The 2022 Keeneland January sale began a day later than originally scheduled, necessitated by up to 9 inches of snow dumped on the area late the week before, to ensure the safety of horses and people traveling to the sale.
I have a long-standing habit of attending sales, seeing progeny of horses I enjoyed watching race and in some cases the horses themselves I watched race. This time, I specifically attended for a horse I never saw race (though she is by American Pharoah, whose progeny I have enjoyed following both because he’s from a favorite sire line of mine and to see how they perform for the first Triple Crown winner in my lifetime). While her race career ended up being undistinguished after two races, American Heiress still does and will continue to hold a special place in my heart. For through MyRacehorse, she is the first horse I ever got a chance to have a small ownership stake in and a lot of what drove that I was smitten with her from photos online and couldn’t get the chance to buy in out of my mind. I bought a microshare and then met her late in her yearling year. She is incredibly sweet and my connection to her grew.
Along the route to her racing, from frequent My Racehorse updates, I learned a lot about preliminary horse training that I had never known before.
I saw her once more at two, when she had begun initial training on the track. It didn’t work out to attend any of her races, so my next chance to interact with her was at this sale.
I went on the preview day of January 10, the day that would have been when she originally sold. She was quite popular with potential buyers, out of her stall to be viewed frequently the short time I was there. Right after I arrived and she was on the way back to her stall, she stopped before she reached it and looked at me, and her show person commented on how she was looking. I couldn’t resist then asking to pat her, and he kindly paused to let me. He probably realized how American Heiress (or Luna, as I think of her) does love attention, and it certainly seemed she was seeking that. Another person working for Taylor Made, her consignor, attested to Luna still having that incredibly sweet nature and wanting to love on everybody and I was so happy to oblige and have that moment one-on-one.
It was a beautiful moment of connection that I hoped to have before she changed hands and lived a more private life as a broodmare.
I came back the next day to see her sell. It felt like seeing her get a chance to shine on stage, maybe because I never got to see her race. I thought it would be emotional because of the connection I feel with her, but it was not.
The sense of it being like a chance to see her shine, which I wanted for her, caught me by surprise, but perhaps it shouldn’t for that’s all I wanted for her. She did bring the first six figure price of the sale (though not that many horses had sold by the time she did), going to Springhouse Farm for $180,000. They are local to Lexington, so perhaps I will see some of her progeny race in this vicinity one day, which I told the My Racehorse racing manager was my hope now regarding her, prior to the sale. He was on-site to take video of her in the walking ring for the My Racehorse website, as an investor update.
So that felt like it neatly closed the book on my investment in her, though I know she will be special to me all her life. And I am curious to hear who the first stallion she goes to will be, but I am actually glad it was not overly emotional to watch her go, for that would have meant difficulty accepting what was to be. And I have found myself lately in a better place about doing that, and this became one more example of that.