Keeneland Marches Into Book 4

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Intangaroo in the ring | Keeneland

By Jessica Martini

LEXINGTON, Ky.–The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale continued into its second week with the first of two Book 4 sessions Monday and fierce competition for the top offerings resumed. A pair of mares attracted matching $200,000 final bids to top the session, with Winchester Farm’s Marie Yoshida-Debeusscher paying that amount to acquire multiple Grade I winner Intangaroo (Orientate) on behalf of Aaron Sones, and David Anderson making that bid for Godolphin’s Mrs. Hudson (Street Cry {Ire}).

During Monday’s session, 292 horses sold for $9,311,900. The average was $31,890 and the median was $22,000. With 58 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was a sparkling 16.57%.

Last year’s Book 4 section of the November sale was dominated by the Conquest Stables dispersal, which accounted for seven of the 11 horses to sell for $200,000 or over during the seventh session, making year-to-year comparisons inexact. Last year’s seventh session also featured the $1.075-million sale of Uptown Twirl (Twirling Candy), the half-sister to champion Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile).

Buyers at Monday’s session of the 12-day auction continued to comment on the intense competition for the prized lots.

“I’m not sure who I was bidding against, but he didn’t let up,” Anderson laughed after securing the session’s co-topper. “But that’s what the good ones cost.”

Davant Latham, bidding on behalf of a pinhooking partnership, purchased the day’s highest-priced weanling, going to $170,000 for a son of first-crop sire Summer Front. The weanling was one of seven to bring six figures.

“It is very difficult to buy,” Latham said after signing the ticket for hip 2356. “I find you’re having to pay yearling prices. This is only the second weanling I’ve bought at the whole sale and I’ve been in the ring probably 10 or 11 times. This was a lot to pay for this horse, but it’s kind of the market we’re in. I have been outbid by several end-users, which is interesting to find them here. In particular, there are a lot of end-users here who breed plenty of their own horses who are surprisingly reaching down into weanlings to buy horses.”

Godolphin was the leading consignor during Monday’s session, selling 22 head for $1,365,000 and an average of $62,045.

The Keeneland November sale continues Tuesday at 10 a.m. with a session that includes a section of racing-age horses. Among the offerings are graded stakes winners Wildcat Red (D’Wildcat), Airoforce (Colonel John), Ocean Knight (Curlin), One Go All Go (Fairbanks), Royal Artillery (War Front), Code Warrior (Society’s Chairman), March (Blame), Stanford (Malibu Moon), and the supplemental entry Long on Value (Value Plus), as well as graded stakes placed Tombelaine (First Defence), Grateful (Hard Spun) and Next Shares (Archarcharch).

Intangaroo to Sones

Multiple Grade I winner Intangaroo (Orientate–Tasso’s Magic Roo, by Tasso) was purchased by Winchester Farm’s Marie Yoshida-Debeusscher on behalf of Aaron Sones for $200,000 during Monday’s seventh session of the Keeneland November sale. The 13-year-old mare, consigned by Adena Springs, sold in foal to Silent Name (Jpn) and with a 2018 no-season guarantee season to Ghostzapper.

“We want to thank Frank Stronach, who breeds wonderful progeny and top race mares,” Yoshida-Debeusscher said after signing the ticket on the dark bay mare (hip 2230). “We think the Adena Springs program is a terrific program and they give us a no-guarantee Ghostzapper, which we appreciate. So we think it’s a very good deal.”

Adena Springs purchased Intangaroo, winner of the 2008 GI Humana Distaff S., GI Santa Monica S. and GI Ballerina S., for $1.8 million at the 2008 Fasig-Tipton November sale. She RNA’d for $375,000 while in foal to Discreet Cat at the 2013 Keeneland November sale. She produced a filly by Animal Kingdom in 2016 and a filly by Silver Max this year.

“We love this mare very much,” Yoshida-Debeusscher. “In fact, we waited through all the books to buy her.”

Of Sones, Yoshida-Debeusscher said, “He is based in California, but breeds in Kentucky and he has big plans for the mare. We have many mares, so we may use the Ghostzapper [season] for another mare. He has bred to Ghostzapper many times with good success, but this mare may go to Pioneerof the Nile.”

Yoshida-Debeusscher admitted Intangaroo was a pricey purchase.

“She was expensive, but we had no choice,” she said. “Sometimes you have to accept the market. This one was our favorite. So we are very pleased to get her.”

Godolphin Mares Make Sense for Anderson

“I’ve been waiting around here for two days for her–I need to get home now,” Canadian breeder David Anderson laughed after signing the ticket at $200,000 to acquire Mrs. Hudson (Street Cry {Ire}–Sara Louise, by Malibu Moon) (hip 2301) from the Godolphin consignment.

The 5-year-old Mrs. Hudson, in foal to Midshipman, is a daughter of multiple graded stakes winner Sara Louise. Bred by Darley, she won three of 12 starts for trainer Eoin Harty and earned $134,492. The mare is carrying her first foal.

“She is by Street Cry–they are not making any more of those and the filly could run,” Anderson said of the mare. “She is out of a tremendous racemare. I just loved her. She is very athletic.”

On his plans for the mare, Anderson said, “She is going to Canada, so I hope she brought her long johns. We’ll just figure out a proper mating for her and hope to develop her into a nice mare some day. I wanted the mare first, we’ll worry about the stallion next.”

While he was waiting for Mrs. Hudson to go through the sales ring Monday, Anderson purchased another mare from the Godolphin consignment, going to $130,000 for the 6-year-old Heartofthematter (Medaglia d’Oro–Catboat, by Tale of the Cat) (hip 2203), a half-sister to multiple Grade I winner It’s Tricky (Mineshaft).

“There are some tremendous pedigrees there and if you can get a physical along with it, it’s great,” Anderson said of the Godolphin draft. “There are selling with a minimal reserve, so everybody has an opportunity to get into some great families.”

Through seven sessions of the November sale, Godolphin has sold 51 mares for a total of $3,912,000 and an average of $76,706. Midnight Watch (Stormy Atlantic) (hip 285) is the draft’s leading seller after bringing a final bid of $230,000 from Lakland Farm.

Abbondanza Racing Gets Fuerza

The Abbondanza Racing partnership added Fuerza (War Front–Amusing, by Distorted Humor) to its expanding roster Monday when bloodstock agent David Meah signed the ticket at $180,000 on the 4-year-old filly (hip 2178) from the Claiborne Farm consignment. Bred and raced by Ramona Bass, the bay broke her maiden at Suffolk Downs in September before adding a Meadowlands allowance Oct. 28 for trainer Michael Matz. On the board in six of eight starts, she has earned $74,820 to date.

“We’re excited to have her,” Meah said. “This is one filly that we’ve been following for a bit of time now. Physically, she’s awesome and clearly in her races, she is getting better. We are excited to take her to California to [trainer] Richard Baltas.”

Abbandonza Racing, in partnership with Medallion Racing, had success at the track this year with GII Santa Ana S. winner Goodyearforroses (Ire) (Azamour {Ire}), who was purchased for $200,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale. The 5-year-old mare RNA’d for $375,000 last week at this sale.

“They are growing and giving us a little more spending money,” Meah said of Abbandonza Racing. “I think we are going to find some really nice horses–starting with this one here. The plan is to get in, race for a year, try to get some black-type, maybe win a few little stakes, and if we get really lucky, maybe win a graded stakes. Then come back here and let them find a home being a momma with someone who wants to breed them. And Fuerza has the pedigree to back it up. She has all of the credentials.”

Meah admitted the team is being patient as it searches out fillies who meet the partnership’s program.

“We came here with the intention of buying eight to 10 and we are at four right now,” he said. “Tomorrow starts more with colts and geldings, with not too many fillies. It has been hard, but if you just be patient, there are still plenty more horses. If you don’t find them here, there are lots of other places to find them. So we’re not scrambling.”

On behalf of Abbandonza Racing, Meah has also signed for Americana (Tapit) (hip 393) for $130,000 and Midnight Crossing (Ire) (Dark Angel {Ire}) (hip 1038) for $240,000 at the Keeneland November sale.

Latham Goes to the Front

Bloodstock agent Davant Latham was forced to $170,000 to acquire a colt from the first-crop of multiple graded stakes winner Summer Front (War Front). Bred by Gunpowder Farms and consigned by St. George Sales, the weanling (hip 2356) is out of Samurai’s Honor (First Samurai), a daughter of multiple graded stakes winner Trip (Lord at War {Arg}).

“The horse had a beautiful walk and he was well-prepared,” Latham, who was bidding on behalf of a pinhooking partnership, said. “He’s a nice horse who I think will grow and finish well.”

Summer Front stands at Airdrie Stud for $10,000. The stallion has had six weanlings sell at Keeneland November for a total of $737,000 and an average of $122,833.

“He is an exciting first-year stallion by War Front–the sky is the limit,” Latham said of Summer Front.

Tapiture Colts Popular Monday

A pair of colts by first-crop sire Tapiture sat atop the weanlings list for much of Monday’s session of the Keeneland November sale after being purchased by pinhooking groups.

Consigned by Darby Dan Farm, hip 2271 attracted a final bid of $150,000 from the pinhooking partnership B.K. Bloodstock, headed by Ocala horseman Jimmy Gladwell.

“We thought he was a great physical,” Gladwell said after signing the ticket on the bay colt. “We are looking for some good colts to resell next year. He has a lot of growing to do and a lot of improvement, but he has a great walk and great balance. We like everything about him. I thought he was one of the raciest looking [Tapitures] we saw. So we had earmarked him as our pick for the day.”

Bred by Robert Clements in Kentucky, the weanling is out of Maggie R (Officer), a half-sister to graded placed Monument Hill (Royal Academy).

Earlier in Monday’s session, Brian Graves paid $130,000 for hip 2155, another colt by the Darby Dan stallion who won the GII West Virginia Derby and GII Kentucky Jockey Club S. Out of Double Harbor (Rockport Harbor), the weanling was consigned by Bluewater Sales and was bred by Deann and Greg Baer in Indiana. The weanling’s half-brother Sky Writer (Sky Mesa) was recently third in the Indiana Futurity.

“I’m not sure it was about who the horse was by, but more the horse himself,” Graves said of the weanling’s appeal. “He’s a free-moving colt, really athletic and with a little stakes update.”

Tapiture, who stands for $7,500, has had seven weanlings sell at Keeneland November for a total of $910,000 and an average of $130,000. His trio of six-figure sales Monday was completed by hip 2332, a colt who sold for $100,000 to Winchell Thoroughbreds, which bred and raced the stallion.

South American Buyers Busy at Keeneland

As the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale entered its second week Monday, bloodstock agent Carlos Moore only found the action picking up as he continued shopping for a host of South American clients.

“I’ve been buying horses since 1990 here at the sales,” Moore said. “I was looking at the past [sales] results, and I’ve bought close to 1,000 horses over the years and most of them have gone to South America.”

Through seven sessions of this year’s November sale, Moore has signed the ticket on four mares, led by Hint of Joy (Empire Maker) (hip 1804) at $77,000, and one weanling, a son of Mizzen Mast (hip 1736) acquired for $30,000.

“90% of what I buy is broodmares or broodmare prospects,” Moore said. “The weanling market and the yearling market is very limited, just because they have six months against them–they are penalized the same as Southern Hemisphere horses coming into the Northern Hemisphere. Because of that, you can’t really race them until they are 3-year-olds. It’s a big financial investment between the quarantine, the shipping, the buying of the horse and then down there, you have to break it, train it and wait.”

The one weanling in Moore’s Keeneland shopping cart was purchased on behalf of Chilean horseman Jaime Allende-Marin, who has enjoyed remarkable success importing American weanlings into Chile.

“[Allende-Marin] is willing to buy weanlings and he’s been very, very lucky,” Moore said. “He has had four or five champions from 15 to 20 weanlings that we bought over the years here. So he comes back every year just because his score rate is so good.”

Allende-Marin campaigned Chilean Group 1 winner Linda Linda (Chi) (Bluegrass Cat) to be stakes placed in the U.S. last summer. The chestnut is out of Hitched to a Star (Crafty Prospector), a mare Moore purchased for $32,000 at the 2008 Keeneland January sale.

Another of Moore’s broodmare purchases at Keeneland is This Is Crazy (Aus) (Nureyev), whom he acquired for $45,000 at the 2011 Keeneland January sale. That mare is responsible for a current Grade I runner in the United States, Dom Felipe’s Dona Bruja (Arg) (Storm Embrujado {Arg}).

“I have a gentleman here from Brazil who breeds in Argentina and the first mare I bought for him was a Nureyev mare who was conceived in the United States, born in Australia and then brought back to States and he bought her as a 10-year-old mare,” Moore said. “Her second foal in Argentina, bred to a local stallion, turned out two years ago to be the champion older mare. She is here in the United States, she’s won two Grade IIIs and she was second in the Beverly D. and she is running next Saturday.”

He laughed, “If you analyze the frequent fliers of that family, it would beat a world record.”

Asked what he looked for in potential South American imports, Moore said, “I am looking for pedigrees closely related to international bloodlines because they won’t recognize down there, and they don’t recognize in any part of the world, when you go off the graded and listed stakes in the pedigree and you go into the restricted stakes. That is something they don’t understand and they don’t recognize. So we have to look for graded stakes. They like to see California or New York graded stakes horses or something that has done well in Europe. They are looking for that close by.”

He continued, “Like everything else, you just need new bloodlines. When you close yourself into your own bloodlines, you just need outcrosses and American mares and European mares have always been good sources of outcrosses. The breeders are always looking to improve on the breeding stock. And there is nothing better than bringing in new bloodlines. And a lot of them have done well, some haven’t done well. It’s just a question of being able to buy a nice horse here and hopefully it will translate down there.”

Moore made his first purchase of the 2017 November sale during the 12-day auction’s fifth session.

“We have always been able to find the type of horses we are looking for, it’s just a question of being patient,” he said. “We don’t usually buy in the first couple of books. We start in Book 3 and from then on, we just try to pick our way through it. And sometimes we have to forgive a little bit the conformation, but we are trying to get the bloodlines.”

A Fateful Dart Throw

Mark Alexander, farm manager for Baccari Bloodstock, and his brother Jody Alexander, farm manager for Sumaya Farm, had reason to be thrilled when their Run Away and Hide filly (Hip 2342) sold for $72,000 Monday to agent Jeffrey Bloom. The long-time horsemen won a season to Run Away and Hide during Darby Dan’s annual Christmas party dart throw and opted to breed their productive 21-year-old mare Puype’s Dream (Kris S.) to the stallion.

“Darby Dan has a dart throw every year at their Christmas party where you can win seasons,” Mark Alexander explained. “My brother threw a dart and got Run Away and Hide. It was a very nice match, we thought. It worked out really well. It’s a great story we can tell our kids.”

The Alexanders acquired Puype’s Dream through one of Mark’s previous roles as a farm manager at Damara Farm in Kentucky. When the farm dispersed, the brothers purchased the mare for $20,000 at the 2006 Keeneland January Sale. Puype’s Dream’s 2007 foal, Codoy (Bernstein), sold for $105,000 as a Keeneland September yearling and went on to place in both the GIII Bourbon S. and John Battaglia Memorial S.

Alexander said he had high expectations for the Run Away and Hide filly, who became her sire’s most expensive weanling ever Monday.

“We really liked the filly,” Alexander said. “She was a very forward filly. We thought we’d strike while the iron is hot. We don’t usually sell weanlings, but we thought this would be a good time to try it.”

Alexander said his family has long-time involvement in the industry, including his grandfather, who was a farm manager at Greentree Farm–present day Gainesway Farm–and his father, who worked for Peggy Augustus’s Keswick Stables in Virginia.@BMassamTDN

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