Two talented fillies with radically different sales histories became Grade 1 winners on opposite ends of the country on Sept. 2. A sales ring star with a $650,000 price tag at Fasig-Tipton‘s Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, Moonshine Memories (by Malibu Moon) won the Del Mar Debutante. At Saratoga, not only across the country but from the other side of the tracks, Lady Ivanka (Tiz Wonderful) won the historic Spinaway Stakes after being a sales-ring refugee.
The latter filly went unsold in her first two trips through the ring, when she was an RNA (reserve not attained) for $21,000 as a weanling at the Keeneland November Sale in 2015, then for $11,000 a year later at the Keeneland September Sale.
After those two experiences, the buff bay Lady Ivanka could have been forgiven if she had felt a little pouty: “Nobody loves me; everybody hates me; guess I’ll go eat worms.”
Fortunately, Lady Ivanka and her people persevered. Brought to the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic sale of juveniles in training at Timonium in May, the filly worked a quarter-mile in :21 2/5 and showed good internal numbers and stride indicators from DataTrack International’s digitally gathered information that indicated she was a filly with promise.
After that work, the filly went through the ring for $80,000 out of the SBM Training & Sales consignment, and now she is unbeaten in two starts and a G1 winner for owners Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC, Michael Imperio, and Susan Montanye.
The Del Mar Debutante winner Moonshine Memories is likewise unbeaten from a pair of starts and a G1 winner. Moonshine Memories, however, was a filly that nearly everybody liked.
At the Saratoga select sale, she was one of the hottest lots on the historic grounds, and after the bidding stopped, only eight yearlings at the auction brought more than Moonshine Memories. The fetching bay filly sold to Bridlewood Farm and M.V. Magnier out of the Lane’s End consignment on a bid of $650,000.
The filly is by the highly successful A.P. Indy stallion Malibu Moon, the sire of Kentucky Derby winner Orb, champion juvenile Declan’s Moon, and G1 winners such as Life at Ten, Carina Mia, and Gormley, winner of this year’s Santa Anita Derby.
On her dam’s side, Moonshine Memories is a half-sister to stakes winner Indian Evening (Indian Charlie) and stakes-placed Mo for the Money (Uncle Mo). Their dam is the Unbridled’s Song mare Unenchanted Evening, who won at 3 but has shined as a producer. Unenchanted Evening is one of four stakes producers out of her dam, the stakes-winning mare Evil Elaine (Medieval Man).
Although the dam of five stakes horses, Evil Elaine is best known as the producer of Horse of the Year Favorite Trick (Phone Trick), winner of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, Hopeful, and Breeders’ Futurity during his unbeaten juvenile season.
This is a family with a lot of speed and juvenile class, and Moonshine Memories was a stellar example. A beautifully proportioned filly with excellent power, Moonshine Memories is built to corner like a sports car, and she did just that in the one-turn Debutante. She handled the track and competition well to remain unbeaten.
In contrast, Lady Ivanka had success in the sales ring only after she was nearly the proven item as a racing prospect, and a good part of the explanation for that is the general lack of demand for young stock who aren’t by the most successful sires and out of proven or highly promising dams.
By the Tiznow stallion Tiz Wonderful, a graded stakes winner at 2, Lady Ivanka is one of her sire’s two most-accomplished performers, along with G1 Spinaway Stakes winner Condo Commando. Those are the stallion’s only two winners at the premium level, and he is represented by a scant few, such as Hunter O’Riley (G2 Bowling Green) and My Happy Face (G3 Tempted), who are graded or group winners.
In 2014, Tiz Wonderful was sold to Korea, and Lady Ivanka is from the stallion’s last crop in the States. The Spinaway winner is among 61 foals from that crop, which includes five winners to date.
Despite their differing past histories, both Moonlight Memories and Lady Ivanka will be among the favored prospects for the Breeders Cup. This time, they both will be in the spotlight.