New Zealand Derby heroine Habibi has been sold

New Zealand Derby heroine Habibi has been sold and will do her future racing in the United States seeking to follow in the footsteps of past NZ bred US stars such as Black Mamba and Happyanyunoit.

The star filly's sale has been confirmed by bloodstock agent Phill Cataldo, who brokered the deal in association with American agent Denny Boltinghouse.

"I've been dealing with Denny for quite a few years and he had a client who was looking for a top filly and she was the one,” he said.

"I've been taken by Habibi for quite a long time and obviously not many fillies beat the colts in the Derby and that was really appealing to the new owner.”

Habibi has been purchased by Pennsylvania-based owner-breeder George Strawbridge while breeders Peter and Heather Crofskey have retained a minority share for the rest of the Ekraar three-year-old's racing career.

Strawbridge has extensive thoroughbred investments in the United States and Europe and has raced international Group One winners including Silver Fling, Tikkanen, With Anticipation, Montare, Lucarno, Turgeon, Treizieme and Forever Together and bred top-flight performers Selkirk and Collier Hill.

He is also a major jumps racing enthusiast and raced the former champion American steeplechaser Café Prince.

"He previously bought Black Mamba, Crossing The Line and Kessem Power as well as a filly called French Lady eight or nine years ago who had run second in the AJC Oaks and she's quite a successful broodmare over there now,” Cataldo said.

"Habibi will be going to Graham Motion, the trainer of Animal Kingdom, and is going to be set for the Breeders' Cup.”