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Keeneland Sept Day-1: Million Dollar War Front Fillies Take Centre Stage
On day one of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in Lexington, Kentucky on Monday, 150 yearlings sold for a total of US$44,642,000, up 34.61 per cent from 2014 when 120 horses brought US$33,165,000. The average price of US$297,613 rose 7.68 per cent from last year's US$276,375, while the median of US$265,000 was up 8.16 per cent from US$245,000 in 2014. "It was a good session from start to finish," Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. "The session was marked by active bidding from a good cross-section of buyers who represented owners from around the world." Two daughters of War Front were the stars on day one selling for US$1 million or more each to equal the number of seven-figure horses sold during last year's opening session. At US$1.45 million, the session-topper was a daughter of War Front consigned by Timber Town (as agent), on behalf of Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm, and sold to Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum's Shadwell Estate Co. The filly is the first foal out of the group-placed Galileo mare Betterbetterbetter, a half-sister to Irish Gr1 winners Yesterday and Quarter Moon, the latter being the dam of this season's Gr1 Pretty Polly Stakes winner Diamondsandrubies (Fastnet Rock). Pope paid US$5.2 million for Betterbetterbetter at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November Sale. "Great page, great filly, beautifully put together," said Rick Nichols, vice president and general manager of Shadwell Farm. "She had everything. She's awfully pretty." Another daughter of War Front consigned by Lane's End (as agent), sold to Robert S. Evans for US$1 million to be the day's second-highest priced yearling. Out of the Mr Greeley mare Azzedine, the filly is from the family of champion Althea and Gr1 winner Aldiza. "I think she's a nice horse," Evans said. "I love War Front and I love the female family. (The plan is) to race her, and breed her to Tonalist." Evans campaigns Tonalist, a son of Tapit who won the 2014 Gr1 Belmont Stakes and Gr1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. The September Sale continues through Saturday, 26 September.