09/14/2006 11:00PM

Blood doesn't get much bluer than this mare's


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Jayeff B Stable of Richard Santulli and George Prussin bred and sold Hip No. 425, the $11.7 million colt by Kingmambo who became the most expensive yearling ever sold at the Keeneland September sale when he went to John Ferguson as agent for Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin.

Jayeff B is a regular consignor and buyer of high-end yearlings and bloodstock that have the potential to bring seven-figure sums.

The record September yearling was Jayeff B's first encounter with an eight-figure sales horse, however, and it was only the fourth such transaction in history (after Snaafi Dancer, Seattle Dancer, and The Green Monkey).

As a buyer of high-priced bloodstock, Jayeff B bought out co-owner Gerald Leigh in the great international broodmare Korveya (producer of three classic winners), whose sale for $7 million in 1998 was the record for a mare at public auction until the sale of Cash Run for $7.1 million in 2003 (which was exceeded by the $9 million auction price of Ashado last November).

Sheikh Mohammed, owner of vast breeding and racing operations around the globe, was the buyer of both Ashado and the sale topper at Keeneland September, and with Hip No. 425, his Godolphin added yet another elite yearling to its paddocks packed with outstanding prospects.

Among breeders with a more domestic focus, Jayeff B is one of the most important breeding operations because it has succeeded in cultivating a band of broodmares on a par with any other for quality of breeding and racing performance.

In addition to Korveya and some of her young daughters, Jayeff B owns champion sprinter Safely Kept, Grade 1 winner Dahlia's Dreamer, and young daughters of the important racemare Escena and the important producer Miss Bold Appeal.

Among its other young broodmares, one of Jayeff B's best is the Seattle Slew mare Crown of Crimson, a listed stakes winner who is the dam of Hip No. 425. This colt is the second foal from his dam. Her first foal is a 3-year-old full brother to the record colt. Named Ashaawes, the sibling won once from two starts last year in England and had sold for $2.85 million as a yearling at the 2004 Keeneland September sale. The buyer was Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Estate Corp., and Ashaawes was entered for the listed Doonside Cup at Ayr on Saturday.

As the prices for her two sons indicate, Crown of Crimson is producing outstanding yearlings. In a sales market that is fundamentally driven by the pursuit of yearlings with athleticism and presence, this mare is producing a very appealing type of young horse.

But there is more demanded of the elite sales yearling. Such a prospect also needs a pedigree of depth, with high-quality relatives of current importance. On all these points, Crown of Crimson has delivered the goods.

As she is a good-looking daughter of Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, Crown of Crimson's acceptance in the market is not a surprise. Seattle Slew has proven an excellent broodmare sire, leading the broodmare sire list, and Horse of the Year Cigar is among the most famous offspring of his daughters.

In addition to her great sire, Crown of Crimson is out of a top-class producer. Crown of Crimson is one of three stakes winners out of the Chief's Crown mare Fitted Crown. The mare also produced the outstanding racemare Excellent Meeting, winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks, Las Virgenes, Hollywood Starlet, and Oak Leaf stakes. The mare's third stakes winner is Crowning Meeting, a full brother to Excellent Meeting who won more than a half-million dollars.

Furthermore, this pedigree doesn't have excellence in only one generation. Instead, it has successive generations of quality performers, and Fitted Crown is a half-sister to other good racehorses and producers.

Fitted Crown is out of the Dunce mare Close Control, the dam of two Grade 1-placed runners: Sophisticated Girl and Fair Advantage. Sophisticated Girl produced the excellent broodmare Dancing Tribute and the Grade 2 winner and sire Doneraile Court.

Dancing Tribute was second in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes in England and produced four stakes winners, including Grade 2 winner Souvenir Copy, Group 2 winner Dance Sequence, and their full sibling Gold Tribute (all by Mr. Prospector), who was Grade 1 stakes-placed.

Fair Advantage has produced a pair of graded stakes winners in Advancing Star and Darby Fair, as well as a third stakes winner in Fairly Affirmed.

Close Control has a fourth major producing daughter in the Slew o' Gold mare Golden Darling, who is dam of Hollywood Gold Cup winner Early Pioneer.

With all the quality and commercial appeal of this excellent family behind her, Crown of Crimson produced her third foal in 2006, and it is a colt by Storm Cat. Unfortunately, the mare hemorrhaged after foaling and died. The foal has been raised on a nursemare and is doing well.

Will he take the September sale by storm in 2007?