11/07/2012 2:40PM

Keeneland sale: Pure Clan commands $4.5 million

Photos by Z/Keeneland
Pure Clan, a multiple Grade 1 winner, sells for $4.5 million at Keeneland's November sale.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Multiple Grade 1 winner Pure Clan became the first horse to surpass the $1 million mark during Wednesday’s second session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, and she finished well past it to produce the highest price of the sale so far, drawing $4.5 million from Brazilian-based Borges Torrealba Holdings.

The 7-year-old Pure Clan, a daughter of Pure Prize, was a six-time graded stakes winner during her racing career, highlighted by Grade 1 scores in the 2008 American Oaks Invitational Stakes and the 2009 Flower Bowl Invitational Stakes. She retired with 8  wins from 16 starts for earnings of $1,987,948.

Goncalo Torrealba, who owns TNT Stud in Brazil, said that Pure Clan will remain in the U.S. for her broodmare career at Three Chimneys Farm in Lexington, where Torrealba .said he and farm owner Robert Clay “plan on breeding her to nice horses together.”

Torrealba said he would make the decision about whether to breed Pure Clan to race or sell at a later time, but he probably will play it on a foal-by-foal basis.

“It really depends on what comes out,” he said. “The fillies, we would keep for sure. The colts might go out on the market. I’m not sure yet. We’re trying to build a broodmare band.”

Pure Clan sold in foal to Bernardini after producing her first foal, a Smart Strike filly, earlier this year. Torrealba is familiar with the top side of the in-utero foal’s pedigree, having previously owned Bernardini’s dam, Grade 1 winner and 2006 Broodmare of the Year Cara Rafaela, during her racing career.

Pure Clan is out of Grade 3-winning General Assembly mare Gather The Clan, who has produced eight winners from 11 to start. She is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Greater Good and stakes-placed winner Gather the Day. Her notable family members include champion sprinter What a Summer and Grade 1 winner Sky Diva.

Bred in Kentucky by A. Lakin & Sons, Inc, Pure Clan was raced by owner Lewis Lakin and trained by Robert Holthus. She was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.

“She was a fantastic mare to look at, just very athletic,  great presence and class,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale. “She always had her ears forward and her eyes wide open. Nobody could look at her and forget her. This mare had a real charisma about her, and she was like that every time she was shown.”

This was the first time that Pure Clan had been sold at public auction. Prior to this sale, the highest-priced foal out of Gather The Clan was the Deputy Minister mare Wonder Lady, who brought $200,000 at the 2002 Keeneland July yearling sale, then commanded $250,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November sale.