The quality breeding program of E. Paul Robsham Stables continued to pace the early going during the opening session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale with multiple Grade I winner Awesome Maria selling to representatives of Coolmore Stud for $4 million on Tuesday.
By Maria’s Mon, Awesome Maria captured the 2011 Grade I Ogden Phipps Handicap – one of the seven graded stakes she won in her 16-race career. The 6-year-old gray mare also defeated champion Royal Delta by eight lengths in the 2012 Grade III Sabin Stakes and was sold in foal to Coolmore sire Giant’s Causeway.
“She’s a lovely mare, a great racehorse and she comes from a fantastic family,” said M.V. Magnier, who signed the ticket on behalf of Coolmore clients. “She deserved to make that price, she’s a nice mare. It’s nice to see to horses like that bringing prices like that again.”
Magnier added that Awesome Maria would be headed to Ashford Stud, Coolmore’s Kentucky-based operation.
Out of the Awesome Again mare Discreetly Awesome, Awesome Maria was consigned by Lane’s End as part of the complete dispersal of breeding stock by E. Paul Robsham Stables. The Robshams first became involved in Thoroughbred racing and breeding in 1983 with Joyce Robsham continuing the operation upon the death of her husband, a prominent real estate developer and philanthropist, in 2004.
Shortly after Awesome Maria sold, graded stakes winner Broadway’s Alibi – who was also part of the dispersal – went to Reynolds Bell on behalf of Alpha Delta Stables for $2.15 million.
“I wish we didn’t have to pay that much but that’s the way it goes when you’re buying nice mares,” Bell said.
Bill Farish of Lane’s End said the strong reception for the Robsham dispersal was a tribute to the product the couple cultivated.
“Some of them (the mares) are selling a little better, some of them are right around where we thought they’d be,” Farish said. “The last two really sold well. They went with the best and we’re seeing the results of that right now.”