Sam-Son Farms’ broodmare dispersal took place Jan. 12 at Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages sale, ending a 50-year reign as one of Canada’s leading breeders. The farm has retained younger horses and other racing stock currently (two race this week at Gulfstream with trainer Gail Cox).

The Sam-Son Dispersal was the session’s leading consignor with sales of $6,733,000 for 21 mares that featured six horses bringing $400,000 and more. The dispersal represented a closing chapter in the story of the multiple Eclipse Award- and Sovereign Award-winning operation founded in 1972 by the late Ernie Samuel and still run by his family. Sam-Son bred and raced horses that earned four Eclipse Awards and 84 Sovereign Awards along with 44 graded stakes winners.

Over the years, a number of Sam-Son horses raced at Keeneland, and the farm received the distinguished Keeneland Tray during the 2005 Spring Meet to recognize its graded stakes success – a milestone that only 20 owners have reached in track history. The dispersal was especially emotional for the Sam-Son team at Keeneland.

“With the business of the game and trying to get everything ready – we have worked so hard to do this – we haven’t really given ourselves time to absorb it all,” Sam-Son manager Dave Whitford said. “I think after the sale is when it is really going to sink in.

“There is pressure to do things right for the (Samuel) family,” he continued. “They have been doing this for 50 years, and we don’t want to mess that up. There is a great legacy, and we have felt that pressure. It is (all) bittersweet, for sure.”

Danceforthecause, who sold to Gainesway Farm for the session’s co-highest price of $925,000, is a 10-year-old daughter of Giant’s Causeway who has produced Grade 1 winner Say the Word and Grade 2 winner Rideforthecause. She is out of the Thunder Gulch mare Dancethruthestorm, a daughter of Sam-Son’s Racing Hall of Famer Dance Smartly, and was sold in foal to Twirling Candy.

Danceforthecause is a leading contender for the Sovereign Award for Outstanding broodmare 2020 at the Sovereign Awards to be held in the spring.

“She is a really beautiful mare and has been such a good producer already,” said Gainesway director of Bloodstock and Racing Alex Solis II, who signed the ticket. “I feel this is the best Sam-Son family there is with Dance Smartly as the second dam and Smart Strike right there on the page.”

Southern Ring, a stakes-winning daughter of Speightstown in foal to Into Mischief, sold for $875,000 to Phil Schoenthal, agent for Determined Stud.

John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale at Xalapa paid $900,000 for another Sam-Son mare, Deceptive Vision, and went to $530,000 to acquire her half-sister Fun in the Desert. Both are out of Canadian champion Eye of the Sphynx, by Smart Strike.

DECEPTIVE VISION sold for $900,000 to Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm at Xalapa – Keeneland photo

Deceptive Vision is an 11-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy in foal to War Front. She is a full sister to Canadian champion Eye of the Leopard and stakes winners Hotep and Desert Isle.

Fun in the Desert, a 10-year-old mare by Distorted Humor, is the dam of Canadian champion Desert Ride. In foal to Candy Ride (ARG), she is carrying a full sibling to Desert Ride.

At least one of the mares returns to Canada as Glenn Sikura paid $225,000 for Dark Vision, a daughter of Medaglia D’Oro in foal to Distorted Humor. Sikura owns Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm in Nobleton. ON.

*After two sessions of the January sale there have been a few Canadian buyers. Dr. Brian Van Arem, owner of T and T Stable in Loretto has been busy. He bought FALLEN LEAF, a half sister to Horse of the Year STARSHIP JUBILEE, for $50,000. The multiple winner is in foal to Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming.

Dr. Van Arem also bought MY BABY BABY, a Grade 3 stakes winner by Bernstein, in foal to Gun Runner, for $77,000.

Another purchase by Dr. Van Arem was the More Than Ready mare PIANIST, a Grade 3 stakes winner who was not mated. Pianist was bought for $36,000.

CONRAD FARMS, through agent Zach Madden, paid $55,000 for the mare Eileen’s Girl, by Medaglia D’Oro in foal to Honor Code.

JESSE KORONA bought the Soldat mare CC’s Joy for $18,000 in foal to Yoshida.

NICK NOSOWENKO paid $7,500 for an unnamed 3-year-old filly by Speightstown who sold as broodmare prospect.

COLE BENNETT purchased four horses from the first session of the sale including one as agent for Trevor Goulet. Three are broodmares and one filly, Umneyat, is an unraced 3-year-old by Street Boss who cost $3,000.

~ with files from Keeneland