It's the stuff that dreams are made of. When John and Martha Jane Mulholland went to $360,000 to purchase West's Secret (West by West), carrying a foal by Saint Ballado, out of the 2001 Keeneland November Sale, they had toes and fingers crossed that it could be the start of something beautiful. Yesterday, that dream became reality when the filly the now seven-year-old mare was carrying was knocked down for a lofty $1.4 million during yesterday's proceedings at Keeneland.
She was an extremely well-bred mare, Martha Jane Mulholland commented yesterday just outside the sales ring. We are a small operation and this is like winning a Grade I for us, she continued. We try to buy stakeswinning mares and this one is from a very young family which looks like it could take off. The winner of the Chip S. during a career which saw her earn $176,381, West's Secret is a three-parts sister to MGSW & GISP Top Secret (Afleet) and MSW & GSP Tate (Afleet). Still there are no guarantees in this business. A lot of very important people were by the barn to see her, so I knew shed sell well, Mulholland explained. Once they get past $400,000 or so, you never know. Its very gratifying that a horseman like Bob Lewis appreciates and values your product. The Mulhollands added to their coffers later in the afternoon. Hip 386, a filly by Deputy Minister--Go To The Ink (Crafty Prospector) was knocked down for $700,000, also to the bid of Bob and Beverly Lewis. Hip 486, a filly by Forestry from Shivering Six (Saratoga Six) sold for an even $1 million to Satish Sanan's Padua Stables. Shivering Six was purchased by the Mulhollands for just $155,000 at the 2000 Keeneland November Sale. But Mulholland has an even better reason to be happy. Her husband John, suffering from cancer, was recently pronounced free of that disease, but was unable to attend the sale. I really wish John could have been here to experience the excitement, Martha Jane said. But he's cancer-free and is home resting. If yesterday's sale was any indication, there should be much more excitement to come for the Mulhollands.