Justify paddock shot

Mare in Foal to Justify Tops Keeneland November Book 1

Outstanding racehorse and promising stallion Justify proved to be popular with buyers on Wednesday at the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale when mares in foal to the stallion averaged $864,167, led by the sales topping Take Charge Brandi.

One of 59 Grade 1 winners or producers in-foal to Triple Crown winner Justify, Champion Take Charge Brandi topped Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale Book 1 when purchased for $3.2 million by Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa.

Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sale Agency for the Elevage Dispersal carrying her third foal, Giant's Causeway's Take Charge Brandi was the Champion 2-Year-Old Filly of 2014 and is part of one of the strongest families in the stud book. The mare is out of the winning mare Charming, a daughter of three-time Grade I winner and Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady.

Charming has proven herself an influential broodmare as well as the dam of Take Charge Brandi, Grade I placed Courage Under Fire and most recently, this year’s Dual Grade I winner and Grade I Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile runner-up Omaha Beach.

"Justify is a great mating for that mare. He has some leg, some stretch, and she's a bit compact, so hopefully she'll take the best of physiques between sire and dam. He was a great racehorse, so we'll see what happens," Hill 'n' Dale's John Sikura told Blood-Horse.

Take Charge Brandi wasn’t the only expensive mare purchased in-foal to Justify with multiple purple blooded mares going through the ring on Wednesday.

Four-year-old Galileo mare Conquest was a much-desired filly by buyers, bringing $1.25 million from London Thoroughbred Services as Agent for Erdenheim Farm Thoroughbreds as Hip 208. Carrying her first foal on a March 13 cover, the filly is out of Group I winner Lillie Langtry and a full sister to superstar Cartier Horse of the Year Minding and Grade III winner Kissed By Angels.

“It’s a beautiful family, Galileo mares as we all know are very, very good,” said James Wigan of London Thoroughbred Services. “It’s a wonderful cross and she’s in foal to a good stallion and from one of the strongest pedigrees in the book. We were sort of stretching ourselves but very happy to have her. I thought the market is very strong for the good animals.”

She was followed closely by fellow Galileo mare Hourglass, who was the last mare in foal to Justify thorough the ring on Wednesday. Another blue-blooded offering in foal to the stallion, Hourglass brought $1.1 million from prominent owner China Horse Club, who purchased five mares in-foal to Justify between the Fasig-Tipton November Sale and Keeneland’s Book 1.

Their Keeneland purchases also included a third Galileo mare in-foal to the stallion in Grade I winning A Z Warrior’s daughter C’Est Ca for $600,000. The mare is a full sister to two stakes winners.

Other big mares to sell during Keeneland’s Book 1 in foal to Justify included Sotto Voce for $850,000 to BBA Ireland, Ballet Shoes to Shimokobe Farm with Polo Green Stable as agent for $800,000, and the $700,000 Molly Corbin to a partnership involving Runnymede Farm, d’Gtreham, Peter Callahan, and Meridian International.

The only undefeated Triple Crown winner, Justify is currently in Australia covering his first Southern Hemisphere book of mares.