Insights in to the Keeneland Yearling Sale
Buyers and sellers in the opening Book 1 session of Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale commented on Monday’s strong trade:
Trainer Ben Colebrook: “The market was very strong. We got outbid on a few, so we will be doing some more shopping. The good ones sold the way they are supposed to sell. A lot of people are still trying to buy horses, so I think there will be a lot of carryover.”
Jerry Crawford, president, Donegal Racing: “We bid on four on Monday and got outbid on all four. We didn’t come close on three of them. We were the underbidder on one but we had the idea that the winner could have gone as high as they wanted. It is not unusual for us to get outbid on Day 1, but what is unusual is that the average and median had such big increases from previous years. That is extraordinary. We have always been able to buy good horses on later days, but I am concerned that the upward price pressure will follow us to the later days. That is great for the breeders, great for the industry and great for Keeneland, but it makes it tougher on buyers.”
Pinhooker Scott Dilworth, who purchased a Tiznow filly for $250,000 with his wife, Evan: “It was extremely strong. Good horses are going to bring good money.”
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer: “The market was very strong and it looks like it will hold up for the rest of the books. We only bid on two horses and we got both.”
Bloodstock agent David Ingordo: “The way the horses are gathered up on the first day is very good. The clients buying the top-end horses know when to be here. My clients have the funds to play at this level so we got what we wanted, but we had to stretch. We got outbid on others but that is par for the course.”
George Isaacs, general manager, Bridlewood Farm: “It was certainly a strong market; I expected it to be. I had my eye on one filly and I bought her, and I paid what I thought she’d bring ($550,000 for a daughter of Speightstown). Sold one at the very end of the sale for a reasonable return so helped commerce on both ends. The sale started out really strong, and I think you’re going to see a continuation of that.”
Jeff Lifson, executive vice president, West Point Thoroughbreds: “I thought it was a really strong market, and everything that we looked at and liked, a lot of other people liked too. We were delighted to see that in a boutique-type market that you encounter the first day of the Keeneland sale that we were able to buy sort of a mid-level horse. A mid-level horse the first day of the sale is different from a mid-level horse from a pricing perspective a week from now. There’s the seven-figure horses on Day 1; there’s the $100,000-$200,000 horses on Day 1; and there’s those horses in the middle.”
Bloodstock agent John Moynihan: “The market was strong so kudos to Keeneland for the new format. They put together a great bunch of horses. They piled them up and it was really reflective in the bidding. It was tough to buy horses we really wanted. A lot of people got outbid so I think the next several days will be really strong.”
Ned Toffey, general manager, Spendthrift Farm: “It was obviously a very strong sale. (Keeneland) put together a great catalog. They had the pedigrees and had some really nice individuals, and that showed in the results. We brought two out here that we sold (a Temple City filly for $475,000 and an Into Mischief filly for $385,000 with Brandywine Farm), and we’re very happy with how they sold. I’m sure there’s some people that got outbid, so they should still be here looking. Hopefully they’ll be here right on through the end of the sale.”
Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock paid $950,000 for a colt from the final crop of top sire Scat Daddy to headline a day of robust trade during Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
Keeneland sold 194 yearlings on Tuesday for gross sales of $48,221,000, an average of $248,562, and a median of $200,000. Cumulatively, 289 horses have been sold during the first two sessions for $102,396,000, for an average of $354,311 and a median of $255,000.
“Very lively trade today,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “The whole goal of the reformatted Week 1 was to get the sale off on a good mark and we did that last night. The enthusiasm continued very well today. Goal accomplished: We wanted to build excitement all the way to the very end.
“The cross section of buyers at the top end is very good both domestically and internationally,” he added. “We also had a good cross section of sires like Cairo Prince, Scat Daddy and Violence whose yearlings sold very well.”
Consigned by Gainesway, agent, the session-topper is out of the stakes-placed Mr. Greeley mare Miss Lamour. Miss Lamour is out of multiple Grade 3 winner Batique and from the family of English highweight Hawkbill.
“I think everybody knows my love affair with Scat Daddy, and we all know there aren’t many of them left,” Radcliffe said, “so I was waiting all week to find a Scat Daddy colt that I loved. I saw him, I fell in love with him and I had to have him. He’s a bull of a horse. He actually reminded me a lot of (the Group 2-winning Scat Daddy filly) Acapulco as a 2-year-old, so I hope he’s as good as she was at Ascot.”
Radcliffe said the colt would be trained by her husband, Jeremy Noseda.
“He looks like a horse who can win as a 2-year-old at Royal Ascot,” Brian Graves, Gainesway’s director of public sales, said. “Lots of good judges (of Thoroughbred yearlings) were on him. We thought the price could go that high, but we set a very low reserve and the horse exceeded expectations.”
Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Company Ltd., paid $900,000 for a colt by first-year sire Cairo Prince. Consigned by Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent, the colt is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Sam’s Sister. He is out of the winning Include mare Kittery Point.
“This is one that’s been a star from the start, and those are the ones that get you excited,” said Bret Jones of Airdrie, where Cairo Prince stands. “Several months ago we were hoping we could just wake up and it would be the September Sale, because you want to take care of ones like that.”
Among Shadwell’s other purchases was a son of Into Mischief, consigned by Paramount Sales, agent, for $750,000. The colt is out of the stakes-placed Indian Charlie mare Indian Rush, and a half-brother to recent Saratoga stakes winner March X Press.
“He passed all the tests,” Paramount co-owner Pat Costello said. “The price was a little bit of a surprise. A good surprise. The sale is very solid right now.”
Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock and Three Chimneys Farm paid $850,000 for a colt by freshman sire Violence who is a full sister to stakes winner Buy Sell Hold. She is out of the stakes-winning Unbridled’s Song mare Melody Lady, whose dam is multiple Grade 1 winner Lady Tak.
“He’s gorgeous,” Radcliffe said. “He just looks fast, looks racy. He’s everything you want in a horse. This is my very first partnership with Three Chimneys and we are absolutely delighted, very privileged to be involved with such a big association, a successful association. We have to make a decision on what trainer he’s going to go to. Obviously, he’s staying in the U.S.A. He was such a beautiful individual we did expect to pay lots of money for him.”
“Fantastic,” said John G. Sikura, president of Hill ‘n’ Dale, where Violence stands. “A magnificent horse by a sire who is really on the move that people appreciate. He is a lovely horse, a beautiful mover, my favorite yearling on the farm. Everybody did a great job at the barn. This horse showed well and is full of class.”
The day’s two highest-priced fillies brought $750,000 each.
John and Leslie Malone’s Bridlewood Farm bought the first, a daughter of Street Sense who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sweet Loretta. Consigned by Ashview Farm, agent, she is out of the stakes-placed Bluegrass Cat mare Ithinkisawapudycat, a half-sister to Canadian champion Spring in the Air.
“She’s a big lovely filly out of a young mare, half to a Grade 1 winner,” George Isaacs, Bridlewood general manager, said. “Precocious is in the family; she looks precocious. I was trying to buy a nice, early 2-year-old type. She looks the part. It was a little more than what I wanted to pay, but she’s a nice filly so I decided to dig a little deeper than what I wanted to.
“The market’s strong. It’s a seller’s market. She sold well, but we wanted her.”
Cheveley Park Stud paid $750,000 for a War Front filly consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent. A full sister to Group 2-placed War Envoy, she is out of French stakes winner La Conseillante, by Elusive Quality. The filly’s third dam is champion and Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Winning Colors.
“War Front is doing extremely well all over the world and she has a lovely pedigree,” Chris Richardson, Cheveley Park’s managing director, said. “We haven’t been here in a few years so it is nice to come and buy one we can eventually add to the broodmare band. I was at my limit and I was hoping to get her for less than that. But quality fillies bring a good return. I tried to buy four yesterday, but I got blown out every time. I was underbidder twice.
“(Keeneland-based trainer) Wesley Ward certainly has something to do with (our decision to buy) with his successful raids in England, especially Royal Ascot,” Richardson added. “There are a number of stallions who are becoming more appealing to Europeans. It is nice to be back and it is nice for the industry worldwide that that is happening.”
“This filly had a nice stretch to her neck, good laid-back shoulder, lot of scope, and was just a pretty picture to look at,” Mark Taylor of Taylor Made said.
Taylor Made sold 24 horses for $6,215,000 on Tuesday to be the session’s leading consignor.
A son of freshman sire Violence out of the winning Harlan’s Holiday mare Holiday Bertie sold to Oussama Aboughgazale’s International Equities Holding for $725,000. Consigned by Warrendale Sales, agent, the colt impressed his buyers with his athleticism.
“Just the way he was made, the way he walked, his temperament, his class, you know, just everything about him physically,” Frances Relihan, Aboughgaze’s bloodstock manager, said. “He just seems like hopefully he’s a runner, but he looks like a runner.
“We swung hard on three (yearlings) yesterday but we got outbid, and we knew we had a couple nice horses coming up today, so we didn’t lose faith,” she added, “so we were glad to get this horse today. Yesterday was incredible, the competition, obviously we’re very happy for the breeders and consignors. But on the buying end, it made things very difficult yesterday.”
“He is a beautiful horse; he sold himself,” Warrendale owner Kitty Taylor said. “There was a lot of interest. We did not expect this much money. The reserve was way below that. We are very pleased.”
Aboughgazale said the colt would be trained by Todd Pletcher.
Larry Best’s Oxo Equine paid $700,000 for an Uncle Mo colt consigned by Indian Creek, agent. He is out of the Mineshaft mare Joyfully, a half-sister to Grade 3 winners Divine Oath and Auntie Joy. The colt is from the family of Grade 1 winners Miner’s Mark and My Flag.
“No. 1, I like Uncle Mo,” Best said. “This one had such an outstanding walk. Big walk, big physical – worth a bet. Someone suggested I look at the horse, and (I) immediately noticed the big walk.”
“The price was right in the range we figured,” Shack Parrish of Indian Creek said. “The market is playing very well for us today.”
On Tuesday, the session’s leading buyer was Godolphin, which purchased seven horses for $3,180,000.
The September Sale continues Wednesday with the second of three Book 2 sessions. The sessions tomorrow and Thursday begin at 11 a.m. ET. The entire sale, which concludes Saturday, Sept. 23, is streamed live at Keeneland.com.