Grade I winner Pure Clan new sale topper at $4.5 million

Multiple Grade  I winner Pure Clan established a new high mark at this year’s Keeneland November Breeding sale, selling to Brazilian Goncalo Torrealba of  Stud TNT for $4.5 million on Wednesday.

Pure Clan’s price bests the previous sale high of $4.2 million brought by 2011 Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty on Tuesday.

Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales, Pure Clan becomes the latest pretty mare with a stellar race record and pedigree to match to bring an exceptional final bid. Two nights ago at Fasig-Tipton, 2011 Horse of the Year Havre de Grace sold to Mandy Pope for $10 million, third highest price ever for a broodmare or broodmare prospect.

Out of the Grade III winning mare Gather the Clan, Pure Clan sold in foal to Darley sire Bernardini. Torrealba has a connection to that family as he campaigned Bernardini’s dam, the Grade I winning mare Cara Rafaela.

“After Fasig and what happened yesterday, (the price) was more or less around what we were expecting,” Torrealba said. “We’re taking her to Three Chimneys and (Three Chimneys owner) Robert (Clay) and I plan on breeding her to nice horses. I liked her physical a lot and the way she won on both turf and dirt. We just loved her.”

Trained by Bob Holthus, Pure Clan won the 2009 Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational before finishing second in that year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf, her final career start. The chestnut daughter of Pure Prize also took the 2008 Grade I American Oaks and retired with eight wins from 16 career starts and $1,987,498 in earnings.

“We just knew we had an elite mare that all the major buyers wanted,” said John Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale. “She was a fantastic mare to look at, just very athletic. She had a great presence and class. Nobody could look at her and forget her. This mare really had a real charisma about her. It was all there really.”