11/29/2010 5:32PM

Sadler’s Wells mare tops opening session at Tattersalls mare sale

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A $1.5 million Sadler’s Wells mare looks set to produce her Sea the Stars foal in America after topping Monday’s opening session at the Tattersalls December mare sale in Newmarket, England.

The first session sold 161 fillies or mares for about $14,639,504. The figure in the auction currency, guineas, is down 19 percent from last year’s gross for 173 horses. The $90,928 average was down 13 percent, but median gained significantly, rising 37 percent to about $42,861.

Ten horses sold for 200,000 guineas ($329,700) or more at the session.

Bloodstock agent Hugo Lascelles paid 950,000 guineas for Soinlovewithyou, a winning half-sister to European champion Duke of Marmalade, and said the mare will head for a U.S. breeding program.

“She has been bought for owner-breeders in the U.S.,” he said. “They are racing people, but the foal could well come back here to race. They have run horses in Britain before.

“I did have to pay a little more than expected to buy her,” he added. “Lots of people were in on her. She will visit a top U.S. stallion next spring.”

American Reiley McDonald of the Eaton Sales Agency also struck for a big seller, the $461,580 Group 3 winner Middle Club. McDonald said the 3-year-old Fantastic Light filly would point for stateside turf races before joining his unidentified California-based client’s broodmare band.

Three Chimneys Racing consigned a group of fillies and mares with European appeal, and that paid off with a couple of six-figure sales, including the $222,548 Lomitas mare Rosa Grace. The British-bred 5-year-old is a Grade 2-placed stakes winner and sold to Hawthorn Villa Stud.

The Tattersalls December mare sale was to continue through Thursday.

Gross falls at Tattersalls foal sale

Over the weekend, Tattersalls ended the foal sessions of its December sales with a decline in gross on a smaller catalog, but vigorous bidding for Bloomsbury Stud’s dispersal contributed to a 25 percent increase in median and helped the average remain close to last year’s figure.

The Bloomsbury consignment produced the foals’ sale-topper, a 320,000-guinea son of Singspiel and the Highest Honor mare First. The price is the equivalent of about $527,520 and outpaces the top weanling prices made earlier this month at the Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton November sales. The bay colt is a half-brother to stakes winners Law Lord and Perfect Stride.

M.V. Magnier, representing his father’s Coolmore Stud, outbid Darley Stud’s John Ferguson for the colt.

The four-day foal sale grossed about $28,834,573 for 560 horses, resulting in an average price of about $51,490 and a median of approximately $32,970. The gross was down 13 percent from last year’s aggregate for 618 horses, but the average fell just 5 percent and median jumped 25 percent.

Castleton Lyons, Walmac cut some stud fees

Several more Kentucky farms have announced stud fees for 2011, and most of those fees are going to be lower than they were in 2010.

Castleton Lyons has reduced Bernstein’s fee by 20 percent, lowering it from $25,000 to $20,000. The Lexington farm will stand the young Danzig horse Modigliani again for $5,000, the same fee he had in 2010.

Walmac Farm has lowered the fees for every horse on its Kentucky roster, including Successful Appeal, who falls from $17,500 to $15,000. The others are Bandini, who goes from $6,500 to $5,000; Hat Trick, from $7,500 to $6,000; and Ready’s Image and Songandaprayer, who decrease from $8,500 and $12,500, respectively, to $6,500.

Walmac will stand former Kentucky sire Salute the Sarge at Louisiana’s Red River Farms in 2011; his fee falls from $6,500 to $2,500. Also taking a fee cut out of state is Ecclesiastic, who will stand in 2011 at Diamond B Farm in Pennsylvania for $3,500, down from his $4,000 fee this year at Regal Heir Farm, also in Pennsylvania. Belgravia, whom Walmac stands at Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds in Ocala, Fla., will retain his $5,000 fee.

Ro Parra’s Millennium Farms also offers fee reductions for its Kentucky roster, though it will keep 2010’s $5,000 fee for its new sire Closing Argument. Closing Argument, an 8-year-old son of Successful Appeal, stood this year at Hill ‘n’ Dale in Lexington. In August, Millennium bought the horse in partnership.

“We have added Closing Argument at a fair price and lowered the stud fees for the rest of our roster to reflect the challenges in the current marketplace,” Parra said.

Millennium’s other stallions, all taking fee cuts, are Even the Score, dropping from $15,000 to $10,000; Student Council and Zanjero, from $10,000 to $7,500; and Will He Shine, from $5,000 to $2,500.

Richland Hills in Midway also will lower its three stallions’ fees. Purim falls from $10,000 to $7,500; Sightseeing from $7,500 to $3,500; and Star Dabbler from $5,000 to $2,500.