Champion Midnight Bisou Sells for $5.5 Million on Opening Day of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock SaleNovember 7, 2022
Fractional interest in Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Flightline brings $4.6 million
Champion Midnight Bisou, who is in foal to Tapit, sold for $5.5 million to Katsumi Yoshida of Japan to lead today’s Book 1 opening session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale and continue the excitement at Keeneland, which hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Friday and Saturday.
A half-hour prior to the 1 p.m. ET start of the session, spectators packed the Keeneland Sales Pavilion for the offering of a 2.5 percent ownership interest in Flightline, a colt by Tapit and the undefeated winner of Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). Brookdale Farm’s Freddy Seitz, bidding on behalf of an undisclosed farm client, signed the ticket for $4.6 million.
For the session, Keeneland sold 136 lots for $66,980,000, for an average of $492,500 and a median of $290,000, The gross was 32.28 percent above the $50,634,000 from the first session last year, while the average rose 14.77 percent from $429,102 and the median dipped 12.12 percent from $330,000.
Ten lots sold for $1 million or more, compared to seven during the first session of the 2021 sale.
“We’re seeing a focus on quality,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “And there’s a broadness in the marketplace. The top 15 horses that went through the ring were bought by 11 different buyers. It’s always good to see a mix of domestic and international buyers. Six horses brought more than $2 million plus with the Flightline fractional interest the number at that amount was seven. These are the increases we’re looking for.
“We’re coming off a very successful Breeders’ Cup,” Lacy added. “Our team put in a huge effort to turn this around from putting on the largest racing event in North America to switching to having the second-largest horse sale in the world within a few hours. I have to commend everybody.”
Midnight Bisou, a 7-year-old daughter of Midnight Lute out of Grade 3 winner Diva Delite, by Repent, won 13 races and earned $7.47 million. Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa, she was supplemented to today’s auction.
“This mare has been so good to us in so many different ways,” co-owner Jeff Bloom said. “I’m so happy about the home she is going to. She will forever hold an incredible place in my heart, my family’s heart, my partner’s heart. It’s impossible to describe the journey she has taken us on. These horses afford us the opportunity to have these life experiences we wouldn’t be able to have. It’s been a great run.”
“We’ll take her back to Japan most likely – I’m kind of speechless,” translator Shingo Hashimoto said on behalf of Yoshida. “(He said) the first time I saw her was in Saudi when she was running for the Saudi Cup. I already knew of her race record, and she was really gorgeous. It was very lucky for us to purchase her. We were very excited when we saw her on the catalog. We are very satisfied. We are very happy with the result.”
Yoshida was the leading buyer with three purchases for $9.7 million. He acquired three seven-figure horses, including multiple French Group 1 winner Dreamloper (IRE), a 5-year-old mare by Lope de Vega who ran in Saturday’s FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) Presented by PDJF, for $2.7 million and Grade 2 winner Jouster, a 4-year-old daughter of Noble Mission (GB) from the family of Racing Hall of Famer Personal Ensign, for $1.5 million.
Dreamloper was consigned by her trainer, Ed Walker. Jouster was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa, agent.
Lane’s End, agent, consigned the fractional interest in Flightline, who has been retired to stud at the farm in Versailles, Kentucky, and was the session’s leading consignor with 10 lots bringing $13,125,000.
Lane’s End, agent, also consigned the day’s third highest-priced offering, champion Shamrock Rose, who is in foal to Curlin and sold for $3 million to Japan’s KI Farm. A half-sister to stakes winner Loyalty, the 7-year-old mare is out of the Elusive Quality mare Slew’s Quality.
“The physical and race record are what stood out,” said Sean Toriumi, interpreter for buyer Tomoyuki Nakamura. “(Curlin is) a top sire and that is something that stood out as well. (The price) was in the rough range of what he was expecting. Right now, he is deciding whether to take her to Japan or leave her in the States. There are a lot of options for us.”
Lane’s End Director of Sales Allaire Ryan said the purchase price for Shamrock Rose “certainly surpassed our expectations, which just goes to show you how strong this market is when something ticks all the boxes for two people.”
M.V. Magnier went to $2.6 million to acquire Marion Ravenwood, a stakes-winning daughter of A.P. Indy who is in foal to Curlin and carrying a full sibling to Grade 1 winners Nest and Idol. Also the dam of stakes winner Lost Ark, the 14-year-old mare was consigned by Ashview Farm (Bryan Lyster and Gray Lyster), agent.
“Nest is just an incredible filly,” Magnier said. “She’s (Marion Ravenwood) produced very good animals, and she continues to do so. She’ll most likely go to Justify.”
Multiple Grade 3 winner Four Graces, a 5-year-old daughter of Majesticperfection who is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner and sire McCraken, sold to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm for $2.3 million. Consigned by Denali Stud, agent, she is out of Ivory Empress, by Seeking the Gold.
“We certainly never expected her to bring more than $2 million,” Denali’s Conrad Bandoroff said. “It went well beyond our expectations. She’s from a great family that the Whithams (Janis Whitham and family) have cultivated for 30 years. She was an unbelievable physical. People really respected this was a special offering from a family that rarely comes on to the market. Every time she came out for a show, she just had so much class. She would stand there and pose and was very regal in a lot of ways.”
“She was a hell of a racehorse,” Pope said. “Not only is she a graded stakes horse, but the numbers that she ran were legit. And this family – all of the family – they all ran very legitimate speed numbers, so the quality is absolutely there. I’m very excited.”
Determined Stud and Gage Hill paid $2 million for Salty as Can Be, a winning, stakes-placed daughter of Into Mischief in foal to Quality Road. Baccari Bloodstock, agent, consigned the 4-year-old mare, who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Salty. She is out of the Dixie Union mare Theycallmeladyluck.
“It was a partnership, a breeding partnership that we’ve put together,” Terry Finley said about the buyers. “She’ll go to Flightline, and we’re buying a couple others. I think the idea just came internally. Our partners just said let’s do some things with Flightline if and when he retires, so that’s what we’re doing. Determined Stud is taking a piece of the deal. They’re trying to make a mark on the breeding side of things, so it’s a great partnership. Lane’s End will be part of it, so the power of the partnership is going to Flightline.”
Multiple Grade 3 winner and Grade 1-placed Edgeway, who competed in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1), sold to Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Equine for $1.7 million. Cataloged as a broodmare prospect, the 5-year-old Edgeway was consigned by Lane’s End, agent.
Summer Wind bred Flightline, and Lyon remains a co-owner in the horse. She said she was looking for mares to breed to him.
“She’s a beautiful mare. She’s fast,” said Jane Lyon about Edgeway, adding about the price: “Unfortunately, I get a little carried away now and then. We’ll see what happens. We’re still doing research on pedigrees to see which bloodlines will or will not suit (Flightline), and we thought she would.”
Magnier also acquired the day’s top-priced weanling, a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who is a half-sister to champion Honor Code, for $1.5 million, the highest price paid for a weanling at the November Sale since 2015 and the highest amount for a weanling filly at the auction since 2001. Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa, agent, consigned the filly, whose dam is stakes winner Serena’s Cat, by Storm Cat. Also a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Noble Tune and stakes winner Declarationofpeace, she is from the family of Racing Hall of Famer Serena’s Song.
The November Sale continues Tuesday at 10 a.m. with the first session of the two-day Book 2. FanDuel Racing will have live coverage from noon to 5 p.m.
The auction continues through Wednesday, Nov. 16, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, Keeneland will present the November Horses of Racing Age Sale. The auction begins at noon.
All Keeneland sales are streamed live on Keeneland.com.