Updated on 09/16/2011 8:50AM

Keeneland sale has superstar in Sunline


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale will have a major headliner in Australia and New Zealand's three-time horse of the year Sunline. The 7-year-old mare's fame has spread well beyond the Southern Hemisphere, thanks to her seven Australian and New Zealand championships and her horse of the year titles.

Sunline, who earned more than $6.2 million, will sell as Hip No. 134 on the first day of the Keeneland's five-day January auction. Sunline is a daughter of British-bred Desert Sun and the New Zealand-bred Western Symphony mare Songline.

Sunline has retired from racing and will be sold as a broodmare prospect through the Taylor Made Sales Agency.

Sunline is one of 1,907 lots cataloged to the January sale this year, a total that surpasses last year's 1,392-horse catalog and extends this year's auction one day beyond last year's sale.

Sunline will add star quality and international fan interest, but some of the more mundane aspects of the market may be as important to the sale's overall performance.

"We've been very encouraged by what we have seen in the middle markets this year," Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell said in releasing the sales catalog. "We hope that bodes well for this sale."

In all, the 2003 January catalog includes 913 broodmares, 232 broodmare prospects, 492 yearlings, 130 racing-age fillies offered as racing or broodmare prospects, seven racing-age males offered as racing or stallion prospects, 11 stallion prospects, 116 racing prospects, and six stallions (Comstock Lode, Run Softly, Alybel, Brunswick, Dixieland Diamond, and Haymaker).

The auction also will offer one share in Gilded Time.

Tattersalls: Record yearling, weanling sessions

The Tattersalls December sales - with yearling, weanling, and mare sessions - ended Thursday with nine days of strong selling.

Boosted by record-setting yearling and weanling sessions, the sale closed after its final mare session Thursday with a total of 1,504 head sold for $88,831,066. That brought gross revenue up 6 percent from last year's December sales, when 1,384 horses sold. The 2003 average price for the entire series of sales slipped slightly, falling 2 percent to $59,062. Median remained the same at $24,413.

The sale topper, which sold for 1.8 million guineas ($2,929,500), a world record for a weanling filly, was a Giant's Causeway filly out of French champion Urban Sea. The half-sister to European champion Galileo went to American breeder Charlotte Weber, owner of Live Oak Stud.

A cool Spend a Buck prospered in Brazil

Spend a Buck, the 1985 Kentucky Derby winner and Horse of the Year who died last month in Brazil at age 20, apparently made a turnaround in his breeding career while at Haras Bage do Sul.

When Antonio Lemgruber purchased the horse last year to stand him in South America, there were concerns about the stallion's fertility, Lemgruber's agent Jose De Camargo said. But Spend a Buck already had proven his worth to the South American market; a shuttle stallion since 1997, he had sired some of Brazil's top young runners.

While Spend a Buck was in quarantine in Miami awaiting export, De Camargo said, an official inadvertently discovered a key to the stallion's management.

"He was a horse with a big temperament, by which I mean he was a very hyper horse," De Camargo said. "But when I called to check on him in Miami, the woman there said he was very relaxed and calm. I told her that was impossible, she had the wrong horse. But she said he stood all day in front of a fan outside his stall and was quiet.

"So when he arrived in Brazil, we put a big fan on his stall. He was addicted to it. He stood there all the time, very quietly, and he began to put on weight and his fertility was very good. Last year he had about 85 mares bred to him, and this year he had about 100. He produced much more than we expected."

Spend a Buck died Nov. 24 of anaphylactic shock brought on when he received a penicillin injection as part of treatment for a cut above his eye.

Etc. . . .

Einar Paul Robsham has donated $50,000 to establish an endowment for the New Vocations Racehorse Adoption Program, the program announced Friday. Robsham, who helped develop the adoption group, named the endowment the Morgan Perpetuity Fund after the program's founder, Dot Morgan, and is encouraging other owners and breeders to donate to the fund. New Vocations is based in Laura, Ohio. . . . West Point Bloodstock Services, the sales division of Terry Finley's West Point Thoroughbreds, has hired Molly Lightner as a client services representative. Lightner, who once worked as a junior account representative at The Jockey Club and owns Lightner Equine Services in Florida with her brother Raymie, also will assist West Point with marketing its North American and Dubai racing stables.