Abel Tasman commands $5 million at Keeneland sale

January 07, 2019 03:54pm

The 3-year-old champion filly Abel Tasman, who's up for another Eclipse Award to be announced later this month, will enter the next stage of her life after hammering Monday for a sales-topping $5 million at Keeneland.

The final price tied Keeneland's record high for a horse sold at the January auction for horses of all ages. Mackie, then in foal to Mr. Prospector, went for the same amount in 2000.


Consigned by Taylor Made, the 5-year-old daughter of Quality Road went to leading worldwide racing and breeding operation Coolmore. Its American manager, Dermot Ryan, signed the ticket.

"She's a queen, though, isn't she?" said Ryan, indicating Abel Tasman will breed to a Coolmore sire to be determined. Remember, the roster now includes two Triple Crown winners in American Pharoah and Justify. Ryan also named Uncle Mo and Galileo as possibilities.

"They’re very rare when they come across like that – animals like her," Ryan added. "She had everything. She’d be anybody’s dream filly to want, wouldn’t she?"

Abel Tasman won eight of 16 starts for the partnership of China Horse Club and her breeder, Clearsky Farms. Six of those victories were in Grade 1 races, and that's why the bidding simply began inside the Keeneland sales pavilion at $3 million.


Career highlights started with a score in the 2016 Starlet Stakes (G1) while then in the care of trainer Simon Callaghan. Once transferred to Bob Baffert, Abel Tasman won the Kentucky Oaks, Acorn (G1) and Coaching Club American Oaks (G1) at age 3. Back at 4, she took both the Ogden Phipps (G1) and Personal Ensign (G1) while shipping to New York.

Mark Taylor, vice president of marketing and public sales operations at Taylor Made, compared Abel Tasman to Mariah's Storm, the multiple graded stakes-winning mare who Coolmore purchased for $2.6 million from Taylor Made in 1996. Mariah's Storm produced stallions Giant's Causeway and Freud. 

"I just had a lot of respect for Abel Tasman, and I think she’s worth every penny of that," he said. "I think she’s the kind of mare that can produce a stallion, and I think you could be sitting here 20 years from now like the case was when Coolmore bought Mariah’s Storm from us, where she’s produced stallions and the whole legacy. She can be a mare that makes you three or four hundred million."

Out of the Deputy Minister mare Vargas Girl, Abel Tasman closed her career with a pair of uncharacteristic races, finishing off the board in Santa Anita's Zenyatta (G1) and Churchill Downs' Breeders' Cup Distaff before retired.

Other finalists for Champion Older Dirt Female to be announced Jan. 24 are Unique Bella and Marley's Freedom.

Earlier Monday at Keeneland, 
Summer Wind Equine paid $750,000 for A Star Is Born (IRE), a daughter of Galileo in foal to War Front. Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent, A Star Is Born is carrying a full brother to stakes winner and Group 1-placed Fleet Review. The 9-year-old mare is a full sister to Irish high weight and Group 1 winner Rip Van Winkle (IRE) and a half-sister to Italian Group 3 winner Le Vie Infinite.

Ardfield Bloodstock paid $375,000 for the session’s top-priced yearling, a colt by Into Mischief whose third dam is Personal Ensign. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the yearling, whose dam is the winning, stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare Mary Rita.

 

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