Million-Dollar Mares of 2018: Where They’re Headed Now

Champion Lady Eli sold for $4.2-million at the 2018 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. (Keeneland photo)

Each year the excitement of the Breeders’ Cup is quickly followed by the thrills of the November sales, where top-class fillies and mares change hands for millions of dollars.

The Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton sales feature a global group of potential buyers bidding for broodmares, weanlings (Thoroughbreds born early this year), and even racehorse and stallion prospects, but the stars of the sales are usually premier race fillies and mares fresh off the track.

This year featured a pair of standout champion “Ladies” as well as other Grade 1 winners. Read on for the details on sale price, buyer, and where they’re headed next.

Lady Aurelia (Keeneland/Coady Photography)

Lady Aurelia

Price: $7.5 million

Race Record: 10 starts – 5 wins – 2 seconds – 1 third

Pedigree: Scat Daddy – D’ Wildcat Speed, by Forest Wildcat

Buyer: Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings

Though she was American owned and trained for most of her career, Lady Aurelia is a two-time winner at the fabled Royal Ascot meet in England and a European champion. Her late sire Scat Daddy’s coveted progeny are prolific on both turf (Lady Aurelia and others) and dirt (topped by Triple Crown winner Justify). As a 2-year-old, Lady Aurelia captured the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and added a win against males in the Group 1 Darley Prix Morny before finishing third in another Group 1 to earn the Cartier Award as champion European 2-year-old filly. She won the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2017. Stonestreet was part-owner of Lady Aurelia during her racing career and bought out partner Peter Leidel to add her to the Stonestreet broodmare band, where her breeding plans are undecided but a visit to a European stallion hasn’t been ruled out.

Lady Eli (Eclipse Sportswire)

Lady Eli

Price: $4.2 million

Race Record: 14 starts – 10 wins – 3 seconds – 0 thirds

Pedigree: Divine Park – Sacre Coeur, by Saint Ballado

Buyer: John G. Sikura

Although Lady Eli isn’t fresh off the track like the other horses featured here, this is her first time selling since racing last year. After a minor injury in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Lady Eli was scratched from a sale and bred to War Front this year. She was offered to buyers carrying a foal believed to be a colt. Lady Eli was nothing short of sensational in her racing career, winning the first six starts of her career, including the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, before an injury and infection nearly cost her life. Her tenacious will brought her back to the races as a 4-year-old and she would add three more Grade 1 wins to her tally before retiring at the end of 2017 as the champion turf female for the year. She was bought by John G. Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm and will join the broodmare band there in Kentucky.

Daddys Lil Darling (Eclipse Sportswire)

Daddys Lil Darling

Price: $3.5 million

Race Record: 20 starts – 5 wins – 6 seconds – 2 thirds

Pedigree: Scat Daddy – Miss Hot Salsa, by Houston

Buyer: M.V. Magnier

Another daughter of the late Scat Daddy, Daddys Lil Darling showed her prowess on both dirt and turf, winning the Grade 2 Pocahontas Stakes as a 2-year-old and finishing second in a trio of dirt Grade 1s (including the 2017 Kentucky Oaks) before transitioning to turf for the remainder of her career.  She won the Grade 1 American Oaks in December 2017 and the Grade 3 Modesty Handicap this year before retirement due to her owner’s death. She was bought by M.V. Magnier of the Irish powerhouse Coolmore, and initial indications are she will be bred to top global sire Galileo.

American Gal winning Humana Distaff. (Coady Photography)

American Gal

Price: $3 million

Race Record: 9 starts – 5 wins – 1 second – 1 third

Pedigree: Concord Point – American Story, by Ghostzapper

Buyer: Whisper Hill Farm

American Gal did not finish worse than third for the first six starts of her career, culminating with a win in the Grade 1 Longines Test Stakes at Saratoga in August 2017. She was then sidelined until 2018 but would add a second Grade 1 victory in the Humana Distaff Stakes at Churchill Downs in May. Prominent broodmare owner Mandy Pope bought the filly to join her Whisper Hill Farm broodmare band, which includes standout racemares like Songbird, Groupie Doll, and Havre de Grace.

Salty (Eclipse Sportswire)


Price: $3 million

Race Record: 11 starts – 4 wins – 2 seconds – 2 thirds

Pedigree: Quality Road – Theycallmeladyluck, by Dixie Union

Buyer: Don Alberto Corporation

Salty won the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks in her third career start and capped off her career in May with a victory in the Grade 1 La Troienne Stakes at Churchill Downs. The Mark Casse trainee was purchased by Don Alberto Corporation to join their Kentucky broodmare band but they haven’t yet decided on a sire.

Caledonia Road (Eclipse Sportswire)

Caledonia Road

Price: $2.3 million

Race Record: 5 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Pedigree: Quality Road – Come a Callin, by Dixie Union

Buyer: Narvick International

Caledonia Road is best known for winning last year’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, a result which led to her Eclipse Award for champion 2-year-old female. She was purchased by Narvick International’s Emmanuel de Seroux for Japan’s Grand Farm, where she is now headed to become a broodmare.

A Raving Beauty (Eclipse Sportswire)

A Raving Beauty

Price: $2 million

Race Record: 23 starts – 6 wins – 3 seconds – 4 thirds

Pedigree: Mastercraftsman – Anabasis, by High Chaparral

Buyer: Haruya Yoshida

German-bred A Raving Beauty began her racing career in Europe, racing in Germany, Italy, and France before being purchased to race in the U.S. for 2018. Here she won three of six starts, including victories in the Grade 1 Longines Just a Game and Grade 1 First Lady Stakes, and was sold the day after a third-place finish in the Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf. The global traveler is now going to her third continent after being purchased by Japan’s Haruya Yoshida.

Finley’sluckycharm (Eclipse Sportswire)


Price: $1.5 million

Race Record: 19 starts – 11 wins – 3 seconds – 0 thirds

Pedigree: Twirling Candy – Day of Victory, by Victory Gallop

Buyer: Katsumi Yoshida

Finley’sluckycharm has five graded stakes wins to her credit, topped by the Grade 1 Madison Stakes at Keeneland this past spring, and career earnings of nearly a million dollars. She was purchased by Katsumi Yoshida, brother to the aforementioned Haruya, and is headed for Japan.

Fourstar Crook (Coady Photography)

Fourstar Crook

Price: $1.5 million

Race Record: 20 starts – 12 wins – 4 seconds – 1 third

Pedigree: Freud – Avril a Portugal, by D’Accord

Buyer: Katsumi Yoshida

New York-bred Fourstar Crook won three graded stakes this year including the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Stakes at Belmont Park and was one of five Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf entrants for trainer Chad Brown. Like Finley’sluckycharm, Fourstar Crook is now destined to join Katsumi Yoshida’s broodmare band in Japan.

La Coronel (Eclipse Sportswire)

La Coronel

Price: $1.5 million

Race Record: 17 starts – 5 wins – 3 seconds – 1 third

Pedigree:  Colonel John – Listen, by Chester House

Buyer: K I Farm

Four of La Coronel’s five wins came in graded stakes, including a victory in the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last fall. After racing at four tracks in her last four starts, La Coronel is bound for another new destination after being purchased by Japanese entity K I Farm.

Happy Like a Fool (Coady Photography)

Happy Like a Fool

Price: $1.45 million

Race Record: 8 starts – 3 wins – 1 second – 0 thirds

Pedigree: Distorted Humor – Lastofthesummerwine, by Sky Mesa

Buyer: Blandford Bloodstock

Happy Like a Fool began her career with a maiden win and a runner-up finish in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot in England as a 2-year-old. Back in the United States she won Grade 3 race last fall and backed that up with another Grade 3 tally in May 2018. She was purchased by Newmarket, England-based Blandford Bloodstock.

Ivy Bell (Coady Photography)

Ivy Bell

Price: $1 million

Race Record: 20 starts – 5 wins – 8 seconds – 1 third

Pedigree: Archarcharch – Fallseed, by Forest Wildcat

Buyer: Lake Villa Farm

Ivy Bell has now passed through the auction ring four times, first selling as a weanling for a mere $40,000. The Todd Pletcher trainee’s race record includes a win in the Grade 2 Inside Information Stakes and a pair of runner-up finishes in Grade 1 contests. She was purchased by Lake Villa Farm, another Japanese entity, and will become a broodmare there.

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