Up close and personal with Songbird at fan appreciation day
The daughter of Medaglia D'Oro is due to come under the hammer at Fasig-Tipton
Two-time US champion filly Songbird was feted by several hundred fans during an extraordinary ceremony at Taylor Made Farm in Kentucky on Saturday, just 16 days before she could approach the world-record price for a broodmare prospect when offered at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale.
Frank Taylor, an executive at his family's farm and associated Taylor Made Sales Agency, said during the event that, while it is impossible to predict her sale price, Songbird could surpass the $10 million brought by 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton auction.
"We never thought Havre De Grace would bring $10 million, so this filly could go beyond that," Taylor said. "You never know how it will go, but we do think she will go over $5 million."
Songbird is cataloged as Lot 120 at the Fasig-Tipton sale. Taylor Made, which also consigned Havre De Grace for Songbird's owner, Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farm, will handle Songbird at the auction.Havre De Grace set the world-record price for a broodmare prospect when sold to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm.
British champion Playful Act set the record for a broodmare when sold for $10.5m to Sheikh Mohammed at Keeneland in 2007; while she had aborted that season, the daughter of Sadler's Wells, and three-quarter sister to Nathaniel, had already produced a foal.
Taylor Made is promoting Songbird, winner of 13 of 15 starts and second twice while earning $4,692,000, as the most exceptional broodmare prospect ever offered. She was honored as US champion juvenile filly and three-year-old filly in 2015 and 2016 and won nine Grade 1 races.
To share the striking dark bay with four white socks with her scores of fans before she is sold to begin a new career, Fox Hill hosted the "Songbird Fan Appreciation Day" at Taylor Made.
Porter has said Songbird is a once-in-a-lifetime horse and has meant more to him than any other, providing him with inspiration in his battle with cancer that is now in remission.
Taylor Made estimated that several hundred people drove to the farm to see Songbird, who for the most part kindly accepted their attention.
She was brought out of a barn, walked and posed for about a half hour before being taken to a paddock where she could stretch her legs and take a break from the activity before fans were allowed in for another opportunity to touch her and get photos.
"She thinks she is going to race again," said Taylor Made's public relations specialist Laura Donnell Richard.
Taylor said he was impressed by how Songbird handled the situation, but her general demeanor is part of what makes her a champion.
"You can see it in the really good ones. They have a different mind, they are on a different level," he said.