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Two Mares Bring $800,000 During Opening Session Of January Sale

Press Release

Lexington, Ky - Keeneland - Topping the Monday session of the January Horses of All Ages Sale here at $800,000 were La Galerie (Arg) and Spring Meadow. La Galerie was a champion at 2 in her native country and stakes-placed after she was imported to the United States. The 8-year-old daughter of Southern Halo is carrying her first foal, by War Chant.

Consigned by Three Chimneys Sales as agent for Three Chimneys owner Robert Clay and Gary Biszantz, owner of Cobra Farm, the bay mare was purchased by Rick Trontz, as agent for Betty Mabee.

Mabee and her late husband, John, who died in April of 2002, were well known as owners and breeders through their Golden Eagle Farm operation, located near Ramona, California. Mrs. Mabee subsequently dispersed many of their mares and is now in the process of rebuilding her own broodmare band.

The Mabees bred to race and sell, and she plans to continue that business practice, Trontz said, depending on the individual foals.

“She’s upgrading her broodmare band and getting new blood in it,” explained Trontz, who boards some of her mares currently at his Hopewell Farm near Lexington.

Of La Galerie, Trontz said: “She’s a great cross for a lot of stallions out there.” La Galerie, out of the stakes-winning Aquarelle, by Logical, is a full sister to Grade I winner Gouache (Arg), who is the dam of Argentine champion Guernika (Arg), and a half-sister to Grade I winner Apeles.

“She’s a quality race mare and in foal for the first time,” Trontz said. Asked how high he would have gone to buy La Galerie, Trontz said he had been on the phone with Mabee and that they had debated whether to even make the final, winning bid.

Eric Hamelback, general manager of Live Oak Stud, signed the ticket for Spring Meadow on behalf of Charlotte Weber, owner of the farm. The five-year-old daughter of Meadowlake, winner of the Grade III Las Flores Handicap last year and earner of more than $485,000, was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect.

Hamelback said she would be retired but that no breeding decision had as yet been made.

“She’s a very nice filly,” he said. “We try to pick out the best mare in the catalog, and we felt that she was the best one. She’s got a good pedigree and a good race record. And she’s very good physically. She’s the type of mare we like to have in our program.”

Weber breeds her mares with the intention of keeping the foals to race. Hamelback added that they thought they might be able to buy her for less than they had to pay, but he pointed out that she was still a good value, compared to the prices in November when it had been very hard to buy.

Aki Kato bid $550,000 to obtain Virginie (Brz) for Isami Nakamura. Champion at 3 in her native country, Virginie also was a Grade I winner in the U.S. Consigned by Denali Stud as agent, the 10-year-old mare, a half-sister to champion Be Fair (Brz), is in foal to Giant’s Causeway. Trontz bought seven other mares on Betty Mabee’s behalf—Heaven to Earth (for $350,000), Cee’s Elegance ($320,000), Crafty Queen ($250,000), Kerry Gold ($250,000), Timeless Tempo ($105,000), Really an Angel ($95,000) and Eyes Roar ($30,000).

Heaven to Earth, a stakes-placed Regal Classic mare, was consigned by Taylor Made. The 10-year-old mare, in foal to Mr. Greeley, is a half-sister to Canadian champion Rainbows for Life, to French Group II winner Colour Chart (the dam of champion 2-year-old filly Tempera), and to stakes winner Always a Rainbow.

“We’re looking for mares who can produce quality foals,” Trontz said. “We’re looking for good physicals and for good race records or pedigrees. Mix and match.”

Cee’s Elegance, winner of the Grade II A Gleam Invitational Handicap last year, is by Cee’s Tizzy, the sire of Horse of the Year Tiznow. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales.

Crafty Queen, in foal to Dixieland Band, is out of stakes-winning Drina, by Regal and Royal. The eight-year-old mare, consigned by Denali Stud, as agent, is a half-sister to Spain, North America’s leading money-winning mare, and Grade II winner Puerto Banus.

Kerry Gold, consigned by Glencoe Farm as agent, is in foal to Distorted Humor. The 7-year-old daughter of Private Terms is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winners Tranquility Lake and Benchmark.

Really an Angel, also consigned by Taylor Made, is in foal to El Corredor. Timeless Tempo, in foal to Hennessy, was consigned by Jimmie Lockhart as agent, as was Eyes Roar, who is in foal to Black Minnaloushe.

Frank Stronach was also very active on Monday, acquiring eight fillies or mares, topped by Forever Partners, for $410,000. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales, the 4-year-old daughter of Not For Love won the Colleen Stakes and placed in two graded races. She was sold as a broodmare prospect. The dark bay filly is a full sister to stakes-placed My New Love and a half-sister to stakes winner Pal’s Partner.

Dan Hall, who manages Stronach’s Adena Springs Kentucky, said the filly might be bred to Golden Missile, though no definite decision had been reached.

“She was a very, very fast filly and very talented,” Hall said. “She’s got all the physical qualities we look for. We believe she’s the type that has a good shot at becoming a good mare.” He added that the mares Stronach is buying are to support the stallions standing at his farms.

Among the other mares Stronach bought is Golden Antigua, bought for $145,000. The stakes-winning daughter of Hansel, in foal to Giant’s Causeway, was consigned by Lantern Hill Farm LLC, as agent.

Graham Beck’s Gainesway Farm bought Star of Wicklow for $400,000. The 13-year-old Fast Play mare, already the dam of Grade I winner Man from Wicklow and Grade II winner Wild Heart Dancing, was consigned by Taylor Made.

Gainesway farm manager Neil Howard said: “She is one of several mares that we wanted. She is 13 and the dam of a Grade I winner. She’s in foal to Forest Wildcat. Hopefully, we’ll get out on that foal.”

Irish bloodstock agent Denis Sheehy bought Private Seductress for $350,000 on behalf of the owner of an Irish stud farm who preferred not to be identified. The stakes-placed 12-year-old mare, in foal to Maria’s Mon, has a promising 3-year-old filly being pointed for the classics in England named Menhoubah, Sheehy said. She was consigned by Woodlynn Farm, Inc., as agent.

Sheehy also bought a Maria’s Mon yearling filly, out of Canadian champion Primaly, for the same individual. The price, $160,000, was the highest for a yearling during the first session. In addition to Primaly, Sheehy said that the fact that she was by Maria’s Mon and that there was another champion (Poetically) under the second dam were the factors in buying the filly. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales.

For the session, 226 horses sold for $14,861,100, an average price of $65,757 and a median price of $30,000. Last year, 208 horses grossed $10,683,200, an average of $51,362 and a median of $30,000.

Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s Director of Sales, said: “The overall level was exactly what we thought it would be. We thought that a couple of mares might break loose and they did. They both sold for more than last year’s sale topper.

“I was delighted to see Mrs. Mabee back buying mares,” he continued. “She’s been a big supporter of the industry. And Mrs. Weber bought Desert Stormer at this sale (for $3.6 million in 2002). I was delighted with her participation, too.”