Explosive Second Session at Keeneland September

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Session-topping hip 458 | Keeneland photo

By Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato and Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY – The second session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale proved to be a barn burner, a day filled with rapid-fire million-dollar transactions concluding with a sparkling 20.75% buy-back rate Tuesday in Lexington. A pair of yearlings by War Front topped the session, with a colt by the Claiborne stallion bringing a final bid of $2.4 million from Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier, while Godolphin went to$1.75 million for a daughter of the sire. In all, eight yearlings sold for seven figures taking the two-day total to 13, equal to the total number from the 2017 auction.

“It was phenomenal,” Keeneland’s Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said after the conclusion of a frenetic day of bidding. “It was competitive at the top, it was competitive in the middle and it was competitive in the bottom. When you have a 21% RNA rate, there was lots and lots of business getting done at every level today.”

In all, 168 yearlings sold Tuesday for a total of $65,835,000. The session average was $391,875 and the median was $300,000. Of the 212 horses to go through the sales ring, only 44 were led out unsold.

Through two days, Keeneland has sold 306 yearlings for a total of $114,455,000. The average stands at $374,036 and the median is $300,000. The cumulative buy-back rate is 28.07%.

“We were cautiously optimistic that the market was strong,” Elliston said. “I can’t sit here and tell you that we thought it would be as strong as it was today. That blew away our expectations. Everybody had high hopes, given the quality of the stock that we had seen and observing what has transpired at prior sales this summer. The entire world was coming here for this sale, they had their piggy banks broke open and they went after it today. It was quite a show.”

Consignor David Anderson, who sold a filly by Hard Spun for $950,000, agreed Tuesday’s action was something special.

“I think it is the greatest marketplace I have ever seen in my lifetime,” Anderson said. “You bring a horse in here of any kind of quality that vets and you are going to get paid and get paid well.”

The Keeneland September sale featured one ultra-select Book 1 session in 2017, but this year’s Book 1 is four days and includes a catalogue of 987 yearlings. The expansion made sledding difficult for some offerings, according to consignor Reiley McDonald of Eaton Sales.

“I think it has been a really solid market,” McDonald said. “Anybody who had a horse in this session that belonged in Book 2 or Book 3 got hurt, but for all the legitimate horses that were in here, there were plenty of buyers. I think the sale has been very good, at least the first two days. I even thought the first day, which is always a hard day to get started, there were too many buy-backs, but the horses that sold, sold very well. Today there is even more heat to the market.”

Phoenix Thoroughbreds has purchased eight yearlings so far at the September sale, including a $1.35-million son of Empire Maker. Tom Ludt, the group’s head of U.S. operations, was finding plenty of competition in bidding.

“Like always, the good ones are selling for more than you want to pay, but that is what it is going to take to get it done,” Ludt said. “The top end is extremely strong, but it is good for the game.”

The third session of the four-day Book 1 will get underway Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Familiar Faces Involved in Topper Transaction…

If two entities best know the highly coveted family of Tuesday’s $2.4-million session-topping War Front colt (hip 458), it’s the Coolmore contingent and John Sikura’s Hill ‘n’ Dale. The former has campaigned members of it, including GI Belmont S. heroine and champion Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy) and her half-brother Man of Iron (Giant’s Causeway), who took the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Marathon; while Sikura at one point owned a piece of blue-hen third dam Better Than Honour (Deputy Minister) and has done very well both racing and selling out of the family.

“What can I say about War Front? Over the past couple of years, we have been extremely lucky with his horses,” Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier said. “US Navy Flag, who is going to the [A$13-million] Everest in a couple weeks and hopefully will have a good chance in that; Roly Poly, his sister, Navy Command, Declaration of War, Air Force Blue. His foals that are on the ground are incredible. [Hip 458] comes from a great family. It’s all Michael [Tabor] and Derrick [Smith]’s family back to Rags to Riches. They felt a strong connection to the family and they have had a lot of luck with the family in the past and we have as well. He’s a lovely horse. He has all the right credentials. He is out of a very good racemare. We are going to bring him back to Ireland and hopefully he will be a good runner.”

Hip 458 is a daughter of Grade I-winning juvenile Streaming (Smart Strike), who was campaigned by Sikura and his father-in-law Edward McGhee. Hill ‘n’ Dale also bred second dam Teeming (Storm Cat) out of Better Than Honour, the 2007 Broodmare of the Year.

Among Hill ‘n’ Dale’s other big scores from this family was the $2.85-million sale of an unraced Tapit half-sister to hip 458’s dam (in foal to Distorted Humor) to Don Alberto Corp. at KEENOV ’14.

“We knew we had a top horse by a world-class sire in War Front,” said Sikura in between congratulations from members of his Hill ‘n’ Dale team. “It’s been a remarkable pedigree for us. We’ve been brave in retaining the daughters. We always have mixed emotions–we keep fillies and sell colts. If I were in a different position, I’d probably be keeping colts as well, but we’re commercial breeders, so we need these home runs to keep everything going and be able to replenish the stock and move forward. I wish them the best of luck. It was a good price for a wonderful horse, and I hope he’s a champion.”

When asked to describe the colt, Sikura said, “He’s a big, rangy, long, beautiful horse. He has quality, class, presence. He’s a great mover–a touch immature, but when he fills out he’ll look as good as a horse can look.”

Claiborne Farm’s War Front had an extremely strong day–he was responsible for the top two hips and four of the top 10. His eight to sell brought a combined $8,370,000 at an average of $1,046,250. For the sale, his 11 yearlings to change hands have brought $9,670,000 ($879,091 average). @BDiDonatoTDN

Godolphin Grabs Nyquist Sis…

Sheikh Mohammed already stands Nyquist (Uncle Mo) at his Jonabell Farm in Kentucky and his Godolphin team grabbed a War Front half-sister to the 2015 champion juvenile and 2016 GI Kentucky Derby winner Tuesday for $1.75 million. The bay miss was consigned by her breeder Hinkle Farms as hip 389. Click for ThoroStride.com video inspection.

“We all liked her, but if you ask me, she’s a stunning filly,” said trainer John Gosden, who signed the ticket. “She has very good breeders with great history in the Hinkles. She’s a stunningly good-looking filly by a great stallion and a half-sister to a Kentucky Derby winner. She’s bought to race, and to be a broodmare.”

Gosden said a decision had not yet been made as to where hip 389 would be sent for racing, but that it would most likely be Europe.

As for the price, he said, “It was very strong, but when you’re buying a filly of that absolute quality… that’s exactly what you’d expect to pay.”

Breeder Tom Hinkle was understandably elated.

“We were expecting her to sell well, but you don’t ever expect that,” he said. “We were just very fortunate. She’s a lovely filly, and she’s going to a great place and she’ll have the best opportunities she can possibly have.”

He continued, “She’s been a star since the day she was born. She’s just been perfect–she’s got such a good mind, and she came up here and she was just perfect. My team at the farm did a great job with her, from the time she was born to the time she walked in the ring. My daughter Anne Archer and my manager Justin Harper and the groom Carlos Hernandez, they were just fantastic and we were so fortunate to have such a nice horse.”

Hip 389 is a granddaughter of Grade II winning juvenile Seeking Regina (Seeking the Gold), who also produced the graded stakes-winning dam of GI Metropolitan H. winner Sahara Sky (Pleasant Tap).

Hinkle Farm purchased dam Seeking Gabrielle for $100,000 at Keeneland November in 2013 while she was in foal to Blame and while Nyquist was a weanling. Nyquist brought $180,000 at the same sale.

“We bought the dam when Nyquist was a weanling,” Hinkle noted. “We saw him as a weanling and loved him. We weren’t interested in weanlings, but we were buying mares, and we bought the mare because he was such a lovely horse. The mare gets really nice foals, and she’s a sweetheart. I guess she gets to live in my living room now.”

Seeking Gabrielle’s first Hinkle-bred foal, the Blame filly, was a $330,000 KEESEP yearling in 2015 and a Gulfstream maiden special weight winner last year. She was barren in 2015, but came back with a Flatter colt who sold for $460,000 here last term to Lane’s End Bloodstock on behalf of West Point Thoroughbreds. The juvenile is now named Still Dreaming. Seeking Gabrielle produced a Tapit colt Apr. 11 before being bred back to Uncle Mo.

And where does Tuesday’s score rank in Hinkle’s career as a breeder?

“This is the highest-priced horse I’ve ever sold, but in 1985 I sold a Danzig colt for $1 million. That’s the last horse we sold for a million, so that’s a long time between drinks.”

@BDiDonatoTDN

Uncle Mo Colt for Partnership…

Mike Ryan, bidding on behalf of a partnership, went to $1.4 million to acquire a colt by Uncle Mo, triggering a flurry of seven-figure sales Tuesday at Keeneland. Out of Secret (Street Cry {Ire}), the yearling was consigned by Bridie Harrison on behalf of breeder Peter Blum.

“We thought he was very, very special,” Ryan said of hip 383. “He blew me away when I saw him.”

At the same time a bidding war was breaking out for the half-sister of GI Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (Uncle Mo) some six hips later, Ryan was saying, “He reminded me of Nyquist. We bought Nyquist here as a yearling for a whole lot less. But this horse was very special. I thought this one might have been the best yearling I saw this year.”

Ryan, who did his bidding while sitting alongside owner Bill Warren, continued, “I bought him for a partnership group. I haven’t figured out who will train him yet, but he’ll go to a top trainer. We thought he was a top-class dirt prospect, a Classic horse out of a Street Cry mare. We’re dreaming Derby.”

The seven-figure sale was generations in the making for longtime breeder Peter Blum. Blum bred and raced the yearling’s dam Secret. He bred his second dam Proposal, sold her as a 2-year-old, only to buy her back as a 4-year-old at the 2001 Keeneland November sale. The mare has produced graded stakes placed Silver City and Elope.

Going further back, Blum bred and raced successive generations from Lady of Choice (Storm Bird) and Chosen Lady (Secretariat) to Mine Only (Mr. Prospector), who broke her maiden for Blum and trainer Allen Jerkens at Belmont in 1984.

Bridie Harrison, who has consigned on behalf of Blum under her own name since 2015, was celebrating her first million-dollar sale.

“I was delighted with the price he bought,” Harrison said. “He’s a very nice horse. I wish Mike Ryan all the best of luck with him. I hope he does well.”

Of the first million-dollar sale, Harrison said, “It felt pretty good. My son Johnathan was showing the horse and I told him to enjoy selling him because there aren’t too many like this one.”

She continued, “I consign only for [Blum]. We have only his horses on the farm. He takes good care of us and we take good care of him. He has some very nice well-bred horses.”

@JessMartiniTDN

Phoenix Adds to Their ‘Empire’…

Phoenix Thoroughbreds continued to be very active in the yearling marketplace, fending off all comers to acquire an Empire Maker colt (Hip 388) for $1.35 million Tuesday.

“He pretty much had everything,” said Phoenix’s Head of U.S. Operations Tom Ludt, who signed the ticket while seated alongside Phoenix principal Amer Abdulaziz and Hall of Famer Bob Baffert. “Obviously at a price like that, we weren’t the only ones that thought that. He had a powerful walk and looked strong. I was just talking to John Servis, who was the underbidder, and I love John. He said he thought he was the best horse in the sale. It always feels good when somebody comes up to you after and says that. Obviously Bob [Baffert] loved him too and that is who we are sending him to.”

Hip 388 is from Empire Maker’s first crop since Gainesway brought him back from Japan.

“I bought Pioneerof the Nile as a stallion at Vinery in my good old days, so it is good to see Empire Maker come back,” Ludt said. “I assume Gainesway loved him and pursued him to bring him back after he had some good horses since Juddmonte sold him to Japan. Hopefully we bought the best one.”

Gainesway bred the Mar. 2 foal and he was purchased by consignor Van-Meter-Gentry Sales’ Renee Dailey for $320,000 at last term’s Keeneland November sale. Out of the Carson City mare Seeinsbelieven, the bay is a half-brother to GSW Conquest Big E (Tapit) and SW Aquapazza (Stormy Atlantic).This is also the family of graded winners Softly (Binalong) and Coragil Cat (Forest Wildcat).

“He was so well-made and just a beautiful walker,” Dailey said of his appeal as a weanling. “To me, he was the best horse in the sale and we were fortunate enough to get him.”

As for his progress coming into this sale, Dailey said, “He has done everything right. He was kind of long and lean and light. He has just grown and put on a lot of weight. He ate good and has just done everything right. We have never had anything go backwards with him.”

Hip 388 was the second seven-figure yearling of the session for VanMeter-Gentry Sales, who was also represented by a $1.2 million American Pharoah filly (Hip 306). The operation also sold a Declaration of War colt (Hip 334) to William K. Werner for $235,000 during Tuesday’s session. @CDeBernardisTDN

Repatriated Stallion Looks to Reclaim His ‘Empire’…

Empire Maker sired several graded winners during his tenure at Juddmonte, which bred and raced the blue-blooded MGISW, including dual Grade I winner Pioneerof the Nile, who of course went on to sire Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and champion Classic Empire, both of whom now stand at Ashford.

However, after being sold to Japan in 2011, his American offspring really began to hit their best stride with the likes of three-time champion Royal Delta, MGISW Emollient and Grade I-winning millionaires Bodemeister, Grace Hall, Mushka and Acoma lighting up the racetrack.

The Solari family’s Don Alberto Corporation partnered with Gainesway to bring Empire Maker back to America in 2015 and that decision was justified during the first two days of Keeneland September with several big-figure purchases by the stallion, topped by a $1.35 million colt (Hip 388) bred by Gainesway and pinhooked by VanMeter-Gentry Sales.

“That was a super yearling that Tom VanMeter sold,” Gainesway’s Michael Hernon said. “We have a very good partner in Don Alberto. We support the horse. They support the horse. He is very good in the shed. His fertility is very good. We look after the asset. We recognize that he is turning 19. He had a very good year this year and we think he has a lot of good years left in him based on the quality of the stock he is putting on the ground.”

Gainesway bred and sold Empire Maker’s second highest-priced foal of the sale thus far in Hip 406, a half-brother to recent GI Alabama S. winner Eskimo Kisses (To Honor and Serve), who summoned $800,000 from Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias Stables, the connections behind this year’s GII Wood Memorial S. winner Vino Rosso (Curlin). The stallion’s highest-priced filly was Hip 163, a $700,000 purchase by Mayberry Farm. Through the first two sessions, 13 yearlings by Empire Maker had sold for a gross of $7 million and an average of $538,462.

“Empire Maker is all class,” Hernon said as he prepared to send Hip 406 through the ring. “He is a big, rangy, good-looking horse of high quality. I think one of the underlying qualities, besides his physical appeal, is he imparts his tremendous temperament and demeanor, which carried him to becoming the top racehorse he was and enabled him to become such an influential stallion. I am optimistic that some of these yearlings will become graded stakes winners and hopefully his 11 Grade I winners will start to increase with the U.S. yearlings since his return.” @CDeBernardisTDN

A New Pioneer for Albaughs, Spendthrift…

Dennis Albaugh and Jason Loutsch’s Albaugh Family Stables has already enjoyed strong representation on racing’s biggest stage with such graded stakes performers as Free Drop Billy, Not This Time and Brody’s Cause, and the operation hopes to have found its next star after teaming with Spendthrift Farm to acquire a colt by Pioneerof the Nile for $1 million from the Brookdale Sales consignment Tuesday at Keeneland.

“We really stretched, but we’ve got a good partner on him,” Albaugh said after signing the ticket on hip 297. “We’re excited about him and we can’t wait to get him into training so we can get him to the racetrack.”

The bay yearling is out of multiple graded stakes winner Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy) and was bred by Amy Tarrant’s Hardacre Farm.

“He checked all the boxes, has a little speed on the bottom side and Pioneerof the Nile on the top side, so we’re excited,” Loutsch said of the yearling. “We have a relationship with Spendthrift with Brody’s Cause and Free Drop Billy. So we have a good working relationship and we’re happy to partner up with them. They are great people.”

Albaugh Family Stable had success on the other side of the ledger during Monday’s first session of the Keeneland September sale, selling a filly by Tapit out of Miss Macy Sue (Trippi) for $1.4 million. The yearling is a half-brother to Not This Time, who was runner-up in the operation’s colors in the 2016 GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. That success may have made Albaugh more bullish in bidding Tuesday.

“Probably quite a bit,” he said with a laugh when asked how much Monday’s result impacted his bidding Tuesday. “Without that one, I don’t think I’d be bidding like that today.”

Spendthrift Farm stands Brody’s Cause, who won the 2016 GI Toyota Blue Grass S. for the Albaughs, and will add Free Drop Billy to its roster when that GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity winner retires.

“To me, he was among the very best individuals we saw here,” Spendthrift General Manager Ned Toffey said of the $1-million yearling. “He ticks all of the boxes; out of a mare that could run and obviously a very talented sire. We couldn’t be happier to have him. We’ve done some business with the Albaughs, so we’re very happy to be working with them again.”

The 2018 September sale is underway a decade after the bottom fell out of the market in the wake of the financial crash of 2008.

Asked to assess the strength of the market 10 years on, Toffey said, “I think we’re very solid now, but I’m not sure there is the depth that there was in the old days. People are very selective, they’re careful about what they are doing. So on the right horse, when the stars align, there is a tremendous market. If you don’t quite have the right horse, you’re going to have a little tougher time.” @JessMartiniTDN

$1-Million Colt a Home Run for Hardacre…

Amy Tarrant trained Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy), a homebred from her Hardacre Farm, to wins in the 2011 GII Forward Gal S., GII Gallant Bloom H. and GIII Sugar Swirl S. Two years ago, Tarrant decided to retire from the travel of racetrack life and focus on her Ocala-based breeding operation. The decision was rewarded in the sales ring Tuesday when Pomeroys Pistol’s yearling colt by Pioneerof the Nile sold for $1 million to Spendthrift Farm and Albaugh Family Stables.

“I’m just over the moon,” Tarrant said Tuesday. “This is just fabulous. He’s a beautiful colt. We knew there was nothing wrong with him. He had a Grade I throat and he was beautiful looking, so we were hoping for the best. But I am tickled that he went for that, I’ve got to tell you. It’s a big win for our farm.”

Tarrant was in Vermont when hip 297 went through the ring and watched proceedings on her computer, along with family members all around the country.

“Because it’s still a workday, all my kids were watching it at work on their computers,” she said. “So the phone just started ringing off the hook after my horse sold. Everybody was calling. My sisters from California, my sons all called. They were just going crazy.”

A native of Vermont, Tarrant founded Hardacre Farm in 1999, and began training her own horses in 2003. At the 2004 Keeneland September sale, she went to $75,000 for a Point Given filly who would later be named Prettyatthetable. While she never made it to the races, Prettyatthetable’s first foal was a $195,000 earner, and her second was Pomeroys Pistol.

Tuesday’s seven-figure yearling, the mare’s third foal, was a highwater mark for Hardacre Farm.

“I had a lovely Bernardini colt sell for $725,000 and I was over the moon with that, but this is just fabulous,” she said. “It’s great for our farm, we have a great crew. They will all be rewarded for their hard work, I can assure you.”

Including the 10-year-old Pomeroys Pistol, who is currently in foal to Hard Spun, Hardacre Farm has a commercial broodmare band of 16 head.

“Every year we do cull a few of them because we are trying to have the best stock that we can have,” Tarrant said. “So we keep the better ones, and the ones that haven’t done much, we pass on to someone else who could have a decent mare with a nice pedigree and maybe do fine. But we need to keep our numbers at a minimum.”

Of her decision to retire from training, Tarrant explained, “I decided I wanted to spend more time with my family and this is the only way that I could do it. You can’t leave in the middle of a meet like Gulfstream or Saratoga. And being at the farm this way is working out. I had withdrawal at first, but I’m getting over it.”

Hardacre has an additional three yearlings scheduled to sell at the September sale.

“I’m hoping we’ll do well with those,” Tarrant said. “We have our fingers crossed, but this result has made the sale for us, for sure.” @JessMartiniTDN

Coolmore Returns to the Well…

Coolmore went to $1.2 million to acquire their fourth horse out of GSP Pretty ‘n Smart (Beau Genius), a filly from the first crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah (Hip 306). The operation spent $1 million for the mare’s Tapit colt now named Dream Team at the 2013 renewal of this auction. They returned a year later to buy another Tapit colt out of Pretty ‘n Smart for $900,000, who became Grade I winner and new Ashford stallion Cupid, and went to a sales-topping $2.7 million for her Tapit filly last year.

“We have been very lucky with the family in the past,” said Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier. “Cupid was very good when he won the [GI] Gold Cup at Santa Anita and Bob [Baffert] always thought a lot about him. He is very popular at stud at the moment.”

He continued, “She is a very nice filly by a very good sire. We were a little disappointed that we didn’t get the horse yesterday [Hip 91, a session-topping $2.2 million American Pharoah colt]. She is a lovely filly and she will go to Europe. We really like the filly and let’s hope it works out.”

American Pharoah ran exclusively on dirt and Pretty ‘n Smart and most of her offspring also did their best running on the main track.

As for the decision to send this filly to run on the turf in Europe, Magnier said, “We are going to bring this filly to Ballydoyle. Bob Baffert said he really thought American Pharoah would have went on the grass. All those types are what Ballydoyle was built on really. We just have to get these American horses over on the grass in Europe and see how it goes.”

The American Pharoah yearlings have been highly coveted in the auction ring this season. Hip 306 is the Ashford resident’s second million-dollar horse of this auction and 25 of his yearlings have sold for $10.835 million through the first two sessions.

“Everybody seems to be saying that they are very good movers, have great quality and look like very sound animals,” Magnier said of American Pharoah’s first crop. “He was such a great racehorse and was so sound himself. Let’s hope he passes it on. It looks like he has every chance to do that.”

Bred by Turner Breeders, the filly was consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales, a joint venture between Tom VanMeter and the late Olin Gentry, who passed away after suffering a stroke at the OBS June Sale.

“That was exciting. That was great,” VanMeter said. “Olin, our dearly departed partner and friend, picked that mare out for $75,000 off the track and he managed virtually her entire career. I think we have sold around $7 million in yearlings out of her. It was great. Olin planned the mating [to American Pharoah]. We have Pioneerof the Nile colt on the ground, who is another striker and she is back in foal to Medaglia d’Oro.”

In addition to Coolmore’s previously mentioned purchases, Pretty ‘n Smart has also produced MGSW Heart Ashley (Lion Heart), whose daughter Ameristralia (Aus) (Fastnet Rock {Aus}) is graded-stakes-placed in Australia; GSW Ashley’s Kitty (Tale of the Cat); and SW Indianapolis (Medaglia d’Oro). The 20-year-old mare is also responsible for the unraced Sweet Assassin (Tapit), a $500,000 KEESEP buy, who was purchased by Don Alberto for $750,000 at last term’s Fasig-Tipton November sale. @CDeBernardisTDN

Anderson Hits Another Home Run at KEESEP

The first foal out of Orchard Beach (Tapit), a colt by Scat Daddy now named Sergei Prokofiev, gave David Anderson his first seven-figure sale when hammering for $1.1 million to Coolmore. The mare continued to regard the Canadian breeder Tuesday when her second foal, a Hard Spun filly (Hip 268), summoned $950,000 from bloodstock agent Shawn Dugan, becoming the highest-priced yearling for her Darley sire.

“Talk about excitement! Holy smokes,” said a jubilant Anderson with a big smile on his face. “I ran into Shawn this morning at my hotel having a coffee and I said, ‘You have to come by and look at this filly.’ She came by and fell in love with her and the rest is history. So exciting.”

Dugan was buying on behalf of an undisclosed client, but indicated that the filly was likely to join her older brother in Europe.

“She is a gorgeous filly and we really, really like David Anderson’s operation,” Dugan said. “The half-brother was a superstar here last here. He made $1.1 million and he has done very well for Coolmore. It’s a nice mare.”

As for the price, she said, “Anytime you spend that kind of money it is a reach. It was a reach, but we did it.”

Anderson bought Hip 268’s second dam Song and Danz (Unbridled’s Song) for $400,000 at the 2011 Keeneland January sale with her dam Orchard Beach in utero. Orchard Beach made just two starts for Anderson with no wins before retiring to his broodmare band. Her first foal Sergei Prokofiev was sent to Ballydoyle to study under the great Aidan O’Brien after his big sale at Keeneland. The ‘TDN Rising Star’ is already a stakes winner and graded stakes-placed in Europe.

“I bought this filly’s grandmother at the 2011 Keeneland January sale and she topped the sale,” Anderson said. “It was only $400,000, which doesn’t seem like much now, but back then that was at the bottom of the market and it was a big price.”

The horseman, who breeds and raises his foals at his Anderson Farms in Ontario, continued, “I sold her brother for $1.1 million and now this filly for $950,000, so I’d say the mare is paying for herself. She is a nice, athletic Tapit mare that had a lot of ability and I got her back in foal to Medaglia d’Oro, so I am hoping for even better things. She is a young mare and this is only her second foal.”

It’s been another banner year for Anderson both in the sales ring and on the racetrack. Hip 268 was one of two yearlings he brought to Keeneland and the other, a Speightstown colt (Hip 3), brought $600,000 from Winchell Thoroughbreds during Monday’s opening session. He also sold a $400,000 Honor Code filly and $225,000 Hard Spun filly at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale. Several Anderson Farms-bred horses have been burning up the racetrack, headlined by Queen’s Plate victress and

GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro); MGSW & GISP Tower of Texas (Street Sense); MSW & MGSP Inflexibilty (Scat Daddy); and Sergei Prokofiev.

“It’s been just a tremendous year,” Anderson said. “I thought last year would be top, but now we have blown by last year. I’ve got tremendous people behind me at the farm and Marette Farrell has been such an inspiration to me.”@CDeBernardisTDN

Baffert Getting Mo–Arabella Colt…

WhileTDN Rising StarPrincess Arabella (Any Given Saturday) wouldn’t land high on the seemingly endless list of Bob Baffert-trained stand-outs by her accomplishments, she’d have to be towards the top of his “what might have been” rankings. A facile debut winner at the end of her juvenile season in 2011 for John Fort’s Peachtree Stable, the half-sister to MGSP Dyna’s Lassie (Dynaformer) added a 3 1/2-length allowance romp the following February. She stamped herself as a major GI Kentucky Oaks contender with an eight-length drubbing in the Sunland Park Oaks, only to be forced into retirement due to injury.

(Note: Glinda the Good {Hard Spun}, second to Princess Arabella at Sunland, is the dam of $1-million KEESEP yearling, 2017 champion juvenile and GI Haskell Invitational S. winner Good Magic {Curlin}.)

Baffert will get a chance for redemption with Princess Arabella’s colt by Uncle Mo after SF Bloodstock and Starlight West scooped him up for $950,000 Tuesday. Already named Mo Hawk, the Apr. 29 foal was consigned by Lane’s End as hip 309 and bred by Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Equine.

“He’s out of a very fast mare; she was dominant,” SF’s Tom Ryan said. “He’s as smooth a horse as you could see, really, balanced–very fluid motion… Bob approved the horse on first inspection.”

SF and Starlight, part of the powerful partnership in on this year’s Baffert-trained Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy), have so far acquired seven Classically bred colts for a combined $4,320,000 set to be sent to the silver-haired conditioner.

See SF/Starlight Partnership Strikes for PON Colt from Monday’s coverage.

Their other Tuesday purchases were a $520,000 Empire Maker–Purely Hot colt from the Taylor Made Draft (hip 371); a Hill ‘n’ Dale-consigned Tapit half-brother to champion and well-regarded freshman sire Honor Code (A.P. Indy) for $700,000 (hip 393); a $425,000 Candy Ride (Arg) colt offered by Betz Thoroughbreds as hip 428; and a $600,000 Into Mischief colt (hip 479) bred and consigned by Hinkle Farms, which also sold the day’s second topper.

Summer Wind paid $725,000 for Princess Arabella in foal to Tapit at the 2013 Keeneland January sale, and sold the resulting filly for $750,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale in 2015. The mare’s now 3-year-old colt Inflection Point (Speightstown) was a $400,000 KEESEP ’16 yearling and finished second by a head on debut at Belmont May 18 for other powerhouse connections in Chad Brown and Klaravich Stables. Princess Arabella’s 2-year-old filly Ulele (Candy Ride {Arg}) was a $300,000 FTSAUG buy by Cheyenne Stables and most recently breezed at Ellis Park Sept. 1. The mare produced a Union Rags colt Apr. 30 before being bred back to Into Mischief.

“We are very excited,” said Lyon, who also bred the Fasig-Tipton July topper, an $875,000 American Pharoah colt at Fasig Saratoga and an $800,000 Tapit–Love Me Only (Ire) filly who sold to Shadwell Monday. “I think this colt is going to have the best chance of being all that he can be with the connections who have him. I can’t wait to see how he progresses and I can’t wait until that mare has a filly that I can keep.”@BDiDonatoTDN

Quick Back-to-Back Strike by Casse…

As bidding ticked upward on a Curlin colt late in Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland September sale, trainer Mark Casse calmly walked into a doorway at the back of the pavilion and with a single bid took home the first foal out of champion Take Charge Brandi (Giant’s Causeway) on behalf of John Oxley for $850,000.

“I made only one bid,” Casse confirmed. “[Oxley] left me with instructions, so I knew what I was doing. I was just waiting. I had plenty of time.”

Consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, the chestnut colt (hip 486) was bred by Elevage and Hill ‘n’ Dale Equine. The partnership purchased Take Charge Brandi, champion 2-year-old filly of 2014, for $6 million at the 2015 Keeneland November sale. The Curlin yearling is her first foal.

“We love Curlin,” Casse said of the yearling’s appeal. “He’s been good to us. He’s one of my favorite sires. And you can’t beat the page. The dam is a Breeders’ Cup winner and he just kind of ticks all of the boxes, as we always say. Now we just need a little luck.”

Take Charge Brandi produced a colt by Tapit in 2018 and was bred back to that stallion this spring.

Casse made a quick return to bidding, going to $650,000 to purchase a colt by Medaglia d’Oro, also on behalf of Oxley, the very next hip through the ring. Out of Tamboz (Tapit), a full-sister to Tapizar, the yearling (hip 487) is a half-brother to multiple graded placed Battalion Runner (Unbridled’s Song) and Oceanwave (Harlan’s Holiday).

“The Medaglia, you can’t beat him,” Casse said. “He’s been good to us as well.”

The yearling was bred by Dell Ridge Farm and was consigned by St. George Sales. @JessMartiniTDN

Godolphin Continues KEESEP Buying Spree…

With Sheikh Mohammed on the grounds, Godolphin continued their Keeneland September buying spree during Tuesday’s session, snapping up back-to-back pricey yearlings in Hip 456, a $1.3 million Curlin colt, and Hip 457, a $975,000 son of Quality Road.

Bred by Doug and Felicia Branham, Hip 456 is the first foal out of stakes winner Stoweshoe (Flatter), a full-sister to Grade I-winning millionaire Taris and half-sister to SW & MGSP Theatre Star (War Front).

“He is very athletic and a very good mover,” said Godolphin’s Anthony Stroud. “The stallion is very good and [the colt] just had a very good way of going.”

As for the price, Stroud said, “He is a nice horse and you have to pay a lot of money for a nice horse. It was more than we anticipated, but you have to stretch when you see one that you really like.”

Hip 456 was consigned to the sale by Reiley McDonald’s Eaton Sales.

“He’s a beautiful colt,” McDonald said. “Anything that goes into seven figures has got to be a top physical. He was very clean, great mind, huge shoulder and depth of girth, great length of back and big hip. He is really a nice horse.”

He continued, “We figured he would get into seven figures. We just didn’t know where. I thought it was a fair trade all around. He was liked by most of the really experienced buyers here, so it was really good price.”

The ink wasn’t even dry on the ticket for Hip 456 before the Godolphin team was at it again and Stroud was signing another ticket on Hip 457. The colt’s sire Quality Road has been red hot the past two seasons with champions Abel Tasman and Caledonia Road, as well as Grade I winners Salty, City of Light and Spring Quality.

Consigned by Stone Farm on behalf of Virginia Kraft Payson’s Payson Stud, the bay is out of the unraced A.P. Indy mare Strawberry Sense, who is also responsible for GSW & GISP Prime Attraction (Unbridled’s Song); SW & GISP Kathy’s Song (Candy Ride {Arg}); and SP Distillery (Dixie Union). A daughter of GSW Strawberry Reason (Strawberry Road {Aus}), Strawberry Sense is a full-sister to GSW Scipion; and a half-sister to champion Vindication (Seattle Slew) and SW & GSP In Step (Unbridled’s Song). Cont. p20

http://www.winstarfarm.com/horses/super-saver-2020.htmlKeeneland September cont.

“He is by Quality Road and from a great farm, Stone Farm owned by Mr. Hancock,” Stroud said. “We are very pleased to get him.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Shadwell Strikes for Pair of War Fronts…

Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company team, bidding from its usual private spot, struck twice early in Tuesday’s September session for a filly and colt, respectively, by War Front.

Their first pick-up of the day was hip 267, a filly consigned by her breeder Claiborne Farm, who cost $950,000. The Jan. 31 foal is a full-sister to Whitecliffsofdover, who Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier purchased for $1.15 million here in 2015 and who went on to become a British stakes winner and Group 1-placed as a juvenile in France. She is also a half to stakes winner/Grade I-placed Endless Chatter (First Samurai), and her second dam is none other than MGISW Preach (Mr. Prospector), making her dam a full to late top sire Pulpit.

Shadwell wasted little time picking up another yearling by the international sensation in the form of hip 291, a bay colt consigned by Gerry Dilger’s Dromoland Farm Inc., Agent XXVII on behalf his breeders, Vinnie Viola’s St. Elias Stables and Joe Allen.

The Feb. 18 foal is out of British stakes-placed Pin Up (Ire) (Lookin At Lucky). Second dam All My Loving (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) is one of a number of European champions on the page, which also includes her full-siblings and Group 1 winners Yesterday (Ire) and Quarter Moon (Ire).

A War Front–Quarter Moon colt (hip 321) brought $420,000 during the session as well.

Dilger admitted he didn’t quite expect hip 291 to bring as much as he did: “Not really; he was a very good individual. A very nice horse with a great page, but you’re always surprised when you come up here, so I’m absolutely delighted with the colt and the price for him, and also for the breeder for giving me the opportunity to sell for them.”

Of the colt’s best attributes, Dilger said, “His balance and his movement. All week long he came out and did everything right. And people were telling me that they just really liked this individual. And after that, the horse sold himself.”

Shadwell, perennially among the leading buyers at September, has purchased 12 youngsters so far for a combined $7,150,000. @BDiDonatoTDN

Justify Sibling an RNA…

The hype was high on hip 443, a half-brother to undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify, but when bidding stalled at $1.75 million, the striking colt was led out unsold and returned to Glennwood Farm’s barn 47.

“Usually you wouldn’t be smiling after a high-priced RNA, but we’re ok with it,” admitted Glennwood’s Tanya Gunther. “We’re happy to keep him. He’s a really nice colt.”

Gunther continued, “If somebody wanted to come in as a partner, that was something we wanted to do all along, that was our preferred route. We thought we’d come here for a public valuation and see if that was possible to do. If somebody wanted to come in for half, we’d be happy to entertain that. But we’re happy to go solo as well. We’ve had a lot of luck with our RNAs in the past.”

As for the yearling’s dam Stage Magic (Ghostzapper), who also produced graded stakes winner The Lieutenant (Street Sense), Gunther said, “She has a Pioneerof the Nile colt at foot, she’s in foal to Quality Road and she’ll go to Curlin next year. We are excited about all of those.” @JessMartiniTDN

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