'He Was A Real Man Here Today'–SF, Partners Go For More Good Magic at Keeneland September

Session-topping hip 2009 | Keeneland photo


On day three of the 2021 Keeneland September Sale, bloodstock agent Donato Lanni went to $775,000 for a colt from the first crop of champion Good Magic on behalf of the partnership headed up by SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables. Reincarnate has helped put his young Hill 'n' Dale-based sire on the map with a victory in this year's GIII Sham S. and Los Alamitos Derby, and the team will be hoping that lightning strikes twice after they parted with $700,000 for the Gainesway-consigned hip 2009 during the first of two Book 4 sessions in Lexington Monday. The colt is the most expensive horse sold on day seven of the September sale since 2015.

During Monday's round of bidding, the auction house reported sales on a total of 306 horses for gross receipts of $24,681,500. The session average of $80,658 dipped by just over 8% versus last year's sale, while the median price of $65,000 represented a decrease of 3.7%. Cumulative turnover through the first seven days stood at $344,546,500, some 3.1% lower than 2022, but the average of $228,935 was effectively on par with last year while the median of $150,000 was down by 6.25%.

The September Sale runs through Saturday, Sept. 23, with daily sessions beginning at 10 a.m. ET. For full results visit www.keeneland.com.

KEESEP Spending Spree Continues For Partnership

“It's hard for a stallion to be trending any better than Good Magic. The secret is out,” said SF Bloodstock's Tom Ryan, expressing little surprise that hip 2009, by the sire of this year's GI Kentucky Derby winner Mage, became the focal point of Monday's activity.

“At this point, when you have a stallion producing horses at that elite level, the price bracket can get to an elite range as well,” he said. “At the end of the day, you try to buy them as reasonably as possible, but it's our job to buy them.”

And buy them they have. Monday's purchase was the 20th made by the partnership, accounting for nearly $12.6 million in sales. Hip 2009 was the second-priciest of 18 of Good Magic's third-crop yearlings to sell over the course of the last week, second only to the $725,000 paid by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Gary Broad's Walmac Farm and Bridlewood Farm for hip 288.

Foaled three days prior to last year's Derby, hip 2009 is a son of Beauty Buzz (Bernardini), who was acquired by Walmac for $110,000 when carrying to another Smart Strike-line stallion– namely Accelerate–at the 2020 Keeneland November Sale. The colt's second dam, Orchardof the Nile (Empire Maker), is a full-sister to the late Pioneerof the Nile, sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. The success of Curlin over A.P. Indy-line mares has been well documented and hip 2009 is bred on the cross responsible for MGISW Clairiere, GISW Paris Lights and additional graded winners Point of Honor and 'TDN Rising Star' Spice Is Nice.

So just what is it that Good Magic has passed on to his progeny?

“Look, I think there's a willingness about them, there don't seem to be too many kinks in them,” said Ryan. “They seem to try, they seem to be able to stay. They're really kind of versatile horses from what we've seen so far. The fact that they ran as well as they did as 2-year-olds; Good Magic was obviously a champion 2-year-old, but you relate Good Magic more to Curlin and Smart Strike and you're thinking more of a route horse. But they've shown plenty of precocity and potentially have shown a bit more speed than we've seen from Curlin. There doesn't seem to be a limiting factor to him.”

Ryan is especially taken by Good Magic's output within the context of the formidable group sires that entered stud in 2019.

“It was a tough crop to be getting off the ground in, when you think about Justify and Bolt d'Oro–those horses were really well supported and they're obviously doing very well at the moment,” Ryan said. “This might be one of those golden crops of stallions with multiple standouts. We remember that Medaglia d'Oro, Candy Ride (Arg), Speighstown crop. You might think one would fall by the wayside, but they all continued on. It's kind of like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic.”

Ryan wasn't the smallest bit concerned about the colt's late foaling date–and with good reason.

“He was born on the fourth of May and all I can tell you is that [future Horse of the Year] Authentic was born May 5,” he said. “May foals don't trouble us at all, we're not trying to have 2-year-olds. It's all effectively about Del Mar next year and on from there. Sometimes, Del Mar even comes too soon for our horses. They'll stay here for 45-60 days, the weather here is beautiful for that and gives them time to decompress from the sale before they move on to the next stage.”

Good Times Roll On For Gainesway

The sale of hip 2009 was another feather in the cap for the Gainesway draft, which sits atop the consignors' table through Monday's session, with 116 head sold for nearly $42.3 million.

The Gainesway braintrust, in concert with Broad, made a strategic decision to try to be a big fish in the relatively small pond of Book 4 and it paid off handsomely Monday.

“We knew he was a nice physical. We put him in Book 4 just to make him stand out from a pedigree perspective,” Gainesway's Brian Graves explained. “We didn't expect the end result to be as strong as it was, but in fairness, he was a very nice colt by a very up-and-coming young stallion that's had the Derby winner this year. To see a bidding war ensue on a horse like him wasn't out of the question. Some very good judges were on the horse, Mike Ryan underbidding Tom Ryan. It's a dream come true for the breeder and we were happy to be in the middle of it all.

About the colt as an individual, Graves added, “He was a well-balanced nice horse. The experts in these things are guys that send them to the races and they know what a good horse is. He's a potential stallion prospect. I'm just happy that Gary Broad at Walmac Farm is starting to have success like that, it's good for everyone.”

Not only is Gainesway the leading consignor by gross, but also by average ($364,457) (with 20 or more horses sold), and it all has Graves pinching himself a bit.

“We're elated with the sale,” he said. “You never know coming in. We thought we had a great group of horses and we've been steadily trying to increase our quality. We've been fortunate that our clients support us and give us a quality product to sell. It all starts with the clients and the horses they breed and trust us with. It's really rewarding. It's the first September sale that we've been the leading consignor of every session we've sold in and possibly for the entire sale. For me, it's a lifetime achievement and I'm really flattered to be in this position.”

Successful Session For Woods Edge

While not quite achieving the same heights as Gainesway during Monday's session, Peter O'Callaghan's Woods Edge Farm had an outstanding afternoon all the same, consigning three of the top nine sellers, each one a homebred.

Trainer Ken McPeek snapped up the most expensive of the lot, a first-crop colt by Game Winner, for $275,000, while Chris Baccari paid $260,000 for a filly by the in-form Outwork. Later in the session, Deuce Greathouse, acting as agent for Robert Masterson, went to $250,000 for a filly by the reliable Munnings.

“Lovely, strong quality horse with a lovely head and very much in the mold of a nice Candy Ride,” O'Callaghan said of the Game Winner, which was purchased in utero for $100,000 at Keeneland November in 2021. “He sold very well, we were very happy. Four different people bid on that horse over $200,000. Obviously some good judges were on him. Kenny McPeek bought him and Mike Ryan was the immediate underbidder and Saffie Joseph was over there too. Good sale, we were very happy and he'll get a good shot with Kenny.”

Sticking with the Candy Ride line, dam Haynesfest (Haynesfield) delivered a filly by Twirling Candy this season.

Outwork has been on a bit of a roll this year, highlighted by the GI Spinaway S. victory from Brightwork, and O'Callaghan was duly pleased with the action on his filly.

“We had a ton of interest in her. She was an absolute beauty,” he said. “She's a homebred out of a mare of our own and hopefully she'll get a stakes update with F Five. I'm told he's going to run in stakes next.”

A 4-year-old gelded son of Not This Time, F Five is perfect in two starts on the turf, including a victory in Ellis allowance company Aug. 28.

He added: “Outwork is a quite a useful sire and obviously Brightwork is a very promising filly, but it's looking like he gets really nice fillies, more refined and racier at this point. A lot of people were on that filly and she sold accordingly, everything was right about her.”

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