Pair Share Top Billing as Book 3 Opens at Keeneland
Saturday, November 9, 2019

LEXINGTON, KY – A pair of mares sold for matching co-session topping bids of $310,000 as the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale’s Book 3 opened Saturday in Lexington. During the session, 266 head sold for $14,801,200. The average was $55,644, down 16.25% from last year’s Book 3 opener and the median of $44,000 was down 15.38%. With 89 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 25.07%. It was 21.19% a year ago, when 264 head grossed $17,541,000 for an average of $66,443 and a median of $52,000.

Patrick Masson purchased Ultimate Cause (Giant’s Causeway) for his family’s Green Lantern Stables for $310,000 from the Bluewater Sales consignment. Lynn Hancock matched that bid later in the session when purchasing Ducru (Broken Vow) on behalf of her family’s Stone Farm from the Runnymede Farm consignment.

Andrew Cary was active as a seller through Select Sales and as a buyer, signing for a pair of mares on behalf of Coteau Grove Farms.

“It’s still strong on quality,” Cary said of Saturday’s market. “I think there is always a transition from book to book, some of the mares that are in that middle range are a little soft–I’d say in the $40,000-$80,000 range. People are probably not exactly sure what to appraise them at. I think you are still seeing huge demand for quality. And foals are still selling great. I think the momentum is going to continue, but there is always a bit of a feeling-out process when you transfer from the early books and on.”

The Keeneland November sale continues through Nov. 17 with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Ultimate Cause to Green Lantern

Ultimate Cause (Giant’s Causeway) will be joining the broodmare band at the Masson family’s Green Lantern Stables after Patrick Masson purchased the 6-year-old mare (hip 1301) for $310,000 at Keeneland Saturday. In foal to City of Light, she was consigned to the sale by Bluewater Sales on behalf of Kirk Wycoff’s Three Diamonds Farm.

“I liked her physically,” Masson said of the mare. “She had a really nice shoulder, a deep girth, and a very nice hip. We hope that she’ll produce really nice horses.”

Ultimate Cause is a daughter of graded stakes winner Supreme (Empire Maker) and from the family of GI Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

She was Masson’s second purchase at the November sale. He purchased Criminal Mischief (Into Mischief) (hip 981) for $240,000 during Friday’s session of the auction.

“I got outbid on every single mare except the one yesterday and this one today,” Masson said. “I believe we are done at this point in time.”

While Green Lantern maintains a commercial broodmare band, Masson said the farm’s mission was first and foremost to breed quality horses.

“We try to be as commercial as we can be, but at the end of the day, all we really want to do is produce and breed a really good racehorse,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to breed a good racehorse and then the commercial market will follow after that. I think if you breed a good physical, whether it’s by Tapit or War Front, or anyone that is under $50,000 or $20,000 or $10,000, if you have a good physical, you can sell the horse. If you just try to breed a racehorse, I think you’ll be ok.”

Three Diamond Farms claimed Ultimate Cause for $35,000 out of a sixth-place effort at Saratoga last July in what was the mare’s final race.

“My son [and stable manager] Jordan really gets the credits for claiming her,” Wycoff said Saturday. “We actually claimed her twice. We claimed her, lost her, and claimed her again.”

Asked what the mare’s appeal was, Wycoff said, “She is by Giant’s Causeway–he’s a great broodmare sire. And we knew her half-sister Tillie’s Lily (Distorted Humor) had run some very fast numbers. We thought Jonathan Thomas might get [Tillie’s Lily] stakes placed, so that was our incentive to claim her.”

Three Diamonds Farm is no stranger to parlaying claims into graded stakes success. Most famously, the operation claimed Bigger Picture (Badge of Silver), who went on to win the 2017 GI United Nations S.

“Everything we claim is really to run,” Wycoff said. “We usually claim more geldings than fillies. So it’s very odd that we would have a filly that we end up breeding just because she’s at the end of her racing career. All of the fillies we have that are stakes winners, we keep as broodmares.”

Of Saturday’s result, Wycoff said, “That was outstanding. We thought she was worth $200,000 to $250,000.”

Ducru Stars Again

Ducru (Broken Vow), who topped her Book 4 session of last year’s Keeneland November salewhen selling for $300,000 while in foal to Violence, was again a session-topper at the auction when bringing co-top bid of $310,000 from Stone Farm’s Lynn Hancock Saturday in Lexington. The 5-year-old mare, a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Unified (Candy Ride {Arg}), was in foal to Good Magic. She was consigned by Runnymede Farm.

“She is a Broken Vow mare and we love the family,” Hancock said after signing the ticket on hip 1433. “Way back there, it’s a Ned Evans family and he was a good friend of my dad [Arthur Hancock]. We actually bought Saintly Sister (Saint Liam) out of [second dam] City Sister (Carson City) from his dispersal. So it’s a really good family–Unified is an exciting young stallion. She’s beautiful and she acted right. And we loved the weanling.”

Ducru followed her Violence weanling colt into the sales ring Saturday. The chestnut foal, bred by Grandview Equine, RNA’d for $57,000.

“We were hoping for that kind of price,” Runnymede’s vice president and general manager Romain Malhouitre said of Ducru’s $310,000 price tag. “She was popular over the last two days at the barn. We had the right people from around here and around the world looking at her. Everything worked perfectly and we are happy with the price. I would like to thank the owners who trusted us with this mare. She has been a hell of a mare. She obviously had a nice foal by her side who helped her sell as well.”