Following the Breeders’ Cup we got to watch the Fasig-Tipton Keeneland sale and once again we saw hope and optimism lead to over paying way more than a dollar for the dream.
Armed with the well-documented knowledge that many or even most great race mares do not make great producers, deep pockets dug down at the Fasig-Tipton sale to keep those dreams alive. Songbird brought a whopping $9.5 million, and Tepin brought a quite respectable $8 million. Amanda Pope and her Whisper Hill Farm bought Songbird. This is nothing new for Pope and Whisper Hill as from 2009- 2017 they bought 96 horses at auction for $77,619,500. That’s about $808,000 per horse.
From that investment Pope has bred just 4 stakes winners, Tizway, Bearpath, Term of Art, and Southern Honey. I’m no CPA but that balance sheet can’t look good. There are a lot better ways to go, and breed. Coolmore bought Tepin, and they seem to have a better handle on breeding stakes winners. Their list is long but they too are heavily invested.
Lady Eli was withdrawn from the Fasig-Tipton sale due to the injuries she suffered in the Breeders’ Cup. She’d have brought a pretty penny herself. With connections from the US, Japan, and Ireland going in the deep end of the pool, the high prices had an international flavor.