Broodmarathon: Broodmare of the Year Nominees Represented at Keeneland November

In my introduction yesterday (Thoroughbred Breeding Stock Sales Approaching), I mentioned that I would profile several sale mares in the lead-up to the bloodstock auctions. I thought it appropriate to start out by looking to the 2010 MarketWatch Broodmare of the Year candidates (download it free at the MarketWatch blog!) -- after all, these mares should be amongst the best currently producing.

In that report, we profiled eight mares and provided progeny records for another dozen or so top producers. Not surprisingly, none of the mares themselves will walk through the ring at Keeneland November--who culls their top producers?!? But four of them have daughters being auctioned. Here's a rundown of the first three mares represented:

  • Aletta Maria, winner of this year's MarketWatch title, has a 1996 Gone West daughter entered as hip 929. Somerset West is a winning mare and a graded stakes producer, and she sells in foal to supersire Dynaformer. The resulting foal will be bred similarly to Somerset West's half sister, the grade I-winning Dynaforce.
  • Aletta Maria is also represented by her 2006 foal, the Empire Maker filly Diza, a lightly-raced and thrice-placed broodmare prospect. Diza will sell in Book 2 as hip 1107. In addition to Dynaforce and Somerset West, Cetewayo and Bowman Mill are also half-siblings to Diza.
  • Aurora, dam of Arch and Acoma and Festival of Light and Alisios, has the A.P. Indy mare Aztec Pearl cataloged as hip 98.
  • Sweet Life, dam of grade I-winning fillies Sweet Catomine and Life is Sweet by Storm Cat, has an unraced full sister to those top distaffers selling as hip 89 at the Keeneland sale. Ain't She Sweet is a 3-year-old being offered as a racing or broodmare prospect.

Today, however, I wanted to talk about Love At Noon. The 1998 Afternoon Deelites mare is out of Lemhi Love, a nine-time stakes-winning mare who was on the board in 36 of her iron-horse 56 starts. Lemhi Love produced 14 foals, of which 13 are winners and two are stakes winners, including grade I winner Dancing In Silks.

Love At Noon was grade I stakes-placed (in fact, she placed in grade I, II, and III contests as a 3-year-old) and she earned $132,675 in a 7-2-2-1 racing career.

Love At Noon has been offered at auction several times previously:

  • 1999 Keeneland September (yearling): sold for $70,000
  • 2003 Keeneland November (broodmare): sold for $750,000 in foal to Deputy Minister
  • 2006 Keeneland November (broodmare): sold for $475,000 in foal to Distorted Humor

From five foals of racing age, Love At Noon has three winners (including her 2008 Bluegrass Cat juvenile colt). Four of her offspring are currently in training.

Love At Noon sells in foal to Colonel John, who stood his first year at WinStar in 2010. Colonel John took the Santa Anita Derby and Travers Stakes (both gr. I) in his sophomore campaign and just missed the CashCall Futurity (also gr. I) as a 2-year-old. He's a son of Tiznow and has generated a good bit of buzz.

Now, for a quick analysis:

  • Positives: I'm shocked that Love At Noon will sell so late: she's hip 2445, which falls in Book 4. Sure, she's now a 12-year-old, but she was a Book 1 hip in her two previous trips to Keeneland November. The pedigree is solid, the covering sire is a big plus and I believe is well-suited to her.
  • Negatives: Five foals to race and none of them have reached $50,000 in career earnings--that's got to hurt, epecially since they were by the likes of Deputy Minister and Gone West and Speightstown and Distorted Humor and Bluegrass Cat. As well, while I can't find much fault with the class (grade I-placed ain't shabby), I do worry about the seven-race career, including a 6.5-month layoff as a 3-year-old.
  • Estimated final bid: Based on covering sire fee, mare age, downturned economy, and a bunch of other factors that depress her value, I'd guess a new owner would have to bid to $125,000 to bring her home. (For reference, last year's seventh session averaged $23,230, and the session topper was $95,000.)

Any rival predictions out there? Any interested bidders?



  • 07 November 2010: Devil May Care (Fasig-Tipton hip #159) is an OUT.

  • 08 November 2010: Ain't She Sweet (Keeneland hip #89) is an OUT.

  • 08 November 2010: I went to see Aztec Pear (Keeneland hip #98).

  • 08 November 2010: Aztec Pearl(Keeneland hip #98) sold for $250,000 to Royal Oak Farm (Agent).

  • 10 November 2010: I went to see Somerset West (Keeneland hip #929).

  • 10 November 2010: I went to see Diza (Keeneland hip #1107).

  • 11 November 2010: Somerset West (Keeneland hip #929) sold for $150,000 to RBTS (Agent).

  • 11 November 2010: Diza (Keeneland hip #1107) was a $70,000 RNA. (She's available for post-sale bidding, though.)

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