09/12/2013 5:12PM

Keeneland September: Half-sister to Havre de Grace sells for $1.7 million


A half sister to 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace sold for $1.7 million to Alex Solis II, acting as agent to an undisclosed client, late in the fourth session of the Keeneland September yearling sale on Thursday.

The filly is by Tiznow, one of the leading sires by average at the Keeneland sale, whereas Havre de Grace was by Saint Liam. Their dam is Easter Bunnette, by Carson City, who has had six other horses of racing age, with Havre de Grace the only stakes winner among them.

Solis said the filly had “great action” and that “she walks unbelievable.”

“You don’t get better than this,” he said, adding that she would be sent to Three Chimneys Farm. “We’re really excited to have her.”

Havre de Grace, who won $2.5 million during her racing career, was purchased at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale for $10 million by Mandy Pope.

Headley Bell, the managing partner of consignor Mill Ridge, had earlier praised the athleticism of the filly.

“That’s how you hope that package comes together,” he said. “She just has a great deal of quality about her, she’s very well-balanced and just a quality, athletic filly. You couldn’t ask for more."

The filly was the 17th to sell for $1 million or more at this year’s Keeneland sale, one shy of the 18 that sold for $1 million or more at the 2008 sale, right before the recession.

Solis, who had only purchased one other horse during the first four sessions, a $500,000 Smart Strike filly, said that the price for the Havre de Grace half-sister was at the top end of his estimates, but he appeared to be enthusiastic about the purchase.

“It’s still a lot of money, don’t get me wrong, but if she can run, then the sky’s the limit,” Solis said. “She looks like an athlete, she’s got the family, and we’re happy to have her.”

--additional reporting by Joe Nevills