LEXINGTON, Ky. — Champion and five-time Grade 1 winner Lady Eli, in foal to leading sire War Front, sold for $4.2 million at Keeneland’s 2018 November Breeding Stock Sale on Nov. 6.
John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale both consigned and purchased Lady Eli, a 6-year-old daughter of Divine Park regarded as one of the all-time leading turf distaffers in North America. Lady Eli has resided at Hill ‘n’ Dale since her last start, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at Del Mar for owner Sheep Pond Partners.
“We’re thrilled to add her to our broodmare band,” Sikura said. “We keep trying to add elite-quality mares and keep up the competition and look to the future. She is a mare that is really everything one could ask for. It’s a lot of money for a horse, but she was an extremely good value.
“She’s indomitable,” Sikura added. “She knows she’s special and commands your respect. We want to keep accumulating elite mares so we can sell elite commercial yearlings. This is a good place to start when you buy champions.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale ranked as the day’s leading consignor, selling 10 horses for $8,980,000, including three of the day’s top-priced horses.
Among those watching Lady Eli sell was trainer Chad Brown, for whom she recovered from a bout of laminitis during her career to continue racing at the highest levels, compiling a record of 10 wins and three seconds in 14 starts for earnings of $2,959,800.
“I was so pleased when I went to see her this morning and to see how magnificent they have her looking, to see the care and affection the staff has for her,” Brown said. “For her to go back to the farm that has been taking care of her this way is a huge relief for me personally. A bonus is that I can come see her when I am in Kentucky, and I come to Kentucky a lot.
“I can see she has mellowed out,” Brown continued. “It puts me at rest and it is a conclusion to a great story. I will be looking for her offspring. That is another bonus that a commercial breeder bought her and I will be able to buy her offspring.”
Also at the sale, Eaton Sales, agent, sold a Tapit weanling filly who is the second foal of champion La Verdad, by Yes It’s True, to Whisper Hill Farm and Three Chimneys Farm for $800,000.
La Verdad, a New York-bred Eclipse Award-winning mare owned by Lady Sheila Stable at Edition Farm in Hyde Park, N.Y., delivered the filly on March 15 as viewers from around the world watched via the internet. La Verdad was the fourth mare to give birth in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s Foal Patrol in 2018.
“She is very correct and a good average size,” Mandy Pope of Whisper Hill said of the filly. “I’ve watched La Verdad run in New York — against me sometimes — and I’ve always admired her. So very thankful to be able to get her (filly). We bought her to race.”
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