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Keeneland September Powers Ahead

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$4.1-million Curlin topper | Keeneland

by Jessica Martini, Christie DeBernardis, Brian DiDonato

LEXINGTON, KY – After a powerful initial session Monday, the Keeneland September Yearling Sale only gained strength through Tuesday’s second of three Book 1 sessions, with a colt by Curlin bringing the auction’s highest price since 2010 when selling for $4.1 million to Godolphin. Sheikh Mohammed’s operation purchased the top two lots at Monday’s opener and was again the major player at the top Tuesday. In addition to the session topper, Godolphin also purchased a colt by War Front for $2.9 million and a filly by Union Rags for $1 million to secure three of the day’s five seven-figure yearlings. Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company was responsible for the day’s other two million-dollar transactions.

“What an incredible day,” said Keeneland’s Vice President of Sales and Racing Bob Elliston. “When we were up here yesterday, obviously it was a very upbeat attitude, but I think we exceeded that today.”

With a smaller Book 1 this year, comparisons to last year’s auction are difficult, but figures from day-to-day prove Elliston’s point. During Tuesday’s session, 109 yearlings sold for $49,150,000. The average, which was $432,065 Monday, jumped to $450,917 Tuesday, and the median rose from $325,000 during the first session to $375,000 during the second.

“It’s hard with the comparisons again until we get to the fifth session, but the numbers we can compare are today from yesterday,” Elliston said. “Today, the average horse sold for $451,000 and the median jumped $50,000 more from yesterday. So that’s just staggering. There was depth–that median jumping like that shows it wasn’t just two horses that caused the jump.”

Through two sessions, a total of 216 yearlings have grossed $95,381,000 for an average of $441,579 and a median of $350,000. The buy-back rate stands at 29.64%. After two sessions of a four-day Book 1 in 2018, 306 yearlings had sold for $114,455,000. The average was $374,036, the median was $300,000, and the buy-back rate was 27.83%.

Through two sessions, 12 horses have topped the million-dollar mark–there were 27 at the entire 2018 sale–with Godolphin responsible for five. The group made its biggest splash with the $4.1-million purchase of the Curlin colt out of Bounding (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}), who was consigned by Eaton Sales on behalf of Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet. Bidding on the yearling featured an old-fashioned slugfest between powerhouse buyers Coolmore and Godolphin reminiscent of the boom market of the early 2000s.

“All the bidding stopped out front, and for the last at least $2 million it was all out back,” Elliston said. “And it was $100,000 a pop. It sounded like the old days and it was. Sheikh Mohammed against the Coolmore gentlemen and it was a great battle that Sheikh Mohammed ended up taking, but it felt like ’04 and ’05 back in the old days when the market was really incredible.”

Through two days, Godolphin has purchased six head for $13,250,000. The operation’s bloodstock agent Anthony Stroud admitted bidding was competitive for the right horses.

“I think the market is buoyant at the top,” Stroud said. “There is a demand for good horses.”

Taylor Made Sales Agency was the session’s leading consignor with 20 sold for $7,275,000, while Curlin led all stallions on the day with 10 yearlings bringing $8,525,000.

The September sale continues with a final Book 1 session beginning at noon Wednesday. Following a dark day Thursday, the auction resumes Friday at 10 a.m. and continues through Sept. 22.

Curlin & Godolphin Continue to Dominate

Curlin has been red hot at the yearling sales this season with three seven-figure colts at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and another at Monday’s opening session of the Keeneland September Sale. Demand for sons of the Hall of Famer reached new heights Tuesday at Keeneland when a colt out of New Zealand champion Bounding (Aus) summoned $4.1 million from Godolphin. Coolmore was the under bidder on the bay colt, who is the highest-priced yearling to sell at KEESEP since Mr. Besilu (A.P. Indy) brought $4.2 million in 2010.

“He is a very athletic horse, a lovely, well-balanced horse from a good farm,” said Godolphin’s bloodstock advisor Anthony Stroud as Sheikh Mohammed and the team dispersed just after signing the ticket in their usual spot by the back walking ring.

When asked if the price was above what he expected Hip 274 would reach, Stroud said, “Oh gosh, yes. I needed oxygen. We were gasping for air at that stage. Luckily, we are under the leadership of Sheikh Mohammed and he is a decisive man. He is completely in control and is the one who makes these decisions. In this particular case, he told me to continue. As a group, it was definitely more than we anticipated him to make.”

With Sheikh Mohammed in town for the sale, Godolphin led all buyers during Monday’s session and repeated that feat Tuesday, buying six horses for $13.25 million for an average of $2,208,333.

“The love of horse racing and the hope of finding a champion is the thing,” Stroud said. “He loves the sport, he loves coming to America and he loves Keeneland. That is why he is doing what he is doing.”

Hip 274 was consigned by Eaton Sales for breeder Stonestreet Stables. Barbara Banke’s operation went to 1.9 million AUD, which is $1,374,080 USD, to acquire the bay colt’s dam Bounding (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}) at the 2016 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale. A champion sprinter in New Zealand, the 9-year-old mare is a half-sister to this year’s G1 Investec Derby hero Anthony Van Dyck (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}). Hip 274 is Bounding’s first foal and she has since produced a War Front filly Mar. 17 and was bred back to Medaglia d’Oro.

“She is spectacularly beautiful,” Banke said of Bounding. “She was very fast. She was a sprint champion, so she brings the speed. [Curlin] has speed. Some may say his best race was when he was sprinting early in his career. So, he has speed, she has speed. The colt is beautiful. He has a really good head on his shoulders. He has never done anything wrong. He has just been perfect from day one.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Strong September Sale for Stonestreet

Between their star-studded broodmare band and their flagship stallion Curlin, Stonestreet has been having a very good September sale thus far. The Lexington nursery sold two yearlings Monday, an $800,000 son of Curlin out of blue hen Scarlet’s Tango (French Deputy) (Hip 68) and a $2.15 million colt out of that mare’s Grade I-winning daughter Tara’s Tango (Unbridled’s Song) (Hip 138). Barbara Banke’s operation made an even stronger showing Tuesday, topping the session with a $4.1 million Curlin colt out of New Zealand champion Bounding (Aus) (Lonhro {Aus}) (Hip 274). They also sold a Curlin daughter of their Grade I-winning homebred Dreaming of Julia (A.P. Indy) for $1.05 million (Hip 368) and a Medaglia d’Oro colt out of her MGISW mother Dream Rush (Wild Rush) for $550,000 (Hip 370). (Click here for a TDN video feature on Stonestreet broodmares that includes Dreaming of Julia).

“I brought all my colts except for one and that is the one out of Rachel’s Valentina [Hip 42, scratched Monday], which is a special sentimental favorite, shall we say,” said Banke. After the ordeal we had with Rachel Alexandra, we wanted to preserve that line at home. Anyway, I brought them all and this is the one [Hip 274] I liked the best.”

Curlin carried the burgundy and gold Stonestreet colors to seven Grade I victories, including the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic and G1 Dubai World Cup. They have heavily supported at him at stud and been rewarded with the likes of champion Good Magic, who summoned $1-million at KEESEP, after which Banke stayed in as partner. The Hill ‘n’ Dale stallion has been a big part of Stonestreet’s sale success this season with a son of his and the operation’s Yes Liz (Yes It’s True) reaching $1-million at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, in addition to their pair of seven-figure colts this week. This far at Keeneland September, 16 Curlin yearlings have sold for a total of $12.625 million and an average of $789,063.

“Curlin is having a wonderful sales year,” Banke said. “This should really take him over the top. He is a family member to me. I want the best mares for him. I want to see [the Curlins] do the best on the track. I want to produce those Classic winners for many years to come, I hope.”

Banke continued, “We have one at the farm, who is a full to Good Magic, and he is the friendliest thing and so pretty. We also have a full to Union Jackson. We continue to breed our best to him and buy mares that we think will go well with him.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Believe You Can Keeps Rewarding Joneses

Believe You Can (Proud Citizen) had already supplied the Jones family of Airdrie Stud with a lifetime of memories when she won the 2012 GI Kentucky Oaks, but the mare added to her legacy when her colt by War Front sold for $2.9 million to Godolphin Tuesday at Keeneland.

“That first Friday in May of 2012, we had the whole family there and she wins the Kentucky Oaks and we have all those memories,” said Bret Jones, while holding his young son, out back after the yearling sold. “Now years later, we are making new memories with family members who weren’t even there back then. So it’s really special when you have a family farm like this. It’s very special to share it with the people that you love.”

Believe You Can’s first foal is graded-placed Believe in Royalty (Tapit), who sold for $900,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September sale. Her second foal, a filly by Tapit, sold for $1 million at the 2017 Keeneland September sale.

The Airdrie Stud team was high on the War Front yearling (hip 258) all year, according to Jones, who said the dark bay colt may be the best horse the farm, founded by his father and former Kentucky governor Brereton Jones, has bred.

“He has every chance to go on and prove that,” Jones said of his lofty expectations for the yearling. “That’s really the feeling we had from an early time. Everything about him says racehorse and I hope he is even better on the track than he was in the sales ring.”

Of the colt’s $2.9-million price tag, Jones admitted, “You never expect it, but we brought him up here thinking we had a chance to have a really special Tuesday. And we were fortunate that everything worked out and so thankful the horse handled everything as well as he did, because you never know. You can have all the class in the universe back at the farm, but he handled it like the really special horse that he is. He showed himself as well as one could and thankfully he sold very, very well.”

Believe You Can produced a filly by Uncle Mo this year and was bred back to Airdrie’s new stallion Collected.

“The foal by Uncle Mo that we have at home is a very special filly as well,” Jones said. “This is two years in a row that this mare has had the best foal on the farm. She is already a graded stakes producer and she has the opportunity to keep going on. That’s a great feeling.”

Jones gave credit to the team at Airdrie for the sales success, with some of the farm’s long-time employees there to share the moment.

“We have to say thank you to everybody at the farm,” Jones said. “We had so many of them here. Mark Cunningham has been with us almost 40 years and he came to the sale. And Tim Thornton, who was our general manager for so many years, was right there sitting next to dad and you think what memories they have to together. So it really is so special for the team to have a day like this.”

Hip 258 was another big-ticket purchase for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin.

“Sheikh Mohammed really liked this horse,” said Godolphin’s Anthony Stroud. “It was a great deal of money, but he liked him. He is obviously by a great stallion in War Front and out of a Group 1 mare. He’s bred by Brerry Jones, at a fantastic stud farm. He had the conformation to suit and we thought he was a really, really good horse.” —@JessMartiniTDN

KEESEP Super Sires Responsible for Million-Dollar Filly

While sires War Front and Tapit are typically slugging it out at the top of the yearling market, they joined forces to produce a War Front filly who brought $1 million from Shadwell Tuesday at Keeneland. Offered by Gainesway, Agent LIV, hip 351 is the first foal out of 2015 GIII Monmouth Oaks heroine Delightful Joy (Tapit).

“She’s a super filly,” Gainesway’s Michael Hernon said. “We got her about four months ago. She’s thrived every day. I’ve got a great amount of confidence in her–she will run. We really appreciate Shadwell’s support of this filly, and other bidders of course. She’s just a special filly–very strong, very Danzig with a lot of strength. I expect her to appear and do herself justice next year at Royal Ascot.”

Oussama Aboughazale’s International Equities Holding paid $700,000 for Delightful Joy at the 2017 Keeneland January sale. In addition to her own exploits on the track, she is a daughter of GSW/GISP Graeme Six (Graeme Hall) and half to GSW Cali Star (Street Cry {Ire}). A Pioneerof the Nile half-sister to Delightful Joy cost $1.05 million here 12 months ago. Delightful Joy has a filly foal by Medaglia d’Oro and was bred back to American Pharoah.

“What can I say? Tapit keeps writing his story,” said Hernon when asked about the Gainesway stalwart’s emergence as a top broodmare sire. “He’s a wonderful horse. He’s left an indelible mark on the stud book and we’re a long way from the finish line. Given the mares he has been bred to–super mares and high quality–and if they get 50% females, he’s going to put a lot of fillies on the ground with top pedigrees and consequently he’ll be a leading broodmare sire. It’s inevitable.” @BDiDonatoTDN

Dreaming of Julia Filly Makes Another Seven Figure Sale For Curlin/Stonestreet/Denali

Denali Stud, Stonestreet Stables and Curlin have been a very profitable combination at Keeneland this week. The trio enjoyed their second seven-figure transaction of Book 1 when a Curlin filly out of Grade I winner Dreaming of Julia (A.P. Indy) summoned $1.05 million from Shadwell Farm. Denali also represented Stonestreet on a $2.15 million Curlin colt (Hip 138) during Monday’s session and a $1 million son of the Hill ‘n’ Dale stallion that sold at Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga Sale.

“To be honest, it is not like we were surprised,” Denali’s Conrad Bandoroff said of the daughter of Dreaming of Julia (Hip 368). “She was a ‘Wow’ filly. She was balanced, she had quality, she oozed class. Right before she went in, I said to my dad, ‘If you want to win the [GI Kentucky] Oaks, you buy a filly like that. That is what she is bred to do. She is another testament to the Stonestreet program. She is out of a mare they raced and won a Grade I with. She is an amazing filly and she is going to get every chance. Best of luck to Sheikh Hamdan and the whole Shadwell team.”

Bandoroff continued, “A filly like her makes our job easy. She is worth that price as a broodmare all day long. You look at her and blue hen comes to mind with that family. It is an amazing family and she doesn’t have to do much to be worth it. She looks like one who could get you there.”

Stonestreet privately purchased two-time Grade I winner Dream Rush (Wild Rush) and Dreaming of Julia was her first foal. Trained by Todd Pletcher, the bay mare opened her account with a trio of victories, including the 2012 GI Frizette S. and won the following year’s GII Gulfstream Park Oaks. Dreaming of Julia is a half-sister to MGSW Dream Pauline (Tapit) and stakes-winning young sire Atreides (Medaglia d’Oro). Hip 368 is the 9-year-old mare’s third foal, following a 2016 Ghostzapper colt and 2017 Medaglia d’Oro filly named Golden Julia. Dreaming of Julia produced a colt by Medaglia d’Oro this year and was bred back to Curlin.

“She is a nice horse and has the kind of pedigree we are looking for,” said Shadwell’s Rick Nichols. “Curlin is a top sire and we have had Curlins over the years and had good luck with them. For dirt racing in America, that is one of the sires you need.”

Shadwell has purchased a total of 12 yearlings through the first two sessions of Keeneland September for a gross of $7.67 million and an average of $639,167. The Dreaming of Julia filly and a colt also by Curlin (Hip 162) were their most expensive purchases at $1.05 million each. @CDeBernardisTDN

Point of Honor Half Sis to Godolphin

With Sheikh Mohammed in the building, the Godolphin team was quite active during Monday’s opening session, buying three yearlings for a total of $5.25-million. The operation kept busy during Tuesday’s session as well, causing early fireworks when securing a Union Rags half-sister to GSW & MGISP Point of Honor (Curlin) for a cool $1-million.

“She has been bought for America to race here,” said Godolphin’s bloodstock representative Anthony Stroud. “Sheikh Mohammed wants to buy some fillies to race in America and she fits the bill. She is well-bred, she is very athletic and a nice filly.”

When asked if her half-sister’s success this year was part of the team’s attraction to Hip 199, Stroud said, “That helped, but she was just a nice filly. She was a good, easy mover with a good pedigree and from a good farm.”

Siena Farm bred Hip 199’s dam Zayanna (Bernardini), who is a half-sister to graded winners Mr Freeze (To Honor and Serve), Heavenly Ransom (Red Ransom) and Dilemma (Grand Slam). She has produced four winners from four foals to race, topped by GII Black-Eyed Susan S. heroine Point of Honor, who was most recently second in the Aug. 17 GI Alabama S. at Saratoga. The 10-year-old mare is also responsible for SW Velvet Mood (Lonhro {Aus}) and SP Admiral Jimmy (Jimmy Creed). Zayanna’s 2-year-old filly Wicked Whisper (Liam’s Map), a $500,000 KEESEP purchase by Alex and JoAnn Lieblong, romped by 6 1/4 lengths in her Saratoga debut for Steve Asmussen Aug. 25, earning the ‘TDN Rising Star’ moniker.

Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned the bay filly on behalf of her breeder. Siena Farm has sold five yearlings through the first two sessions with Hip 199 being the most expensive. Their total gross so far is $2.76 million with an average of $552,000.

“She is a great-looking filly from a great family,” said Duncan Taylor. “I just want to say thank you to Sheikh Mohammed. He has been great not only to Keeneland, but to our family. He just buys horse after horse. I hope that filly can be a Grade I winner for him. She certainly looks the part. She has a lot of her father in her. Siena has been raising some great horses.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Beach Patrol Half Goes to Best

A Flatter half-brother to MGISW, $2.5-million earner and ‘TDN Rising Star‘ Beach Patrol (Lemon Drop Kid) became the latest pricey buy by Larry Best’s OXO Equine when Best fended off all challengers to take him home for $900,000. The Mar. 6 foal was consigned as hip 250 by Jody and Michelle Huckabay’s Elm Tree Farm on behalf of breeder and longtime client Nancy Shuford.

“He was just one of those horses who never had anything go wrong,” said Jody Huckabay after shaking hands with Best. “From the time he foaled, he was just a very nice colt, a special horse. We had a couple different people come to the farm and look [at him], and in particular Mike Ryan, whose opinion I value, and he told me he was a special horse. I thought he was, but when Mike said that it really made me feel good and pump my chest up. He’s been very well-received here. We had a lot of breeders and racehorse people on him. We had no idea what he was going to bring, but the reserve was nothing compared to what he brought. He’s just a very special horse and we hope he goes on to run like Beach Patrol.”

Shuford paid $90,000 for dam Bashful Bertie (Quiet American)–a full to Grade II winner Allamerican Bertie and half to MGSW Hurricane Bertie (Storm Boot)—in foal to Mr. Greeley at the 2010 Keeneland November sale. She failed to produce a foal from that first mating, but her Malibu Moon colt the following year was a $205,000 weanling and $450,000 KEESEP yearling. Beach Patrol was a $250,000 weanling at KEENOV ’14, and a Speightstown colt born in 2015 brought $400,000 that November. Now 2-year-old Carolina Bertie (Speightstown) was a $335,000 buyback at KEENOV ’17. Bashful Bertie produced an Into Mischief colt May 6 and was bred back to Candy Ride (Arg).

When asked to compare hip 250 to Beach Patrol, winner of the 2016 GI Secretariat S. and 2017 GI Arlington Million and GI Joe Hirsch Turf Classic S., Huckabay said, “We sold Beach Patrol as a weanling, so I didn’t get to finish him out. I think this is going to be a little bigger horse. Chad Brown looked at this horse at the barn as well, and Peter Brant had been back there and looked at him–didn’t comment, but thought he was a nice horse. The mare, you can about breed her to anything and she gets a nice horse.”

Claiborne Farm resident Flatter has been responsible for the last two Fasig-Tipton July toppers, and had a $500,000 colt sell at Saratoga. His top earner, 2017 champion 3-year-old West Coast, cost $425,000 here.

“We’re big fans of Flatter,” Huckabay said. “It was down to several [stallions] when we bred this mare, and we settled on Flatter just because we really enjoy doing business with Claiborne [Farm], their horses are very fairly priced and obviously you can make a big profit with their stock.”

Hip 250 is bred on the same cross as GSW Economic Model, and produced by a version of the same A.P. Indy–Quiet American cross responsible for the likes of Bernardini.

As for the KEESEP market so far, Huckabay said, “If you bring the right horse, there’s all the money in the world, but they better vet and they better be the right kind for Book 1. If they’re not, then it’s pretty tough sledding.”@BDiDonatoTDN

Tapit Filly for Al Shira’aa

A filly by Tapit has joined the roster at Al Shira’aa Stable after bloodstock agent Shawn Dugan bid $900,000 to acquire the Gainesway-bred and consigned yearling. The bay is out of Courtisane (Arg) (Silver Finder) and is a half-sister to multiple Grade I placed Madame Stripes (Arg) (Equal Stripes), a mare Dugan is very familiar with. Her husband Neil Drysdale trained the mare on behalf of Antony Beck’s Gainesway Stable.

“How about absolutely everything,” Dugan said when asked about the yearling’s appeal. “I know I’ve said that before, but this was just a queen. Neil trained Madame Stripes, we were very lucky that Antony Beck sent us that gorgeous filly who had already been second in the G1 Argentine Guineas. She came to us and she did nothing but try her heart out for a number of seasons. She was very sound and she had a great mind and she was absolutely stunning. And this filly is an even more elegant version of Madame Stripes. So we were trying very hard for her.”

Madame Stripes won last year’s GIII Megahertz S. and was third in the GI Gamely S. among her nine on-the-board finishes in graded company. The mare joined the Gainesway broodmare band and was bred to Tapit this year.

Immediate plans for the yearling filly are still to be decided.

“We are going to reconvene with the principal and take a look at what is next,” Dugan said.

The Abu Dhabi-based Al Shira’aa operation includes a newly purchased farm in Ireland.

“She is definitely going to be something that will never be sold,” Dugan said of the yearling. “We are hoping that she will have two careers.”

Dugan has now made four yearling purchases at the September sale. She went to $750,000 to acquire a filly by Curlin (hip 10) and $300,000 for a filly by Candy Ride (Arg) (hip 180) during Monday’s session of the auction and also purchased a filly by Malibu Moon (hip 237) for $525,000 Tuesday. The bloodstock agent was also active at last month’s Arqana August Yearling Sale where her five purchases were topped by a 700,000 euro daughter of Frankel (GB) (hip 4).

“It’s terribly strong,” Dugan said of the international yearling market. “It’s very difficult to buy something that has both pedigree and conformation. Vet issues are at hand, as well, so it’s very tough. But it’s great to see such strong markets in our industry because I am hoping that this will be the same situation next year and the year after that and the decade after that.” @JessMartiniTDN

Kellys Grab Pharoah Filly

A filly from the second crop of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah lit up the board toward the end of Tuesday’s KEESEP session when agent Jamie McCalmont, bidding on behalf of owners Jon and Sarah Kelly, went to $875,000 to acquire the Feb. 15 foal. Out of GISP Connie and Michael (Roman Ruler), the bay was consigned by co-breeder Bill Betz’s Betz Thoroughbreds, Inc. as hip 321.

“I thought she was as nice a filly as there was in the sale,” said McCalmont after revealing that the new purchase would be trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella. “She’s by a stallion who’s looking to be pretty hot, she’s got a beautiful head on her and we found it very hard to find fault with her. The filly never put a foot wrong. At no point could I find a negative with her.”

Hip 321’s dam, also bred by Betz and partners, was a head-turning 7 3/4-length debut winner over the Keeneland all-weather in 2009 and was second in the GI Mother Goose S. the following year. The $80,000 KEESEP yearling most recently sold for $375,000 in foal to Uncle Mo at Keeneland November in 2014. The resulting colt brought $260,000 here, and a Pioneerof the Nile colt cost $360,000 24 months ago. Connie and Michael produced a Malibu Moon filly Mar. 31 and was bred back to Good Magic.

Just a few hips after scooping up hip 321, McCalmont struck again for the Kellys to add hip 333, a $340,000 War Front colt out of GI E. P. Taylor S. winner Curvy (GB) (Galileo {Ire}) from the family of European Group 1 winners Power (GB), Footstepsinthesand (GB) and Pedro the Great.

The California-based Kellys, who made their family fortune via the development of television stations by their Kelly Broadcasting Co., have campaigned the likes of graded winners Vacare, Sporting Art, Meridiana (Ger) and Lady at Peace. Sarah Kelly co-owns this year’s $420,000 Fasig-Tipton Santa Anita Two-Year-Olds in Training topper with Jane Wiltz. Now named Eclair (Bernardini), the Bob Baffert pupil was third sprinting on the turf in Del Mar MSW company Aug. 24. @BDiDonatoTDN

Stonehaven Steadings Makes It Look ‘Easy’

The Stonehaven Steadings team was almost all smiles–and a few happy tears–after selling a $700,000 Quality Road filly (hip 374) to Don and Donna Adam’s Courtlandt Farms Tuesday at KEESEP.

Jeff and Chiquita Reddoch’s operation paid just $60,000 for stakes-placed dam Easy Living (Big Brown) at the 2015 Keeneland November sale. This was their second big sale out of the mare–her first foal, now named Life on the Road (Street Sense), brought $450,000 from Phoenix Thoroughbreds last year and took his debut by 3 1/2 lengths at Ellis for trainer Steve Asmussen Aug. 30.

“We’re overwhelmed,” said Stonehaven’s Leah O’Meara after congratulating the Courtlandt team alongside her family, including husband and director of bloodstock Aidan O’Meara. “It’s been a great start to the sale for Stonehaven and this is definitely one for the record books for us. We’ll never forget today–it’s been special. We’re very thankful, blown away and appreciative of everything. The whole team deserves a lot of credit.”

Easy Living is a half to 11 winners, including SW/GSP Jaramar Rain (Thunder Gulch)–a producer herself of three stakes horses; SW Harbor Mist (Rockport Harbor); and another graded stakes-placed-producing mare. This is the extremely deep extended female family of Grade I winners Stormello, Marlin, Madcap Escapade, et al.

“She was just big and stretchy,” O’Meara said when asked about Easy Living’s appeal when Stonehaven acquired her. “She was by Big Brown, which we liked, and she’s obviously out of a good mare herself. She’s a really nice filly and she’s been a fantastic mare, so we continue to hope for good things.”

Easy Living produced an American Pharoah filly Mar. 30 before being bred back to More Than Ready.@BDiDonatoTDN

Spivey Back on Home Soil

Catlyn Spivey, who has acted as director of bloodstock for Equine Analysis and as sales and bloodstock consultant at Vinery Sales in Kentucky, relocated to New Zealand following her marriage to Kiwi native Scott Calder last fall, but Spivey is back in Lexington for the September sale and has already signed for two yearlings on behalf of an overseas client so far at the 13-day auction.

“I’ve been buying for these people privately for the last few years,” Spivey said of the client. “I’ve been buying horses off the racetrack for them. And that’s gone pretty well. So they’ve asked to switch it up and buy some yearlings.”

During Monday’s first session of the sale, Spivey purchased a colt by Hard Spun (hip 17) for $130,000 and she followed up Tuesday purchasing a son of Uncle Mo (hip 322) for $510,000.

“I was really surprised to get that colt honestly,” Spivey said of the Uncle Mo colt out of graded-placed Conquest Curlgirl (Curlin). “I knew he would be in that range, but I thought he might go over it just because of the way the market has been. He is such a quality colt. He reminded me so much of Uncle Mo. He just moves really well and he was a really solid colt.”

The yearlings will head to Randy Bradshaw’s Ocala base to be broken, but eventually will head to race in Dubai.

Spivey expects to continue shopping throughout much of the September sale.

“It’s really about the physicals and they want primarily colts, but I’ve looked at a few fillies here and there,” Spivey said of her clients. “They are a good addition to the sale. They haven’t bought yearlings for a while. This last year, I’ve bought a few for them and they’ve gone over and they liked them, so we’ve bought a few more. I’ve spent a bunch of my budget already, but I’m going to keep looking through Book 5 and see what happens.”

Spivey and Calder, who worked in sales and marketing at Coolmore America for five years and now is part of the sales and nominations division at Cambridge Stud, are also active on the New Zealand sales scene.

“We have bought into a few foals and we bred a foal, so we’ll sell at the Karaka sales in January,” Spivey said.

Of differences in the breeding industries in the two countries, Spivey said, “I think a good horse is a good horse anywhere, but they definitely have a different style. New Zealand is really good at breeding stayers, that’s kind of their bread and butter and the Australians often come over to get those kind of horses. So it’s a bit of a different style of horse. This big, dirt horse that we have over here, wouldn’t work over there. They are a bit smaller and more refined types. So I am still getting my head around that, but I am really enjoying it. The people are so nice, everyone has been so welcoming. I’m happy to be back [in Kentucky], but I’m happy to live there as well.”@JessMartiniTDN

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