11/08/2012 5:10PM

Keeneland sale: Spring Party breaks $500,000 barrier

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Spring Party became the first horse to surpass the half-million dollar mark on Day 3 of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, selling to Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings for $525,000.

The 6-year-old Smart Strike mare is out of the winning Ocean Crest mare Surf Club, who is the producer of five winners from seven to start, including Grade 1 winner Emcee, Grade 3-placed winner Baffled, and stakes-placed Surfer. Spring Party’s notable family members include Grade 1 winner Awesome Humor.

“[Spring Party] was a beautiful mare, she’s got a current pedigree, she’s a daughter of Smart Strike, who’s turned out to be a really nice broodmare sire,” said John Moynihan, Stonestreet’s bloodstock adviser. “She’s a young mare, she’s pretty, and it looks like she can have some nice, pretty foals for us. She’s kind of the one we zeroed in on today.”

Spring Party, who sold in foal to Unbridled’s Song, won six of 21 starts during her racing career for earnings of $202,077, highlighted by a victory in the 2011 Wintergreen Stakes. She was retired following an unplaced stakes effort in January of this year.

Bred in Kentucky by International Equities Holding, Inc., Spring Party was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

“I think she was a mare that could have gone into book one, but the owner decided to put her in book two and let the sale get going, and I think it paid off,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made. “She was one of the better-pedigreed mares in the day. She was just a mare by a proven broodmare sire, in foal to a nice horse, and had the whole package for the day.”

Spring Party has now sold three times at public auction. She brought $150,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September yearling sale, and then did not meet her reserve at the 2011 Keeneland November sale with a final bid of $160,000.

The price Spring Party drew on Thursday was about what Taylor said he expected.

“I thought she’d bring $400,000 for sure, and I thought she could bring $500,000, so it was a nice sale,” he said, “but it wasn’t way out of bounds on what I thought.”