Late Fireworks at Keeneland Tuesday


Mrs McDougal | Keeneland Photo

By Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, Ky – A pair of million-dollar transactions punctuated the second session of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale, with Mrs McDougal (Medaglia d’Oro) (hip 781A), the very last horse through the ring Tuesday evening, creating the day’s biggest fireworks when selling for $1.6 million to bloodstock agent Steve Young. Earlier in the session, M.V. Magnier of Coolmore purchased a short yearling by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah for $1 million.

During the two-day Book 1 section of the January sale, Keeneland sold 415 horses for $28,302,000. The average rose by 21.39% to $68,198 and the median increased 23.33% to $37,000. With 199 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 32.41%.

Last year’s Book 1 saw 384 horses sell for $21,573,600 for an average of $56,181 and a median of $30,000. Seventeen horses sold for $200,000 or more during the book, with Siren Serenade (Unbridled’s Song) bringing top price of $1,025,000.

Twenty eight horses have sold for $200,000 or more during the 2018 auction.

“It was a very strong session, which I think shows the continuation of what started in September,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “There is great enthusiasm in the market. There is great desire to own horses at the moment be they broodmare prospects like Mrs McDougal–so we thank Mrs. [Ty] Sheumann and Eaton Sales for her–and of course the American Pharoah foal who speaks for himself and we thank Mr. Imbert for entrusting us with him to sell today. Selling two million-dollar horses in January shows the strength of the market at the moment.”

Reiley McDonald’s Eaton Sales, which consigned Mrs McDougal, was Tuesday’s leading consignor by average.

“The weanlings are selling through the roof,” McDonald said. “The mare market may be a bit spotty, but the quality is so divergent here that you don’t know if you are going to sell a $200,000 horse or a $2,000 horse. It is hard to tell if it is the market so much, or just the quality.”

Consigned by Paramount Sales, the seven-figure yearling (hip 533) was American Pharoah’s second million-dollar sale and was the third-highest price for a yearling in January sale history.

“American Pharoah is special,” Russell said. “He’s had a buzz about him from the minute he started racing as a 2-year-old to when he capped off his Grand Slam in the Breeders’ Cup here at Keeneland. And this first crop of weanlings, now short yearlings, demonstrated what the market feels about them. Of course, they are out of the greatest book of mares that a stallion has ever seen. So that doesn’t hurt. But obviously, they have the physicals to match and they have sold very, very well.”

The Keeneland January Sale continues through Thursday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Keeneland Saves Best for Last

Mrs McDougal (Medaglia d’Oro) (hip 781A) gave the Keeneland January sale its second seven-figure transaction of the day when bringing a final bid of $1.6 million from bloodstock agent Steve Young, bidding on behalf of an undisclosed client. The 6-year-old broodmare prospect, consigned by Reiley McDonald’s Eaton Sales on behalf of Ty Scheumann, was the final lot through the ring during Tuesday’s second session of the four-day sale.

“She is a terrific filly who, earlier in her career, was arguably the best 3-year-old filly in America on the grass when she won at Saratoga.”

Mrs McDougal won the 2015 GII Lake George S., as well as the 2016 GIII Noble Damsel S. and was third in the 2016 GI Just a Game S.

Tuesday’s transaction was the second time Young had been involved in the sale of the mare, who is out of stakes winner and multiple graded stakes-placed Distorted Passion (Distorted Humor). She was purchased privately by Sheumann a year ago and made four starts this past summer and fall in California with trainer Richard Mandella.

“Reiley McDonald asked me about buying a filly for these people, so I bought her privately for them a year ago,” Young explained. “She trained tremendously on the dirt for Mandella after he got her and I think she has unlimited potential as a broodmare. She looks great, she’s by Medaglia, she crosses with a lot of good horses. I think she’s got a heck of a chance.”

Of Mrs McDougal’s final price tag, Young added, “It’s January, but she’s a terrific mare in any sale. She is owned by people, from what I understand, who didn’t decide to sell her until later and that’s how she ended up here. She could have been in the [Fasig-Tipton] Night of the Stars or Keeneland November just as easily. She wasn’t cheap. She was where she probably needed to be.”

Bred by Aaron and Marie Jones, Mrs McDougal was a $450,000 Keeneland September Yearling purchase in 2013. On the board in eight of 15 starts, she retires with five wins and earnings of $496,736.

The seven-figure mare was Young’s second session topper in as many days at the January sale. He signed the ticket at $485,000 for racing prospect Bellavais (Tapit) on behalf of another client to top Monday’s session of the auction. @JessMartiniTDN

Cool Million for American Pharoah Colt

American Pharoah was represented by the second seven-figure transaction of his young stud career when Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier went to $1 million to secure a short yearling from the Paramount Sales consignment during Tuesday’s second session of the Keeneland January sale.

The striking gray colt (hip 533), out of Mekko Hokte (Holy Bull), is a half-brother to Caravaggio (Scat Daddy), who carried the Coolmore colors to victory in the 2016 G1 Keeneland Phoenix S. and 2017 G1 Commonwealth Cup.

“American Pharoah doesn’t need any explaining and Aidan O’Brien always believed Caravaggio to be the best sprinter he ever trained, so when our team considered this colt the best individual in the sale, it was an easy decision for us to make,” Magnier, who is attending the Magic Millions sale in Australia, said in a statement. “We’re incredibly lucky to have two great partners in Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith who are fully committed to finding the next Caravaggio. We’ll leave it until later in the year before we discuss where this colt will be trained.”

Paramount Sales also sold Caravaggio’s full-sister for $550,000 to Flaxman Stables at last year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

“He is a beauiful colt–there is not a better pedigree in the book,” Paramount’s Gabriel Duignan said of the million-dollar yearling. “We all know who Caravaggio is and we all know who [the yearling’s] dad is. There was good spirited bidding for him.”

Bloodstock agent David Ingordo was underbidder on the colt and offered his congratulations to Duignan in the back walking ring.

“That was the best colt I saw come through,” Ingordo said.

Paramount was selling the yearling on behalf of his breeders, Rick Imbert’s Windmill Manor Farms and Petaluma Bloodstock.

“I bred the horse with my in-laws and we are very happy,” said Imbert’s son-in-law Charlie O’Connor. “The poor mare died a few months ago, so this is a bit of a happy ending for her. We are thrilled with the price, but even more so about where he is going, to Ballydoyle hopefully. We hope he will be very lucky for them.”

American Pharoah, who retired to Coolmore in 2016, has been an instant success in the sales ring. Eleven of his first-crop weanlings sold in 2017 for an average of $441,363, including a $1-million filly who was purchased by Narvick International at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale. A colt by the Triple Crown winner topped Monday’s first session of the January sale when bringing a final bid of $400,000 from Alex and JoAnn Lieblong.

The young stallion’s success last fall prompted the decision to offer Tuesday’s seven-figure yearling in the auction.

“We put him in [January] because of how well [the American Pharoah foals] sold in November,” O’Connor confirmed.

Duignan thinks American Pharoah has passed on his famous laid back personality to his offspring.

“I have seen a lot of them and they are a stellar bunch,” Duignan said. “They are very athletic, big strong horses, a lot like their dad. And they have great temperaments–that’s probably the most outstanding thing about them. That colt walked up there and never turned a hair. They all seem to be that way and are very athletic.” @JessMartiniTDN

Lynch Wins Out on Banree

Andre Lynch, acting as agent for Doug Branham’s Hurricane Hills Farm, came out on top of a spirited round of bidding to secure the 5-year-old Banree (Macho Uno) for $450,000 Tuesday.

“We will take her back to the farm and breed her,” Lynch said. “She might be one for American Pharoah. We were hoping to get her a lot cheaper, but she was one of the nicer mares here so we knew we would have to spend.”

He continued, “Physically, she was one of the best mares here. She has a great hind end, great walk, great disposition.”

Raced by Mark Dodson and trainer Wesley Ward, Banree retired last year with a record of 13-2-2-1 and earnings of $164,610. The $80,000 KEESEP yearling finished second in the 2015 GIII Schuylerville S. and was third in that term’s GIII Tempted S.

Out of the Distorted Humor mare Grand Glory, Banree is a half-sister to GSW Gloryzapper (Ghostzapper) and her second dam is MSW and GISP Royally Chosen (In Excess {Ire}). (Click here for ThoroStride video).

“I think we were so fortunate to have, what I thought, were the two prettiest, best conformed mares in the sale,” said Reiley McDonald, whose Eaton Sales consigned Banree as hip 730 as well as the sale and session-topping Mrs McDougal. “Banree was one of them and Mrs McDougal was the other. She is 16.2 plus [hands], a big strapping mare, who had a lot of speed on the track. She will be a really good commercial mare because she will throw great foals.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Spring Eclipse Headed to ‘Pharoah’

Tim Hyde Sr. stretched to $425,000 to take home the Unbridled’s Song mare Spring Eclipse Tuesday with the intention of mating her to Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, who was represented by a $1-million colt earlier in the session.

“I bought her to breed to American Pharoah,” said Hyde, who signed the ticked as Green Leaf Farm. “She’s lovely and by Unbridled’s Song. I liked the mare and I liked the page. I’m glad to have her.”

Winner of one of her 12 starts, the stakes-placed mare retired in the fall of 2012 with earnings of $48,062 and RNA’d $135,000 a few months later at the 2013 Keeneland January sale. Spring Eclipse has produced three foals to date, including the stakes-winning 3-year-old filly Bet She Wins (First Samurai). The 9-year-old mare’s most recent produce is a 2017 filly by Verrazano and she is currently in foal to Gemologist.

Consigned to the sale be Shawhan Place LLC, hip 634 is out of the SP Coragil (Metfield), who also produced GSWs Softly (Binalong) and Coragil Cat (Forest Wildcat). @CDeBernardisTDN

Baccari Strikes for War Front Colt

A colt by War Front proved quite popular late in Tuesday’s session and Chris Baccarri fended off his competitors to take the bay home for $390,000. He plans to re-offer the yearling at Keeneland this September.

“He has a very quick look about him,” Baccari said. “He looks like more of an American War Front to me. I like the pedigree. He looks like a very straightforward horse. I have been trying to buy War Fronts for a while and I was finally able to get this one. War Fronts are hard to buy, so I was lucky that I was able to get him.”

Bred by Frank Hutchinson, Hip 763 is the second foal out of Circle the Empire (Empire Maker), who sold for $350,000 at the recent Keeneland November sale carrying a foal by Declaration of War. Circle the Empire is a half-sister to the MSP dam of European highweight and MG1SW Air Force Blue (War Front). This is also the family of SW Surfside Tara (Scat Daddy) and MSW and GSP Miss Double d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro).

Hip 763 was consigned by Eaton Sales, who was also responsible for $1.6-million session topper Mrs McDougal (Medaglia d’Oro) and the $450,000 mare Banree (Macho Uno). @CDeBernardisTDN

Mineshaft Filly to Pinhooking Partnership

A filly by Mineshaft is destined for resale after selling for $300,000 to a pinhooking partnership Tuesday at Keeneland. Gabriel Duignan signed the ticket on the dark bay yearling (hip 647in the name of Popp Bloodstock. The filly is out of multiple graded stakes winner Summer Applause (Harlan’s Holiday).

“It’s a beautiful pedigree,” Duignan said. “Her half-sister looks quite good. She is a beautiful individual. We paid retail price, but she’s a very nice filly.”

Confirming the filly was purchased as a pinhook prospect, Duignan laughed, “I hope you’re interviewing me when we sell her.”

Lane’s End consigned the yearling on behalf of breeder Stonereath Stud, which purchased Summer Applause for $1.3 million at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

“She’s an absolutely gorgeous filly and has been straightforward since the day she was born,” said Stonereath’s Peter Berglar. “Our expectations weren’t quite that high, but we’re delighted she made that. We wish the owners the best. We still have the half-sister, the 3-year-old and we still have the mare as well.”

The yearling is Summer Applause’s third foal. Her first foal is 3-year-old Ipanema Beach (Candy Ride {Arg}), who was runner-up on debut at Keeneland in October before a fifth-place effort in the Nov. 25 GII Golden Rod S. at Churchill Downs. The mare also has an unraced 2-year-old filly by Tiznow. She was bred to Uncle Mo last year, but aborted the foal. @JessMartiniTDN


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