Into Mischief Colt Tops Another Banner Day at KEESEP

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Session-topping hip 604 | Keeneland photo

By Christie DeBernardis and Jessica Martini

A $1.4-million son of super sire Into Mischief (Hip 604) led a sextet of seven-figure sellers during the opening session of Book 2 of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale Wednesday. Consigned by Summerfield on behalf of Stonestreet Stables, the colt was purchased by Larry Best of OXO Equine.

With six horses eclipsing the million-dollar mark Wednesday, the sale total now comes to 28. During the equivalent session last year, just two yearlings brought seven figures, including the $1.7-million sale topper.

“It was a great session,” said Tony Lacy, Keeneland's Vice President of Sales. “When you are seeing six million-dollar plus horses in session three, getting us up to 28 for three days, you are bringing it back to 2006, 2007 levels, which is really encouraging. The average and median have ticked up again over last year. Overall, it was a really, solid competitive session. There was diversity in the buyers. It was great to see the money spread.”

Book 2 opened Wednesday with 219 head bringing $66,695,000 with an average of $304,543 and a median of $250,000. There were 77 horses that failed to meet their reserves. During the same session in 2021, 211 horses summoned $60,996,000 with an average of $289,081 and median of $230,000. There were 72 RNAs.

Through the first three days of selling, 439 yearlings have grossed $180,355,000 with an average of $410,831 and median of $325,000. A total of 139 yearlings have been bought back. During the first three days in 2021, 419 youngsters grossed $151,618,000 with an average of $361,857 and median of $290,000. There were 180 horses led out of the ring unsold.

The top 20 yearlings were all purchased by domestic buyers. The powerhouse group led by SF/Starlight/Madaket bought three of the six seven-figure sellers. All three colts–one each by Gun Runner, Quality Road and Into Mischief–were purchased for $1.05 million.

“A lot of domestic buyers participated and we are very grateful to them,” said Cormac Breathnach, Keeneland's Director of Sales. “The current purse structure in racing and their involvement in the sale just speaks volumes. We are very excited about it. We still have international buyers here on the grounds and they aren't finding it as easy as expected to fill orders. The energy from Book 1 continued into Book 2 and we look forward to it continuing into the next nine sessions.”

Gainesway had a great day Wednesday, selling a pair of million-dollar homebreds in Hip 603, a $1.3-million Tapit filly, and Hip 740, the $1.05 million Into Mischief colt. Antony Beck's operation was the session's leading seller by gross receipts, with 27 yearlings bringing $9.78 million with an average of $362,222.

The second of two Book 2 sessions gets underway Thursday at 11 a.m.

Best on Top for Into Mischief Colt

Larry Best found a colt by Into Mischief (hip 604) who checked all the proverbial boxes and the owner outlasted a phone bidder to take the yearling home for a session-topping $1.4 million at Keeneland Wednesday. Out of stakes winner and multiple Grade I-placed Dawn the Destroyer (Speightstown), the bay was consigned by Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck's Summerfield on behalf of Barbara Banke's Stonestreet. After signing the ticket on the colt in the pavilion, Best rushed off to watch his Fortin Hill (Mucho Macho Man) win an optional claimer at Horseshoe Indianapolis.

“It's always good when the breeder, after you buy him, offers to partner with you on the horse,” Best said after speaking with Banke. “I love Into Mischief. I have all these filters that I use and rarely does a horse meet all the filters when it's a colt. That's why you don't see me buying many colts. My filter is pretty stringent. Believe it or not, this one cleared them all. And I thought, 'why am I not buying the horse when I bought all of these others Into Mischiefs and done well with most of them?' So I waited until I saw him in the ring again and I said, 'If I am going to roll the dice at a big number for a colt, I am going to stick with Into Mischief and this one looks as good as I've seen.”

Best said the odds were against him when he was looking ahead to hip 604 making it as a stallion.

“In racing, it is so hard to win one race,” Best said. “The likelihood of getting a horse that becomes a sire is remote, but this is my shot. I'll give it a shot because I love the bloodlines.

He is magnificent. He looks like Into Mischief, he is just well-balanced and a beautiful horse. But I can't emphasize enough, when you are buying colts, the risk is very high. And you almost have to be willing to lose on colts. With fillies, if you buy good fillies, you can love those horses for 10 years plus. ”

Best's broodmare band is still in its early stages, but he has already enjoyed plenty of success as a seller.

“My first horse that I ever bought was Moi (Medaglia d'Oro),” Best recalled. “I paid $750,000 and I thought I was nuts. She didn't do very well on the racetrack, but her third foal I sold for $570,000 as a weanling and Archie St. George's just sold him for $1.05 million [as hip 344 Tuesday at Keeneland]. I think maybe I'm doing something right.”

Best concluded, “So, do I need luck on this one? I need a whole lot of luck, but he's a beautiful horse.” @JessMartiniTDN

 

 

 

Stonestreet Yearlings Shine Wednesday

Barbara Banke's Stonestreet helped Book 2 get off to a strong start when selling a colt by Curlin (hip 410) for $925,000 to Don and Donna Adam's Courtlandt Farm and the operation came back later in the session to sell a colt by Into Mischief (hip 604) for a $1.4 million to Larry Best.

“We loved him,” Banke said of the Into Mischief session topper, who is the first foal out of the Stonestreet homebred and multiple Grade I-placed Dawn the Destroyer (Speightstown). “He's a great colt out of a great race mare. He was definitely one that I would love to stay in on, but I know Larry doesn't take partners. I may ask him anyway. He is a really good colt.”

Dawn the Destroyer, who finished second in the GI Ballerina S. and third in the GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint in 2019, was bred to Curlin this year.

Hip 410 is out of Road to Victory (Quality Road), winner of the 2017 GII Golden Rod S. Stonestreet purchased the mare, in foal to War Front, for $1.45 million at the 2019 Fasig-Tipton November sale.

“I thought he would be very well received,” Banke said of the yearling. “He was a beautiful colt out of a good mare and by Curlin. He should be a very nice two-turn type horse.”

After a quiet Book 1, Stonestreet made its mark on the first session of Book 2, with seven yearlings sold for $3.8 million.

“We are just getting into the thick of it now,” Banke said Wednesday morning. “We sold four at Saratoga and we have six or seven to sell today and a lot more coming up.”

Through three sessions, Courtlandt Farm has purchased 11 yearlings for $8,235,000. The farm's new yearlings include three seven-figure purchases: a filly by Into Mischief (hip 359) for $1.35 million; a colt by Into Mischief (hip 344); and a son of City of Light (hip 73) for $1 million. @JessMartiniTDN

Gun Runner Colt Draws a Crowd

A trio of high-profile owners teamed up to acquire a colt by Gun Runner (hip 694) for $1.15 million late in Wednesday's third session of the Keeneland September sale. Bloodstock agent Justin Casse signed the ticket on the yearling on behalf of John Oxley, Coolmore's M.V. Magnier, and Breeze Easy.

“Everybody loves Gun Runner these days,” Casse said of the Woods Edge Farm-consignee. “They all seem to have very good walks and tremendous movement. He has a very good topline. He was a class act on the end of the shank from day one. He comes from a good nursery–they raise a good horse.”

After watching the strength of the market this week at Keeneland, Casse admitted he was not surprised by the colt's seven-figure price tag.

“If you had asked me three days ago, I probably would have said it wouldn't go that high,” Casse said. “I would have said maybe in the $600,000 range, but the way that things have headed, I have a hard time distinguishing what makes a horse like that bring over $1 million, other than the two right people are on him.”

The chestnut colt is out of multiple stakes winner and multiple graded placed Kathballu (Bluegrass Cat). He was consigned by Peter O'Callaghan's Woods Edge Farm, which purchased him for $185,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale.

“He was vetted nearly 20 times,” O'Callaghan said of the yearling's popularity at the barn. “I would say all the big money was on him. It seemed like they all followed him up here. He was just a lovely, lovely colt, very much in the mold of his sire. He was very straightforward. He was a very nice colt when we bought him and did fabulous. Wonderful temperament. Very solid.”

O'Callaghan admitted he was a big fan of exciting young stallion Gun Runner.

“All these Gun Runners are easy to train,” he said. “They take the hardships. We've never had a stallion like this guy. We've had some great sires–Tapit, Into Mischief, Uncle Mo–but Gun Runner is a little bit extra. It's incredible.”

The million-dollar transacation continued a big day for both Woods Edge's pinhooks and homebreds.

On the pinhooking front, Woods Edge sold a filly by Flatter (hip 403) for $425,000. The filly had been purchased for $190,000 from the Pin Oak Stud dispersal held at Fasig-Tipton last September. Also Wednesday, Woods Edge sold a yearling full-sister to GISW Consumer Spending (More Than Ready) (hip 434) for $650,000 to Mike Ryan. The operation had purchased the filly for $240,000 at the Keeneland November sale last fall; and a Twirling Candy colt (hip 739), acquired for $175,000 at Keeneland November, for $400,000 to M.V. Magnier.

Hip 621, a Twirling Candy filly bred by Woods Edge, sold for $925,000 to Rigney Racing, and hip 520, a homebred son of City of Light, sold for $400,000 to CRK Stable.

Woods Edge sold 11 horses Wednesday for $5,205,000.

“The market is great, but it's the same story,” O'Callaghan said. “You have to be good. It has to be the right sire and it has to vet. If you want to break out, you have to be squeaky clean.”   @JessMartiniTDN

 

 

 

Pope Returns to the Well For Tapit Filly

Mandy Pope went to $1.3 million to secure MSW & GSP Danzatrice (Dunkirk)'s Tapit colt at this auction last year and she returned to the well Wednesday, buying his full-sister (Hip 603) for $1.1 million. Trainer Chad Brown, acting on behalf of client Peter Brant, was the underbidder.

“We bought the brother [Tapit Trice] last year,” Pope said. “We have him in training. Gainesway stayed in for a little part of him. He is with Todd Pletcher right now and we have high hopes for him. We are going to make a nice family here.”

As for the filly, the Whisper Hill Farm owner said, “I thought she had a nice hip, a nice heart girth and moved really well.”

Danzatrice is a half-sister to champion juvenile filly Jaywalk (Cross Traffic). Gainesway bought the mare for $105,000 as a 2-year-old at the OBS April sale. Her first foal, a now gelding named General Strike (Union Rags), sold for $250,000 at this auction and Tapit Trice was her second foal.

“It was Antony [Beck]'s strategy” said Gainesway's Brian Graves. “He had several Tapit fillies and he wanted to split them up a little bit. I really wouldn't have been able to pick between them honestly. They both had things to like about them. I preferred this one a little bit and the price showed it at the end of the day, but they were pretty close.”

@CDeBernardisTDN

 

 

 

SF/Starlight/Madaket Strike Early

The powerhouse colt partnership led by SF Bloodstock, Starlight and Madaket Stables made their presence felt early in Wednesday's Book 2 opener, going to $1.05 million for a colt by young sire standout Gun Runner (Hip 383). The bay was consigned by Pope McLean's Crestwood Farm on behalf of breeder Ann Fostock.

“He is a beautiful horse raised by really wonderful people,” said SF's Tom Ryan. “Gun Runner is a sensation. There is no other way to describe him. He has five Grade I winners from his first 120 runners. It is an amazing feat. Bob loved this horse. Donato loved this horse. John Moynihan is part of this horse. Everybody that saw him [liked him]. It was a consensus vote. We are happy to land him.”

Out of Perfect Flute (Pleasantly Perfect), Hip 383 hails from a deep Juddmonte family. His second dam is MGISW and Kentucky Oaks-winning millionaire Flute (Seattle Slew), who is the dam of MGSW & MGISP Filimbi (Mizzen Mast). This is also the female family of GISW Weep No More (Mineshaft) and GSW Current (Curlin).

“He was a special horse,” said Crestwood's Marc McLean. “He's a horse we thought could break through and it happened. It was a nice surprise. He was bred by a client, he was foaled and raised at our farm. He has always been a standout. He has such good scope and size and that's what made him special. We got lucky and got him in the right spot. We were pretty busy this morning; buyers kept coming back, which is a good thing. He was early in the session, which made us nervous, but I believe everybody had done their homework. Hopefully he was one of the standouts on the day, but you don't know until you get here.”

The SF/Starlight/Madaket team sparked fireworks late in the session, securing a son of Into Mischief (Hip 740) for the same $1.05 million.

“We love Into Mischief. We've bought seven of them now [at KEESEP],” Ryan said. “How could you not love Into Mischief? He is out of a very good racemare and is by a very good sire. He is a horse Bob Baffert loved immediately, so we are happy to own him.”

Consigned and bred by Gainesway, Hip 740 is out of GSW & MGISP More Chocolate (Malibu Moon).

“This is where I thought the horse belonged,” said Gainesway's Brian Graves. “The mare is getting a bit middle-aged. I am especially proud of that one. Antony [Beck] let me do that mating during the Covid times. We thought he was a really nice colt physically.”

In between those colts, the partnership once again paid $1.05 million for a Quality Road colt (Hip 574) who is a full-brother to the stakes-winning Stillwater Cove.

The SF/Starlight/Madaket team, guided by bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, have purchased a total of 14 yearling colts for a sale-best $9.88 million through the first three days of bidding. —@CDeBernardisTDN

 

 

 

Million-Dollar Score for Hancock

Rowland Hancock, who has been breeding Thoroughbreds for over four decades, had his first seven-figure sale when Tom Ryan signed the ticket at $1.05 million on a colt by Quality Road (hip 574) on behalf of the SF/Starlight/Madaket partnership. The dark bay colt is out of Celibataire (Broken Vow), a full-sister to graded winner Interactif and dam of stakes winner Stillwater Cove (Quality Road). Hancock purchased the mare, in foal to Union Rags, for $180,000 at the 2018 Keeneland January sale.

“I had seen her yearling the year before and I fell in love with the yearling,” Hancock said of the mare's appeal. “Anybody that could produce something that beautiful, I wanted to own.”

Of his first million-dollar yearling, who was consigned by Crestwood Farm, Hancock said, “This colt was something. He is one of the most balanced, classy horses I've ever seen. I've bred some fairly good horses, but he was just special. You always read about these classy horses who want to walk and never get mad, keep their demeanor. He exemplified that. He loved to walk. He loved to get out.”

Celibataire's first foal for Hancock was a $100,000 Keeneland September yearling in 2019. He retained the mare's Gun Runner filly, Cause Celebre, who ran at Kentucky Downs just after her half-brother lit up the board at Keeneland. Celibataire's 2-year-old daughter of Justify sold for $215,000 at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton November sale. The mare was bred to Mendelssohn this year.

Hancock has eight mares in his broodmare band.

“I've been doing this for 47 years,” he said of his breeding operation. “This is the culmination of doing it for a long time.”

Hip 383 was the second seven-figure purchase of Wednesday's session for the SF/Starlight/Madaket partnership, which struck early in the day to acquire a Gun Runner colt, also consigned by the McLean family's Crestwood Farm, for $1.05 million.

“We love Quality Road, he's a great, proven stallion,” Ryan said of the purchase. “It's a very nice family. He's a half to a stakes-winning filly. He's a very straightforward colt.”

Of the colt's final price tag, Ryan said, “The market is very strong, it's carried through from Book 1 to Book 2 very nicely. But he's a big, strong Quality Road colt who was well-raised and with a proper pedigree. It's not that surprising.”

Enjoying the dual $1.05-million sales, Marc McLean said, “It's been a great day; unbelievable really.”

He added of the Quality Road colt, “He was not a huge colt, but just a beautiful mover. We wouldn't dream he would go that high. It was a good job by the sales team. Both of these were for clients and were raised and foaled at our farm. It is rewarding.” @JessMartiniTDN

 

 

 

Into Mischief Filly A Fitting Tribute to Late Dam

Stakes winner Steelin' (Orientate) was very good to the team at Jeff and Chiquita Reddoch's Stonehaven Steadings during her 14-year tenure with them, producing a champion in her very first foal Shanghai Bobby (Harlan's Holiday). Sadly, the Reddoch family lost Steelin' last year, but her final foal, a filly by Into Mischief (Hip 459), paid fitting tribute to her late dam Wednesday, bringing $900,000 from WinStar's Maverick Racing and Siena Farm.

“We loved her physique,” said WinStar's Elliott Walden. “She is a really strong filly. The pedigree works with Shanghai Bobby and another daughter has already had a graded stakes winner, both are by Harlan's Holiday. She is something we can put in the broodmare band as well.”

The Reddochs' daughter Leah O'Meara was first to congratulate Walden after he signed the ticket with her parents and husband Aidan O'Meara not far behind her.

“This is her last foal,” Leah O'Meara said. “We lost the mare before we weaned her. This was kind of her swan song. We didn't really want to bring her to the sale, but we have every other filly out of the mare. We still have the family and have sold well out of the family. This was a beautiful result.”

Stonehaven Steadings purchased Steelin', who was coincidentally bred by WinStar, for $155,000 at the 2009 KEENOV sale. The resulting colt sold for just $105,000 at KEESEP, but became champion and sire Shanghai Bobby. They have not offered many of Steelin's foals at auction, but her 2015 Tapit colt brought $500,000 from Winchell Thoroughbreds at this auction. The Reddochs sent Steelin' through the ring in 2015 at the Fasig-Tipton November Sale in foal to Medaglia d'Oro, but RNA'd her for $1.775 million. Her daughter Miz Kella (Harlan's Holiday) is the dam of MGSW Canoodling (Pioneerof the Nile).

Stonehaven Steadings has been having a strong Keeneland September Sale thus far, selling seven yearlings for $6.975 million with an average of $996,429, including the current sale topper, a $2.5-million colt by Quality Road (Hip 97). The nursery also produced recently retired champion and OBS April sale topper 'TDN Rising Star' Corniche (Quality Road).

“It's been unbelievable,” O'Meara said. “This is the perfect storm. This is the best crop we have ever brought to a sale and to be this well received in a market so strong is just unreal. There are no words. I am thankful. Everyone will benefit. It will trickle down to everybody.” —@CDeBernardisTDN

Coolmore & Breeze Easy Team Up on Gun Runner Colt

Coolmore's M.V. Magnier teamed up with Mike Hall of Breeze Easy to acquire a son of the red-hot Gun Runner (Hip 640) for $825,000 Wednesday.

Gun Runner is obviously doing very well as a stallion,” said Magnier. “Three Chimneys is a very good breeder and all the guys really liked the horse. Hopefully he is good.”

He added, “We are partnering with Breeze Easy. They are very nice people and we enjoy doing business with them.”

Consigned by Taylor Made Sales, Hip 640 was bred by the Torrealba family's Three Chimneys Farm, which stands Gun Runner. The operation purchased the colt's GSP dam Flatter Up (Flatter) for $300,000 at the 2018 Keeneland November Sale in foal to the late Arrogate. She hails from the family of MGISW and stallion Midnight Storm (Pioneerof the Nile).  —@CDeBernardisTDN

 

 

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