$875K Authentic Part of Late Sparks At Keeneland Book 3 Opener

Session-topping hip 1511 | Keeneland


LEXINGTON, KY – A bevy of high-priced yearlings provided a late spark to the first Book 3 session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, but the auction–which had kept pace with its record-setting 2022 renewal during Books 1 and 2–lost a bit of its steam as it entered into its second week Saturday.

A total of 289 yearlings sold Saturday for $46,697,000. The average of $163,849 dipped 7.3% from last year's Book 3 opener and the median fell 7.1% to $130,000. The buy-back rate remained steady at 22%.

During the opening session of last year's Book 3 section, 287 yearlings sold for $50,747,500. The average was $176,821 and the median was $140,000.

“The ones that stand out from the crowd, seems like they have a following here in the back ring, they follow them up and they make the money,” said Hunter Valley Farm's Fergus Galvin. “I think [the market] is very strong and very competitive. Books 1 and 2 were good, not without a few bumpy patches, but that's at every sale now. I think it's very strong, it looks like today, and that probably augurs well even for the later books. It seems like there are fresh faces here today and a lot of people haven't filled their orders yet. They are probably starting to feel a sense of urgency to get the nice horses bought.”

Reiley McDonald's Eaton Sales consigned the session's highest-priced offering when SF Racing/Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables purchased a son of Authentic for $875,000. The session topper was one of eight to sell for $500,000 or over on the day. There were 14 horses who reached that threshold at this session a year ago.

“I feel like the middle market is already starting to tail off,” McDonald said. “I am worried that that is a trend we are going to continue to see just simply because the people at the middle end of the economy in this country are the ones that have been hurt. I think the heavy money is out there and they will spend what it takes to get a horse bought. But once you get into the middle market, the everyday players and lower, I think that's where we are going to see the market slip.”

The Keeneland September sale continues through Saturday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Authentic Colt to SF/Starlight/Madaket

The stallion-making partnership of SF Racing/Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables acquired its third son of Authentic of the Keeneland September sale when going to $875,000 for a colt by the GI Kentucky Derby winner (hip 1511) Saturday. The yearling, out of multiple graded placed Sweetgrass (Street Sense), was bred by Seclusive Farm, Brad Stephens and Breeze Easy and was consigned by Eaton Sales.

“He was just one of those beautiful horses that comes along every now and again,” said Eaton's Reiley McDonald. “He was medium-sized, with a beautiful shoulder, great length and great hip. He was very correct with an outstanding, athletic walk. He was a very intelligent horse who handled the pressure great. He showed over 200 times, which is a lot of pressure on any of these young horses, for two days. He took it like pro. They bought themselves one hell of a horse.”

Baccari Bloodstock purchased Sweetgrass for $250,000 at the 2017 Fasig-Tipton November sale. The mare sold in foal to City of Light for $135,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale.

Earlier at the Keeneland sale, SF/Starlight/Madaket purchased a colt by Authentic (hip 533) for $700,000 and another (hip 821) for $485,000. The group also purchased a son of Authentic (hip 56) for $875,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale last month.

Through five sessions, SF/Starlight/Madaket has purchased 15 yearlings for $10,070,000. The partners were the second-leading buyers of the 2022 September sale, buying 21 yearlings for $12,825,000.

St. Elias Partners Up on Vekoma, Army Mule Colts

Vinnie Viola's St. Elias Stables joined forces with different partners to make a couple of high-price purchases at Keeneland Saturday. The operation teamed with Spendthrift Farm and Mike Talla to acquire a colt from the first crop of Vekoma (hip 1498) for $775,000. That purchase came just a few hips after St. Elias teamed with Starlight Racing and the Harrell family's Harrell Ventures to acquire a colt by Army Mule (hip 1455) for $600,000.

Hip 1498, consigned by Legacy Bloodstock on behalf of his breeder, Spendthrift Farm, is out of Grade I placed Summer of Fun (Include).

“We are really excited to partner up with Spendthrift Farm, which we have done some stuff with in the past, and we are excited to partner with Talla Racing for the first time,” said St. Elias's Monique Delk.

Of the yearling, Delk said, “He's just beautiful–a beautiful physical and walk and he was very correct. He looks special. And we like taking chances on first-year sires. It's a lot of fun to see the new babies coming about.”

St. Elias, in partnership with Repole Stable, was the leading buyer at last year's September sale, with 31 yearlings purchased for $12,840,000. This year, St. Elias in various other partnerships and alone, has purchased 10 yearlings so far for $3.9 million.

Asked why partnerships were important to St. Elias, Delk said, “They love the game and this gives them more access to more horses. St. Elias loves taking on partners and it's exciting to team up with new partners.”

St. Elias compaigned Grade I winner Army Mule and co-bred hip 1455 with Elevage II. Consigned by Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa, the yearling is out of She Beast (The Factor), a half-sister to Grade I winner The Big Beast (Yes It's True), who was purchased for $150,000 at the 2020 Keeneland January sale.

“Everyone on our team loved him,” said Starlight Racing manager Corbin Blumberg, who made the winning bid while standing out back alongside Delk. “We showed him to [Starlight's] Jack [Wolf] and Doug Cauthen looked at him for the Harrells.”

Starlight and St. Elias teamed up to purchase a colt by Quality Road (hip 1118) for $300,000 earlier in the sale.

“We bought a horse the other day with St. Elias and they bred this horse and they wanted to keep it, so we just put it together sort of at the last minute,” Blumberg said. “We buy horses with the Harrells a lot and we have bought a few with St. Elias, so this just came together and it turned out.”

Of the colt's final price, Blumberg said, “We had to reach a little bit, but he was nice and it seems like that's how it's been going.”

Starlight and Harrell Ventures teamed up to purchase 'TDN Rising Star' Pirate (Omaha Beach) for $350,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale. The juvenile was third in the GI Hopeful S.

CHC, Qatar Racing Get into the Colt Game

Teo Ah Khing of China Horse Club and Sheikh Fahad of Qatar Racing have joined forces for the first time at this year's Keeneland September sale in search of a quality group of colts. The new partners acquired their sixth colt of the auction when purchasing a son of Kitten's Joy (hip 1285) for $585,000 Saturday.

“We all agreed that he might have been the best physical of Kitten's Joy that we've seen in the last two or three years,” said Qatar Racing's American representative Fergus Galvin of Hunter Valley Farm. “He's a beautiful specimen.”

Consigned by Hill 'n' Dale at Xalapa and bred in Ontario by Murray Smith, the yearling is out of Hopping Not Hoping (Silent Name {Jpn}).

The purchase came with an almost instantaneous update when the mare's 2-year-old My Boy Prince (Cairo Prince), who romped to a 14-length victory in the Aug. 27 Simcoe S., finished second in the GI Summer S. just shortly after the yearling went through the ring.

“We might have had to pay more,” Galvin agreed of the timing. “But we are definitely happy with the Grade I pedigree boost.”

CHC and Qatar Racing have now purchased six yearlings at the Keeneland sale this year for $2,960,000. Leading the way was a son of Authentic (hip 1046) purchased for $875,000.

“It's something that Sheikh Fahad and Teo put together before the sale to buy colts,” Galvin said of the partnership. “They are mainly to race in the U.S., but this one [hip 1285] will go to England to race for obvious reasons. Sheikh Fahad has had incredible success with Kitten's Joy.”

Qatar Racing enjoyed top-level success in Europe with another son of Kitten's Joy, multiple Group 1 winner Roaring Lion, who was purchased for $160,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September sale.

A New Kentucky Home for Tommy Town

Tom and Debi Stull announced plans late last year to relocate their Tommy Town Thoroughbreds broodmare band to Kentucky and, after purchasing the former Woodford Farm from Mick Ruis, have been busy buying yearling fillies this week at Keeneland. During the fifth session of the auction, the Stulls purchased a pair of fillies for $400,000 from the Woods Edge Farm consignment; first purchasing a daughter of Vekoma (hip 1189) and returning later to acquire a daughter of Volatile (hip 1224).

“We like to get fillies that have a fairly good walk and definitely a nice hip and pedigree,” Tom Stull said. “It's not so much the sire, but the balance and the conformation.”

Hip 1189, who was purchased by Woods Edge for $75,000 at Keeneland last November, is out of Blue Kisses (Pulpit), a daughter of multiple stakes winner Bluegrass Sara (Tabasco Cat). Hip 1224, a $180,000 weanling purchase, is out of Delightfully So (Indian Charlie), a half-sister to Canadian champion Delightful Mary (Limehouse).

Asked if the fillies were purchased with an eye to eventually joining his broodmare band, Stull said, “Yes, for sure. That's what we are trying to do.”

In addition to the two yearlings purchased Saturday, Tommy Town also acquired a pair of fillies by No Nay Neverhip 211 for $250,000 and hip 256 for $275,000–and a daughter of Le Havre (Ire) (hip 132) for $300,000.

“To be honest with you, the first three or four days were tough,” Stull said. “I felt like we did well with the first three we bought and then we didn't get to buy anything Thursday. I was surprised we found quality today.”

The operation returned later in Saturday's session to acquire a filly by Tom's d'Etat (hip 1446) for $150,000 and a filly by Tiz the Law (hip 1450) for $115,000.

Of the couple's new 300-acre farm, Stull said, “We decided we would rather run in Kentucky. We have close to 30 mares. I want to just upgrade the quality. I think we are going to breed to sell and then continue to buy to race and keep.”

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. Lookin At Lucky Accounts For Top Sellers On Penultimate Day at Keeneland September
  2. 'A Lot of People, a Lot of Energy & a Lot of Activity' – Bolt d'Oro Filly Leads Way During KEESEP Book 5 Finale
  3. Grade I Winner Dancing Rags Represented By First Japanese Starter
  4. 'He Was A Real Man Here Today'–SF, Partners Go For More Good Magic at Keeneland September
  5. Good Magic Colt Hammers For $700K During Book 4 Opener at Keeneland

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.