Barbara Banke: visited the dam of the Ghostzapper filly earlier in the day

While a trainer has not been determined yet for the yearling, Banke said she already can envision breeding the filly to Curlin one day to hopefully duplicate the result gained with Molly Morgan’s colt.

For his part, O’Callaghan said he was somewhat concerned that the filly was cataloged so late in the session, but he praised her quality.

“She was a great filly,” O’Callaghan said. “It was a very unique package. She’s by an unbelievable sire of fillies who is now proving to be an unbelievable broodmare sire. She was a great physical specimen with a beautiful pedigree and she’s exactly what most filly buyers are looking to buy. So, we were just lucky that the right people got on her and it worked out.”

After selling a $2.2 million American Pharoah colt to Godolphin in the opening session of the Keeneland sale after buying him as a weanling for $400,000, O’Callaghan said Woods Edge had struggled with two offerings in the Wednesday session prior to the Ghostzapper filly’s appearance in the ring. Both the earlier yearlings on the day were listed as RNAs.

“We needed that little bit of a pick me up at the end of the day,” he said, adding that his reserve price for the filly was far lower than the sale figure.

“We had her reserved at less than $400,000, at $374,000 or something, but we knew the market would carry her to $600,000 or $700,000 anyway; beyond that, you never know. This is the way the market is at the moment. We didn’t sell two earlier today, one due to a veterinary issue and one just came up a bit short,” O’Callaghan continued.

“People know exactly what they want to buy - they’re very zoned in on the sires, the pedigrees, the physicals, and it’s very difficult for consignors to have it (all in one horse) and very difficult for breeders to breed more than one or two a year like that. When you have it, you need and hope to get rewarded for it to carry the other horses.”

Read more from the Keeneland September Yearling Sale

French connection sets Runnymede Farm on the path to September success

Sierra Farm's $1.4m Pharoah colt reigns supreme during third session

Seven yearlings sold for $1m or more on Wednesday bring sale total to 20

She looks the part. She looks like she’ll be rugged and fast and we’ll be happy to take her to the races

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