Tuesday, April 17, 2012

After the Auction: Ruby Be Mine

As an avid fan of sales with possible aspirations to become an adviser/bloodstock agent, auctions are one of my favorite topics to write about on Past the Grandstand. This is the first edition in a blog series called "After the Auction" that will feature horses I have discovered in sales that have found success after the sale. *Note: If an "After the Auction" features a two-year-old, it will also be listed as a "Juvenile Spotlight."

Ruby Be Mine stood beneath the December sun, her swollen belly covered in her gleaming chestnut coat that fit her name. She was the color of a ruby stone, gazing across the backside of Lone Star Park as if she knew she would bring the highest price of the sale. Her purchase price of $35,000 was nothing compared to horses sold at sales such as a Keeneland sale or a Fasig-Tipton auction in a state such as Kentucky, but when the fall of the hammer fell at the price when Ruby Be Mine was sold, she became the highest-priced horse to sell at the 2011 Fasig-Tipton Texas December Mixed Sale.

Ruby Be Mine at the Fasig-Tipton Texas December Mixed Sale
Photo by Mary Cage
I came across the mare the day before she was sold at the aforementioned sale and was impressed by her classy appearance. When I learned that she had been the sale-topper, it came as no shock. The black-type-placed track record-setter had already proven herself to be a successful producer, which is no surprise, as her dam is the black-type-winning Hyper and Saucy, who also produced the dam of the black-type placed My Abbie and is a half-sister to the black-typed placed Key to the Sauce and to the dam of the black-type winning Magic Power. Descending from female family nine, Ruby Be Mine comes from the same female family as the dams of the great horses Alydar, Bull Lea, Fair Play, Galileo, Mahmoud, Nasrullah, Sea the Stars, Sir Barton, and Shergar.

Four months after Ruby Be Mine was sold, I stood alongside the Lone Star Park rail as a mare with a chestnut coat and white blaze triumphed in the JEH Stallion Station Stakes for accredited Texas-bred fillies and mares. With her win, the victor further stamped Ruby Be Mine as a productive broodmare, as the winner of the race was Ruby’s Big Band, a five-year-old daughter of Ruby Be Mine.

Ruby's Big Band winning the JEH Stallion Station Stakes
Photo: Terri Cage
Breeder W.S. Farish of Lane’s End Farm fame sent Ruby Be Mine to Bowman’s Band in 2006 for the mare’s second mating. The result was Ruby’s Big Band, who would quickly display talent on the track. As a juvenile, she started ten times, winning in four races. Of those four wins, Ruby’s Big Band captured three black-type races in Canada. She has continued her black-type performances, scoring in five black-type races since her two-year-old career. In fact, two-thirds of her starts have come in black-type races.

It was certainly fascinating to see the offspring of a mare who caught my attention at the Fasig-Tipton Texas December Mixed Sale win a black-type race before my eyes. Witnessing Ruby’s Big Band’s victory exhibited just how rewarding it can be to find a horse at a sale and follow it or its offspring from then on. I found the experience to be very satisfying, giving me even more motivation to follow horses I find in sales.

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