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.