11/06/2007 12:00AM

Adoration sells for $3.1M at auction

EmailAdoration, winner of the 2003 Breeders' Cup Distaff and selling in foal to Curlin's sire Smart Strike, brought $3.1 million from Coolmore boss John Magnier early in the Keeneland November sale's second session Tuesday in Lexington, Ky.

The 8-year-old mare sold through the Mill Ridge agency for her owners, John and Jerry Amerman of Amerman Racing. The Amermans also have Grade 1 winner Spoken Fur in the Tuesday session as Hip No. 573. Like Adoration, Spoken Fur also is in foal to Smart Strike.

"They were keeping Balance," Mill Ridge manager Bayne Welker said of the Amermans' decision to sell the two mares. "They are business people, and when it came down to it, it was a business decision. They wanted to capitalize on both Spoken Fur and Adoration."

Magnier said little about the purchase, except to compliment the mare as "good-looking" and to say the Coolmore team hadn't yet made any decisions regarding Adoration's future plans. Asked about the price, Magnier said, "That's the market. What else can you say?"

Monday's opening session at Keeneland saw a world-record price for a broodmare when Swettenham Stud's Playful Act sold for $10.5 million. Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, represented in the bidding by John Ferguson, outgunned Coolmore for the Sadler's Wells mare, who sold through the Hill 'n' Dale agency.

The Keeneland November sale, which features a record catalog of 5,415 horses this year, runs through Nov. 19.