Keeneland’s Before the Hammer: Well-Rounded Consignment for Hunter Valley at KEENOV

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Inventive, dam of Klimt (above), will be offered as Hip 96, carrying a full-sibling to the GI Del Mar Futurity winner. | Benoit photo

By Ben Massam

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)

If presenting a diverse, well-rounded consignment is the name of the game at the upcoming Keeneland November Sale, the folks at Hunter Valley Farm will surely lead their offerings to the ring with the greatest of confidence during the 12-session auction. Hunter Valley, managed by Irish natives Fergus Galvin and Adrian Regan, has a total of 112 horses catalogued throughout the sale, highlighted by a 10-horse Book 1 consignment to be offered Monday, Nov. 5.

Scanning through the Hunter Valley consignment, Galvin said he is looking forward to bringing a wide range of prospects through the ring, perhaps none more intriguing than Inventive (Dixie Union) (Hip 96) and her Medaglia d’Oro colt (Hip 95). Inventive, who Hunter Valley secured for $800,000 with Hip 95 in utero at last year’s November Sale, will be offered in foal to standout Lane’s End stallion Quality Road, meaning she is carrying a full-sibling to 2016 GI Del Mar Futurity winner Klimt. The mare is also responsible for graded stakes-placed performer West Coast Chick (Malibu Moon).

“Inventive and her Medaglia d’Oro weanling are a very exciting package to offer,” Galvin said. “Obviously, the mare is back in foal, carrying a full-sibling to Klimt, who seems to be very popular in his first year at stud at Darby Dan. And she’s thrown a beautiful colt by ‘Medaglia’ as well, so we’re very excited to put them through.”

Galvin did not hesitate when asked what qualities distinguish the Medaglia d’Oro colt as a potential standout.

“He’s a very good physical–well-balanced and a great mover,” Galvin said. “He ought to be at the top of most people’s lists at the sale, I would imagine.”

Inventive is not Hunter Valley’s only broodmare offered in foal to Quality Road in Book 1. Stakes winner Beauly (GB) (Sea The Stars {Ire}), who finished a close fourth in the 2017 GI Flower Bowl Invitational S., is in foal to the leading fifth-crop sire and will enter the ring as Hip 20.

“She was quite a good race filly,” Galvin said of Beauly. “It doesn’t all show on her catalogue page, but she was fourth–only beaten a nose for third–in the Flower Bowl. And she was fourth in two other graded stakes. So she was quite a good racemare, and her pedigree and race record should appeal to quite a few people from different countries, I presume.”

Multiple graded stakes-placed distaffer Jemima’s Pearl (Distorted Humor) (Hip 99) and her American Pharoah filly (Hip 98) add more fire power to the Hunter Valley consignment. Galvin said the mare, who is in foal to 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner, brings obvious appeal thanks to her pedigree.

“She’s a nice mare,” Galvin said. “Distorted Humor doesn’t need much introduction as a broodmare sire. She’s got a foal by American Pharoah by her side, and is in foal to a top racehorse in Gun Runner. She’s another nice package.”

Likewise, Galvin did not hide his enthusiasm about the timely updates to the page of Hip 69, a weanling colt by Speightstown who is a full-brother to Qurbaan, who won the Sept. 3

GII Bernard Baruch H. and ran third in Keeneland’s GI Shadwell Turf Mile S. Oct. 6 in his first two starts since being imported from France. Their GISP dam Flip Flop (Fr) (Zieten) is also responsible for the 2-year-old colt Dull Knife (Scat Daddy), who won his debut at Deauville in August and could be poised to make further noise on American shores.

“We have the Speightstown full-brother to Qurbaan,” Galvin said. “He’s a really nice colt and he’s obviously had some big updates through the year with Qurbaan, and he’s got a very promising Scat Daddy 2-year-old half-brother who just moved to Todd Pletcher’s barn from France. He’s got a very nice physical and the right updates.”

Hip 25, a full-brother to 2015 GI Starlet S. winner Street Fancy from the female family of GI Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus, should catch the eye of plenty of buyers thanks to his physical, according to Galvin.

“He’s a lovely colt,” Galvin said. “He’s correct and a good mover.”

Galvin said he has a genuine sense of optimism heading into the November sale, partly due to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships luring a diverse, multinational pool of potential buyers to the Bluegrass State in early November–and largely thanks to the momentum of a record-setting September Sale.

“It helps having the Breeders’ Cup in your backyard,” Galvin observed. “It’s obviously going to attract people worldwide on the heels of quite a strong September Sale. I think everybody feels pretty good about November.”

 

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