Blockbuster Book 1 Concludes at Keeneland With Another 13 Million-Dollar Yearlings

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Hip 311: $1.8-million session topper by Constitution | Keeneland

by Jessica Martini, Christie DeBernardis & Christina Bossinakis

The elite Book 1 section of the Keeneland September Sale, which began with a powerhouse session Monday, maintained its energy all the way through to the end of Tuesday's second session. After nine yearlings sold for $1 million or more Monday, a further 13 horses topped that mark during Tuesday's session, led by a $1.8-million son of Constitution.

“Coming out of day one, I think that momentum was almost euphoric,” said Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy. “Coming into day two, we were sort of thinking, 'Can we maintain this?' And putting it in racing terms, we hit the wire hard. We finished that last couple of hours with that euphoric feeling all the way through the session. When you are ending up with a $533,000 average for session two, $516,000 average for Book 1, it was really encouraging. It was great to see the diversity in the 13 horses bringing $1 million or more, from large to small breeders, everybody was getting a piece of the action. A lot of people were extremely happy with the way it went. The demand for quality horses was beyond our expectations.”

During the two Book 1 sessions, 220 yearlings sold for $113,660,000. The average of $516,636 was up 18.58% from the 2021 Book 1 average and the median was up 28.57% to $450,000. With 62 yearlings reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 21.99%. It was 34.18% a year ago.

The Keeneland sales team made a point of putting together a standout group of physicals and pedigrees into its Book 1 section, while also working to bust the myth that the elite section might not have always been the most competitive place to sell a top yearling.

“None of this was done in a vacuum,” Lacy said of the construction of Book 1. “We were listening to the feedback from buyers, because there was a lack of consistency and that was because there was a nervousness; 'Where is the best place in the market?' And I think it was evident in the last couple of years, if you put the right horses in front of the right people, the market takes care of itself. There were a lot of horses that we encouraged to move forward that were part of the $1-million sales that might have ended up in Book 2 normally. I think when you plug in good pedigrees, good physicals, with the right people who afford their time to come here to spend time here at the sale, it just goes to show the results can pay dividends.”

Keeneland President Shannon Arvin credited the sellers who had provided top offerings to the book's success.

“We appreciate so much the sellers, and breeders, and consignors that worked with us on the format and really believed in us as we tried to put together the best possible Book 1 we could, and to the buyers for coming out,” Arvin said. “We heard from a lot of buyers who said they were trying to short list, but their short lists are long. There are just so many nice horses here. That was great to hear and I think the results speak for themselves.”

Dana Bernhard of Lynnhaven Racing made Tuesday's highest bid when going to $1.8 million to acquire a colt by Constitution from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment. The yearling was the second son of the WinStar stallion bred by China Horse Club to top the seven-figure mark Tuesday after bloodstock agent Richard Knight got the day off to a quick start with the $1.3-million purchase of the second horse through the ring. With five purchases for $4.15 million, Knight was the session's leading buyer.

The Keeneland September sale continues with Book 2 sessions Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. Following a dark day Friday, the auction continues through Sept. 24 with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Iron Constituton at Keeneland

Sitting chilly well until into the second session of the Keeneland September sale, Jim and Dana Bernhard's Lynnhaven Racing turned on all boosters to land Hip 311, a colt by Constitution, for $1.8 million. Soon after the colt entered the ring, it was quickly apparent that it would be a dogfight as several bidders, among them Mike Repole, responded to every volley launched by the Bernhard camp. When the dust had settled, it was Dana Bernhard who signed the ticket on the Valentine's Day foal.

Representing the Bernhard's, advisor Equine Analysis' Matt Weinmann added, “The market sets the price. I knew we'd have to stretch for him, but I didn't know we'd have to go that high but I'm happy to have him. At Equine Analysis, we get the best information we can get and we take a shot.”

Consigned by Taylor Made Sales on behalf of the colt's breeder China Horse Club, the Feb. 14 foal is out of Grade I winner Last Full Measure (Empire Maker) and is a half-brother to GI Juddmonte Spinster S. winner Valiance (Tapit). China Horse Club purchased Last Full Measure for $1.5 million at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

“He just jumps out at you,” said China Horse Club's Michael Smith. “Whenever you sell a horse for a million dollars, it's rare. We hoped he could and the chips fell the right way today.”

Enjoying strong trade at Keeneland so far, Taylor Made's Mark Taylor recalled, “We saw this colt at WinStar Farm a few times prior and as soon as we saw him, we said that was one of the best Constitutions we've seen. He was one of the better colts we had seen in this crop. He's beautifully bred and out of a Grade I winner and she's also the dam of a Grade I winner.”

He continued, “He was a great representative of the stallion and he brought a bunch of money which he deserved to,” continued Taylor. “The blood is there. And this just looks like a Derby horse. A lot of presence. Big, strong and a lot of substance. We were fortunate to have him. China Horse Club just bred a beautiful horse.”[email protected]

China Horse Club's Breeding Program Continues to Succeed

The China Horse Club's breeding program has been growing in both size and success as it reaches its fifth year. The organization led by Teo Ah Khing was represented by a seven-figure yearling for the third straight year at Keeneland September when a Constitution colt out of GSW Cozze Up Lady (Cozzene) (Hip 192) summoned $1.3 million from Richard Knight Bloodstock just minutes into Tuesday's session. Later in the session, the operation sold another son of Constitution for $1.8 million (Hip 311).

“The team is extremely happy,” Teo said. “The horse presented well and was respected. We are a partner in Constitution. It shows that a rising pedigree combined with a strong stallion like Constitution is working. His half-sister's [Kimari (Munnings)] CV helped as well.”

A pair of fillies by GISW Embellish the Lace (Super Saver) each brought $1.25 million at KEESEP the last two years for China Horse Club. Her Tapit filly sold here in 2020 and her Into Mischief went through the ring last year. China Horse Club also had a seven-figure seller here back in 2017 when Yitai Fidelity (War Front–Iotapa) summoned $1.9 million. The China Horse Club-bred horses have also succeeded on the racetrack with Grade I winners Kimari and Valiance (Tapit), who is a half-sister to Hip 311, as the chief examples.

“This is our fifth year breeding in America, which is relatively short compared with many others,” Teo said. “We want to continue to upgrade our mares. We will come back in November and look at our expansion plan in America. We have stallions to support like Life Is Good, Tiz the Law, Constitution, Improbable, Yoshida, Justify and others. We always bring everything to market. That has been the plan from day one and it works. We will continue to participate on certain horses as well.”

Hip 192 was the first million-dollar sale for Jill Gordon and Jacob West's Highgate Sales, which debuted earlier this year at the Fasig-Tipton February Sale, where they sold the topper.

“From day one, this horse had been one of the top physicals and had the pedigree to match,” said West after congratulating Knight. “We knew he was pretty damn popular. He was bred by China Horse Club and raised at WinStar and they did an incredible job getting him ready. It was easy for us to lead him up here and let these guys battle. Constitution is doing very well. The colt has a big strong shoulder and big strong hip. People are thinking two-turn Classics when they look at horses like him. That was Jill Gordon's first million-dollar horse and a lot of credit has to go to her in putting this consignment together.”

China Horse Club purchased Hip 192's dam Cozze Up Lady for $300,000 at the 2014 FTKNOV sale. She is also the dam of Grade I winner Kimari, who was purchased by Coolmore's M.V. Magnier for $2.7 million at last year's Fasig-Tipton November Sale and returned to training. She most recently captured Saratoga's GII Honorable Miss H. in July.

“He was absolutely my pick coming in here,” said Knight, who indicated the colt would remain in the U.S. “I loved him from the moment I saw him. I thought he was everything we came here to look for. We came to look for a really smart horse who will hopefully be a two-turn horse. He has pedigree and is by a great stallion. Gorgeous-looking horse. Every single time he came out, he did it for me. Delighted to get him.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Into Mischief Filly Draws $1.35m for Upson Downs

Unlike some of the other consignors offering their vast wares in Book 1, Upson Downs Farm made it to the ring with a single yearling, Hip 359, a filly by Into Mischief. However, what the consignment lacked in raw numbers, it more than made up for in fire power with the daughter of MSP Nina Fever (Borrego) reeling in a $1.35-million final bid from Don Adam's Courtland Farm LLC.

“She's been class from the time she was born,” said Upson Downs Farm's Alex Rankin. “We're over the moon. This is the first seven-figure yearling for Upson Downs in 35 years of consigning. I'm still trying to process it.”

He added, “Mr. Adams is a great owner and he will give her a great shot. So, it couldn't be a better situation.”

Stemming from humble beginnings, Nina Fever was claimed by Michael Hui for $40,000 at Keeneland in 2011. Injured shortly thereafter and retired, the filly was sent to Upson Downs to pursue her second career as a broodmare. The now 14-year-old mare, who is already responsible for GI Frizette S. winner Nickname (Scat Daddy) and MSP Hey Mike (Cape Blanco {Ire}), was sold in foal to Constitution for $500,000 at Fasig-Tipton November sale last season after foaling this filly. Nickname, a $350,000 KEESEP yearling buy, sold for $3-million at Fasig-Tipton November in 2017.

“I just feel so honored to be able to sell her,” said Rankin. “It's for a good client, Michael Hui, who claimed the dam–Nina Fever. We've raised these horses for him and it's been a wonderful relationship. I'm so glad he got the money because he deserves it and the filly deserves it.”

Pointing to some of the factors precipitating yesterday success, Rankin explained, “I have a new management team, Danika Carmichael and Anthony Weisman, and they have done a wonderful job with these yearlings. Our 2-year-olds have run great this year. I am so happy for them. That's what means the most to me to have this kind of success.”–@CBossTDN

Repole Full Tilt at KEESEP

Buying no less than 13 yearlings in partnership during Monday's session, Mike Repole wasn't quite done on Day 2 as he returned to partner on an additional 11 head Tuesday, headed by a pair of $1.1-million colts. In quick succession, Repole, accompanied by agent Jacob West and trainer Todd Pletcher, purchased Hip 364, a colt by City of Light in tandem with Vinnie Viola's St. Elias Stables and West Point Thoroughbreds. Not long afterward, he joined forces with Coolmore to secure a son of Curlin, offered as Hip 369.

The former, who is out of unraced Numero d'Oro (Medaglia d'Oro), was consigned by Rosilyn Polan's Sunday Morning Farm. Polan sold last year's topper, also by City of Light, in addition to the colt's half-bother Wit (Practical Joke). Winner of the GIII Sanford S. and GIII Bay Shore S. and third in the GI Champagne S., the colt is campaigned by Repole and trained by Pletcher.

“Watching him go around there, that was my Grade I win. I was so proud of him,” said Polan. “They've done so well with Wit and to send the horse to Todd Pletcher. I love those guys [the buyers].”

Of his City of Light purchase, Repole said, “Obviously, we like Wit a lot. I also own a share in City of Light. I think City of Light will be a two-turn, Classic stallion. He's probably not going to get you a lot of 2-year-olds, I think we're seeing that now. But I think over the next couple of years, like Quality Road and Curlin's of the world, he'll become a Classic sire.”

Five hips later, Repole was back in action for another $1.1- million purchase, this one consigned by Hinkle Farms. The chestnut is out of GSP Orbolution (Orb), who was also developed by Pletcher.

Looking to make another hit with another offspring of Curlin.

“He's a big, Classic horse and we think he can be a two-turn type,” said Repole. “I love Curlin. There is a little horse named [GI Breeders' Cup Classic winner] Vino Rosso that I own. And another horse named [three-time Grade I winner] Nest that I own as well. Coolmore and I do some business together, and we both landed on the same one and we both use Todd Pletcher, so it made sense.”

With Jacob West assuming the bidding duties, Repole also secured Hip 336, a colt by Omaha Beach out of GISP Maybellene (Lookin At Lucky). The Feb. 15 foal represents the family of Elusive Quality. Secured for $900,000, the colt was consigned by Clarkland Farm.

“I had planned on stopping at $600,000,” Repole admitted. “I just kept looking at him. He was probably about $200,000 more than I wanted to spend, but honestly, if that colt was a Curlin, an Uncle Mo or an Into Mischief, I think he would have been the sale's topper. He just looked amazing.”

Seeming to still have money to spend after the Curlin colt, Repole teamed up with another Pletcher client, Robert and Lawana Low, for Hip 370, a colt Into Mischief out of SW Osare (Medaglia d'Oro), a half-sister to the late champion Arrogate (Unbridled's Song). Consigned by Denali Stud, agent for Bridlewood Farm, the Feb. 1 foal brought $775,000.

Earlier in the session, Repole jumped into the fray for another yearling by a sire he is closely connected to. Represented by his first crop of yearlings, Hip 240 is by champion Vino Rosso, campaigned by Repole and St. Elias Stable and trained by Pletcher.

“I've been so blessed,” he said. “I am either buying horses by Vino Rosso, or Uncle Mo and out of mares that I have had winning siblings out of, so it's been very fun.”

Also among Repole's purchases Tuesday, he partnered on Hip 275 (Gun Runner, $475,000); Hip 279 (Tapit, $475,000); Hip 290 (Curlin, $320,000); Hip 332 (Constitution, $285,000) and Hip 264 ($250,000, Medaglia d'Oro) and Hip 307 (Quality Road, $230,000).

And after two days of jam-packed action, how is Repole going to round out the first two days of intense action from the Repole buying bench?

“We'll go to Tony's tonight. And we're also trying to break records at each of the restaurants we go to while we're here,” he said with a laugh. “Enjoying plenty of vino rosso and plenty of good food. We're trying to break records everywhere we go.”[email protected]

Summer Wind Still Blowing Strong

It's been quite a summer for Jane Lyon and her Summer Wind Farm breeding program. It started off with her sensational homebred Flightline (Tapit), whom she owns in partnership, winning the GI Met Mile in June. In August, the horsewoman sold an Uncle Mo colt for $1.5 million to some of her Flightline partners, staying in for a piece herself, and just 10 days ago Flightline dropped the jaws of the entire racing community when taking the GI TVG Pacific Classic by nearly 20 lengths.

Lyon's hot streak continued at Keeneland Tuesday when she sold a Quality Road filly (Hip 302) to Larry Best for $1.3 million.

“It's a little bittersweet,” said Lyon, who is known for her deep love for her horses. “I hate giving my fillies up. I hope she does a wonderful job for Mr. Best and I hope that he has all the success in the world with her.”

The breeder continued, “We were thinking she would sell well. We have always liked her very much. She had a nice update in her pedigree. We think we have a very special mare in Key To My Heart. I am hopeful she will continue to produce fillies like this for us.”

Hip 302 was the first horse Best bid on through the first two days of selling and he was quite pleased to secure her.

Quality Road speaks for himself,” said Best. “It's a great page. You sense from [Monday] the value of the Quality Road bloodline. This particular filly just was beautiful with a great pedigree. If you look at the history of the pedigree, it's very rich. At this price point, it was worth the bet. About 10 minutes ago I pegged her at this price. I feel lucky. She's a quality horse from a quality breeder. I'm thrilled.”

Lyon acquired Hip 302's stakes-winning dam Key To My Heart (Galileo {Ire}) for $1.75 million at the 2018 KEENOV sale in foal to War Front. The resulting foal Man Among Men brought $360,000 from Spendthrift and My Racehorse at this auction in 2020 and he broke his maiden at second asking at Del Mar Sept. 3, the same day Flightline won that venue's Pacific Classic with Lyon in attendance. Her 2020 War Front colt, now named Sloane Ranger, summoned $400,000 from Coolmore's M.V. Magnier at last year's KEESEP sale.

Key To My Heart is a daughter of GI Frizette S. victress A Z Warrior (Bernardini), who is a half-sister to Jojo Warrior, a MGSW on dirt. Just two months after purchasing Key To My Heart, Lyon bought another Galileo mare named A Star is Born (Ire) for $750,000 at the 2019 KEEJAN sale. Her American Pharoah filly (Hip 142) sold for $350,000 to G. Watts Humphrey during Monday's session.

“I knew that this particular mare [Key To My Heart] had dirt in her pedigree and enough of it,” Lyon said. “I also, at that time, thought it was important to incorporate both dirt and turf horses into my breeding program. I think this filly could go either way, but hopefully she will be here running on dirt. I am very excited about this mare and all of the Galileo mares I have. I have three, one I bred [Shadow Play] and these two lovely mares. They are beautiful and they all have beautiful foals for me. They are relatively young, so I am very excited.”

With plenty left to come from Summer Wind Farm during Book 2 and Flightline pointed to the GI Breeders' Cup Classic at Keeneland in November, Lyon and her team have a lot to look forward to.

“We have been very blessed to have a horse like Flightline come out of our breeding program,” the always humble Lyon said. “We just hope to continue to have healthy mares and foals, who produce and perform.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Knight Strikes Again for Justify Filly

Coming out of the gate running during Tuesday's second Keeneland September session, Richard Knight had already garnered a bevy of yearlings early in the afternoon, including Hip 255, a daughter of freshman sire Justify who realized a $1.05 million final bid. Buying on behalf of an undisclosed interest, Knight indicated the Mar. 22 foal, who was consigned by Bryan and Gray Lyster's Ashview Farm, will remain in the U.S. and sent to Graham Motion.

“She is a queen of a filly and we are delighted to get her,” said Knight.

Knight also signed the ticket on Hip 192, a $1.3-million Constitution colt, Hip 198, an Omaha Beach colt that brought $400,000 and Hip 200, a $300,000 colt by Twirling Candy. Later in the day, he secured Hip 297, a filly by Gun Runner, for $1.1 million.

Reflecting on the activity at Keeneland thus far, he said, “The sale has been very strong. If you want to buy the good ones, I'm afraid you will have to step up and pay for them. We only have a few that we are involved in, we don't really have a long list that we are pursuing, so we are delighted to get the ones we got so far.”

Out of graded stakes-placed Fully Living (Unbridled's Song), the bay is a half to graded-placed horses Untreated (Nyquist) and Ballet Dancing (Medaglia d'Oro). Fully Living is a daughter of Half A.P. (Pulpit), making her a half-sister to champion juvenile filly Halfbridled.

“She is perfect,” said an emotional Gray Lyster. “Everyone came around to look at her and she just walked out and looked around like she was the queen the whole time.”

“She is the first filly that we bred ourselves to make a million dollars. We have sold million-dollar yearlings for other people, it's a very big deal, and it's really hard to do. We've had lots of success raising race horses but it's also really hard to get a million dollars for a horse. We're really thrilled.”

Having already tasted success selling at Keeneland, Ashview offered a yearling by Uncle Mo out of Callingmissbrown (Pulpit) in the COVID-plagued year of 2020. Purchased by Donegal Racing for $250,000 and subsequently named Mo Donegal, the colt was sent to Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher, and quickly paid dividends, winning two of three starts at two, including the GII Remsen S. Taking the GII Wood Memorial earlier this season, the colt most recently annexed the GI Belmont S.

“It's all coming together right now,” said Lyster. “When you have success with horses you raised on the racetrack, you hope that will translate at the sales. Maybe that's what tipped the scale with her or at least I like to think so. It's been an awesome year.”–@CBossTDN

Gun Runner Filly Completes Knight's Day

Bloodstock agent Richard Knight completed a productive day in the office with the $1.1-million purchase of a filly by Gun Runner (hip 297). It was the agent's fifth purchase of the session and third seven-figure acquisition as he continued his buying spree for an undisclosed client.

“She is by Gun Runner, who is a stallion we very much earmarked coming over here,” Knight said of the yearling's appeal. “The filly is a sister to a good horse, the dam was a good horse herself. And this horse was a lovely physical. She is very racy and with a great temperament. She'll be a lovely broodmare at the end of the day to breed from as well. We are very happy to have her.”

The yearling is out of graded winner Just Wicked (Tapit) and her full-sister Wicked Halo won the GII Prioress S. at Saratoga this summer.

“She's going to stay over here and she will go to [trainer] Graham Motion,” Knight said.

Hip 297 was consigned by Gainesway on behalf of her breeder, Winchell Thoroughbreds.

“She's got the X factor,” said Gainesway's Brian Graves. “She walks nice, she's balanced and athletic. All the top judges found her. It helps that she's by Gun Runner.”

Knight, who made five purchases at the Arqana August sale last month on behalf of the same client, said he was bidding within the game plan despite a competitive market at Keeneland.

“We only followed one in yesterday and we underbid it,” Knight said. “We value them and if they go over our evaluation, then we let them go. We try to be competitive on the ones we want. We've had a successful day today, but that's us finished.”

Knight's Arqana acquisitions were led by a filly by Wootton Bassett (GB) (hip 202) purchased for €750,000.  @JessMartiniTDN

Orbolution Continues to Reward Hinkle Family

Stakes winner and GSP Orbolution (Orb) has been the gift that keeps on giving for the Hinkle family. They bred the mare and sold her to StarLadies Racing for $370,000 at Keeneland September back in 2016. She was sent through the ring at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton July HORA Sale after a successful racing career, where the Hinkles bought her back for $325,000. They bred her to Curlin for her first foal and the resulting colt (Hip 369) summoned $1.1 million from the powerhouse partnership of Coolmore's M.V. Magnier and Repole Stable. He will be trained by Todd Pletcher, who conditioned his first and second dams.

“You never expect $1 million,” said Hinkle Farms' Tom Hinkle. “My daughter Ann Archer does a great job and my partners are my brothers Buck and Henry. We are in it and are glad to be rewarded.”

The breeder and consignor continued, “He was a nice foal. He is a really smart horse. He just does everything the right way. We have never had any problems with him. He is just a really neat horse to be around. We are glad the market thought he was as nice as we did. It is hard to be a commercial breeder. It takes a long time from the time you choose a stallion to the time you sell them. And this is just the beginning. We still have two years until we see how it works out for everybody.”

Hip 369's second dam My Rachel (Horse Chestnut {SAf}) was Grade III-placed while racing under Steve Young's A1A Racing banner. Hinkle bought the mare for $125,000 at the 2008 KEENOV sale in foal to Arch. In addition to Orbolution, she has produced stakes-placed runners Wexx (Declaration of War), Rachel's Ready (More Than Ready) and Firehouse Red (Arch), who is the dam of GSW & GISP Draft Pick (Candy Ride {Arg}).

“I bought My Rachel a long time ago,” said Hinkle. “We bred Orbolution and sold her as a yearling for $360,000, then we bought her back from Starlight, so we have had that family for a long time. It has been a wonderful family for us. Everything in the second dam we bred. Orbolution was a really nice filly.”

The horseman added, “This was a great first foal. Our team at the farm, headed up by our manager, Trish Regard, did a great job with him. Everyone involved did a great job. We couldn't be happier. He will have every chance in the world with the team that bought him. He came up here and was very professional. He showed for four days and was a professional every time he went out.”  —@CDeBernardisTDN

Magnier Strikes for Justify Colt

Coolmore's M.V. Magnier made his first seven-figure bid of the Keeneland September sale when going to $1.1 million to acquire a colt by Triple Crown winner Justify (hip 339). Out of stakes winner and multiple graded placed Milam (Street Sense), the colt was consigned by Denali Stud on behalf of breeder WinStar Farm. Milam is a half-sister to champion Rushing Fall (More Than Ready).

“[Trainer] Aidan [O'Brien] came over and Paul Shanahan and Dermot [Ryan], everybody really liked this horse,” Magnier said.  “He comes from a really good family. And the way Justify is going, a lot of people are saying what he is doing at the moment is actually incredible. To be going as well as he is as early as he is, everybody seems to be pretty surpised by it. We're very excited about him.”

“The market here is incredible,” Magnier continued. “But this is a very well-bred horse and WinStar are very good breeders. Conrad [Bandoroff] said the horse was very popular. If you breed a horse like that, I suppose you deserve to get paid for him.”

Justify, who stands at Coolmore, has already been represented by three graded winners from his first crop to hit the track this year. Of the operation's runners by Justify, Magnier said, “All the ones we have are very sound, tough horses. They have plenty of speed and they look like they will stay as well. He never ran at two and he's had three group winners already. He's flying. He couldn't be doing any better than he is.”

Magnier also purchased hip 339's half-brother by Quality Road for $950,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

WinStar purchased Milam for $175,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale.

“[WinStar] gave us some very nice horses to sell,” Denali's Conrad Bandoroff said. “They breed a very good horse. This was a very popular horse. Justify is off to a gangbuster start. He's going to have every chance in going to a top program. He's got class. He carried himself back here like a real professional. He never took a wrong step. Very intelligent with a lot of class.”  @JessMartiniTDN

Whisper Hill & Three Chimneys Partner on Familiar Family

Whisper Hill Farm and Three Chimneys teamed up at last year's Fasig-Tipton November Sale to buy out Three Chimneys' previous partner Hill 'n' Dale on Hip 331's dam Magical World (Distorted Humor), who topped the sale at $5.2 million, and they reunited Tuesday to secure her son by Quality Road for $1.1 million. The colt was sold by Hill 'n' Dale as part of the continued dissolution of their partnership with Three Chimneys.

“He is an awesome individual,” said Todd Quast, advisor to Mandy Pope's Whisper Hill Farm. “He is such a big, stout horse, but he moves really light. We bought the mare in November, so we have the family, and Three Chimneys wanted to go in. We are ecstatic. He was expensive, but we are very happy.”

Three Chimneys acquired Magical World, a daughter of GI Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Pleasant Home (Seeking the Gold), privately and later partnered with Hill 'n' Dale on the mare. She was one of several members of the partnership to sell at last year's FTKNOV sale, including her three-time Grade I-winning daughter Guarana (Ghostzapper), who was also a 'TDN Rising Star.' Hill 'n' Dale's John Sikura bought Three Chimneys out on Guarana for $4.4 million that evening.

Three Chimneys also bred and raced Guarana's stakes-winning, 'TDN Rising Star' half-sister Magic Dance (More Than Ready). They also bred and sold her 2019 foal, a colt named Beatbox (Pioneerof the Nile), for $2.1 million at the 2019 KEESEP sale.

“Three Chimneys was supportive and a co-owner,” Sikura said. “They were big-time horses with quality pedigrees. That's what the major guys are looking for. He is a two-turn colt out of a proven producer, by a leading sire. No surprise really. After $1 million it's just who you have [as bidders]. It's been a very good sale and a good end to the partnership. Three Chimneys are great breeders. They did a great job and everybody was rewarded.”

Three Chimneys partnered with Winchell Thoroughbreds during Monday's session to buy out Hill 'n' Dale on another member of their partnership, a $1.7-million Curlin colt out of Carina Mia (Hip 169). —@CDeBernardisTDN

St. George Hits a Home Run With Into Mischief Colt

Archie St. George stretched a bit when acquiring a son of Into Mischief (Hip 344) for $570,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton November Sale. It more than paid off Tuesday when the colt summoned $1.05 million from Don and Donna Adam's Courtlandt Farm.

“He just was a really nice horse,” St. George said. “He's by one of the best stallions in North America we've seen in recent times. It was a lot of money and it paid off. I would like to give a lot of credit to my wife Michelle and all the boys on the farm, who do all the work. Hopefully the horse runs. That's the main thing.”

He continued, “He's a top physical. He's really nice to be around all the time. Never had any problems. He was very nice when we bought him. He just grew up and kept on doing everything. He jumped through all the hoops. He was vetted nearly 20 times.”

Bred by Larry Best's OXO Equine, Hip 344 is out of Moi (Medaglia d'Oro), who Best bought for $750,000 at the 2016 KEESEP sale. A daughter of MSW & MGSP Distorted Passion (Distorted Humor), Moi is a full-sister to MGSW & GISP Mrs McDougal. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Into Mischief Colt Scores for Blum

The stallion-making partnership group of SF Racing/ Starlight/Madaket made its biggest purchase of the Keeneland September sale so far when paying $1.05 million to acquire a colt by Into Mischief (hip 328). The yearling, who was consigned by Bridie Harrison on behalf of breeder Peter Blum, is out of graded winner Magical Feeling (Empire Maker). She is a half-sister to stakes winners Exulting (Tapit) and Magical (Tapit).

“Bridie Harrison told me he was very special from day one,” said Blum. “She loved him and she told me he was going to bring a lot of money. So I really wasn't worried about the reserve. It's especially rewarding to see this horse go to SF.”

Blum bred and campaigned Magical Feeling, who won the 2012 GII Barbara Fritchie H., bred her unraced dam Magical Mood (GB) (Forestry), and bred and raced second dam Good Mood (Devil's Bag), winner of the 1991 GIII Miss Grillo S. and third dam Mine One (Mr. Prospector).

Blum admitted it was emotional to sell horses he had such a long association with.

“It's emotional,” he said. “Bridie and I have been together for 40 years. And she has to get all the credit.”

Blum sent four horses through the ring Tuesday. Hip 247, a full-brother to GI Kentucky Derby winner Authentic (Into Mischief), sold for $800,000 to Hideyuki Mori, while hip 237, a Street Sense half-sister to Society (Gun Runner) sold for $725,000 to Windancer Farm.

“We've sold all of our horses,” Blum said. “I was disappointed earlier. I would have liked to have seen the half-sister to Society sell better, but we take it as it comes. When you've been doing it as long as I have, it is what it is. We didn't buy any horses back. There were a few that I thought we should have had higher reserves on, but in the end, the objective is to sell everything. If you put reserves that aren't realistic and then you buy back half of them, then people think you don't want to sell.”

The SF/Starlight/Madaket partnership purchased four yearlings Tuesday, three were colts by Into Mischief. In addition to hip 328, the group acquired hip 241 for $825,000 and hip 335 for $450,000, as well as hip 330, a son of Curlin, for $350,000.

Through two sessions, the group has purchased seven horses for a total of $4,560,000. @JessMartiniTDN

Another Seven-Figure Horse for BC Stables

The fledgling BC Stables of John Bellinger and Brian Coelho had its second seven-figure purchase of the Keeneland September sale when trainer D. Wayne Lukas went to $1 million to acquire a colt by Into Mischief (hip 363) from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment. The yearling was bred by Marie Jones, who spent several minutes talking to Lukas in the pavilion after the purchase.

After the longtime breeder and the veteran trainer finished their discussion, Jones's advisor Frank Taylor agreed it was a special moment.

“We love that Wayne bought him,” Taylor said. “He's been like my hero all of my life. I know he will do a good job with him and I hope he does some special things for him.”

The yearling is out of Not in Jest (Unbridled's Song), a full-sister to Grade I winner Cross Traffic.

“He is going to be quick,” Lukas said of the colt. “He's very, very typey. The thing I liked about him was that they must have shown him 100 and some times and he never took a wrong step. He just bowed his neck. And I loved his energy. The horse has a lot of energy. He's a well-conformed horse. He's not real lengthy, but I think he will be a great 2-year-old.”

Lukas agreed he was a fan of the breeding operation built by Jones and her late husband Aaron.

“They do a great job,” he said. “Frank Taylor advises her and they put the right horses to the right sires. Over the last, I don't know how many years, I've been buying off of her. I know her well. I knew her husband well. She's a wonderful, classy woman.”

Lukas has signed the ticket on four yearlings on behalf of BC Stables, including a $1.15-million son of Quality Road (hip 176) purchased during Monday's first session of the auction. He also purchased a pair of yearlings for the operation at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale last month.

“It makes it a lot easier to get up at 3 a.m. You bet,” Lukas said of the new acquisitions. “I am excited about their program and where I can take them. They want to play at the top. I don't know when I've had a nicer bunch of 2-year-olds, when you put the Saratoga horses in with these.”

Lukas credited a strong purse structure for the high demand for horses.

“It's very solid, especially in the middle,” he said of the market. “It seems like it is so solid in that $350,000-$400,000 range. Right in there, it's so solid. And that's where, if you buy a racehorse and it stays sound, I think you have a great chance, with the purse structure the way it is today, to get out very easy, to get your seed money out. The purse structure is so strong right now, getting $70-80,000 for a maiden win, $90-100,000 for a NW2, if he runs and stays strong, you'll be able to recoup your money. I think that's what is driving the market.”

But Lukas admitted going up against the many high-profile partnerships could make his job at the sales tougher.

“The thing that is getting difficult is when they start holding hands–then it gets tough,” he said. “They get a lot of people involved and at a high level, but everytime I see them holding hands, I think that's not too good,” he said with a laugh.  @JessMartiniTDN

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