09/08/2014 2:28PM

Keeneland September: Godolphin lands Bernardini filly for $1.2 million


by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

A Bernardini filly became the second foal out of her dam, Grade 1 winner Mushka, to sell for seven figures, with John Ferguson going to $1.2 million to acquire the filly on behalf of Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum’s Godolphin operation at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

The Pennsylvania-bred filly was consigned by Eaton Sales, as agent. Her price made her the session leader through the first half of Monday's opening session at Keeneland September.

Millionaire Mushka won the Grade 1 Spinster Stakes at Keeneland, and also finished second in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic. The daughter of Empire Maker fetched $2.4 million from Brushwood Stable when she sold as a broodmare prospect at the 2008 Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

"It's one of the best pedigrees in the book," said Ferguson, who said the filly would remain in the U.S. for training. "Mushka was obviously a beautiful-looking yearling. She was sold at Saratoga and Ahmed Zayat bought her, and I think we were the underbidders on her. This filly looks very much like her, but not only that, she goes back to a lovely family."

Mushka is the dam of just one runner, the winner Heyaarat. The colt sold for $1.65 million to Shadwell Stable to top the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale.

“She has a great attitude and shows like a queen every time. To me, she’s got more substance to her,” Eaton’s Reiley McDonald said in comparing Monday’s session leader to Heyaart. “ She’s a more solid horse. [Heyaart]  had a great profile, but this filly just has more substance and has more of an Empire Maker look, which is what I like about her so much.”

Mushka is out of the stakes winning Seeking the Gold mare Sluice, who in turn is out of the multiple Grade 1 winning Seattle Slew mare Lakeway, a multiple stakes producer.

Sheikh Mohammed stands this filly’s sire, champion Bernardini, at his Darley at Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky.