‘Pharoah’ Tops Strong Third Session of KEESEP

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Wednesday’s KEESEP topper by American Pharoah | Keeneland

By Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato, and Christie DeBernardis

Bidding started off strongly from the get-go of Wednesday’s third session of Book 1 of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale and it remained strong throughout, with seven yearlings summoning $1 million or better. Triple Crown winner American Pharoah topped the day’s trade for the second time this week when a colt from his first crop (Hip 729) brought a final bid of $1.4 million from OXO Equine’s Larry Best.

American Pharoah, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud, is leading sire of the sale so far with 33 yearlings sold for a total of $15.07 million and an average of $456,667.

“American Pharoah is our new success story,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “What a wonderful racehorse he was and these horses are a prototype of him. The ones I saw personally and our team saw are athletic individuals with wonderful walks and the market has reacted very favorably to him.”

A total of 151 youngsters changed hands during Wednesday’s session for a gross of $52,883,000. The average was $350,219 and the median was $270,000. Fifty-five of the 206 yearlings offered failed to sell for an RNA rate of 26.7%.

“I think this year’s crop might be a little bit better than last year’s crop,” Russell said. “Buyers are looking for the top physical individuals and these buyers are willing to stretch for them. We are very fortunate that the top consignors in the world bring their horses to us. I think this year, the horses have just made people stretch further.”

Through the first three sessions of the auction, a total of 457 horses have sold for $167.338 million with an average of $366,166 and a median of $280,000. There have been a total of 173 buy-backs thus far for an RNA rate of 27.46%.

Twenty horses have sold for seven figures so far to 11 individual buyers, with one more Book 1 session on tap. Hip 458, a War Front colt out of the Grade I-winning Smart Strike mare Streaming, continues to lead the way at $2.4 million.

“We have now sold 20 $1-million horses, which is the most we have sold at a September Sale since 2007,” said Russell. “With another session left in Book 1 tomorrow, we look forward to hopefully seeing some more.”

He added, “The great thing about it, I think, is the diversity of the buyers both in the $1-million horses and geographically. There was a lot of domestic money at the top.”

The China Horse Club’s Mick Flanagan, who signed the ticket on a $1.1-million War Front colt (Hip 509) purchased in partnership with WinStar, echoed the sentiments of many buyers and sellers on the strength in the market.

It’s very good,” Flanagan said. “It’s unbelievable. You walk through the barns and you see all the owners who are winning the big races on the East Coast, West Coast, Florida. They are all here to buy and it doesn’t look like they are stopping.”

Hanzly Albina of Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services, which sold an $800,000 Medaglia d’Oro filly (Hip 627), also found the market to be strong and thought the RNA rate was justified in this book given the caliber of horses and breeders.

“I think the market is very good,” Albina said. “I mean, look at all the $1-million horses. I don’t know how the middle market is going to play out. We aren’t at that point yet. At this point in the sale, you have a lot of buy backs because people who can afford to breed high-end horses can afford to race high-end horses. I think it can be misinterpreted as some sort of negative, but it is not always. People want to race their nice horses and they want to test the market and that’s okay.”

The sale continues Thursday with the final session of Book 1 beginning at 1 p.m.

Another American Pharoah for Best

Larry Best struck near the end of bidding Wednesday at Keeneland to take home a son of American Pharoah (hip 729) for a session-topping $1.4 million. It was the second seven-figure purchase of the auction for Best’s OXO Equine, which purchased a colt by Curlin (hip 211) for $1.8 million Monday and he is the second seven-figure yearling by American Pharoah to join the stable. Best purchased a filly by the Triple Crown winner (hip 26) for $1.2 million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale.

The session topper is out of multiple graded stakes winner Bsharpsonata (Pulpit) and is a half-brother to graded stakes placed Vigilante (Tiznow) and Play it Loud (Unbridled’s Song). He was bred and consigned by Ed and Sharon Hudon’s Sierra Farm, which purchased Bsharpsonata with this foal in utero for $375,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale.

“Ed and Sharon are from California originally,” explained farm manager Michael Callanan, who added the result was especially emotional as Ed battles illness. “He founded Sierra Aluminum. They moved out to Kentucky and their dream was to own a horse farm. So in the last 10 years, we’ve been accumulating some nice mares and just doing our best.”

Of Bsharpsonata, Callanan said, “She is a beautiful pedigreed mare and we’ve been hoping to get some fillies out of her to improve our broodmare band. Ed and I were in the back walking ring and Sharon gives us a list everyday and this mare was on it. So we bid on her and we got her. She’s a beautiful mare.”

The mare’s American Pharoah colt impressed Callanan from the start.

“He’s always been a star,” he said. “A complete star from day one. He never turned a hair and he came out here and he showed like he owned the place the whole day. I think American Pharoah is going to be the next Frankel. He is a dominant force.”

Sierra Farm is home to a broodmare band of some 25 mares.

“We like to stand behind our horses,” Callanan said. “We raise them tough. I was just telling Larry, there was a gray American Pharoah colt and the two of them had been turned out together right up to the sale. They were kicking the living daylights out of each other. He is missing some hair in his mane because it got pulled out by the other guy. We try to raise racehorses because we end up racing quite a few of them.” @JessMartiniTDN

Shadwell Continues KEESEP Buying Spree

Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Co. has been quite busy at Keeneland September and the operation continued its buying spree through late in Wednesday’s session, scooping up a $1.2-million son of Medaglia d’Oro (Hip 730).

A stakes winner and MGSP in Europe, Bunairgead (Ire) (New Approach) was purchased by Deron Pearson’s DP Racing at the end of her sophomore season for $701,012 at the Goffs November Sale and transferred her to California-based conditioner Jim Cassidy. She made half a dozen starts in the U.S. before being retired to Pearson’s broodmare band and her first foal is an unraced juvenile colt by Distorted Humor. Bunairgead was sold to Hinkle Farms, carrying another Medaglia d’Oro colt, for $535,000 at last term’s Keeneland November Sale.
Hip 730’s second dam is SW & MGSP Montecito (Seeking the Gold) and his third dam is MGSW Storm and Sunshine (Star de Naskra).

“He was just a really nice horse,” said consignor Frank Taylor of Taylor Made. “He was well-balanced, had a great walk, great hip. He wasn’t overly big, but was just a very classy horse. There was nothing wrong with him. He was just a good horse.”

Overall Shadwell has purchased 19 horses through the first three sessions of KEESEP for $12.345 million, highlighted by a trio of $1.2-million yearlings. In addition to hip 730, Shadwell also paid $1.2 million for Hip 696, a War Front filly out of Betterbetterbetter (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), and Hip 291, a War Front colt out of Pin Up (Ire) (Lookin at Lucky).

It also been a strong sale for Medaglia d’Oro, who has had 24 yearlings sell for a gross of $12.495 million and an average of $520,625. Hip 730 was the second highest-priced yearling by the Darley sire during this sale with the highest being Hip 218, a $1.3- million colt purchased by Godolphin. –@CDeBernardisTDN

Shadwell Strikes for War Front Filly

Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Company made its second seven-figure purchase of the Keeneland September sale with the $1.2-million acquisition of a daughter of War Front out of group-placed Betterbetterbetter (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (hip 696). The yearling was consigned by Timber Town on behalf of breeder Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm, which purchased the mare for $5.2 million at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

“She’s done very well for us, so we’re very happy,” Pope said. “Obviously, she was a lovely filly. We are excited Shadwell got her. She got a good home and hopefully everything will go forward and she’ll start having stakes babies and that will make them worth even more money.”

The nine-year-old Betterbetterbetter is a half-sister to Group 1 winners Yesterday (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells) and Quarter Moon (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells). Shadwell purchased the mare’s first foal, also a filly by War Front, for $1.45 million at the 2015 Keeneland September sale. Her Tapit colt RNA’d for $475,000 at last year’s September sale. Betterbetterbetter produced a filly by Tapit this year and was bred back to War Front.

Pope watched the bidding from out back of the pavilion along with new farm manager Scott Kentz. Kentz has served as the General Manager at Woodford Thoroughbred’s racing and training center in Florida.

“He was in charge of the sale prepping, along with the barn crew, and got them ready and brought them up here,” Pope said of Kentz. “He’s done a great job with all of them.”

Asked if he saw any similarities among Betterbetterbetter’s offspring, Kentz said, “Leg and scope. That’s my biggest thing that I’ve seen from them. And good temperaments, too. Hopefully that translates into Grade I winners.”

Pope has been busy on both sides of the ledger this week at Keeneland.

“I think it’s been a very good market,” Pope said. “We’ve been very happy. We’ve sold five out of six so far. We have one more tomorrow and we were happy with all of the prices we got. We haven’t been buying at the top of the market this year. We’re trying to be more conservative. But we’ve been able to buy some that we’ve been really happy with the prices we’ve paid for them. So I think it’s been fair on both ends.” @JessMartiniTDN

CHC & WinStar Win the ‘War’

Bidding was quite vigorous right from the start of Wednesday’s session, but a regally bred colt by War Front proved to be the early standout. Hip 509 inspired a heated bidding war that was won by the powerhouse team of the China Horse Club and WinStar at a final bid of $1.1 million.

“We have been thinking about the horse for the last couple of days,” said China Horse Club’s Mick Flanagan, who signed the ticket on the colt at the back of pavilion. “He is by War Front, who is an exceptional stallion, and is out of a Street Cry mare from a fabulous family. He looks more like a dirt horse than a turf horse. We aren’t sure who will train him yet, but he will go back to WinStar and we will look to run him on the dirt going forward.”

War Front is typically known as a sire of top turf horses, but the China Horse Club and WinStar have had great success running horses by stallions of a similar profile on the dirt as seen in Triple Crown hero Justify, a son of Scat Daddy.

“He has size and scope, good length, very good action and uses his shoulder well,” Flanagan said. “He gave us that look that he will be a dirt horse instead of a typical War Front turf horse. He looks like he will get around two bends well.”

Consigned by Lane’s End on behalf of Don and Donna Adam’s Courtlandt Farm, Hip 509 has a pedigree that more than matches his good looks. He is out of Tiffany’s Honour (Street Cry {Ire}), who is a daughter of GSW & GISP blue hen Better Than Honour, which makes her a half-sister to a pair of GI Belmont S. winners in Jazil (Seeking the Gold) and champion filly Rags to Riches (A.P. Indy), as well as GSW & GISP Casino Drive (Mineshaft). This is also the family of Grade I winner Streaming (Smart Strike), whose War Front colt (Hip 458) topped Tuesday’s session when selling to Coolmore for $2.4 million.

“I think they got a beautiful colt,” said Don Adam. “As far as the pedigree page, there is probably nothing in the book compared to it. I just wish them all the success in the world with the colt. They seem to do extraordinarily well together and I hope that will continue.”

Adam added, “I think it was a reasonable price, but we will see what happens next year. We have a Tapit colt out of the mare that thus far is a beautiful colt. We will see how he develops and how we do with him next year.” –@CDeBernardisTDN

Godolphin Keeps ‘Bizzy’ at Keeneland

Godolphin continued its reign as leading buyer through Wednesday’s session, buying four more yearlings to bring their total up to 19 horses worth $15.84 million, topped by a $1.1-million Uncle Mo filly (Hip 703) out of MGSW Bizzy Caroline (Afleet Alex).

“She is a lovely filly with a very nice pedigree from a very good farm,” said Godolphin’s Anthony Stroud. “She is a very elegant, very light-framed filly. She is very athletic. When she finishes racing, she will be a good addition to Godolphin’s broodmare band.”

When asked if the filly would remain Stateside given that she is by Uncle Mo, Stroud said, “There is every possibility, but it is not a certainty. We will just have to wait and see. That decision will be made later, but you would certainly think so. We will wait for that decision from the boss.”

Coolmore’s Uncle Mo has proved quite popular in Lexington this week with 25 yearlings summoning $11.195 million with an average of $447,800. His highest-priced offering was Hip 383, a $1.4-million colt.

“He is an excellent stallion, who has done very well, so you have to take note,” Stroud remarked.

Hip 703 hails from a deep family cultivated by Catesby Clay and Brutus Clay’s Runnymede Farm. The operation purchased the filly’s third dam Kazadancoa (Fr) (Green Dancer) for $30,000 at the 1989 Keeneland January Sale. Her daughter Sacre Coeur (Saint Ballado) produced both Bizzy Caroline and the popular turf star Lady Eli (Divine Park), who won an Eclipse Award, five Grade Is and over $2.95 million.

“You have to be happy for a small farm like us to bring a filly of that caliber to the sales from our own family,” said Runnymede’s Vice President and General Manager Romain Malhouitre. “Kazadancoa is buried at the farm. Sacre Coeur is still with us and still producing. Bizzy Caroline has been great for the family and now to have a daughter of hers be able to accomplish this is pretty fantastic.”

The horseman continued, “Everyone has complimented this filly all week, the way she was acting and moving. She is a good mover. As a breeder, you always want those fillies to perform as good on the racetrack as they do on the sales grounds, so we hope she is fantastic. The best of luck to her new connections.” –@CDeBernardisTDN

Brant, Three Chimneys Team on Quality Road Colt

Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm and Three Chimneys Farm teamed up to purchase a colt by Quality Road for $1.1 million at Keeneland Wednesday. The youngster, out of What’smineismine (Mineshaft), was consigned by Indian Creek on behalf of Gayle Benson’s Benson Farm.

“We really like the horse,” trainer Chad Brown said after signing the ticket on hip 578. “Mike Ryan always scouts out our horses for us on our side. Goncalo [Torrealba] and the team at Three Chimneys loved the horse as well, so we decided to partner up on him. It is the third horse from this sale Goncalo and Peter Brant are going to have together, so we are really excited about the partnership. I already train for Three Chimneys and of course for Mr. Brant, so we are excited to add this horse to the stable.”

Of the yearling’s seven-figure price tag, Brown added, “We had him priced right around $1 million. That is what it costs to buy a quality dirt horse by a proven stallion, who has a chance to be a stallion himself. We are very high on Quality Road, so that is what you have to pay. These quality horses are bringing a premium and you have to be prepared to pay it if you want to go home with some of them.”

Brant has purchased nine yearlings at the September sale for a total of $5,245,000. In addition to his partnership with Three Chimneys, he teamed with Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier to acquire a colt by American Pharoah out of Up (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) (hip 554) for $750,000.

After watching Brown sign the ticket on the yearling, Indian Creek’s Shack Parrish said, “All the credit goes to [farm manager] David Shone and the people at the Benson Farm who prepped him and they had faith in us to sell him.”

Benson and her late husband Tom, who passed away in March, race as GMB Racing and, in just four years in the industry, have campaigned graded stakes winners Tom’s Ready (More Than Ready), Mo Tom (Uncle Mo) and multiple graded placed Lone Sailor (Majestic Warrior). Two years ago, they purchased the 600-acre Benson Farm, located in Paris, Kentucky.

The Bensons purchased What’smineismine for $100,000 with this foal in utero at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. Since then, the mare’s half-brother Spring Quality (Quality Road) won this year’s GI Woodford Reserve Manhattan.

“A couple of years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Benson bought the farm, Greenwood Lodge, and they didn’t have mares at the time, so we were going to try to buy some mares to build up the broodmare band,” explained Shone.

Of What’sminismine’s appeal, Shone said, “This mare had a really good First Samurai foal beside her at the sale and she had a great walk and I loved her. She was in foal to Quality Road at the time and I thought, ‘Well, if I get a Quality Road that can walk like her, we’re going to be in good shape.’ When we bought her, Quality Road was a good sire, but since then he’s really taken off. He’s just exploded. So we got lucky with the stallion.”

Benson Farm is home to about 30 mares, 10 of whom belong to Benson. Hip 578 was sent through the sales ring to take advantage of the hot streak of his sire.

“Mrs. Benson, and her late husband when he was alive, were racing people,” Shone said. “We bought the mare two years ago and since then the stallion has exploded. So we thought, if we put this guy in the sale, we could possibly make a bit of money and cash in on how well Quality Road has done. And then hopefully reinvest in some more broodmares to build our broodmare band. It made sense to at least try to sell him. We are hoping to build up our broodmare band, so we’ll see between racing and selling going forward. For the next couple of years, we may sell our colts and race our fillies, depending on the individual.”

The seven-figure result continued a strong year at the sales for Indian Creek. Parrish was quick to share credit for the success.

“A good staff,” he said when asked what contributed to his success. “I have an excellent sales manager in Sarah Sutherland who puts this all together. I just go out there and shake hands and say hello and watch.” @JessMartiniTDN

Banke Buys Back Into ‘Molly’ Family

Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet bred Monday’s $1.8-million Curlin colt (hip 211) out of GISW Molly Morgan (Ghostzapper), and doubled down on the family late Wednesday with the $1,025,000 purchase of Molly Morgan’s full-sister. The bay, a $335,000 KEENOV weanling acquisition, was offered as hip 740 by Peter O’Callaghan’s Woods Edge Farm.

“We just went and visited her sister today, looked at her and came back and looked at this filly and they’re like Irish twins,” said Banke, who paid $1.35 million for Molly Morgan at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton Sale.

A total of 11 Stonestreet-breds have sold for a combined $6,910,000 at KEESEP thus far.

“I figured I better buy something so I have something to race,” Banke quipped.

On the other side of the transaction for hip 740 was another individual who has had a productive sale. O’Callaghan sold Monday’s $2.2-million American Pharoah colt (hip 91) session topper, who he had purchased for $400,000 as a weanling.

“She was a great filly,” O’Callaghan said. “It was a very unique package–she’s by an unbelievable sire of fillies who is now proving to be an unbelievable broodmare sire. She’s a great physical specimen with a proven pedigree. She’s exactly what most filly buyers are looking to buy. We were just lucky to have the right people on her.”

Horse of the Year Ghostzapper is the broodmare sire of none other than this year’s Triple Crown winner Justify (Scat Daddy).
While obviously pleased with the result on hip 740, O’Callaghan noted the selective nature of the market.

“This is the way the market is at the moment–we didn’t sell two earlier today,” he noted. “One had a veterinary issue and the other just came up a bit short. People know exactly what they want to buy. They’re very zoned in on the sires, the pedigrees, the physicals. It’s very difficult for consignors to have [what they’re looking for] and very difficult for breeders to breed more than one or two a year. When you do have it, you need to get rewarded to help carry other horses.” –@BDiDonatoTDN

Eclipse an Obvious Buyer of Curalina Bro

After a spirited battle all the way up to $900,000 for the Lane’s End-consigned hip 577, it should have come as no surprise that the Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners team was left holding the ticket. After all, Eclipse campaigned the chestnut colt’s full-sister Curalina (Curlina), who annexed the 2015 GI Acorn S. and GI Coaching Club American Oaks and 2016 GI La Troienne S. en route to more than $1.5 million in career earnings. Eclipse and Dogwood Stables paid just $125,000 for Curalina here as a yearling in 2013.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of sentimentality associated with this, but he had to look the part and act the part every step of the way,” Eclipse’s Aron Wellman said.

When asked to compare the colt to his big sister, he said: “He’s a lot more horse than Curalina was at this stage when we bought her as a yearling. He’s just an incredibly powerful individual. He’s got a lot of substance, huge shoulder, big walk, big ol’ hind end. He’s a man, just like the auctioneer said when he walked in–he said, ‘Take a look at this man.’ That’s exactly what he is.”

Wellman noted that hip 577 would definitely be sent to Curalina’s trainer Todd Pletcher.

“It was an obvious horse for us to put on our radar, but he had to jump through all the hoops,” he reiterated. “We’ve got to be wise about it, especially knowing that he’s going to be a high-value animal. He stood up to everything through and through. We kind of expected it was going to be a little bit of a battle, and it was, but hopefully it proves to be worth it.”

Eclipse sold Curalina for $3 million to Shadai Farm at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Just a few hips earlier at the same sale, Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Equine purchased Curalia’s GSP dam Whatdreamsaremadeof (Graeme Hall) for $1.65 million while she was carrying hip 577.

“I am very happy with the sale,” said Lyon. “We did expect him to sell well because, as far as we know, he has no issues and he is a full-brother to a multiple Grade I winner. We are very happy he sold as well as he did and wish the best to his new connections.”
Whatdreamsaremadeof is also responsible for GSP Dream Spinner (Hard Spun). She was bred back to Curlin this season.

As discussed in Tuesday’s sales coverage, it has been a very strong sales season for Summer Wind, which later in the day sold a $700,000 Medaglia d’Oro–Aubby K filly (hip 667) to White Birch Farm.

“We are extremely thrilled,” Lyon said. “My finance man back in Arkansas is even happier than I am!” –@BDiDonatoTDN

Conway’s Big Week Continues

Two years ago, when prominent Louisville attorney Tom Conway bought back a Curlin colt he co-bred with Charlie Moore for $550,000, he proclaimed, “I’m going to win the Derby with him.”

The later-to-be-named King Zachary might not have quite lived up to his co-breeder’s somewhat tongue-in-cheek prediction, but all things considered, he’s come awful close.

Turned over to trainer Dale Romans, the now sophomore was a romping winner of the GIII Matt Winn S. in June and was most recently fourth from a mile out of it in the GI Runhappy Travers S. Aug. 25. Conway said Wednesday that King Zachary was doing well and would run in next Saturday’s GI Pennsylvania Derby.

Bettors might be well served to give King Zachary an extra look considering the hot streak his owner/breeder has been on at Keeneland this week.

Conway and Moore sold King Zachary’s Street Sense half-sister (hip 263) to Bob Baffert early in Tuesday’s session for $800,000, and on Wednesday another Curlin colt (hip 672) bred solely by Conway brought $700,000 from powerful partnership of St. Elias and Repole Stable. Gainesway consigned both yearlings.

St. Elias and Repole campaign this year’s GII Wood Memorial S. winner Vino Rosso (Curlin), and also purchased a $700,000 Candy Ride (Arg) colt (hip 619) Wednesday.

“I knew I had a couple of good ones, and I’ve got a couple more,” Conway, standing in almost the exact same place he was two years ago, said after the hammer dropped on 672. “I thought they’d bring in that neighborhood. I was a little surprised the Street Sense brought $100,000 more than this colt–I thought it’d be reversed, but you never know.”

Conway purchased hip 672’s dam Awesome d’Oro (Ire) (Medaglia d’Oro), a half-sister to stakes-winning Street Secret (Street Cry {Ire}) from the family of Urban Sea, for $600,000 at KEENOV ’14 in foal to Sea the Stars (Ire). He sold the resulting colt for $250,000 here in 2016, and her Bernardini now 2-year-old for $50,000 last term. That filly went on to sell for $575,000 at OBS March to Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Repole.

Conway, fittingly, had bought back Awesome d’Oro for $475,000 carrying hip 672 at the 2016 November sale.

And why did he decide to part with this year’s pricey offerings rather than keep them like he did King Zachary?

“Well, you can’t race them all. That’s a lot of money.”

Conway and Moore later sold a Declaration of War filly (hip 741) for $200,000, and Conway will offer four more yearlings in subsequent sessions either in partnership with Moore or solo.

The standout of that group may be hip 881, a Quality Road colt out of MSP Emma Darling (Henny Hughes) from the family of Grade I winners Brocco and Gozzip Girl. The Feb. 21 foal was also co-bred by More through the partners’ Waymore LLC and is in the Gainesway draft.

“I have a grand, I mean absolutely gorgeous Quality Road selling Thursday,” Conway said. –@BDiDonatoTDN

Familiar Family Rewards Newtown Anner Stud

Maurice and Samantha Regan raced two daughters of MSW & MGSP Alina (Came Home) and liked them so much that they decided to buy the dam for $430,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton November sale. She rewarded them in the sales ring Wednesday when her yearling filly by Medaglia d’Oro (hip 627) summoned $800,000 from Godolphin, which stands her sire.

“We bought [Alina] in foal to Bodemeister with the intention of breeding her to Medaglia d’Oro,” said Hanzly Albina, whose Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services, which he runs in partnership with Ron Blake, manages Newtown Anner Stud’s American bloodstock. “We just thought it was a similar cross to Violence, a horse we bought as a yearling who is now a top sire. We just thought that was a good choice and we were rewarded, so we are happy.”

As for the price, he said, “We thought she would be right around that. The players involved could definitely bring it and she was worthy of that. We think in a year or two she will be pretty good value.”

Prior to being purchased by Newtown Anner Stud, Alina produced Engish GSW Nemoralia (More Than Ready), who finished second in Belmont’s GI Frizette S. and was G1SP in Europe.

“We bought the mare after Nemoralia, but we raced two previous daughters, including Cynical Storm (Sky Mesa). Cynical Storm was two-for-two [at the start of her career] and got hurt. The mare was quite a bit of money, but we felt that if we like more than one of her offspring, which is a rarity for us, that it is an indication we should buy the mare, so we did.”

He added, “They are all very similar. They are all very typey and take after the mare, who is a beautiful Came Home mare.”
Godolphin’s Anthony Stroud indicated that the filly was likely to race in Europe.

As for her appeal, Stroud said, “She is very athletic, very smooth and by a stallion that stands at Jonabell. I hope she is as good as [Nemoralia].” –@CDeBernardisTDN

All ‘Joy’ for Aboughazale

Oussama Aboughhazale of International Equities Holding and Sumaya U.S. Stable had a reason to smile Wednesday after a Kitten’s Joy colt he bred went for $725,000 from Shadwell. Consigned by Gainesway as hip 727, the chestnut colt is a full to MSW/MGSP Kitten’s Cat. His unraced dam Brushwork (Discreet Cat) was carrying him when International Equities Holding picked her up for just $150,000 at last year’s Keeneland January sale.

“We were looking for a nice, quality mare with some pedigree,” Aboughazale’s advisor Frances Relihan said when asked what about the mare caught her eye. “She herself had a nice Kitten’s Joy 2-year-old at the time, and she was out of MGISW Manistique (Unbridled). She was a really good, athletic, good-walking mare. We felt it was a big plus being in foal to Kitten’s Joy, so she fit the bill and we got her at a reasonable price.”

Of the colt himself, she said, “He’s a very good-moving horse, very sensible. He’s just a very good Kitten’s Joy. Kitten’s Joys can come in all shapes and sizes. What we look for, when we’re buying horses, is a good-moving, athletic horse and this horse, from day one, was very nice. He’s a great foal to be around. He grew up well.”

Brushwork has a California Chrome colt on the ground and was bred back to American Pharoah. –@BDiDonatoTDN

Tiznow Filly a Score for Motion

Andrew Motion’s string of impressive pinhooking scores out of his boutique Old Chapel Farm operation continued Wednesday at Keeneland with the $485,000 sale of a filly by Tiznow (hip 506) to Christine and Phil Hatfield’s CHP Racing. Motion had purchased the bay for $135,000 at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

“She was just a classy filly, with a kind eye and a beautiful head,” Motion said of the youngster out of Thin Disguise (Yes It’s True). “She had a big presence and walk. I just hoped she would grow up the way she did, but you never know. She had a lot of leg–they don’t always with the Tiznows. So she just had a beautiful way about her and a beautiful walk. I couldn’t go home without her and I’m thrilled that she turned out the way she did.”

When Motion made his winning bid at Keeneland last fall, the filly’s half-sister Holiday Disguise (Harlan’s Holiday) was already a stakes winner for Lady Sheila Stable and trainer Linda Rice, but that filly returned in 2018 to win the GIII Distaff H. In addition, her now 3-year-old half-sister Midnight Disguise (Midnight Lute) hadn’t made it to the races yet, but is now a three-time stakes winner, also for Rice.

“Midnight Disguise hadn’t even started when I bought the filly, so that was a total bonus and a surprise,” Motion said. “Being by Midnight Lute, I didn’t expect her to run early and Linda Rice has done a phenomenal job with the family. She has made the family.”

Hip 506 is a New York-bred and eligible for the state’s lucrative bonus program, but, after spending the winter at Motion’s Upperville, Virginia farm, she is also Virginia-certified and eligible for bonuses at Midlantic tracks.

“The New York-breds, obviously, can bring a premium, but hopefully it also helps that I’ve certified in Virginia, so you can get extra bonuses for running in New York and the Midlantic,” Motion said. “But a filly like that can go anywhere in the world.”

Motion admitted the filly’s final price was, “Way more than I was expecting. It was more than double her reserve.” @JessMartiniTDN

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