Archive for September, 2008

Medaglia d’Oro filly resold privately

Keeneland has announced that a  filly by Medaglia d’Oro out of Amizette, purchased for $1.1 million by Karen Sanderson during the Thursday session of the September Yearling Sale, has been sold privately.

Two other yearlings also bought by Sanderson on Thursday – Hip #942 and Hip #1132 –  were scheduled to be resold  Saturday.

Paul D’Arcy, representing Sanderson, bid on the yearlings without approved credit. When they could not produce proper credit after the purchases, Keeneland elected to resell the yearlings pursuant to its conditions of sale.

Medaglia d’Oro filly sells for $1.1 million

The select sessions are done but you’d never know it from the action of a few minutes ago. A lovely dark bay filly by Medaglia d’Oro just sold for $1.1 million to trainer Paul D’Arcy on behalf of Dr. Karen Sanderson to lead the fourth day of action at the September sale.

In addition to her striking looks, the filly is a half sister to group stakes winner King of Rome and is out of the Forty Niner mare Amizette, who is a full sister to graded stakes winner Twining.

“She deserved to bring that level,” said Rob Whiteley, owner of Liberation Farm which co-bred the filly. “It’s always hard to know on Thursday whether that is realistic to expect that she would bring that level. But she combines everything. Physically she is lovely and athletic and she’s by the most promising sire that I’ve been around at this stage.”

The filly is only the fifth horse to bring seven figures on Day 4 of the September sale since 1987.

“I thought that filly looked very athletic, she had a very good page, she walks well, she had a nice deep chest, looks like she has plenty of heart room,” D’Arcy said. “You don’t really have much more to go on than that.”

Shadwell goes to $600,000 for Afleet Alex colt

A chestnut colt by Afleet Alex became the new session topper when he sold for $600,000 to Rick Nichols on behalf of Shadwell Estate.

The colt, consigned by Margaux Farm, is out of the multiple graded stakes winning mare Solvig, who herself sold for $750,000 at the 2007 Keeneland January sale.

A most impressive visitor

This sales pavilion has played host to rulers of entire countries and some of the richest people in the world. But today, a man responsible for helping lift an entire country made a surprise visit to our press box.

Jim Craig, the goalie of the United States’ historic gold-medal winning 1980 Olympic ice hockey team, popped by for a visit while being shown around by Keeneland president Nick Nicholson.

Craig, who was in town to give a motivational speech, was responsible for one of the most indelible images in Olympic history as he was draped in the American flag searching the stands for his father. While he is not involved in the racing industry, Craig – who resides in Massachusetts – was impressed by the spectacle of the September auction.

“I’m just enjoying the whole process,” Craig said. “You see how sophisticated it really is. I just enjoy watching. I think the jockeys are amazing athletes as well as the horses so as an athlete I can really admire both of them. The more you see what goes on behind the scenes, especially this place. This is a legacy type of place.

“Maybe someday I’ll come back and do this,” Craig added. “You fall in love with these animals pretty quickly.”

Another A.P. Indy for Sheikh Mohammed

We have our first big number of the day. An A.P. Indy colt out of the Fusaichi Pegasus mare Piu Bella sold for $500,000 to John Ferguson, agent for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

Sheikh Mohammed’s affinity for A.P. Indy has been well known as he also purchased the sale-topping filly by the top sire for $3.1 million on Monday.

“It goes without saying A.P. Indy is one of the great sires in the United States,” Ferguson said. “This is a very good moving horse. I loved the fact he was an athletic sort of horse you know. Great to have him.”

The A.P. Indy colt, whose dam is a half sister to graded stakes winners Smooth Runner and Hidden Assets, was consigned by Brookdale Sales.

“He was very strong and he didn’t tire after four days of constant showing,” said Joe Seitz of Brookdale. “He has plenty of bone, he looks durable and I think he could work on either continent.”

Off and running on Day 4

Things have gotten underway for session four but unlike yesterday which began with a $600,000 horse going through the ring, nothing that exciting has happened yet.

One interesting thing of note from yesterday’s session is that Storm Cat has now moved past A.P. Indy on top of the leading sires by average list ($584,736 for Storm Cat, $564,600 for A.P. Indy through Wednesday). Storm Cat, who was pensioned this May, has been the leading sire by average in September six times with A.P. Indy claiming that title for the first time last year.

A.P. Indy has two offspring slated to go through the ring today (Hips 930 and 1219) while Storm Cat has no more representatives for this sale. Just a little something to keep an eye on as we wade through 400-plus horses today.

And we’re done….

Day 3 is officially in the books. We actually saw a good deal of action today with plenty of select-like numbers, the best of which was the session-topping Mr. Greeley colt for $875,000.

While the overall numbers are still not spectacular, there were some slight gains to be found. The gross, which was down 22 percent overall after Tuesday, is down just 17.2 percent following Wednesday’s session. The median has finally started to decline, down 4.3 percent from a year ago, but that is due partly to the RNA rate improving  – from 30.6 percent after the first two days to 28.2 percent following Wednesday’s session.

“A smart person told me today that more people can afford Fords than Ferraris,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales when asked when if this part of the market is more immune to the hits seen during the select sessions. “Those high pedigree, high physical horses come with a high price and the market is a little broader (in this area). It was good to see the not sold rate down today. That means consignors are looking at the market and adjusting to it.

“In general it was a very good day at the office.”

We’ll back back for Day 4 Thursday beginning at 10 a.m.

Zayat Stables claims Mr. Greeley colt for $875,000

A chestnut colt bearing a striking resemblance to his sire Mr. Greeley became the highest priced horse to sell during the third session when he was purchased for $875,000 by Zayat Stables.

Bloodstock advisor Sobhy Sonbol signed the ticket on behalf of owner Ahmed Zayat and said the colt, out of the Old Trieste mare Chinoe Road, would be sent to the McKathan brothers to be broken.

“Beautiful horse. He looked exactly like his father,” Sonbol said. “We just loved him. I thought he was going to be between the $500,000-$700,000 range but the good ones are fetching good money. Everybody is on the good ones so you’re going to have to pay a little bit more.”

The chestnut colt was consigned by Gainesway, which also consigned the sale topping A.P. Indy filly that sold for $3.1 million to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum on Monday.

Chinoe Road is out of champion Epitome and is a half sister to graded stakes winner Essence of Dubai.

Rock Hard Ten filly goes for $725,000

We have a new session topper. A dark bay or brown filly by Lane’s End stallion Rock Hard Ten sold for $725,000 to Jerry and Ann Moss to lead the Day 3 action so far.

The filly, named Exceedingly, is out of the Unbridled mare Unsurpassed, who is a daughter of multiple graded stakes winner Squan Song. She was consigned by Lane’s End, agent.

“She’s a great looking filly and we don’t have that much by that sire and we thought we’d take the plunge,” said Jerry Moss, who campaigned 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo. “It was a little more than we were expecting. But we went for it.”

The Rock Hard Ten filly was the third horse the Mosses had purchased so far during this sale.

A fitting tribute to David Mullins

A $340,000 horse normally registers as a blip on the Keeneland September sale radar but hip 513 was special for more reasons that just its purchase price. The bay colt by Tiznow out of the Strawberry Road mare Pola was the lone horse offered in September from the late David Mullins’ Doninga Bloodstock agency consignment.

Mullins passed away on August 18 at Saint Joseph Hospital’s hospice center after a lengthy illness at age 51. The native of Ireland was not only one of the most astute horsemen in the business but was truly one of the best people you could ever come across.

“He had a big impact on my career. He was very precocious in getting ideas out there, new ideas and getting horses sold,” said owner and breeder John O’Meara who worked with Mullins for about 15 years. “He was a pioneer in going out and claiming fillies through the racetrack and selling them through the ring later. He started off breeding the mares and he figured out people wanted to breed their own…so he started selling them straight off the track.

“He’s produced a lot of good horses. It was a great tribute to him today to make that kind of money. I think he was up there helping us somewhere along the way.”

The Tiznow colt is a half brother to stakes winner Going Wild, who was co-bred by O’Meara. He was purchased by Kaleem Shah.

“(Eclipse Award winning trainer) Todd Pletcher was the underbidder and Gary and Mary West were behind him so there were some really good people on the horse,” O’Meara said. “It was very exciting.”

O’Meara added Doninga would be selling 12 mares in the Keeneland November sale.

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