01/13/2015 1:40PM

Keeneland January: Up, first foal create fireworks

Keeneland Photo
Up sells for $2.2 million at Tuesday's second session of the Keeneland January sale.

By Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

Multiple group stakes winner Up, whose page combined two popular commercial sires, and her first foal created long-awaited fireworks during Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Tuesday in Lexington, Ky. The broodmare sold for $2.2 million to RanJan Racing, while her newly-turned yearling War Front filly fetched $800,000 to LNJ Foxwoods.

Up, a 6-year-old daughter of international titan Galileo was consigned by Four Star Sales, as agent. The mare sold carrying a foal by popular young commercial sire War Front. Up's first foal, the yearling War Front filly also consigned by Four Star, immediately followed her through the ring.

Up’s price made her the most expensive horse sold at the Keeneland January sale since the mare Irish Cherry topped the 2008 sale, going to Southern Equine Stables for $2.7 million. The War Front filly’s price made her the sixth most-expensive yearling filly ever sold at Keeneland January, and the eighth most expensive yearling all-time at the sale. Up's price tag also made her the most expensive mare ever sold by Four Star Sales.

"I think whenever you're dealing with collector's items, you're dealing with people who own them that are obviously very wealthy, and they don't just give them away," Kerry Cauthen of Four Star said of the duo. "You're always concerned that you're not going to get your buyers and sellers together. I thought [Up] was a very special mare, and I really didn't doubt that she'd get sold, and I thought it was a really fair price. I thought buyer and seller had a fair trade.

"She was a very special mare, beautiful, beautiful shoulder,very much like the sire," Cauthen continued. "I think the decision was made that the owners had a lot of this family and felt like after looking at November that this would be a good place to sell her if she brought the right price, and she did. The foal was out over 100 times. The mare was out almost 75 times over the two days."

Up was a solid racemare during her own career, winning the Group 2 Blandford Stakes and the Group 3 Fillies Stakes in Ireland, and finishing second in the French 1000 Guineas. She is one of four winners out of her dam, the Spectrum mare Halland Park Lass, who also produced English Group 1 winner Dutch Art. Up's second dam is German highweight Palacegate Episode, dam of Scandanavian champion King Quantas.

"We just love the pedigree, love War Front, love Galileo," said Frank Taylor, who signed the ticket on Up for RanJan. "The family's active, there's a good stallion in the pedigree, so that's something they wanted. They've been wanting a Galileo mare for a long time, so she was the one. ... [The price is] about where we pegged her. We looked at some comparable horses by Galileo and in foal to War Front and they were bringing a lot of money, so we thought that was a fair price. We actually just made one bid and we got her then."

Taylor said it was undecided if RanJan would sell or race the foal Up is carrying, and no breeding plans for the mare have been discussed yet.

Up delivered the War Front filly purchased by LNJ Foxwoods on March 13, 2014 and is back in foal to the stallion on a March 30 cover.

"It was a great foal out of a Group 2-winning mare," said Katey Caddel, a representative for Solis/Litt Bloodstock, which purchased the yearling on behalf of LNJ Foxwoods. "She's a half sister to a really nice stallion over in Europe. ... We plan on racing her, and  be added to the broodmare band eventually.

"It's a really good physical and a good cross between a War Front and a Galileo," said Caddel, adding that the outfit did not bid on Up. "Good length to her, really smooth mover, so she ticked all the boxes for us."

The combination of Galileo and War Front on the catalog page has proven extremely enticing to buyers in the North American market over the last two years. Aloof, a daughter of Galileo in foal to War Front, sold for $3.9 million to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm to top the 2014 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. Precious Stone, a mare with the same credentials on her catalog page, made the nick two-for-two with seven-figure horses at the sale, going for $1.8 million to Don Alberto Corp. In 2013, the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall mixed sale was also led by a Galileo mare carrying a War Front foal, as Pope struck to land Betterbetterbetter for $5.2 million.