This autumn, we'll have no shortage of broodmares to evaluate -- the limitation will be how much time we can spend perusing the myriad breeding stock sale catalogs! In the meantime, there are many other opporutunites to find broodmares for sale. The internet, especially, has become a useful tool for connecting buyers and sellers of Thoroughbred bloodstock. Several Web sites serve as sales portals, and the horses offered range from top-quality to culls, from fantastic deals to absurd overpricing.
A trainer in Maryland is downsizing her stable and I looked through the older fillies and mares she has available. A couple are worth a second look based on their racing accomplishments and pedigrees (not the least of which is Tap the Phone (pedigree), a Phone Trick mare whose third dam is the wonderful mare Never Knock, from the remarkable family 1-x La Troienne line). This trainer has priced her mares below their claiming level and appears to be willing to make a good deal for any prospective buyers.
The mare I'd like to look at more closely today is the 5-year-old Stellar Time (pedigree) (HandRide.com advertisement). This Canadian-bred daughter of Gilded Time is a four-time winner (from 12 races), including a $60,000 MSW at Woodbine. She has earned $68,569 to date running exclusively sprint races. Her last efforts came in May this year, including a 4 1/2-furlong claiming win at Charles Town in her most recent start. After eight weeks of turnout, Stellar Time has been back in training for the last month or so.
Bred by Josham Farms in Ontario, Stellar Time apparently looked pretty good as a foal. She fetched $40,000 as a Keeneland November weanling (beating that sale's $32,000 median) in 2003, and $47,000 at Keeneland's September yearling sale 10 months later (again topping the median, which was $37,000).
Stellar Time's dam, Heavenly Tears, is a Halo mare who's produced 11 named offspring including seven winners from nine foals age 3 and up. Bayou Blues, a 1996 daughter of Cure the Blues, won over $130,000 in 42 races. Bukah, a 2002 gelding son of Two Punch, topped $136,000 in 32 starts.
Heavenly Tears, in turn, was produced by the stakes-winning Smart mare Cutty. Cutty is represented as a broodmare by three stakes winners including the good Canadian sire Tejabo, who stands at Park Stud. Stellar Time, Heavenly Tears, and Cutty descend from Thoroughbred female family 2-h, the same family as 1850 Epsom Derby winner Voltigeur (GB). The larger family #2 is one of the Thoroughbred foundation families and is known for producing both blue hen mares and top sires.
Gilded Time mares have done pretty well with Mr. Prospector-line stallions. If the mare stays in/around Maryland, I'd like to see Stellar Time tried with Seeking Daylight (SRO) -- here's the TrueNicks hypo-mating for that cross -- whose $3,500 fee is appropriate for a mare of her class. Another choice from Mr. Prospector's line -- and one that adds Nijinsky II blood, which also complements Gilded Time's bloodlines -- is Quarry (SRO), at $2,000 in Pennsylvania. This is one of those cases where TrueNicks give a lower rating but the "best horses bred on this cross" list is revealing: when the cross hits, it hits big, with such runners as grade I winners Coronado's Quest and Swept Overboard.
Now, your turn. Broodmare quality? A good deal at the $4,000 asking price? Who would you send her to (and why)?