11/06/2013 12:00PM

Keeneland November: Star Billing sells for $2.6 million to pace early action


by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

Grade 1 winner Star Billing became the first horse of Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale to reach seven figures, with Greg Goodman of Mt. Brilliant Farm going to $2.6 million to acquire the mare.

The 5-year-old Dynaformer mare, consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, as agent, was offered carrying her first foal, by Giant’s Causeway.

“It’s a little more than what we thought, but she was our favorite mare in the sale,” Goodman said. “We held off on some yesterday that we were bidding on because we wanted this one. She’s really correct, she’s really nice, kind of a different-looking Dynaformer, and we loved her.”

Goodman said that he purchased Star Billing in a 70-30 partnership with Orrin Ingram of Nashville, Tenn. He said that plans for Star Billing’s next mating were yet to be determined.

“[Ingram] likes to race and I like to sell, so we always have that discussion on any horse that we buy together,” Goodman said. “We’ll race some out of her and sell some out of her.”

Unraced as a juvenile Star Billing Blossomed at age 3, winning the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes, along with the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes. She also finished second in the Del Mar Oaks and third in the American Oaks, both Grade 1 events. The following season, she was runner-up in the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, concluding her career with earnings of $415,067.

Star Billing is the only winner out of the unraced Thunder Gulch mare Topliner. That mare is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winners Stellar Jayne and Starrer, as well as to stakes producers Emerging Glory and The Mallet.

Shortly after Star Billing came through the ring, her former racetrack rival Summer Soiree brought a high bid of $1.95 million, but failed to meet her reserve. Summer Soiree, who was offered in foal to Medaglia d’Oro, defeated Star Billing in the American Oaks, but finished second to her in the Matriarch.