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The following post was published earlier this week at Paulick Report.


If there was a question in anyone’s mind, recent transactions have once again proven that the ultimate arbiter of value is racing performance. Both the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale and the opening session of the Keeneland November sale were topped by racehorses and producers with sterling on-course ability.

On Sunday at Fasig-Tipton, owner-breeder Frank Stronach, who handles his breeding and racing stock under the Adena Springs banner in the U.S. and Canada, bought Awesome Feather for $2.3 million. Two days previously, the unbeaten 2-year-old filly had won the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies. That victory made the daughter of Awesome of Course, a relatively unknown stakes-winning son of Adena Springs stallion Awesome Again, the likely selection as Eclipse Award winner for top 2-year-old filly of 2010.

The Breeders’ Cup was the first venture by Awesome Feather in top-level competition, but she passed the test with élan. After the filly had shown so much apparent potential for further top-flight competition, Stronach bought Awesome Feather as a racing prospect and will race her at 3 in 2011.

Fred and Jane Brei’s Jacks or Better Farm bred Awesome Feather in Florida from the Gone West mare Precious Feather. To date, Awesome Feather has won all six of her starts and earned $1,495,746.

The second-highest price at Fasig-Tipton’s one-day sale was $1.95 million for last year’s Alabama Stakes winner Careless Jewel (by Tapit). Trainer Eric Guillot signed the ticket for Careless Jewel as agent for Mike Moreno’s Southern Equine Stables.

On Monday at Keeneland’s opening session, the theme of high-priced Alabama Stakes winners continued. The day’s leading lot at $1.85 million was Alabama Stakes winner Society Selection (by Coronado’s Quest). Also the winner of the G1 Test Stakes at Saratoga, the 9-year-old Society Selection is the best racehorse sired by Travers winner Coronado’s Quest.

Aisling Duignan, director of sales for Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, signed the ticket on Society Selection for the Coolmore Stud partnership of John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith. The mare’s first foal was the winning Giant’s Causeway filly Superior Selection, and the new owners are likely to breed the mare back to that Ashford stallion.

Society Selection, winner at the G1 level at 2 and 3, also ran second in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and four other G1 events during a racing career when she earned more than $1.9 million for owner-breeders Marge and Irving Cowan.

Society Selection has a 2-year-old filly named American Angel by Ghostzapper, a yearling colt by A.P. Indy, and is in foal to leading sire Medaglia d’Oro on a March 5 cover.

The Coolmore group also paid the second-highest price for a mare at the first session of the November sale, as Duignan picked up the multiple G1 winner Golden Ballet for $1.4 million. The 12-year-old chestnut mare is in foal to Unbridled’s Song on a May 7 cover.

In the walking ring behind the sales pavilion, Golden Ballet proved the most striking mare on display. The massively muscled chestnut strutted around the walking area, showing off her outstanding balance and quality, as well as her strength and agility.

Winner of the Las Virgenes and Santa Anita Oaks at the top level, as well as the Railbird and Santa Ynez stakes, during a 3-year-old season when she lost only the Ashland Stakes from five starts, Golden Ballet is the best racer by her sire, the Nijinsky stallion Moscow Ballet.

Not only was Golden Ballet an extraordinary looking mare, but she is also the dam of this year’s Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer (by Distorted Humor). Golden Ballet was in foal to Unbridled’s Song, also the sire of the mare’s other stakes winner Stage Luck.

The stakes winners are two of the mare’s five named foals, and Golden Ballet is expected to be shipped to Ireland for the 2011 breeding season for mating with leading Coolmore stallion Galileo.