By Katie Ritz
If City of Light was considered to be in demand after the close of Book 1 at the Keeneland September Sale, his yearlings were perhaps even more challenging to get ahold of by the end of Book 2.
First a colt by the first-crop stallion out of the graded stakes-producing mare Ghostslayer (Ghostzapper) brought $1.05 million late in the second session of the auction on Tuesday, selling as Hip 376, but then the next day another colt by the Lane's End sire, Hip 612 out of SP Anchorage (Tapit), brought down the house when he sold for $1.7 million. The purchase for Woodford Racing, Talla Racing and West Point Thoroughbreds marked the colt as the current sale topper after the first four sessions.
Through the initial pair of Keeneland September books, 28 City of Light yearlings sold for a gross of $12,535,000 and a $447,679 average. Eight of those offering brought at least $500,000.
“The September Sale results for City of Light so far have been astounding,” Lane's End's Allaire Ryan said. “I think it's a testament to the type of physical that he throws and the quality that he puts into all of his foals. The market is really reflective of the individuals that are out there. If you have a nice individual, whether it's in Book 1 or Book 5, you're going to do well with it. That sort of quality is what is sought after, whether it's by end users or people looking to resell. City of Light has had a fantastic sale so far and we're happy to ride on that momentum throughout the second week.”
Winner of the 2018 GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile and 2019 GI Pegasus World Cup Invitational S., City of Light has 19 sons and daughters slated to go through the ring this weekend for Book 3 of the catalogue with more to come in the following sessions.
Several consignors representing City of Light yearlings spoke on the quality they've seen in their offerings and the demand the youngsters have had from potential buyers since they stepped onto the sales grounds.
Consigned by Columbiana Farm, Hip 1393 is a half-brother to MGSW Selcourt (Tiz Wonderful) as well as six other winners. As inspections started to slow in late afternoon on the first day the colt was available for buyers to visit, Columbiana's Kathy Berkey said the colt had already been shown 98 times that day.
“He's been very popular and we've always liked him,” Berkey said. “He's so well balanced, so athletic and such a lovely walker. Knowing the mare the way we do, we've raised all of her foals and when she gets a good one, you can tell from the beginning that it's going to be a good one. Selcourt was a superstar and this is a really nice colt too. We're thrilled to have him here and we hope he runs to his looks.”
Hip 1408 is the second foal out of the Street Cry mare Betty Draper, a winner in France and a half-sister to stakes winners Modern (Tiznow) and City Plan (Street Sense).
Romain Malhouitre of Runnymede Farm said that the filly was foaled and raised at Runnymede before attending the 2020 Keeneland November Sale. After selling for $130,000 to Hubert Guy Bloodstock, she was sent back to their farm to prepare to go through the ring as a yearling.
“She's a lovely filly who stands over a lot of ground and she's very athletic,” Malhouitre said. “What we love the most is the way she moves. She's very fluid and efficient when she moves. She's been amazing all her life. She has plenty of bone and a good mind. She's got that look that most of the City of Light yearlings have, so we are very pleased to be able to present her to the market.”
Presented by Lane's End, Hip 1458 is out of the winning Dixie Union mare Dixie Victory, a daughter of GI Prioress S. winner and stakes producer Friendly Michelle (Artax). Dixie Victory was purchased with this filly in utero for $240,000 at the 2019 Keeneland November Sale.
“This filly is beautifully-balanced,” Allaire Ryan said. “She's a perfect package to look at. She moves well. She has a great range of motion and she's keen-looking, too, with a pretty head and eye. She's the type that I think would suit any end user or a pinhooker.”
Beth Bayer of Woodford Thoroughbreds is high on City of Light after a son of the young sire was a popular offering for their consignment in Book 2. Hip 1059, a colt out of SP Fashion Runaway (Old Fashioned), sold for $485,000 to Whisper Hill Farm.
“We love all our City of Light yearlings,” Bayer said. “He's stamping his horses and it seems like every one of them has a great walk, great attitude and a good body and shape. Everything about them is spot-on racehorse attitude.”
Hip 1884 sells in the sixth session of the Keeneland September Sale with Woodford Thoroughbreds. The April-foaled filly hails from the family of MGISW Classy Cathy (Private Account).
She's a very nice, precocious filly,” Bayer explained. I really like her attitude. Every time you bring her out to show her, she's always on. She wants to do her job and go forward. She stands up nicely, has a big walk and does everything perfectly for us.”