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Keeneland Nov Day-1: US$2.25m Azeri

Wednesday, 11th November 2009

Shunsuke Yoshida (acting for his father Katsumi Yoshida who owns Northern Farm in Japan) paid US$2.25 million for 11-year-old mare & 2002 US Horse-Of-The-Year Azeri (Jade Hunter-Zodiac Miss, by Ahonoora) in early action this morning (Australian time) during the opening session of the 13-day Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale in Kentucky. Azeri (whose dam Zodiac Miss is an Australian-bred stakes-winner) was consigned by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency & is in-foal to former Grand Lodge Thoroughbreds shuttler Distorted Humor. Azeri was returning to the ring 11 months after she was bought-back by the Allen Paulson Trust for US$4.4 million at the Keeneland January Horses-Of-All-Ages Sale. Shunsuke Yoshida told bloodhorse.com: “We didn’t expect we could buy this mare. We started bidding at US$1.7 million. We just kept on bidding within our budget & finally she came to us. It was really close to our budget. I think we will send her to Japan directly.” However Hill 'n' Dale’s John Sikura expressed disappointment with Azeri’s price, noting: “The mare really is a national treasure; she accomplished some really, really unique things. I would like to have thought that one or more leading North American commercial breeders would have said 'We have to have this mare.' Her sale price is a real reflection on the state of our market today. As horsemen we are usually eternal optimists. We think 'What if?' We create a great scenario in our minds & that’s the way we move forward. Today most people are saying 'What if it doesn’t work? What if her 2YO doesn’t run? She has a late (June) cover.' People are tempering their enthusiasm & their valuations. In anybody’s mind, that mare has to look like an extremely good value. She’s as good as a mare can be & her 2YO has trained very well. It (the price) looks like grand robbery.”

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