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Going to Town for Upperline

Thoroughbred Daily News

One day after paying $1.5-million for Agave Kiss (Lion Heart) Monday night at the Fasig-Tipton November sale, Kiki and Louise Courtelis’s Town and Country Farms were back in action to secure MGSW Upperline (Maria’s Mon) for $1.75 million. A member of the Stone Farm consignment, Hip 262 was sold in foal to Claiborne’s hot sire War Front.

“We were looking for a mare in foal to War Front and she is the one we liked the best,” said Shannon Potter, representing Town and Country.

The 6-year-old mare was consigned by part-owner Stone Farm, who was also representing an ownership group that included John Adger.

“We are so happy she is going to this wonderful farm in Bourbon County,” said Adger, who fielded numerous congratulatory wishes moments after the sale. “She has meant so much to all of us, including [Stone Farm’s] Arthur [Hancock] and Mike [Stidham], who trained her and did an incredible job.”

On day 1 of the November sale, Upperline’s 5-year old half-sister Snow Fall (War Front) brought $735,000 from Don Alberto Corp.

“We know the mare, Snow Fall, sold for a lot of money in foal to Smart Strike [Tuesday], so we are very happy to get this mare,” said Potter, who confirmed the mare would join Town and Country’s 30-strong broodmare band. “She was a very nice racemare too, so that is basically the type of horse we’re looking for.”

Of the final price, Potter said, “The market has been strong, very strong, but we knew that was going to happen,” he said. Although it was probably more than we wanted to pay, for sure. We didn’t want to give that much, but we wanted that foal, so we’ll see what happens. Now we got her, so let’s sell that baby.”

In addition to Tuesday’s purchase of Agave Kiss, Town and Country also secured Amen Hallelujah (Montbrook) ($950,000); Tashzara (Ire) (Intikhab) ($775,000); and Beholden (Cat Thief) ($285,000). Town and Country’s Wednesday expenditures were rounded out by Hip 369, Kiss the Lady (Quiet American), who was secured for $340,000.

Like A Rock…

Stonerside Stable purchased Group 1-placed Snowflake (Ire) (Caerleon) from Paul Shanahan and she was sent to trainer Ron McAnally for whom she placed in a pair of turf stakes Stateside. After joining the Stonerside broodmare band, she produced the aforementioned Snow Fall in 2008 before foaling Upperline the following season. Snow Fall, a $14,500 yearling at the Fasig-Tipton February sale in 2009, brought $160,000 at Keeneland last November. Meanwhile, Upperline graduated over Arlington’s Polytrack in July of 2009 before finishing a good third in the GII Golden Rod S. over the Churchill Downs dirt later that fall. Winner of the nine-furlong GIII Arlington Oaks at three, she added a trio of stakes the following season, including a pair of 1 1/16-mile events over the Fair Grounds lawn. In the money in seven of eight starts last season, she annexed the grassy GIII Bewitch S. over 12 panels and nine-furlong GIII Arlington Matron S. when returning to the synthetic. Third in the GI Spinster S. late in the year, she rounded out her career with a score in the 1 1/2-mile Dowager S. and earnings of $772,988.

“I was just telling the new owner that the mare is very unique,” said Adger, who served as general manager of Stonerside for many years. “She won her first start going seven-eighths [on the Polytrack] at Arlington and won her last winning the 1 1/2-mile Dowager S. on the turf on t at Keeneland. She also ran well in the [GII] Golden Rod S. on dirt at Churchill Downs. She is very versatile. She was such a kind mare and tried every time.”

Also offering plenty of praise on the attractive bay, co-owner and trainer Michael Stidham said, “She was really great to train and really has a lot of class. It’s sad to lose her, but she is going to a great home.”