Even though we’re in the midst of a global financial crisis, a special horse can still bring a jaw-dropping amount.
Better Than Honour, the dam of back-to-back Belmont Stakes winners Jazil and Rags to Riches, set a world Thoroughbred auction record for a broodmare or broodmare prospect Nov. 2 when her price soared to $14 million during the Fasig-Tipton November select mixed sale in Lexington.
The last horse in the sale ring, Better Than Honour was purchased by Michael Moreno’s Southern Equine Stables, which had owned a 70% interest in her prior to the auction. John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms had owned the other 30%. The mare, who is not in foal, was sold because Southern Equine and Sikura were dispersing their joint holdings. The former is more interested in racing, and the latter is more interested in commercial breeding.
“There was no strategy, just take her home,” Moreno said. “She is the best mare in the world, and we’re in this thing for the long-term. You can’t build a long-term operation without blue hen mares, and she’s it. She’s a Picasso; you can’t sell a mare like this.”
A 12-year-old daughter of Deputy Minister and the grade I-winning Blushing Groom mare Blush With Pride, Better Than Honour won the 1998 Demoiselle Stakes (gr. II) and she was the 2007 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year. In addition to Jazil (by Seeking the Gold) and Rags to Riches (by A.P. Indy), she has produced 2008 Peter Pan Stakes winner Casino Drive (by Mineshaft).
“You don’t plan these kinds of things out; you let it evolve,” Moreno said. “I think we had live bids up to $12 million or $13 million. We had no reserve on her, so we just kind of went into the process and let it pan out. Honestly, anybody that bid on her in the early stages probably realized they were bidding for fun because she was going to bring obviously a world r