10/23/2015 12:22PM

Breeders' Cup contenders add luster to November sales

Barbara D. Livingston
Stephanie's Kitten is scheduled to sell at Fasig-Tipton November following the Breeders' Cup.

Following their planned starts in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Keeneland, Hard Not to Like and Photo Call will make just a short walk across the stable area to set them up for their next turn in the spotlight.

Both mares are cataloged to sell at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, which begins on Monday, Nov. 2, less than 48 hours after the Breeders’ Cup is contested for the first time at the Lexington, Ky., track. The proximity of the event adds an extra layer of intrigue to the Keeneland November sale and the single-session Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale on Nov. 1, both of which traditionally get major catalog updates from the Breeders’ Cup.

“The intention of hosting the Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland is to bring greater attention to Central Kentucky – the center of the Thoroughbred breeding industry in North America – and, therefore, by its proximity, be of direct benefit to the November sale,” Keeneland president and CEO Bill Thomason said.

Hard Not to Like has been a star both on Keeneland’s turf course and in its sales pavilion. The mare scored her first Grade 1 victory in the 2014 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland. Later that year, she took her first trip through the Keeneland November ring, selling for $1.5 million to Speedway Stables as a racing or broodmare prospect. She returned to racing this year and scored two more Grade 1 wins, traveling to California to take the Gamely Stakes and then establishing a course record in Saratoga’s Diana Stakes. The Hard Spun mare, who will be consigned by Taylor Made Sales as agent, has bankrolled more than $1.2 million.

Photo Call comes into the Filly and Mare Turf off consecutive graded stakes victories, most recently the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita. Consigned by Denali Stud as agent, the daughter of international titan Galileo is out of a Group 3-winning Rock of Gibraltar mare.

Keeneland’s catalog also includes a number of half-siblings to standout Breeders’ Cup prospects, including leading Classic contenders Beholder and Honor Code, and potential favorites in three other races.

Head Quarters, an unraced son of Curlin, has been consigned by Mill Ridge Farm, agent, as a racing or stallion prospect. He is out of the stakes-winning Tricky Creek mare Leslie’s Lady, making him a half-brother to multiple champion racemare Beholder, as well as to Grade 1 winner and young sire Into Mischief.

Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, consigns a weanling colt by popular commercial sire War Front out of the stakes-winning Storm Cat mare Serena’s Cat – making the youngster a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Honor Code and to Grade 2 winner Noble Tune. Serena’s Cat, out of multiple stakes winner Serena’s Tune, is a half-sister to Group 3 winner Vocalised. The next dam is champion and Group 1 producer Serena’s Song. This family has already found historic success in the Keeneland sale ring. At last year’s November auction, a Tapit filly out of Serena’s Cat sold for $3 million to Bridlewood Farm, establishing a record price for a weanling sold at public auction in North America.

Other notables cataloged for the Keeneland sale include a weanling Exchange Rate colt who is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner and Breeders’ Cup Sprint contender Runhappy; Minnie Macy, an A.P. Indy broodmare who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and Dirt Mile contender Liam’s Map; and Ivana Beat Yabad, a winning More Than Ready filly who is a half-sister to likely Juvenile Fillies favorite Songbird.

Fasig-Tipton and the Breeders’ Cup

The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale catalog includes six fillies or mares who are likely to start at the Breeders’ Cup before being offered as racing or broodmare prospects. Chief among those is multiple Grade 1 winner Tepin, who will take on males in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. But trainer Mark Casse said that owner Robert Masterson may scratch Tepin from the sale to run her in his colors another year.

“I think that [she was entered in the sale] just in case something were to happen, but the indication from Mr. Masterson is that as long as she’s happy and healthy, she’ll continue to run another year,” Casse said.

If Tepin is offered at Fasig-Tipton, she would be consigned by Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud, agent. The Bernstein filly is a multiple Grade 1 winner this season, taking the Just a Game Stakes at Belmont and later romping in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland. She is a half-sister to multiple Grade 2 winner Vyjack and to Grade 2-placed Prime Cut.

Fasig-Tipton entrants Stephanie’s Kitten, Watsdachances, and Stormy Lucy are expected to face off in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf.

In the case of Stephanie’s Kitten, she will be seeking her second Breeders’ Cup victory after taking the 2011 Juvenile Fillies Turf, and will then be making her second trip through the Fasig-Tipton sale ring. The mare ended her 2014 season with a stellar run, winning the Grade 1 Flower Bowl before finishing second to Dayatthespa in the Filly and Mare Turf. Breeder and owner Ken Ramsey set her reserve for the Fasig-Tipton November sale at a lofty $4 million, and when her hammer price reached only $3.95 million, he happily announced that he would campaign her another year. A daughter of Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred champion Kitten’s Joy, Stephanie’s Kitten recently won a second edition of the Flower Bowl. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, will again consign her to sale, along with her dam, Unfold the Rose, carrying a full sibling to Stephanie’s Kitten.

Millionaire Watsdachances won the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes via disqualification after earlier this year winning the Grade 3 Gallorette Handicap. The mare, consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales, agent, will try to give part-owner Peter Bradley another major weekend double. He also co-owned Dayatthespa, who sold for $2.1 million at last year’s Fasig-Tipton sale two days after winning the Filly and Mare Turf.

Multiple graded stakes winner Stormy Lucy, also consigned by Taylor Made, agent, most recently finished third in the Rodeo Drive.

Rounding out the sextet of Fasig-Tipton’s Breeders’ Cup hopefuls are La Verdad and Dame Dorothy. La Verdad would be among the favorites for the Filly and Mare Sprint – although she could instead take on males in the Sprint. Whatever the choice, she will come into the Breeders’ Cup off five straight stakes victories, most recently the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom Handicap at Belmont. She owns 10 stakes wins overall. The Yes It’s True mare is consigned by Lane’s End, agent.

Fellow Filly and Mare Sprint hopeful Dame Dorothy won the Grade 1 Humana Distaff earlier this year, and most recently finished third to La Verdad in the Gallant Bloom. Dame Dorothy will be consigned by Bluewater Sales, as agent for owner Bobby Flay.

In addition, Grade 1 winner Peace and War, consigned to the Fasig-Tipton sale, was pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff, but she was not selected into the main body of the field by the Breeders’ Cup selection panel and will need defections to make the field.

The catalog also includes Double Tapped, a winning full sister to champion Untapable, who will attempt to defend her victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Double Tapped is in foal to Medaglia d’Oro. Other broodmares in the catalog include the dams of Grade 1 winner Hard Aces (Breeders’ Cup Classic) and Grade 2 winner Exaggerator (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile).

Fasig-Tipton will offer a supplemental catalog for its November sale, with selected entries being accepted through the Breeders’ Cup.