Can Amanda Pope recoup her $10 million investment in Havre de Grace?
Though the 2011 Horse of the Year is a “collector’s item,” Ms. Pope has said she plans to sell commercially from the mare with the hopes of at least getting some of her money back.
For her to do so, the commercial markets would have to continue their upward rise at the top since the crash of 2008, but a trend is discernible: Havre de Grace sold in the neighborhood of Playful Act’s $10.5 million in 2007 and Ashado’s $9 million in 2005; last year the $8.5 million for Royal Delta at Keeneland November was the highest at the sale for a horse in training; and the $2.6 million for the weanling half-sister to Saint Liam in 2011 was a North American record.
Prices wouldn’t need to climb as high as the $11.7 million paid for Meydan City at Keeneland September in 2006 for Ms. Pope to hit the home run in one shot, either. A few doubles and triples over the course of a few sales seasons could do the trick. Take a look at Serena’s Song’s produce sales history as a blueprint. A winner of 18 of 38 starts and $3.3 million over three years of racing from 1994-1996, Serena’s Song was bred in 1997 and her first foal was born in 1998. That filly, Serena’s Tune, sold in 1999.
(year sold as yearling, name (sex), price)
1999 Serena’s Tune (filly) $1,000,000
2000 Sophisticat (filly) $3,400,000
2003 Harlington (colt) $2,800,000
2005 Colorful Score (colt) $3,500,000
2006 Spark Candle (colt) $1,500,000
2009 Stormberg (colt) $450,000
Total for sales yearlings: $12,650,000
The first few well-conformed yearlings from young mares of the caliber of Serena’s Song or Havre de Grace will always attract high prices, but their immediate successes at the track will ensure future sales successes for their siblings. Serena’s Tune and Sophisticat (A Group 1 winner) were already stakes winners by the time Harlington and Colorful Score sold, for example, and those two accounted for $6.3 million of Serena’s Song’s yearling gross.