Keeneland’s Before the Hammer: Bandoroffs Carry High Hopes for KEENOV

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‘TDN Rising Star’ Red Lodge | NYRA/Coglianese

By T. D. Thornton

Before the Hammer is a series presented by Keeneland that spotlights consignors, their stories of success and their featured offerings at the upcoming Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. (Nov. 5-16)

Closing in on three decades of consignments, Denali Stud knows where its Book 1 sweet spot is for the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. And even though market conditions are strong right now, Denali’s Book 1 emphasis remains focused on quality over quantity because buyers continue to be critically discerning before pulling the trigger on top-dollar purchases.

“It’s a nice mixture of young, well-covered mares and a handful of nice babies,” Denali’s owner, Craig Bandoroff, said of his Book 1 contingent.

“We never come in to Book 1 with 30 of ’em. We’re usually right at this number of 10 to 12, and we try to keep it to our highest quality, knowing that we try to maintain that standard each year.”

Craig listed hip 37, Circulation (GB), who’s in foal to Pioneerof the Nile, as a prime example of a top-line prospect that Denali will offer.

“Circulation is an Oasis Dream (GB) mare from one of the better Juddmonte families,” Craig said. “She’s a half-sister to [European older-horse champion] Twice Over (GB) (Observatory). There are some amazing horses [in her family] that don’t even make the catalogue page.”

Craig’s son Conrad, Denali’s vice president, continued: “Just a phenomenal pedigree. I think what’s exciting about this mare is that it’s such a ‘live’ family, where all of the sisters are being well bred and come from one of the best breeding operations in the world. So she’s certainly an exciting item to bring to market.”

Another in-foal offering is hip 101, Juno (Brz) (Setembro Chove {Brz}), who was bred to Animal Kingdom.

“Juno was the [2014] champion 2-year-old filly in Brazil, and she was also a graded stakes performer in the States,” Craig said. “I always feel like when these really good South American horses also have solid American form in their record, it really legitimizes what they did in their home country.”

Hip 135, Maya Malibu (Malibu Moon), will be consigned as a 3-year-old racing or breeding prospect.

“Maya Malibu is a multiple Grade I-placed filly,” Conrad said. “She was second in the [2017 GI] Spinaway S. and she was third in the [GI] Frizette S. She’s out of a Grade I winner [Island Sand, by Tabasco Cat] and is a racing or broodmare prospect, but she’ll make an absolutely great addition to anyone’s broodmare band.”

Hip 144, Morea (Indian Charlie), is in foal to Frosted on an early cover.

“She’s from another really strong Juddmonte family,” Craig said, noting half-sister Weep No More (Mineshaft), the 2016 GI Ashland S. winner. “And [a catalogue update] is that she’s also a half-sister to 2-year-old Current (Curlin), who just won the [Oct. 7 GIII] Dixiana Bourbon S. That was a ‘Win and You’re In’ race, and we think he’s going to run in the [GI] Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. We’ll be looking for another big update there.”

Hip 172, TDN Rising Star‘ Red Lodge (Midshipman) will be up for auction in foal to Kitten’s Joy.

“She set the [five-furlong turf] course record at Belmont Park [in :55.73 in 2016] and is from a really good Darby Dan family. She’s out of a daughter of [MGISW turfer] Memories of Silver (Silver Hawk).”

For Denali’s Book 1 weanlings, Craig said “we have four foals, and they’re all legitimate Book 1-type babies.”

Hip 103is an American Pharoah filly,” Craig said. “Hip 168 is an Honor Code colt who’s a half-brother to Ancient Secret (Kantharos), a Grade II stakes winner. Hip 178 is a Speightstown colt. And hip 237 is a Medaglia d’Oro colt out of a half-sister to [multiple Eclipse Award winner and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Songbird (Medaglia d’Oro).”

Conrad summed up Denali’s KEENOV consignment expectations.

“We’re coming on the back of a benchmark year for yearling sales on both sides of the pond, and I think there’s going to be fantastic momentum going into November,” Conrad said. “The economy continues to be strong, and I feel like there’s going to be competitive bidding and strong demand for well-bred, strong physical weanlings and mares come November. We’re optimistic about it.”

 

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