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Keeneland catalogs 4,026 for November Breeding Stock sale

Edited release:

 Keeneland has cataloged 4,026 horses for its 2014 November Breeding Stock Sale, to be held Nov. 4-14.  The total is up from the 3,602 horses Keeneland  cataloged for its 2013 November exercise, an auction that concluded with double-digit gains in gross, average and median.

Catalogs will be available electronically via Keeneland’s website, Keeneland.com, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30. Print catalogs will be mailed the week of Oct. 13.

The total includes 2,082 broodmares and broodmare prospects, 1,589 weanlings, 350 horses of racing age and five stallions.

“The November Sale is the world’s most important sale of bloodstock,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Walt Robertson said. “Keeneland’s recent September Yearling Sale once again proved that horsemen from around the globe shop at Keeneland, and those and other horsemen will return for this premier offering of breeding stock.”

The November Sale includes mares in foal to 208 of the world’s most prominent stallions and exciting young sires, including Alternation, Animal Kingdom, Arch, Astrology, Awesome Again, Bernardini, Bodemeister, Broken Vow, Candy Ride, Cape Blanco, Congrats, Creative Cause, Data Link, Declaration of War, Denman, Distorted Humor, Dubawi, Elusive Quality, Galileo, Ghostzapper, Giant’s Causeway, Graydar, I Want Revenge, Keep Up, Kitten’s Joy, Lemon Drop Kid, Liaison, Lucky Pulpit, Malibu Moon, Medaglia d’Oro, More Than Ready, Morning Line, New Year’s Day, Orb, Overanalyze, Oxbow, Paynter, Pioneerof the Nile, Point of Entry, Power Broker, Scat Daddy, Sea The Stars, Shanghai Bobby,  Smart Strike, Speightstown, Stormy Atlantic, Street Cry, Street Sense, Super Saver, Take Charge Indy, Tapit, Tiznow, Trappe Shot, Union Rags, Violence and War Front.

Prominent November Sale alumni sold as weanlings include 2014 Grade I winners Declassify, Fashion Plate and Sunset Glow; Grade/Group II winners Cavorting, Fire With Fire, Frac Daddy, Grand Arch, Heart Stealer, Mshawish, Noble Moon, Solid Appeal and Spellbound; and Grade/Group III winners Azarenka, Balance of Power, Best Warrior, Bradester, Can the Man, Daddy Nose Best, Falling Sky, Flashy American, J Wonder, Munirah, Sharp Sensation, Southern Honey, Thank You Marylou, Tonito M. and War Dancer.

On Wednesday, Nov. 5, the session will conclude with an exclusive draft of mares bred to dual-hemisphere stallion Scat Daddy on Southern Hemisphere time. Scat Daddy, the leading sire this year in Chile, stands in Kentucky at Ashford Stud, which is consigning the mares.

On Tuesday, Nov. 11, the session will include horses of racing age, including the annual consignment from WinStar Racing, agent.

The sale’s first two sessions, which are included in Book 1, will begin at 11 a.m. The remaining sessions start at 10 a.m.

The entire sale will be streamed live at Keeneland.com.

Kentucky Downs establishes wagering record for meet

Edited release:

Kentucky Downs closed out its 2014 live racing season on Wednesday, and the track established new records for wagering handle and starters per race during the five race-date season. A total of $15,880,755 was wagered on the Kentucky Downs races during the 2014 meeting, shattering the previous record of $12,814,967, established in 2013, by 23.9%. Field size was 10.2 starters per race.

“We are extremely gratified with the success of this year’s live meet,” said Kentucky Downs President Corey Johnsen. “We had tremendous support from horsemen and racing fans and are proud of the quality of live racing that we were able to offer. Many of the nation’s top trainers raced horses with us this year, and our jockey colony was second to none.”

“Surpassing last year’s previous record handle by almost 24% is an accomplishment the Kentucky Downs team is very proud of. On track crowds were very enthusiastic, showing a 15% increase in handle over last year. We have a lot of momentum, and are looking forward to what the future has to offer for Thoroughbred racing at Kentucky Downs,” Johnsen concluded.

Wednesday’s closing day card was a showcase for first-class racing as three stakes races that each carried a $200,000 purse were featured. The Kentucky Downs Turf Dash at 6 ½ furlongs was won by Dimension, while the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon (run at a distance of 1 5/16 miles) was so popular with horsemen at the entry box (with a total of 23 entries) that it was split into two separate divisions, with the winners being White Rose and Angel Terrace, respectively.

In the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash, the six-year-old gelding Dimension was a neck winner over Something Extra, with favored Undrafted another neck back in third. Dimension was ridden by Chris Landeros for trainer Conor Murphy, who also owns the gelding in the name of his Riverside Bloodstock. Dimension now has lifetime earnings of over $370,000.

In his most recent start before his victory in the Kentucky Downs Turf Dash, Dimension had finished third in the Grade II Play King Stakes at Woodbine. His past accomplishments include a fifth place finish, beaten only three lengths, in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita last November.

In the first division of the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon, White Rose was rated nicely by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who swung the four-year-old mare out from behind horse in mid-stretch and went on to earn a 1 ¾ length victory, stopping the timer in 2:13.76. The gray daughter of leading sire Tapit is trained by Bill Mott for owners Jake Ballis and NBA star Rashard Lewis. The victory brought White Rose’s career earnings to over $319,600. Runner-up in the first division was La Maluguena, with Angegreen finishing third.

In the second division of the Kentucky Downs Ladies Marathon, Angel Terrace forged to the lead in the final sixteenth of a mile to overtake the stubborn frontrunner I O Ireland to claim the victory by 1 ½ lengths. Ridden by Florent Geroux for Hall of Fame trainer Jonathan Sheppard and owner George Strawbridge’s Augustine Stable, Angel Terrace is a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Ghostzapper, Angel Terrace brought her career bankroll to over $295,000 with the victory. Her winning time for the 1 5/16 miles was 2:12.44.

Reviewing individual honors for the 2014 Kentucky Downs meet, Rosie Napravnik and Julien Leparoux tied for the leading jockey title with seven victories apiece during the five-day season. Wesley Ward earned his third leading trainer title at Kentucky Downs, saddling seven winners during the meet, including two victories on closing day. Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey were the leading owners for the second straight year. The Ramseys had four wins, three second place finishes and earnings of over $264,000 for the five-day 2014 live meet.

Kentucky Downs features a one-of-a-kind European-style turf course that offers a fair test to horses at all levels of competition. The Kentucky Downs race course is among the longest courses in North America at 1.3125 (1 5/16) miles in length. With subtle elevation changes throughout the course, a sweeping turn into the stretch run and a quarter-mile run from the end of the final turn to the finish line, racing at Kentucky Downs is unlike any racing seen this side of the Atlantic Ocean.

While the live racing season is concluded at Kentucky Downs for this year, the track continues to offer year-around simulcasting on horse racing from tracks around the country, as well as the extremely popular wagering on historical horse racing.

Champion Beholder to be offered at Fasig-Tipton November sale

Edited release:

The list of high-profile mares slated to sell at the Fasig-Tipton November sale continues to grow as it was announced Wednesday evening that two-time Eclipse Award and Breeders’ Cup winner Beholder would be offered at the auction days after her expected title defense in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Owner B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm will consign the 4-year-old filly.

 

“Beholder is a truly special filly,” said Ned Toffey, Spendthrift general manager. “Her conformation is both flawless and spectacular. As a half-sister to one of the most exciting young stallions (Into Mischief) in the world, her pedigree really is unique and her race record quite simply speaks for itself.”

 

Trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Beholder has assembled one of the most decorated careers by a filly in recent memory. She is the only distaffer to win both the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and Breeders’ Cup Distaff, and she’s the first filly since Hall of Fame champion Silverbulletday to earn the Eclipse Award at both two and three.

 

A seven-time stakes winner, Beholder has tallied five Grade I wins to date – the two Breeders Cup races, plus the Santa Anita Oaks, Las Virgenes Stakes and Zenyatta Stakes. The daughter of Henny Hughes is slated to defend her title in the Zenyatta Stakes when she starts in the race this Saturday at Santa Anita Park and is also seeking to become the first three-time Breeders’ Cup winner on the main track.

 

“Beholder will be one of the most accomplished horses ever to be offered at a Fasig-Tipton sale,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “She is truly the complete package. We appreciate Mr. Hughes and the Spendthrift Team for providing us the opportunity to sell this remarkable filly.”

 

Earlier this week, it was announced that Believe You Can and Princess of Sylmar –  winners of the 2012 and 2013 Kentucky Oaks, respectively – are also slated to be offered at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.

 

Bred by Clarkland Farm, Beholder currently boasts a record of nine wins from 14 starts with  career earnings of $3,188,300. She hails from the multiple Grade I -producing Tricky Creek mare Leslie’s Lady, and is a half-sister to fellow Grade I winner Into Mischief. Earlier this month, Beholder’s half-sister by Curlin sold for $1.1 million at the Keeneland September Sale.

 

“I’ve been lucky enough to have many good mares in my years of training, but this mare might have to be the best of all,” Mandella said of his charge.

Three Chimneys acquires half interest in Palace Malice, return to training possible

Dogwood Stable announced Tuesday the sale of 50 percent of multiple Grade I winner Palace Malice to Three Chimneys Farm in a scenario that may see the classic winner go back in training for 2015.

Cot Campbell, Dogwood Stable president initially announced on September 22 that Palace Malice was being retired due to a deep bone bruise in his left hind leg. In a release issued Tuesday, Campbell said that Palace Malice will be examined on November 15 and if the son of Curlin is determined to be sound, would return to trainer Todd Pletcher for another campaign.

“Breeders who had expressed interest were asked to submit bids on the horse to the Stoll Keenon Ogden law firm, in Lexington, on September 19. The somewhat unexpected and unique nature of the Three Chimneys offer was very enticing to us,” Campbell said. “Four straight graded stakes wins by Palace Malice in 2014 were followed with an uncharacteristic performance in the Whitney Stakes in early August. The colt….was found to have a bone bruise in his left hind cannon bone. This eliminated the chance to race him further this year. However, Dr. Larry Bramlage of Rood and Riddle felt he would heal perfectly with several months of inactivity, and could race as a five-year-old.

“Palace Malice will be examined by a panel of vets on November 15 and if he is 100 percent racing sound to the satisfaction of Three Chimneys and Dogwood, he will be shipped to Dogwood’s barn in Aiken, South Carolina, and prepared for another campaign with Todd Pletcher, his trainer throughout his career.”

Campbell added that Three Chimneys will acquire full ownership of Palace Malice upon his retirement from racing. Should the 2013 Belmont Stakes winner resume training, he would race in the name Three Chimneys Farm/Dogwood Stable, and in Dogwood colors.

“This joint ownership between Dogwood and Three Chimneys allows the owners of the four shares in Dogwood’s Palace Malice partnership to take a fair bit of money off the table, and still look forward to racing a horse that has had only 17 starts, and will not have his fifth birthday until May 2,” Campbell said.

Palace Malice scored a breakout victory in last year’s Belmont Stakes and followed that up with a win in the Grade II Jim Dandy. The bay colt won his first four starts of 2014, including a gritty win over Breeders’ Cup Dirt  Mile hero Goldencents in the Grade I Met Mile on June 7, before finishing sixth in the Grade I Whitney Stakes.

“We are enthusiastic and hopeful about this collaboration with Mr. Campbell and the Palace Malice partners,” added Three Chimneys chairman Goncalo Torrealba. “It is clear that Dogwood has done an exceptional job managing Palace Malice’s career to date, and to join them on this journey is exciting. To be involved with the leading son of a two-time Horse of the Year, who demonstrated amazing versatility to win races like the Belmont Stakes and Metropolitan (Handicap), is what Three Chimneys is all about.”

Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can to be offered at Fasig-Tipton November sale

Airdrie Stud will offer its homebred 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can at the Fasig-Tipton November sale on Monday, November 3, the sales company announced on Tuesday.

A daughter of Airdrie Stud stallion Proud Citizen, Believe You Can will be offered in foal to leading sire Tapit. Tapit, who stands at Gainesway, is the clear leader on the current North American sire list and had four offspring of his sell for $1 million or more at the recently concluded Keeneland September yearling sale.

Believe You Can’s triumph in the 2012 Kentucky Oaks was historic as it made her jockey Rosie Napravnik the first female rider to capture the race. Trained by Larry Jones, Believe You Can retired with eight wins from 14 starts and $1,280,324 in earnings.

“When you look at the Honor Roll of fillies to have won the Kentucky Oaks, and couple it with her being in foal to Tapit, the hottest sire at stud in North America, it is obviously a high privilege for us to offer Believe You Can for Airdrie,” Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning said in a release. “We are excited that as one of the most significant Thoroughbred offerings of 2014, she joins an exclusive cast for our sale on November 3rd.”

Believe You Can becomes the latest high-profile female added to the list of offerings for the Fasig-Tipton November sale. This past Sunday night, it was announced that recently retired fellow Kentucky Oaks winner Princess of Sylmar would be offered as a broodmare prospect at the auction, consigned by Taylor Made Sales on behalf of owner Ed Stanco.

Princess of Sylmar won the 2013 Kentucky Oaks, a win that kicked off a string of what would be four Grade I triumphs for the daughter of Majestic Warrior last season including a victory over champion Royal Delta in the Grade I Beldame Stakes.

“We’ve had the privilege of consigning some of the all-time greats,” Mark Taylor of Taylor Made said of Princess of Sylmar. “Ashado and Havre De Grace stand at the top. Princess of Sylmar is next in line and we are honored to have her.”

 

Champion Wise Dan works toward Shadwell Mile

In his second timed move since his comeback triumph in last month’s Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap, two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan worked five furlongs in a bullet 1:01.20 over a firm Keeneland turf Tuesday morning in preparation for his expected start in the Grade I, $1 million Shadwell Turf Mile on October 4.

The move was the second bullet work Wise Dan has fired since his nose victory over Optimizer in the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga on August 30, a race that marked the first start for the 7-year-old champion gelding since undergoing emergency colic surgery on May 16.

With regular exercise rider Damien Rock in the irons Tuesday, Wise Dan carved out splits of 24.80 and  38 working around the “dogs” with a gallop out in 1:15.

“It went really good,” trainer Charlie LoPresti said of the move. “They (Keeneland) have the dogs out further than they’ve ever been and it was funny because when they came around the turn, he wanted to take Damien to the inside so he cut the corner and really finished strong. Damien had to grab him because he wanted to cut to the inside but he finished up really good. They got the last quarter in 23 and change and he walking around here playing.”

Signaling that the Bernard Baruch took little out of him, Wise Dan had worked five furlongs in 59.40 over the Keeneland dirt on September 13, fastest of 21 moves at the distance.

LoPresti said he is toying with working the gelded son of Wiseman’s Ferry one more time on the dirt before the Shadwell, but added “we’ll just see how he comes out of this one.”

The potential field Wise Dan will face in the Shadwell is still coming together with Silver Max – who defeated Morton Fink’s homebred in the race last year when it came off the turf – among the probables. Multiple Grade I winner Goldencents had been considered for the race but it was decided the colt would instead remain in California for the Santa Anita Sprint.

“I kind of wish (Goldencents) would have come because he could have gone with Silver Max,” LoPresti said. “But he (Wise Dan) is not going to have be carrying giving weight this time, which makes me feel better. I wouldn’t trade places with anybody.”

Wise Dan won the 2012 edition of the Shadwell Turf Mile en route to earning the first of his back-to-back victories in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. A third title defense in the Mile has been the goal for the chestnut gelding this season. However, with the handicap division falling apart this year due defending Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Mucho Macho Man, Game On Dude and Will Take Charge all being retired and fellow Grade I winners Lea, Moonshine Mullin and Palace Malice being sidelined, there will certainly been a groundswell of pundits hoping to see Wise Dan take a swing at this year’s $5 million Classic at Santa Anita Park.

Though his form on turf has earned him six Eclipse Awards, Wise Dan’s first career Grade I score did come on the dirt when he captured the 2011 Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.

“All I can tell you is I take it one race at a time,” LoPresti said when asked if he was entertaining any thoughts of a Classic run. “But I can tell you this, this horse is training better on the dirt than I’ve ever seen him. He did that at Saratoga, and all of his major workouts have been on dirt this year. But we haven’t got that far.

“I want to get through this race on October 4 and then we’ll have a better idea after that.”

Prior to his colic surgery in May, Wise Dan had opened his 2014 campaign with wins in the Grade I Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland in April and the Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 3. A ten time Grade I winner, Wise Dan has 22 wins from 30 career starts with earnings of $6,952,920.

 

 

 

Champion Will Take Charge retired to Three Chimneys

Will Take Charge, the champion 3-year-old male of 2013, has been retired to stand stud at Three Chimneys Farm after suffering a mild strain to a branch of his suspensory apparatus, it was announced Sunday afternoon. A fee for 2015 will be announced at a later date.

 

Trained by Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas, Will Take Charge had been prepping for a start in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on September 27 and had posted a bullet move at Churchill Downs on September 10, covering five furlongs in 1:00.40.

 

“Will Take Charge’s retirement is particularly disappointing as we were primed, as an older horse, to win the Classic this year which we lost by a whisker last year,” Lukas said in a release. “This horse has done what few other horses can do any more. He defeated the best 3-year-olds in the country in the Travers and then the best older horses in the Classic. He is a true champion who ran to his blue-blooded pedigree.”

 

 

His 17-plus hand, chromed out frame and striking face made Will Take Charge a distinctive specimen on the racetrack. By Unbridled’s Song and out of 2013 Broodmare of the Year Take Charge Lady, the 4-year-old chestnut set himself apart with his durability and late-blooming talent during his sophomore season.

 

Despite finishing off-the-board in all three Triple Crown races, Will Take Charge moved himself to the head of the 3-year-old class last season with victories in the Grade I Travers Stakes and Grade II Pennsylvania Derby before finishing just a lip behind Mucho Macho Man in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park.

 

Though denied that day, Will Take Charge came back with a championship-clinching victory over older horses – including multiple Grade I winner Game On Dude – in the Grade I Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs last November 29, his 11th start of 2013.

 

“He is a different kind of Unbridled’s Song,” Lukas said of the colt. “He proved himself to be the best of his generation. He is a proud addition to my resume.”

 

Will Take Charge opened 2014 with runner-up finishes in the Grade I Donn and Santa Anita Handicaps and was most recently third in the Grade I Whitney Handicap at Saratoga on August 2. His lone win in six starts this year came when he captured the Grade II Oaklawn Handicap on April 12.

 

Co-owned by Willis Horton, who sold a 50 percent interest in Will Take Charge to Three Chimneys in December, Will Take Charge retires with seven wins from 21 career starts and earnings of $3,924,648. He had finished on the board in ten of his last 11 races.

 

“Will Take Charge is a horse of a lifetime, and I can’t say enough about how “hickory” he has been, starting 21 times all across the country against the stiffest competition time after time,” Horton said. “We have had the time of our lives with him, and met wonderful people
all across America.  He’s been a real  fan favorite, and we think he’ll be a Kentucky breeders’ favorite too.  I also can’t compliment Wayne enough on developing this exceptionally talented horse into a Champion.  It’s been one heck of a ride.”

 

Added Three Chimneys chairman, Gonçalo Borges Torrealba “As we forge a new path forward at Three Chimneys, we feel very fortunate to announce that a champion like Will Take Charge will help us write the next chapter in the farm’s storied history whose foundation as a stallion operation was built on the shoulders of such towering breed changers as Seattle Slew, Dynaformer, Rahy, and the like.”

Global buying power paces Book One session of Keeneland September sale

Though largely anecdotal, there has been some sentiment within the Thoroughbred industry that international shoppers were waning in their willingness to invest in pedigrees rooted in this side of the Atlantic.

 
The four days of selling that comprised the Book One portion of the Keeneland September yearling sale told a different yarn. And the flagship stallions from two of Thoroughbred racing’s most vaunted operations helped close out the final select session of the catalog with results that reflected the global buying strength which filled the pavilion.

 
The desire to own offspring from Claiborne Farm’s leading sire War Front and Gainesway’s top stallion Tapit is a near universal one within the industry. Fittingly, the two studs have the co-sale toppers as the 13-session exercise heads into its dark day Friday, with a Tapit colt selling to Shadwell Stud for $2.2 million Thursday and a bay son of War Front going to representatives of Coolmore Stud for the same price earlier in the session.

 
Where Wednesday’s session cooled slightly at the top end, selling just two yearlings for $1 million or more, the heavy hitters stretched themselves accordingly for exceptional individuals Thursday, helping the overall average and median stay ahead of last year’s pace even as the total gross of $142,153,000 is down 7.32 percent.

 
Six horses sold for seven figures Thursday, bringing the total number of $1 million-plus babies to 13 thus far in the sale. Of that baker’s dozen, offspring of Tapit and War Front account for six of them.
“Tapit and War Front are the No. 1 and 2 most sought after stallions in North America at the moment,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “These are the horses that are performing at the highest level on the racetrack.

 
“Both Claiborne and Gainesway have worked very hard and both horses have earned their positions. There was high competition for all of them.”

 
A flurry of action came early in Thursday’s session with three yearlings hitting the seven-figure mark within about a 10-minute span of each other, highlighted by a Medaglia d’Oro filly that is a half sister to Grade I winner Nereid and sold to Irish-based Moyglare Stud for $1.5 million.

 
Superior quality reared up again later in the day as Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier signed the ticket for the $2.2 million War Front colt that was both consigned by Claiborne and a tribute to its heralded breeding program.

 
The bay colt is out of the Arch mare Gold Vault – herself a half sister to Grade I winner Pomeroy – and is a half brother to Grade I winner Contested.

 
“He’s a great mover, a lot of quality, and you don’t need to say how good Claiborne is,” said Magnier, who added the colt would likely head to Europe. “It’s a brilliant pedigree. Arch is a brilliant broodmare sire with (Coolmore sire and champion) Uncle Mo. If he is anywhere along those lines we’ll be happy to pay for him.”

 
A gray Tapit colt from the consignment of Clearsky Farms matched that level, as Rick Nichols of Shadwell Stud outlasted several major operations to take home the half brother to 2013 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner New Year’s Day.

 
“There is a whole lot of potential there,” Nichols said. “If he wins a Grade I, he’ll definitely be a stallion.”

 
Global operations were also at the head of the pack after four days of selling with John Ferguson, agent for Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Magnier, and Shadwell representing the top three leading buyers, respectively.

 
While gross receipts are softer compared to this point in 2013, sparked in part to selling 13.37 percent fewer horses, the average of $300,535 is up 6.98 percent with the overall median of $240,000 up 15.66 percent.

 
The rate of horses not sold is running slightly ahead of last year, coming in at 27.34 percent compared to 27.01 percent in 2013.

 
“I think you’re seeing over and over again, the $400-$500,000 level is solid, solid sales. Even if it’s not spectacular at the top, I’ll take that any day over a few big numbers,” said Bill Farish of Lane’s End, the leading consignor heading Book Two. “You know the more stallions we get that fit that bill, then the more (international buyers) will be here. It’s as simple as that. Everyone likes to talk about medication and other things, but the bottom line is if you don’t have the pedigree for them they’re not going to come.

 
“When we had the Kingmambos and those kind of stallions, they all came. You just have to have the right pedigrees.”

 
The sale runs through September 21 and resumes on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Alicia Wincze Hughes: (859) 231-1676.  Blog: horseracing.bloginky.com. Twitter: @horseracinghl.

Coolmore lands War Front colt for $2.2 million at Keeneland September sale

The appeal of War Front once again proved its reach far beyond the states as a bay colt by Claiborne’s leading sire became the highest priced horse to sell thus far at this year’s Keeneland September yearling sale when he sold to representatives of Coolmore Stud for $2.2 million on Thursday.

Consigned by the Hancock’s family’s Claiborne Farm, the colt is out of the Arch mare Gold Vault and is a half brother to multiple Grade I winner Contested.

“He’s a great mover, a lot of quality, and you don’t need to say how good Claiborne is,” said M.V. Magnier, who signed the ticket on behalf of Coolmore. “It’s a brilliant, brilliant pedigree. Arch is a brilliant broodmare sire with (Coolmore sire and champion) Uncle Mo. If (this colt) is anywhere along those lines we’ll be happy to pay for him.”

Magnier added that the colt would likely head to Europe.

The new sale topper is a tribute to Claiborne’s noted breeding program as they stand both War Front and Arch. Gold Vault herself comes from a top family as she is a half sister to Grade I winner Pomeroy.

“War Front is so good he’ll hit the states and get runners internationally as well,” said Claiborne president Walker Hancock. “That’s the reason everyone likes him so much. Dirt, synthetic, turf, it doesn’t matter, any distance. It just all adds to his appeal.

“We knew (this colt) would bring a big number. He’s a great athlete, great specimen. He was all business, very professional. He had this presence about him that he knew he was something special and that says something I think when a horse does that.”

The War Front colt became the fifth horse to hit the seven-figure level during Thursday’s session alone, giving the sale a total of 12 babies thus far that have sold for $1 million or more this week.

Trio of seven-figure yearlings pace early action on Day 4 of Keeneland September sale

After only two horses reached the seven-figure level during Wednesday’s session of the Keeneland September yearling sale,  top-end fireworks came in bunches during the fourth day of selling as three yearlings sold for $1 million or more during about a ten minute span on Thursday.

Leading off the action was a dark bay Medaglia d’Oro filly hat is a half sister to Grade I winner Nereid who sold to representatives of Moyglare Stud for $1.5 million, the second highest priced baby of thus far in this year’s  sale.

Fiona Craig, who signed the ticket on behalf of Moyglare Stud, completed the bidding just moments before she had to catch a plane back to Ireland for Irish Champions Weekend taking place at Leopardstown this Saturday and Sunday. Out of the Belong to Me mare Dowry, the filly proved worth the wait and Craig said the youngster would likely remain in the United States.

Sea Queen, who is also a half sister to the Medaglia d’Oro filly, is herself being campaigned stateside and most recently finished fourth in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks for trainer Christophe Clement.

“It was worth staying for,” Craig laughed. “The owner is extremely happy and she will most likely stay in the U.S. and race here. And she’s a lovely filly. A  Medaglia d’Oro related to two Group I performers, its makes sense if you’re in the stud business.”

The Medaglia d’Oro filly also marked the first seven-figure horse sold at public auction by Damian and Braxton Lynch, who consigned her.

“She just did it all herself,” Braxton Lynch said of the filly. “My husband brought her over and she looked great but she performed. She came out every show like just, clockwork from the  first show to the 200th show, just never put a foot wrong. She did it on her own. These are the easy ones to sell, they do it themselves.”

Moments later, a Tapit colt out of multiple Grade I winner  Dream Rush sold to representatives of Coolmore Stud for $1.2 million. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales on behalf of Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings, the colt is a a half brother to Grade I winner Dreaming of Julia.

Just as the Tapit colt left the ring, a Tiznow colt out of multiple Grade I winner and producer Dream Supreme stepped in and continued the high-dollar bidding with trainer Mark Casse outlasting Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas to obtain the colt for $1.35 million on behalf of owner John Oxley.

“We just liked everything about him,” said Casse, who bid while seated next to Oxley. “He’s a big, strong athlete, big pedigree. We loved him.

“He’s got a huge stallion prospect value. We knew he wouldn’t be cheap. He’s a lot like his mom too.”

The Tiznow colt was consigned by Lane’s End on behalf of Kinsman Farm and is a half brother to Grade I winner Majestic Warrior and stakes winners Evolutionist and Crystal Current.

“She’s a special mare who keep delivering year after year, it’s amazing,” Bill Farish of Lane’s End said of Dream Supreme. “You don’t see it that often where they have this kind of quality foal later on in life. But he’s a big strong well balanced colt that is really racy. All my friends supposedly were cold watering me and he went a lot higher than they said they were wiling to go. It’s fun to see it work out that way.”

 

 

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