11/06/2017 1:20PM

Breeders' Cup winners justify big price tags

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Susie Raisher
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn was a $3 million yearling.

History has shown that a Breeders’ Cup winner sometimes can be bought cheaply, but this year’s event proved that it often pays to pay up.

The average sale price for this year’s seven Breeders’ Cup winners to change hands at public auction was $674,375, up significantly from last year’s event, when 10 winners averaged $296,632. The spike in average price was largely thanks to a pair of seven-figure purchases out of the 2016 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn was the sale-topper at that auction, going to M.V. Magnier of the Coolmore partnership for $3 million. The Scat Daddy colt is out of 2016 Broodmare of the Year Leslie’s Lady, making him a half-brother to champion Beholder and Grade 1 winner Into Mischief.

Mendelssohn was bred in Kentucky by Clarkland Farm, which was the only operation to breed Breeders’ Cup winners on both the 2016 and 2017 cards, having also bred and sold last year’s Distaff winner, Beholder.

The small operation was one of just two consignors to handle a winner in each of the last two years, along with industry juggernaut Taylor Made Sales Agency, which sold Juvenile Filly Turf winners in consecutive years – New Money Honey in 2016 and Rushing Fall in 2017.

Also crossing the seven-figure threshold at the Keeneland sale was Juvenile winner Good Magic, who sold to Mike Ryan as agent for e5 Racing for $1 million.

Breeder Stonestreet Stables bought back in for a share of the Curlin colt out of the Grade 3-placed stakes-winning Hard Spun mare Glinda the Good. Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consigned Good Magic as agent for Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet.

Good Magic was one of two purchases by bloodstock agent Ryan on behalf of e5 Racing to win a Breeders’ Cup race this year. The other was Rushing Fall, whom Ryan picked out of the Taylor Made consignment for $320,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale.

Ryan also bought New Money Honey for e5 Racing for $450,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale.

Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree Stables was the only consignor to sell two Breeders’ Cup winners on this year’s cards. The Florida-based juvenile consignor sold Sprint winner Roy H for $310,000 at the 2014 Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training after first buying him for $115,000 at the previous year’s Keeneland September sale. Roy H, a gelded son of More Than Ready, was the only Breeders’ Cup winner this year to sell twice at auction.

Dunne’s consignment also sold Turf Sprint winner Stormy Liberal for $100,000 at the 2014 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. June sale of 2-year-olds in training and horses of racing age.

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