11/06/2013 1:17PM

Keeneland November: Ask The Moon, to Stonestreet for $1.8 million, leads quintet of seven-figure mares


by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

Grade 1 winner Ask The Moon was purchased by Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings for $1.8 million to lead a quintet of seven-figure mares through the ring in the early afternoon hours of the second session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Selling within a half-hour of Ask The Moon were Grade 3 winner Upperline, purchased for $1.75 million by Town and Country Farm; Grade 2 winner Arena Elvira, who went for $1.5 million to Audley Farm Equine; Zealous Cat, sold to Japan’s Shadai Farm for $1.3 million; and $1.1 million Zoftig, with Stephen Hillen purchasing the mare, dam of a pair of Grade 1 winners, on behalf of an undisclosed client

Ask The Moon, an 8-year-old Malibu Moon mare, went through the ring in foal to War Front, after producing her first foal, an Unbridled’s Song filly, this spring. She was consigned by Gainesway, agent.

“She’s a pretty mare, a Grade 1 winner in foal to a nice stallion, so we’ll take our shot,” said Stonestreet’s bloodstock adviser John Moynihan, who signed the ticket. “It was expensive. The prices are high, especially today. The market is very, very strong.”

Bred in Maryland by Mr. and Mrs. Charles McGinnes and Country Life Farm, Ask The Moon won 10 of 34 starts during her racing career for earnings of $713,640, with her best campaign coming in 2011 when she won the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Invitational Stakes and the Ruffian Invitational Handicap, both at Saratoga.

She is out of the winning Valid Appeal mare Always Asking, whose five winners from as many foals to race also include stakes-placed winner Give Me Five. Following her last start in 2011, Ask the Moon sold as a broodmare prospect at that year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale for $800,000

Upperline, a 6-year-old Maria’s Mon mare, sold carrying her first foal, by popular commercial sire War Front. She was consigned as agent by Stone Farm.

Upperline was a winner of nine of 25 career starts during her racing career for $772,988, highlighted by victories in the Grade 3 Bewitch Stakes, Arlington Matron Stakes and Arlington Oaks.

Bred in Kentucky by Stonerside Stable, Upperline is out of English Group 1-placed winning Caerleon mare Snowflake, who is the dam of four winners from as many foals to race, including multiple stakes winner Snow Fall. She is from the family of Grade/Group 1 winners Ivyanna and An Act among many other grade/group stakes winners.

“We really wanted a mare in foal to War Front, so she was the one we picked out that we liked the best,” said Shannon Potter of Taylor Made Farm, who signed the ticket for the buyers. “[Her sister] sold yesterday for a lot of money in foal to Smart Strike [Snow Fall, for $735,000], so we were pretty well aware of the family, and she was a good race mare.”

Arena Elvira, a 6-year-old Ghostzapper mare, also sold carrying her first foal, by popular commercial sire Tapit. The mare was consigned by Belvedere Farm, as agent.

Out of the multiple graded stakes winner and millionaire Two Item Limit, Arena Elvira captured the Grade 2 Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs and the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm Handicap at Aqueduct in 2011.

Zealous Cat, a winning daughter of Storm Cat, was also offered in foal to Tapit. The 7-year-old mare has had one foal to race, the Grade 3 winner Tapicat. Zealous Cat won one of five starts during her racing career for earnings of $22,057.

Bred in Kentucky by Overbrook Farm and consigned as agent by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, Zealous Cat is out of the placed Alydar mare Trail Robbery, and is a sibling to Grade 1 winner Pohave. She is from the family of champion Track Robbery and Grade 1 winner Cat Thief.

Zoftig, consigned by Warrendale Sales as agent for Live Oak Plantation, was sold carrying a full sibling to her Grade 1-winning daughter Zo Impressive, by Hard Spun.

“Obviously, she had great appeal because she’s been such a successful mare,” Hillen said. “She’s produced two Grade 1 winners, being the main attraction.”

Hillen added that Zoftig will likely remain in the U.S. for her next mating.

A 16-year-old daughter of Cozzene, Zoftig won the Grade 1 Selene Stakes during her own racing career, then went on to replicate herself in high-quality fillies. Zo Impressive captured last year’s Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes and finished second in both the Coaching Club American Oaks and Acorn Stakes. Several years prior, half-sister Zaftig captured the Acorn.

Zoftig is also the dam of the winning mare Zofzig, dam of Group 1-placed Zip Top.