Archive for September, 2008

Session Three ready to roll

Get your coffee ready because the next two days are going to some of the longest of the sale with more than 400 horses cataloged for Wednesday and Thursday.

So far, the numbers are not looking so pretty for this sale with gross down 22 percent over the first two days. While sales officials love that the median is holding strong at $300,000, that figure is due mainly to the 132 horses that have failed to meet their reserve over the first two days.

We’re underway here this morning. If there is any comeback in sight for this sale, we’ll know the answer by this evening.

UPDATE: Well we’re off to a bit of a positive start. The first horse through the ring, a bay filly by Ghostzapper that is a half sister to champion Action This Day, sold to Rick Nichols on behalf of Shadwell Estate for $600,000.

Seven figure horses trickle in

Apparently $1.2 million seems to be the limit of what people are willing to spend today as that has become a popular figure in the last couple of hours. A bay colt by Distorted Humor just sold to Maverick Racing for that number and a Giant’s Causeway colt went to Padua Stables five hips later for the same figure.

A half brother to former Horse of the Year Point Given sold to Legends Racing for $1.2 million earlier and bloodstock agent Troy Steve bought the day’s second highest priced horse, a chestnut filly by Giant’s Causeway for $1.25 million.

I think there is some restraint by everybody. It’s a function of the market and function of the economy,” said Doug Cauthen, president of WinStar. “The good horses are selling really well and we’re going to see more of that the rest of the sale, just a little restriction.”

Shadwell claims new session topper

A.P. Indy offspring continue to rule the sale. This time it was a bay colt out of the winning Halo mare Taegu that sold to Rick Nichols, agent for Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate, for $1.5 million to lead the second session.

Consigned by Mt. Brilliant Farm, the colt is a half brother to multiple graded stakes winner Classic Elegance.

“He’s a very nice A.P. Indy,” Nichols said. “Just a nice strong colt, very correct, had good bone to him. He’ll probably end up with (trainer) Kiaran McLaughlin in New York.”

The seven figures horses are coming in a mini bunches now. Right before the A.P. Indy colt sold, an El Prado colt brought $1 million as did Hip No. 323, a chestnut colt by Mr. Greeley out of Tempest Dancer.

Sheikh Mohammed goes to $1 million for A.P. Indy filly

Sheikh Mohammed’s affection for leading sire A.P. Indy was on display again as he purchased an A.P. Indy-Shadow Cast filly for $1 million, the first seven-figure horse of the second session.

The lovely bay filly is the first foal out of Shadow Cast, a Grade I winner by top stallion Smart Strike.

“Shadow Cast was a great mare and this is another real quality A.P. Indy filly,” said John Ferguson, agent for Sheikh Mohammed. “The long and short of it is it’s really a repeat of the Chimichurri (that sold for $3.1 million on Monday) last night in that it’s a quality individual out of top mare and by a great stallion. Sheikh Mohammed described her as looking like a saluki. She was very dear to his heart.”

Storm Cat-Tranquility Lake colt withdrawn

One of the expected stars of the second session will no longer go through the ring today as the Storm Cat-Tranquility Lake colt has been withdrawn from the sale.

The colt is a full brother to Grade I winner After Market and Jalil, who sold for $9.7 million at the 2005 Keeneland September sale. It was supposed to be consigned by Lane’s End on behalf of Pam and Martin Wygod, but the Wygods have apparently decided to keep the colt.

“The horse is fine, it hasn’t been sold,” said William S. Farish of Lane’s End. “(Mr. Wygod) is going to keep it. He loves this colt, he loves After Market and he’s very important to him and just decided to withdraw him.”

Farish wouldn’t speculate on how much the Storm Cat-Tranquility Lake colt could have brought. But given his pedigree and outstanding physical appearance it would not have been a shock if he had topped the sale.

“He’s a wonderful colt,” Farish said. “When we’re at this stage it’s always a disappointment not to be able to sell one like that. But you know Marty will often make a final decision to do this. He had told me that in advance. He decided at the last minute to go ahead and withdraw him.”

Reflections on Day 1, getting ready for Day 2

Monday’s opening session produced one of the oddest things witnessed in the auction arena when the first foal out of champion Azeri failed to sell despite bringing a final bid of $7.7 million, the highest buyback in auction history. Needless to say, it was obvious owner Michael Paulson did not want to part with the colt and it begs to wonder why he put it through the ring to begin with.

One person who apparently was not involved with the futile bidding war for Vallenzeri was Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. When asked if they had put in a bid for the colt, John Ferguson, bloodstock agent for Sheikh Mohammed, answered flatly ‘No’.

The action at the top has not been all that furious so far with only five horses selling for seven figures the first day. Looks like that correction everyone was bracing for a year ago is coming through this season.

There is the potential for some interesting action today, however, as there are several potential stars that could break out in this session. Included in that group are hip No. 329, a Storm Cat colt out of Tranquility Lake that is a full brother to Grade I winner After Market and Jalil, who sold for $9.7 million at this very sale in 2005. There is also hip No. 331, a half brother to former Horse of the Year Point Given, and hip No. 345, a full brother to Travers Stakes runner-up Mambo in Seattle.

We’re finally underway. Here’s hoping for no more red herrings.

A.P. Indy filly establishes new top price

We have a new session topper – for real this time. A gorgeous bay filly by A.P. Indy out of the graded stakes winning mare Chimichurri sold for $3.1 million to John Ferguson, bloodstock agent for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum to lead the opening session of the Keeneland September sale so far.

Consigned by Gainesway on behalf of Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, the bay filly was regarded as one of the best physical specimens in the catalog.

“She’s a horse Sheikh Mohammed saw earlier today and…felt that she was an absolute queen,” Ferguson said. “We’ve been very fortunate the last few years with A.P. Indy. He’s an absolutely sensational sire.”

Largest RNA ever

Vallenzeri, the chestnut colt by A.P. Indy out of former Horse of the Year Azeri, made history but not in the way most expected as he failed to meet his reserve after bringing a whopping bid of $7.7 million. It is the highest RNA in public auction history.

Vallenzeri, a rare offering as he is the product of a mating between two former Horse of the Year winners, was consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale on behalf of owner Michael Paulson, whose family campaigned Azeri throughout her career. Paulson obviously had mixed feelings with parting with the first foal out of his champion mare and he was seen exiting the sales pavilion shortly after the gavel fell.

“I’d rather let (Michael) express to you what he was thinking” said John Sikura, owner of Hill ‘n’ Dale. “I didn’t know he left. I told him he needed to sit down and explain to everybody what happened. It’s his horse and he makes the decisions.”

The previous highest RNA was Ajdal who failed to meet his reserve after bringing a bid of $7.5 million at the 1985 Keeneland July sale.

Slowly but surely

After that mini flurry of action about an hour ago, the bidding has softened up again. Since the half to Speightstown and the foal out of Starrer sold for $1.7 and $1.2 respectively, we have seen only one other seven-figure horse: a bay colt by Giant’s Causeway out of multiple Grade I winner Voodoo Dancer going for $1 million to Briggs and Cromartie Bloodstock Inc, Agent.

There could be some fireworks coming shortly as hip No. 127, the first foal out of former Horse of the Year Azeri, is only minutes away from entering the ring. Stay turned.

Half to Speightstown is first seven-figure yearling

It took nearly two hours but the September sale has its first million dollar baby in the books. A chestnut filly who is a half sister to champion Speightstown sold to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum for $1.7 million.

The filly, by Unbridled’s Song out of the Storm Cat mare Silken Cat, was consigned by Taylor Made Sales.

“I thought she was one of the best fillies we’d ever raised,” said Frank Taylor of Taylor Made. “She had a great mind, a lot of class. She was well balanced. She had it all, the pedigree, the looks. She had everything you wanted.”


Apparently the Unbridled’s Song filly opened the floodgates a bit. Right after she sold Hip No. 68, a Storm Cat filly out of Grade I winner Starrer, sold to Donato Lanni, agent on behalf of an undisclosed client of Hill ‘n’ Dale bloodstock in California for $1.2 million and was promptly followed by a bay colt by Storm Cat out of Starry Dreamer that brought a bid of $1 million but was an RNA. It’s getting interesting in here.

“She’s got a lot of presence, she’s correct,” Lanni said of the filly out of Starrer. “She’s going to go to California. I don’t know who is going to train her yet.”

« Previous PageNext Page »