11/04/2013 10:34AM

First mares in foal to Frankel to be offered in Kentucky

Coady Photography
Grade 1 winner In Lingerie will be the first mare in foal to unbeaten champion Frankel offered at public auction.

The original plan for Grade 1 winner In Lingerie – who failed to meet her reserve at the end of a long racing season at last year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale – was to return to race another season in 2013. Then, the phone call came that changed everything.

“We really had every intention of brining her back to race as a 4-year-old,” said Aron Wellman, president of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, which owns the Empire Maker filly in partnership with Gary Barber. “With the one caveat that, if we were to get a season to Frankel, that would be the only way we would retire her. We’d put our feelers out to the powers that be at Juddmonte, and after a little bit of time, we got the green light.”

And so, In Lingerie will be the first mare in the world offered at public auction carrying a foal from the first crop of unbeaten champion Frankel when she again goes through the ring at the select Fasig-Tipton sale the night of Nov. 4. Six total mares from the stallion’s outstanding first book will be offered in Kentucky in the coming weeks. Joining In Lingerie at Fasig-Tipton is Grade 1 winner Mi Sueno.

“I think the market response will be very favorable,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning, Jr., said. “Frankel was one of the finest horses we’ve had the pleasure of watching. He was a brilliant, brilliant racehorse with a beautiful pedigree.”

Four mares in foal to the young Galileo stallion, all with notable pedigrees, will then be offered at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, which begins Nov. 5.

“What a racehorse he was,” Keeneland vice president of sales Walt Robertson said. “There will certainly be high demand. We’re happy we’ve got some, and we’d love to have more. Frankel should be huge.”

Two-time European Horse of the Year Frankel, who retired unbeaten in 15 career starts, covered an outstanding first book of mares at owner-breeder Juddmonte Farm’s Banstead Manor Stud near Newmarket, England. The group included Eclipse Award winners Zagora and Stacelita; Japanese champion Vodka; Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Midday; Broodmare of the Year Oatsee; multiple Group 1 winner Dar Re Mi; and Grade 1 winner Balance, a half-sister to champion Zenyatta.

“It’s very much like [2009 European Horse of the Year] Sea the Stars, where they had the whole world of mares to pick from, and more were rejected than accepted,” said John G. Sikura, whose Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency will consign two mares in foal to Frankel at Keeneland November.

Among the notable mares accepted was winner In Lingerie, who was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect at Fasig-Tipton last November – right after her start in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf – but failed to meet her reserve at $2.2 million. She was among a handful of U.S. mares that traveled to England to be covered by the stallion – a somewhat unconventional move.

“Certainly, you hold your breath,” Wellman said. “There are so many things beyond your control. You need the right horse that will cooperate, and she handled the entire journey so well. I tip my hat off to the mare. It was not an easy task we challenged her with, and she was the right mare to do it.”

“It’s a lot more details than one would think,” he added. “You don’t just book a first-class ticket and send the mare over. A lot goes into it. Once you’ve pushed all your chips into the center, you really hope the ‘flop’ goes your way. There were a lot of moving parts.”

In Lingerie will be consigned by Bluewater Sales, as agent, which also offers Mi Sueno. Mi Sueno, by Pulpit, was a Grade 1 winner as a juvenile. She is out of Grade 1 winner Madcap Escapade.

Of the four mares in foal to Frankel who will be offered at the Keeneland November sale, two are consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale, including Reaching, a Dansili mare who is a three quarter-sister to Group 1 winner Peeping Fawn and a half-sister to Group 1 winner Thewayyouare. It is the family of prolific broodmare Better Than Honour.

“It’s one of the pedigrees that has had success on both dirt and turf, in Europe and North America,” Sikura said. “That’s a very rare case with a pedigree. It’s as deep and good a pedigree as you’d expect. She could be the start of a dynasty for somebody’s breeding operation.”

The other mare consigned by the operation is the stakes-winning Danehill Dancer mare Latin Love. The multiple graded/group stakes-placed Latin Love is from the family of Group 1 winners Moonstone and Cerulean Sky and Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf runner-up L’Ancresse.

“She’s a good racemare, with an international pedigree, in foal to a great horse,” Sikura said.

Hunter Valley Sales consigns the other two mares, both with outstanding pedigrees. Tashzara is a half-sister to Group 1 winner Excelebration, one of Frankel’s main rivals on the track; Laurelei is a half-sister to multiple Grade/Group 1 winner and champion Cape Blanco.

Sikura predicted a strong European presence in pursuit of mares in foal to Frankel at the Kentucky sales, prior to the premier bloodstock auctions in the stallion's home base of Europe.

“They have an opportunity to buy mares here that may not cost as much as they would at Tattersalls or Goffs,” he said.