Record $8.2 Million Filly for American Pharoah
The 2019 Keeneland September Yearling Sale produced a stunning highlight for Triple Crown hero American Pharoah when his blue-blooded filly from blue hen Leslie’s Lady fetched $8.2 million.
A half-sister to Champion Mare and $6 million earner Beholder as well as Grade I winners Mendelssohn (also standing at Coolmore) and top sire Into Mischief, the exceptional filly was consigned by Clarkland Farm and bought by Whisper Hill Farm.
The $8.2 million price set a September Sale record for a filly and equals the fourth-highest price for a yearling sold at the auction. It is the highest price paid at the September Sale since the $11.7 million given for Meydan City in 2006.
"You can't fault her," said Whisper Hill’s Mandy Pope. "She's perfectly balanced. She's gorgeous – not too big or small."
Pope said the filly was the only horse in the September Sale she really wanted, adding, "This will probably put me out of shopping in November; I think I pretty much went through my broodmare budget for November."
The sale produced an amazing result for Clarkland Farm.
"I don't have any words," Clarkland's Fred Mitchell said. "It's unreal. But in my opinion, this was the best individual the old mare has ever had. Can you believe a 22-year-old mare (in 2018) had something like this? But Leslie's Lady, she still thinks she's 12 or 13 years old."
In 2006, Clarkland bought the-then 10-year-old Leslie's Lady in foal to Orientate for $100,000 at Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale. Clarkland sold Beholder, by Henny Hughes, for $180,000 at the 2011 September Sale and sold Scat Daddy colt Mendelssohn, who now stands at Ashford Stud, for the 2016 sale-topping price at $3 million.
Mitchell said the record-setting daughter of Leslie's Lady was special from birth.
"She was born with muscle," he said. "She was correct when she was born, and she just has such a mind on her. When I watch her – compared to Beholder and Mendelssohn growing up – it looked like she had Beholder's sprinting speed because when the other fillies came to her out in the field and were running, she was like, 'I'll see ya,' and had another gear. She's just been special since Day One."
American Pharoah also had a big result with the colt from Escampette fetching $1.3 million to the bid of Jamie McCalmont for MV Magnier in partnership with Jon and Sarah Kelly.
“We’re absolutely delighted to get that horse,” Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier said.
“He’s going to go to Bob Baffert. He was very high on the horse, and says that he’s better than a couple very good American Pharoahs from [Tuesday’s session]. We run Monarch of Egypt (American Pharoah) in the [G1 Juddmonte] Middle Park [S. at Newmarket Sept. 28] and Aidan [O’Brien] is pretty confident in him. American Pharoah is going so well at the moment, so let’s hope he’s lucky for everyone involved, including Mr. and Mrs. Kelly.”
American Pharaoh has had 26 yearlings sell in Book 1 at an average $675,577 putting him second on the leading sires by average list.