11/05/2014 12:11PM

Keeneland November: Aloof goes to Whisper Hill for $3.9 million


by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

Irish Group 3 winner Aloof sold for $3.9 million to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm to take over as the sale leader early in Wednesday's second session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

The 5-year-old daughter of international titan Galileo sold in foal to popular young commercial sire War Front. The mare, consigned by Paramount Sales, as agent, took over the Keeneland November sale's top price from Naples Bay, purchased for $3.6 million by Coolmore during Tuesday's opening session.

The mare was the first major purchase of the November breeding stock sale season for Pope, who has made headlines in recent years by landing stars such as Horse of the Year Havre de Grace ($10 million, Fasig-Tipton), Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty ($4.2 million, Keeneland), and Groupie Doll ($3.1 million, Keeneland). Pope said Aloof would join those standouts and others in her broodmare band at Timber Town Stables near Lexington, Ky., and said the mare would likely be bred back to War Front after delivering her current foal.

"She's a lovely Galileo mare from an outstanding family," Pope said of her new purchase. "She was a very good racehorse in foal to War Front, so we're getting a little bit of the European flair going. We're spreading our boundaries. ... [The price] was more than I thought. I thought $2 million, so it was about twice what I thought she would go for. Galileo is the best stallion, he and Tapit, and in foal to War Front, you couldn't ask for anything more. She was beautiful and leggy, which I think will help, the War Fronts have a little bit of leg and can be a little plain. I think she'll have a pretty War Front. She'd better."

Aloof won the Group 3 Fillies' Stakes in Ireland and placed in five other group stakes events during her racing career, bankrolling $170,939. The foal she is carrying is her first.

Out of English Group 1 winner and highweight Airwave, by Air Express, Aloof is a half sister to European stakes winners Orator and Meow. Airwave is a half sister to English Group 1 winner and highweight Jwala.

"There were two strong bidders," Pat Costello of consignor Paramount saod. "Moyglare, I believe, were the underbidders, and they both loved her. She was a queen all week, and we knew she'd sell well. That was a little beyond our expectations, but the market is what it is. She's a big, scopey mare, and to do what she did on the racetrack, that was just an addition, and she's in foal to War Front, one of the hottest sires in the world. She couldn't be more appealing."

Shortly prior to Aloof's trip through the ring, a Medaglia d'Oro filly took over as the November season's top weanling price, selling for $850,000. Dick O'Gorman signed the sale ticket on behalf of Darley, which stands the filly's sire.

The weanling was consigned by Hill 'n' Dale, which stands her full brother, young Grade 1 winner Violence.

"She's a full sister to a Grade 1 winner and she's a very nice individual," O'Gorman said. "Hopefully she'll be a race mare and a broodmare in the future. She'll race in America and hopefully join the broodmare program afterward"