The exploits of former Grade I winning stablemates Paynter and Bodemeister resonated strongly within the Keeneland sales pavilion Monday.
Minutes after a half brother to Paynter sold for an even $1 million to become the first horse to reach the seven-figure mark during the opening session of the Keeneland September yearling sale Monday, a half sister to Bodemeister established a new bar when she elicited a final bid of $1.3 million.
John Sikura, owner of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm, purchased the bay filly on behalf of himself and Bruce Lunsford and – like her older brother – she will be trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.
“I went and saw her maybe two months ago in Virginia and she’s come along way,” said Donato Lanni, director of bloodstock services for Hill ‘n’ Dale. “John (Sikura) used to own the dam and she was a real nice filly. And this filly just had a lot of class about her. Hopefully we get lucky. The good ones, that’s what they cost.”
Out of the Grade III winning Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent, the bay filly is by Smart Strike and was consigned by Brookdale Sales.
“I think what made her a standout first off is her walk, she had such a great walk,” said Joe Seitz of Brookdale Sales. “She had a lot of range for a filly, had a walk like a colt and a very live, classic family. And a stud prospect like Bodemeister who a lot of people are looking forward to breeding to.”
Bodemeister won the Grade I Arkansas Derby this spring and was second in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes behind I’ll Have Another. The son of Empire Maker was retired this summer due to a shoulder injury and will stand stud at WinStar Farm.
Before Sikura prevailed in that bidding war, the half brother to Grade I Haskell Invitational winner Paynter sold to Chuck and Maribeth Sandford for $1 million following a protracted battle which saw the bidding open at $100,000. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales, the bay colt is by Street Cry and is out of the Cee’s Tizzy mare Tizso, who is a full sister to champion Tiznow.
“He is very well balanced and hopefully we’ll have some fun with him,” said trainer Pat Byrne, who will train the colt for the Sandfords.
The Sandford’s own and campaign this year’s Grade I Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy and were previously the underbidders on Paynter when he sold at public auction.
“This was the big one for us tonight,” Chuck Sandford said. “We had three or four we were going to play on but he was the first one to come up. We went a little bit more than I wanted to but if you want to play, you have to pay. We’re thrilled to get him, we’re just thrilled. Hopefully he’s going to be our next Derby horse.”