Champion 3YO Filly elect Royal Delta (Empire Maker) was the star of proceedings on Day 2 of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
Benjamin Leon’s Besilu Stables paid a record $8.50 million for the filly who won the G1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies Classic at Churchill Downs last Friday. The previous mark for a horse in training at Keeneland was $6.10 million for Half Ours in 2006.
Leon said Royal Delta was a birthday gift for his wife Silvia. “She will race again next year,” he stated. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and she’s the whole package.”
Before her Churchill Downs triumph, Royal Delta had won the G1 Alabama Stakes and G2 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.
Besilu also secured Royal Delta’s weanling half-sister by Smart Strike for $1.6 million.
Royal Delta’s G3 winning dam Delta Princess (A.P. Indy) sold to Adena Springs for $2.60 million. She is in foal to Distorted Humor.
Another member of the family to bring a high price on Tuesday was Camargue (Mineshaft). She is an unraced three-quarter sister to Delta Princess and was sold to Adena Springs for a price tag of $1.65 million. She was offered in foal to Street Sense.
They were part of the late Saud bin Khaled’s Palides Investments dispersal.
Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Unrivaled Belle (Unbridled’s Song) was knocked down to Brushwood Stable for $2.80 million. She was retired earlier this year with 6 wins from 14 starts and over $1.85 million in prizemoney.
Love Me Only (Sadler’s Wells), an unraced half-sister to leading sire Giant’s Causeway, sold for $2.10 million. The three-year-old is in foal to Sea the Stars and was purchased by Summerwind Farm owners Frank and Jane Lyon.
“That bloodline will go down in history probably as one of the best ever,” Jane Lyon said. “I saw Sea the Stars right after he came off the track and he was a remarkable animal.”
Like Day 1 on Monday, business was up substantially at the conclusion of Tuesday’s second session. Trade reached $51.40 million and the average rose 70% to $372,500.
“It was another great day across the board,” Keeneland Vice President Walt Robertson said. “Royal Delta is a mare that did everything single thing right. She had family. She had a dam that could run. She wins the Breeders’ Cup. Of course she brought a lot of money, and she should have.”
The Keeneland Sale continues through to November 17.