Brisk Trade At Keeneland November Book 2 Opener


Session-topping Park Avenue | Keeneland photo

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY — The momentum from Monday's opening session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale continued into the first session of Book 2 Tuesday in Lexington with a pair of mares bringing seven figures.

“I would describe it as a solid day,” said Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin. “Overall, we are very happy with the gross, very happy with the median and average being up over last year.”

During Tuesday's session, 197 horses sold for $35,073,000. The average of $178,036 was up 6.26% from a year ago and the median, which dipped slightly during Monday's session, was up 7.69% to $140,000.

“We continue to use the median and the RNA rate as our measures of the depth and health of the market overall,” said Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach. “The averages are great and are great for headlines, but we look at the depth of the market as well and the median is a good indicator of that. Today, in that sense, was a strong day. Yesterday was a good day, too, we had a lot of seven figure offerings which made the average really strong. But overall, our median is up from last year and that's how we hope to see that continue.”

The session's buy-back rate was 27.84%, up from last year's corresponding figure of 22.07%, but that increase could be a reflection of the strong market, according to Breathnach.

“The RNA's are up a little bit, but people are probably being a bit more selective because replacement costs are high,” he said. “And you are going to roll on for another year if you don't feel like you can replace with the same quality.”

Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Farm made the day's highest bid, going to $1.45 million to acquire the 4-year-old racing/broodmare prospect Park Avenue (Quality Road). Jim and Dana Bernhard, stocking their broodmare band at their recently acquired Pin Oak Stud, made the session's other seven-figure bid when going to $1 million for Sweet Sami D (First Samurai), who sold in foal to red-hot Gun Runner. It was the first time Book 2 of the November sale had produced a million-dollar transaction since 2017.

Pin Oak Stud purchased four mares Tuesday and was the session's leading buyer as the domestic buying bench gained strength into Book 2.

“We had a really strong buying bench,” Arvin said. “We had much more domestic activity today than we did yesterday. We saw Jane Lyon, Determined Stud, and the Winchells and Jim and Dana Bernhard adding to their bloodstock. It was nice to see them active.”

With two positive sessions in the books already, the November sale will have plenty of momentum to carry it through its final eight sessions.

“We are off on the right foot,” said Breathnach. “We have the first day of Book 2 behind us and we have eight more sessions in the Breeding Stock Sale and then the racehorse sale to come, but it feels really good and the energy is good. There are a lot of buyers here and a lot of people talking about the shows in the barn area for tomorrow and beyond. We know we have a long way to go, but we are very pleased with this beginning.”

The Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale continues through Nov. 16 and is followed by a Horses of Racing Age Sale on Nov. 17. Bidding begins daily at 10 a.m.

Park Avenue Leads to Summer Wind

Jane Lyon of Summer Wind Farm had been outbid on some of her top picks earlier on the sale, so she was bidding with determination when she acquired Park Avenue (Quality Road) (hip 478) for $1.45 million Tuesday at Keeneland.

“I need some good mares,” Lyon said after signing the ticket on the 4-year-old filly. “I've been outbid on several I wanted–the sale topper yesterday and a couple of others along the way–so I was pretty determined not to get outbid on her.”

Park Avenue, a $450,000 Keeneland September yearling purchase, won this year's Ouija Board Distaff S. and was second in the GIII La Canada S. for Hronis Racing and trainer John Sadler. She retires from racing with four wins from 14 starts and earnings of $330,887.

Lyon is breeder and co-owner of recently retired superstar Flightline (Tapit) and Park Avenue could be visiting that stallion next year.

“We are going to debate it,” Lyon said of possible mating plans. “Because there is a close connection pedigree-wise [to Flightline]. But we will debate that with people who know–certainly not me.”

Park Avenue is out of Remarkable, who, like Flightline's dam Feathered, is by Indian Charlie.

Asked if she was surprised by Park Avenue's seven-figure price tag, Lyon said, “Oh yes. I am always surprised.”

During Monday's first session of the November sale, Lyon acquired the racing/broodmare prospect Edgeway (Competitive Edge) (hip 156)–also trained by Sadler for Hronis Racing–for $1.7 million.

“I am looking for good, quality mares, preferably if they had raced and been successful,” Lyon said. “I came here saying I was going to buy mares in foal and so far I've bought two who aren't. I am going to have to sit down and rethink it.”

Park Avenue was consigned Tuesday by Lane's End and the farm's Allaire Ryan thought she was a standout in Book 2.

“When two people want them, anything can happen,” Ryan said. “In this group, she was a standout for us. That was beyond our expectations and a super sale all the way around. She was a beautiful filly who obviously had plenty of talent and ability on the track. Her looks just surpassed that. She took your breath away when you saw her. She's a classy filly. She was popular at the barn and people kept coming back to look at her multiple times. We knew we had the right players on her. It's nice to see everyone get rewarded.” @JessMartiniTDN




Bernhards Assembling Broodmare Band For Their 'New' Farm

With their recent purchase or the historic Pin Oak Stud near Versailles, Jim and Dana Bernhard were busy at Keeneland purchasing mares for their new property. They purchased 10 yearlings at the Keeneland September sale under the name of their Lynnhaven Racing, but signed under the name of Pin Oak Stud Tuesday.

“We have plenty of stall space out there, so we figured we might as well get as many good ones as we can,” Matt Weinmann, the Bernhards' advisor, said. “We are looking for top quality, good pedigrees with really good physiology. You can't put a number on how many of those are in this sale. We will see.”

Their first purchase under their new moniker was Broadway Lady (Constitution) (Hip 283) for $500,000. A $125,000 FTKJUL yearling buy, the dark bay won four of her 21 starts and hit the board in seven others. She had a timely update coming into the sale, finishing third in the GIII Ontario Matron S. Oct. 22.

Out of SW Livi Makenzie (Macho Uno), Broadway Lady is a half to dual Grade III-winning sophomore colt Tawny Port (Pioneerof the Nile). She was consigned by Bluewater Sales on behalf of owner Gary Barber.

“We are going to breed her next year,” said Weinmann. “She is a lovely filly and checked all the boxes for us. Being Grade III-placed in her last race gave her that black-type, which is very important. After the sale, we will go over matings and see who she fits and go from there. We really liked her. She's beautiful.”

The new Pin Oak crew was back in action later in the session, taking home Cyrielle (Animal Kingdom) (Hip 313) for $160,000 and going to $700,000 for Querelle (Violence) (Hip 497) from the Grovendale consignment. The GSP mare, who sold in foal to Constitution, was acquired by Glendalough at Dromoland for $220,000 at the KEEJAN sale earlier this year.

They made their biggest purchase of the day late in the session, going to a cool $1 million for Sweet Sami D (First Samurai) (Hip 573), who sold in foal to red-hot sire Gun Runner.

“She was probably my favorite physical of the day,” said Weinmann. “She is really high-quality mare in foal to one of the best stallions on the planet. We are just extremely excited to have her.” —@CDeBernardisTDN




Stonehaven's Stellar Season Continues at KEENOV

The Reddoch's Stonehaven Steadings had an exceptional Keeneland September Sale and their hot streak continued in the November sales ring Tuesday with the $1-million sale of Sweet Sami D (First Samurai) (Hip 573), who was offered in foal to sensational young sire Gun Runner.

“I'm speechless,” said a clearly emotional Leah O'Meara, who owned the mare in partnership with her parents operation and her husband Aidan O'Meara. “I didn't want to bring her out here, but I'm glad we did. I'm really glad we did.”

Aidan O'Meara added, “We bought her last year and she just blossomed ever since she's been at the farm. We put her in foal to Gun Runner last year with the thoughts of coming this way. Then Gun Runner did what he did last year, so we decided we'd take a chance and bring her out here and see what the market would do. There is an obvious attachment there, so it is a little bittersweet.”

A $65,000 claim last August, Sweet Sami D was withdrawn from last year's November sale and was mated to Gun Runner. She was a talented racehorse with a record of 21-4-4-4 and multiple stakes placings, including the GIII Monmouth Oaks for trainer Pat McBurney.

“We were talking ourselves in and out of bringing her out here,” Aidan O'Meara said. “But, this was just an incredible result. We are delighted to have made the decision we did to come out here with her.”

The Stonehaven Steadings team sold a total of 18 yearlings for $8.188 million during Keeneland's September Sale, including the sale-topping $2.5-million Quality Road colt now named Metro.

“We are lost for words,” said Aidan O'Meara. “We were lost for words in September here, but this is even more incredible. It is hard to even fathom the type of year we've had. We've been so blessed. So many things have gone our way in an industry which is renowned for things being difficult. It has just been an incredible year for us and hopefully we can use this as a catalyst to build off and keep it moving forward bit by bit.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

CHC Collecting Mares For Life Is Good

The China Horse Club kept busy Tuesday, acquiring mares to send to their new stallion Life Is Good, topped by the $750,000 Ragged Rose (Union Rags) (Hip 500), who is in foal to Quality Road.

“She is a beautiful mare from a great family and in foal to Quality Road, who is nearly the best stallion in America,” said CHC's Michael Smith. “She is very clean, strong, good limbs, great action. She is very straight forward, everything you look for in a mare. She will complement him beautifully.”

A $200,000 KEESEP buy, Ragged Rose is out of SW & GSP Cat Charmer (Storm Cat), making her a half-sister to MGSW Strike Charmer (Smart Strike) and MSP Sweet Dreams (Candy Ride {Arg}), the dam of GSW & GISP Subconscious (Tapit). She was consigned by Grovendale Sales.

China Horse Club, signing as CHC INC, also purchased Summer Solo (Arch) (Hip 566) for $400,000 in foal to champion Essential Quality, Coastana (Kitten's Joy) (Hip 304) for $290,000, Lady Aces (Constitution) (Hip 419) for $200,000 and Pythoness (Liam's Map) for $110,000. Smith indicated that all four of those mares would go to Life Is Good.

CHC purchased five mares in total for $1.75 million and an average of $350,000. They also bought Princess Grace (Karakontie {Jpn}) for $1.7 million at Fasig Tipton Sunday and intend to race her in Australia next year.

“The market is strong, but if you do your homework and keep sifting through them, you can find a bit of value as well,” Smith said. “I think we bought well today. We got some really nice race fillies with stakes form as well as this mare with the big cover.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Song of Mine to West Point

Terry Finley of West Point Thoroughbreds signed the ticket at $700,000 to acquire Song of Mine (Ghostzapper) (hip 550) while standing out back alongside David Ingordo, but when it was time to talk to the press, Finley and Ingordo left the talking to Will Farish, son of Lane's End's Bill Farish.

“She was a beautiful mare,” Farish said. “We were excited to get her and to get her at the price we got her.”

Consigned by Buckland Sales, the 7-year-old Song of Mine sold in foal to Curlin. The half-sister to champion Songbird (Medaglia d'Oro) was purchased by the Haughey family's PTK for $800,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale. She made five starts in the PTK colors, hitting the board twice.

While the West Point/Lane's End partners have been buying mares to send to the recently retired Flightline, plans for Song of Mine have yet to be finalized.

“We have no immediate plans,” Farish said. “We're still talking about it, but we are excited to have her.”

Asked how he was finding the competition this week in Lexington, Farish said, “The market is really strong. It's tough to buy. But it's great for the business.”

With the arrival of superstar Flightline, the 24-year-old Farish has picked an exciting time to get more involved in the family business.

“I am working for David Ingordo, I just started this year,” Farish said. “It's been a fun start. I hope to keep working with David for the foreseeable future. I've been going to all these sales and learning a lot. I am going to try to keep learning.”

It was easy for Farish to pinpoint the highlight of his year so far.

“Well this past weekend was pretty fun,” he said with a smile, referring to Flightline's romp in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic. @JessMartiniTDN




Schoenthal Determined to Get Don'tforgetaboutme

With a page laden with black-type, Don'tforgetaboutme (Malibu Moon) (Hip 334) proved quite popular Tuesday and it was trainer Phil Schoenthal, acting on behalf of Matt Dorman's Determined Stud, who won out at $550,000. Consigned by Claiborn Farm, she sold in foal to Blame.

“Anytime you get a mare, where the first dam fills the page with a bunch of graded stakes winners and black-type, it is very commercial,” Schoenthal said. “All of her foals have sold very well. She's a good producer, so it is all the boxes we are trying to check to put together an elite broodmare band. We are also big fans of Blame. I just told Mr. Hancock that we were trying to find some mares to breed to him, so the fact she was in foal to Blame was a bonus for us. She was the whole package.”

As for who she will visit next, Schoenthal said, “Mr. Dorman has a lot of stallion shares that he has purchased, so we will sort all of that out later. We have a lot of options with her.”

Don'tforgetaboutme is a half-sister to GSW Mo Tom (Uncle Mo), MGSW Red Ruby (Tiznow), SW & MGISP Beautician (Dehere) and SW Bella Castani (Big Brown). Claiborne purchased her for $675,000 at the 2015 KEENOV sale and she produced five foals for them, including GSP Royal Spirit (Into Mischief). All of them fetched six figures at their respective yearling sales, topped by her 2021 Candy Ride (Arg) colt, who brought $575,000 from WinStar and Siena Farm at the recent KEEESEP sale. —@CDeBernardisTDN

Quality Road Colt Destined for Resale

A colt by Quality Road (hip 315) was the top-priced weanling Tuesday at Keeneland when selling for $425,000 to Archie and Michelle St. George. Consigned by Lane's End, agent, the gray is out of the unraced Daisy Miller (GB) (Smart Strike), a half-sister to graded winner Mrs. Danvers (Tapit) and from the family of War Front.

“The sire is very good and the physical is very good, so he just made sense,” said Archie St. George, while confirming the colt was purchased to pinhook next year. “He has a good hind end to him and he walks really well. He ticks a lot of boxes.”

The weanling was bred by W.S. Farish, Greathouse Equine, David Greathouse, Kerry Cauthen and Tony Lacy. Deuce Greathouse purchased Daisy Miller for €60,000 at the 2017 Arqana December sale. Her colt by American Pharoah sold to Hideyuki Mori for $175,000 at this year's Keeneland September sale. The 8-year-old mare was bred to Yaupon this year.

Asked how he was finding the foal market in the early days of the November sale, St. George smiled and said, “Too strong.” @JessMartiniTDN

Good Day For Grovendale

James Keogh's Grovendale Sales, now operated in partnership with Chance Timm, made a strong showing during the Book 2 opener with the successful pinhook of a pair of mares.

First up was Querelle (Violence) (Hip 497), who sold in foal to Constitution for $700,000. The Grade III-placed mare from the family of GISW Declassify (Orientate) was purchased by Keogh and partner Chip Muth of Glendalough at Dromoland for $220,000 at this year's KEEJAN sale.

“Myself and my friend Chip Muth bought her together,” Keogh said. “We bred her to Constitution and it worked out really, really well. I think she was the second -or third-last mare through the ring during the January Sale.”

Just three hips later, another Keogh pinhook, Ragged Rose (Union Rags), brought $750,000 carrying a foal by Quality Road.

“She is a beautiful mare,” said Keogh. “A couple of my friends got together. She was in California last year and a friend of ours was able to arrange the purchase. We were fortunate enough to get to Quality Road and obviously Quality Road is the magic.”

Overall, Grovendale sold 14 head for $3,752,000 for average of $268,000.

“We have sold 11 out of 12 so far,” Keogh said three-quarters of the way through the session “It is very, very important to get your reserves correct. We have been on the reserve or a little were obviously the exception. It's always a good market at Keeneland.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

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