Updates Carry the Day as Book 2 Begins

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Fools In Love | Keeneland

By Jessica Martini & Brian DiDonato

LEXINGTON, KY–A pair of mares with recent updates brought the top two prices during the third day and first Book 2 session of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale Thursday.

So far for the marathon auction, 430 head have changed hands for gross receipts of $115,770,000 at an average price of $269,233–down 4.96% compared to this point in the sale last year. The cumulative median sits at $157,500 (-7.35%) versus $170,000 12 months ago. The clearance rate remains better than last year, with 25.61% of offerings being bought back compared to 30.86% in 2016.

Thursday’s top-priced lot was the 11-year-old mare Fools in Love (Not For Love) (hip 514), who was scooped up by Cheveley Park Stud for $1 million. Consigned by Lane’s End, Fools in Love is the dam of this year’s G2 Champagne S. winner in England Seahenge (Scat Daddy).

The day’s second-highest price was also a mare with a talented turf 2-year-old by Scat Daddy. Curlin Hawk (Curlin), who went for $800,000 to Japan’s Shimokobe Farm, is responsible for GIII Pilgrim S. hero Seabhac. Curlin Hawk was consigned to the sale by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent LXXX as hip 459 and offered in foal to Malibu Moon.

“The all-important update,” Keeneland’s Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said when asked to sum up the session.

“It was good to see that, and Scat Daddy had an influence today too as the 2-year-olds had a huge impact on those [top] two mares. Plus even the [GI Spinaway S. winner] Lady Ivanka (Tiz Wonderful) update on the Tapiture foal (hip 587) for $300,000–the power of the update played a role today.”

The gross for the session was $31,774,000. The average was $138,751 (-2.63%) and median was strong at $120,000 (+17.07%). The RNA rate was 27.07%.

“There were a lot of different buyers with some new people coming into the market today, but still we have some people left over from Book 1 who are still shopping away–especially some of the Japanese are still shopping, SF [Bloodstock] has been busy selling and buying,” Russell said. “The diversity’s going to continue I hope.”

The weanling market has continued to show strength, with six foals bringing $300,000 or more Thursday and a top price of $550,000 paid by Baccari Bloodstock for a Pioneerof the Nile colt (hip 420). Five weanlings cost $300,000-plus during the entirety of Book 2 last term.

“The foals, I thought, sold exceptionally well today–even ones with no updates. Quality foals sold very well. The weanling-to-yearling pinhookers are giving premium prices.”

Book 2’s second and final session begins Friday at 10:00 a.m.

Cheveley Park Show ‘Love’ for Seahenge Dam

Newmarket, England-based powerhouse Cheveley Park Stud took home the first seven-figure mare of Book 2 on Thursday, fending off several stiff challenges to secure Fools in Love (Not For Love) for $1 million. The 11-year-old, who is not in foal, was consigned by Lane’s End as hip 514 on behalf of New Jersey-based owner/breeder George Hall.

A half-sister to MGSW International Star (Fusaichi Pegasus), Fools In Love was herself a stakes-winning earner of $240,000. She’s proven a very solid producer thus far.

Her first foal Urban Bourbon (City Zip) was Grade III-placed, and her second foal Frank’s Folly (Mineshaft) was also stakes-placed. Her 2-year-old of this year, a Scat Daddy colt, was a $750,000 KEESEP purchase by Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier last season. Now named Seahenge, the Aidan O’Brien pupil annexed the G2 Champagne S. at Doncaster in September before finishing third in the G1 Dewhurst S. behind his accomplished stablemates in MG1SW U S Navy Flag (War Front) and GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy). Fools in Love’s yearling colt by Exchange Rate went to John Fort for $150,000 at September and she has a weanling colt by Honor Code.

“It was very expensive, but the mare is proven and she’s an outcross,” said Cheveley Park managing director Chris Richardson. “We came here to buy some special pedigrees and mares and she’s a proven producer obviously with a good connection to the U.K. She’ll be going home now, but to whom I’m not quite sure.”

Richardson wasn’t bothered by the fact that Fools in Love wasn’t in foal.

“Obviously, it’s nice to buy a mare that’s in foal, but if you’re going to buy these foundation mares, she’s got plenty of years ahead of her doing well,” he said. “Now we can breed her early next year to whoever we decide to send her to… I think that was a very full price, but [owners Patricia and David Thompson] are keen to support the market with a few new families and she potentially suited the program.”

Not For Love is the broodmare sire of the likes of two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome (Lucky Pulpit).

Cheveley Park also purchased the $525,000 My Hope (Afleet Alex) (hip 290) on Wednesday and $2-million Mesa Fresca (Sky Mesa) at the Fasig-Tipton November sale.

Top European 4-year-old Ulysses (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) is set to stand at Cheveley Park next year. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Curlin Hawk Flying to Japan

The Japanese buying bench remained active as Book 2 started at Keeneland Thursday with Yukio Shimokobe of Shimokobe Farm purchasing Curlin Hawk (Curlin–Maggy Hawk, by Hawkster) (hip 459) for $800,000. The 7-year-old mare, whose first foal is recent GIII Pilgrim S. winner Seabhac (Scat Daddy), sold in foal to Malibu Moon. She was consigned by Taylor Made Sales.

“When I first saw her, I didn’t know the first foal had won a Grade III,” Shimokobe admitted. “I thought she had a good shape and a strong walk. And she has a lovely face. It was only after I saw her that Taylor Made told me that the first colt had won a Grade III, so that was a bonus.”

The Japanese have been a major presence at this week’s bloodstock sales and Shimokobe, who is the third generation of his family to shop the Keeneland sales, explained, “We need new blood to add international pedigrees to the Sunday Silence line. There are many, many stallions by Sunday Silence, so we need another line.”

Out of Maggy Hawk, Curlin Hawk is a half-sister to champion Afleet Alex (Northern Afleet) and multiple graded stakes placed Unforgettable Max (Northern Afleet).

She was purchased by Borges Torrealba Holdings for $210,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November sale. Donegal Racing purchased Seabhac for $170,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale. The mare produced a filly by Super Saver in 2016 and a colt by Strong Mandate this year. @JessMartiniTDN

Elite Goes Eight-for-Eight

Elite, the fledgling sales consignment headed by Brad Weisbord and Liz Crow, enjoyed a standout debut at both the Fasig-Tipton November sale and Book 1 of the Keeneland November sale. The consignment offered eight horses, led by the incomparable Tepin (Bernstein), who sold for $8 million at Fasig-Tipton Monday evening, and all eight found new homes. The four Keeneland Book 1 offerings sold for $3,225,000 and an average of $806,250.

“The week went phenomenally,” Weisbord said. “We couldn’t have expected it to go better. We had four horses at Fasig and four Book 1 horses at Keeneland and we had one reserve that got sold the next day privately. So eight of eight were cleared.

He continued, “Having a 100% clearance rate is one of the most important things in selling. When people bring horses to market, they are meant to be sold, and if the buyers believe your reserves are natural and fair, they are going to continue to come back. And that’s what we saw in both Book 1’s.”

Elite made its debut at the Fasig-Tipton July Horses of Racing Age Sale, where it sold six of the top 10 lots and a total of 11 head for an average of $254,455.

The team, which also includes Jackson Buchanon, is focused on providing potential buyers complete dossiers on each horse in its consignment and it is intended to be a natural progression of the trading both Crow and Weisbord have been doing for years on the private market.

“When we put information together on the private market for our clients that buy and sell, we put Thoro-Graphs, Ragozins, comparables, stakes schedules, how much the horse can earn,” Crow explained. “All of that information is in one area. And we wondered why this information wasn’t available to people who buy on the public market. When I was buying on the public market, I was having to put all this information together myself. Since we trade so often on the private market, we just figured it was a natural extension to do it the right way on the consignment level. I think it’s worked out really.”

Providing that kind of in-depth information can encourage buyers to come out and look at horses they might not otherwise have considered, according to Crow.

“If you don’t put the horse in front of people, they can’t buy it,” she said. “We have a horse in Book 2 who ran a zero Thoro-Graph and I can say the GI Ballerina S. was won with a 1 1/2 this summer. So, this horse never ran in a graded stakes, but she ran a good enough number to win a Grade I race. So it’s just putting that information in front of people and hopefully that makes them come back to the barn and take a look at something they might have missed otherwise.”

For Crow, the results speak for themselves.

“I think it’s obvious that we’re shaking things up,” she said. “We went eight for eight and they all sold well. I think it’s because we are able to value these horses properly because we are shopping on the private market and public market everyday. So it’s easy for us to come in here and know what these horses are worth and set reasonable reserves. We know what we can expect them to bring since we study the market so closely.”

Elite’s initial forays in the public sales arena have been supported by some of the biggest players in the industry.

“I think the whole week is a tribute to the clients who supported us,” Weisbord said. “Obviously, any time you start something new, there could be some people who say, ‘Let them be successful before we give them a chance.’ So I have to give major credit to the teams of SF Bloodstock, Sol Kumin, China Horse Club, Michael Dubb, Bobby Flay, Donegal Racing and others for stepping up and supporting us initially. The biggest names in the game trusted us to get their product sold and, with a clearance rate of 100%, the team set terrific reserves and the buyers have trusted what we’ve brought to the market.”

Baccari Back at it in Book 2

Pinhooker Chris Baccari continued to play at the top end of the weanling market on Thursday, purchasing four foals for a combined $1.3 million.

Tops among those purchases was hip 420, a $550,000 Pioneerof the Nile colt consigned by Bedouin Bloodstock. The Apr. 23 foal is out of stakes winner Bobbie Use (Not For Love), making him a half to GI Princess Rooney H. heroine Starship Truffles (Ghostzapper). SF Bloodstock purchased Bobbie Use for $110,000 in foal to Indian Ocean at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton November Sale and bred hip 420. Bobbie Use’s unraced 2-year-old colt by Paynter cost $150,000 here two years ago and $520,000 at KEESEP ’16.

“The first time I saw him I knew I was going to have to own him,” Baccari said of the Pioneerof the Nile colt. “I knew that going into it–he’s just a very special horse. He’s a later foal, but he’s got such a big, strong walk. Every time you saw him he just never, ever missed a beat ever.”

So far for the auction, Baccari has purchased eight weanlings for a combined $3.02 million, led by a Tapit–My Conquestadory filly he scooped up for $775,000 during Tuesday’s opening session. He also purchased a pair of $300,000 colts (hip 379, by Speightstown; and hip 658, by Pioneerof the Nile), and a $150,000 Daredevil filly (hip 554).

“When you have sire power–like Pioneerof the Nile–and a little female pedigree to go with it, they’re going to be very, very expensive,” he said of the weanling market. —@BDiDonatoTDN

West Splurges for Carpe Diem Colt

Bloodstock agent Jacob West was forced to $320,000 to acquire a colt from the first crop of GI Toyota Blue Grass S. winner Carpe Diem (Giant’s Causeway) early in Thursday’s third session of the Keeneland November sale.

“I bought him for a racing partnership, but the guys I bought him for might pinhook,” West explained. “We gave a lot of money for him, being from Carpe Diem’s first crop, but he was a standout. Obviously, when you walk in there and give you that much money for a first-year sire, they have to have the physical and he has the pedigree to back it up.”

The weanling (hip 454) is out of Courtly Choice (Doneraile Court) and is a half-brother to multiple Grade I winner Wild Dude (Wildcat Heir). He was bred in New York by SF Bloodstock, which purchased Courtly Choice, in foal to Tiznow, for $500,000 at the 2015 Fasig-Tipton November sale, and he was consigned to the sale by Bedouin Bloodstock.

“We loved him. We wanted him. We had to get him,” West said. “It was a high price, but the market is dictating that and that is what we had to pay. We hope he grows up and develops into a nice horse.”

Carpe Diem stands at WinStar for $25,000. He has had six weanlings sell through three days of the November sale for a total of $955,000 and an average of $159,167.

Asked his impression of the foals by Carpe Diem he has seen, West said, “They are just like him–big, strong, forward-looking horses with big shoulders and big hips and good walks. They look athletic. I’ve seen a lot of them and the ones I’ve seen have good substance, good quality and all of the right pieces that you’re looking for. That weanling definitely had it all, so we took a big swing on him.” @JessMartiniTDN

First-Crop Standout for Tapiture

A colt from the first crop of multiple graded stakes winner Tapiture (Tapit), helped along by a big update, got the Darby Dan stallion’s sales resume off to a strong start when selling for $300,000 to Hunter Valley Farm. Hip 587, consigned by Legacy Bloodstock, is out of Lady Leftennant (Officer) and is a half to this year’s GI Spinaway S. winner Lady Ivanka (Tiz Wonderful).

“We bought a share in him starting off, so we are huge fans,” Hunter Valley’s Adrian Regan said of Tapiture. “Obviously there was a big update in the family and we loved the colt. He was an absolute star.”

The weanling was bred in Iowa by Scott Pierce, who purchased the mare in foal to Euroears for $1,100 in 2013. Her Euroears filly sold for $2,500 as a weanling. After RNA’ing at both Keeneland November and September, Lady Ivanka sold for $80,000 at this year’s Fasig-Tipton Midlantic 2-Year-Olds Sale. The 13-year-old mare was bred back to Tapiture, who stands for $7,500, this year.

“We have a couple on the farm and they seem to be nice horses, but obviously we never thought we would have to pay that much for a first-season Tapiture,” Regan said. “But we’re very happy to have him. The plan will be to probably bring him back [to resell]. Hopefully we’ll get another update.”

Also selling yesterday, a filly by Tapiture (hip 578) sold for $130,000 to Canaan Creek Stables and a second filly (hip 710) brought a final bid of $70,000 from Todd Fischer. @JessMartiniTDN

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