Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Island Fashion, Almonsoon Top Opening Day Of Keeneland January Sale

Lexington, KY (January 12, 2008) – Island Fashion, in foal to Ghostzapper, and Almonsoon, sold as a racing or broodmare prospect, each brought final bids of $950,000 to highlight opening day of Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale.

Naohiro Hosoda signed the ticket for Island Fashion on behalf of Katsumi Yoshida, owner of Northern Farm in Japan.

“She is a good racemare, she’s still young, and she’s in foal to Ghostzapper,” Hosoda said of Island Fashion, winner of more than $2 million, including the Alabama (G1) and La Brea (G1) Stakes and the Santa Monica Handicap (G1), during her racing career.

A nine-year-old mare by Petionville, Island Fashion was consigned by Pope McLean (Crestwood Farm), as agent for Jeff Nielsen’s Everest Stables (Reduction Phase 1).

Southern Equine Stables paid $950,000 for Almonsoon, a stakes-winning mare by Giant’s Causeway consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent.

“We’re looking for about 30 foundation mares, and the more I looked at her, the more I thought she could be one of them,” said trainer Eric Guillot, who signed the ticket on behalf of Southern Equine. “She’s gorgeous and she’s got the pedigree; she’s by Giant’s Causeway and a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winners (A.P. Arrow and Geri).”

Gross receipts for Monday totaled $11,945,900, down 44 percent from last year’s $21,325,900. The average of $59,138 was down 45.9 percent from $109,364 in 2008, while the median decreased 50.9 percent from $55,000 to $27,000. A total of 202 horses were sold this year compared to 195 in 2008.

“I spoke to many consignors and buyers today, and they thought the sale was performing to their expectations,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “Given the current state of the global economy, people have adjusted their expectations. Consignors brought their horses here to sell, as evidenced by the not-sold rate, which was down nearly 20 percent.”

Graded stakes winner Elusive Diva, in foal to Giant’s Causeway, brought the day’s third-highest price of $825,000 from the Hancock family’s Claiborne Farm, as agent for Ramona Bass. The eight-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality was consigned by Denali Stud (Craig and Holly Bandoroff), agent.

Azeri, 2002 Horse of the Year and three-time champion, offered in foal to Ghostzapper, failed to meet her reserve and was bought back for $4.4 million. John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consigned the 11-year-old daughter of Jade Hunter for the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust.

The January Sale continues through Saturday; sessions begin daily at 10 a.m. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.

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