Late Fireworks at Keeneland January


Enaya Alrabb | Keeneland

by Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY – The Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale’s second session was punctuated by a series of high-profile supplemental offerings, with multiple Grade I-placed Enaya Alrabb (Uncle Mo) (hip 795D) attracting the day’s highest price when selling for $640,000 Tuesday in Lexington. The 4-year-old mare, consigned by Paramount Sales, was purchased by bloodstock agent Jim Schenck. Three of Tuesday’s four top offerings were supplemental entries.

“I thought today’s session ended very well,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “I think the supplements that we knew would be very popular with the buyers definitely shown bright tonight.”

A total of 464 horses sold during Keeneland’s two-session Book 1, for a total of $32,167,100. The average was $69,326 and the median was $37,000. During the 2019 Book 1, 487 horses grossed $40,270,800 for an average of $82,692 and a median of $37,000.

“We thought the first book was a very solid book of horses, a typical January catalogue without a major dispersal,” Russell said. “The quality was good and we are happy with that. For the right foals, they were all over them today.”

Three short yearlings sold for over $300,000 Tuesday, with Andre Lynch signing for the day’s most expensive foal when going to $365,000 for a filly from the first crop of Mastery (hip 623).

Paramount Sales’ Pat Costello agreed there was plenty of demand at the top end of the market.

“If you bring the goods, you get well-paid, maybe even better paid than you thought,” Costello said. “And then if you fall below the barrier, it’s tough getting it done. So it’s the same old thing.”

Schenck purchased the top two lots during Tuesday’s session. In addition to Enaya Alrabb, he signed the ticket on Confidently (War Front) at $560,000, but declined to comment on either purchase.

“Jimmy Schenk was representing some new buyers who are just getting into the game,” Russell said. “He definitely decided to do what the market is saying-aim for quality. He certainly picked the top quality mares that were on offer yesterday and today.”

The Keeneland January sale continues through Friday with sessions beginning daily at 10 a.m.

Schenck Strikes Late for Enaya Alrabb

Jim Schenck, bidding on behalf of a new ownership group, made his biggest purchase of the January sale when going to $640,000 to acquire multiple Grade I-placed Enaya Alrabb (Uncle Mo) (hip 795D) late in the day Tuesday at Keeneland.

Schenck, who declined to comment on his purchases, also acquired Confidently (War Front) for $560,000 Tuesday and Hot Blooded Girl (Tapit) for $280,000 Monday.

Racing for Enaya Racing and trainer Doug O’Neill, Enaya Alrabb missed by just a head when second in the 2018 GI Starlet S. and was second again in the GII Las Virgenes S. She sold Tuesday as a broodmare prospect through the Paramount Sales consignment.

“She was lovely,” Paramount’s Pat Costello said. “She didn’t turn a hair. And she was a great racehorse. So she deserved to bring that price. The owners are delighted.”

The 4-year-old filly is out of stakes winner and graded placed Lotta Rhythm (Rhythm) and is a half-sister to multiple graded- placed Hattaash (Strong Hope). Lotta Rhythm is a half-sister to the dam of champion Rachel Alexandra. @JessMartiniTDN

Uncle Mo Sis in Demand at KEEJAN

Confidently (War Front), a half-sister to champion and leading sire Uncle Mo, sparked fireworks midway through Tuesday’s session and in the end it was agent James Schenck left holding the $560,000 ticket. Schenck declined to comment on his purchase.

Out of MSP Playa Maya (Arch), Confidently (Hip 595) was privately purchased by a group that included Craig Bernick’s Glen Hill Farm as a foal. They sent her through the ring as a weanling at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale, where she RNA’d for $1.25 million, and Bernick ended up as her sole owner. In addition to Uncle Mo, she is a full-sibling to G1SP Could It Be Love. The 4-year-old won just one of her nine starts with her final race taking place at Laurel Nov. 16.

“She’s a beautiful mare and she is going to a good home,” Bernick said. “We thought about breeding her and selling her in November, but when I am buying a horse, I like to pick out the stallion. I thought whoever bought would rather breed her to the stallion they wanted. If you go to November, you have to worry about the right covering sire.”

Bernick had previously sold his horses with Hill ‘n’ Dale, but was consigning under the Glen Hill Farm banner for the first time since he took over operations.

When asked how his new venture was going, Bernick said, “My first horse we bought back for $4,500 and we got her done for $4,500. The people that work for me were kind of looking at me like do we know what we were doing. Thankfully we had some better ones to come. The horses have been well received and popular.”

Bernick’s operation sold a total of five of their six Book 1 offerings for a total of $1,227,500.

“It was a good day,” he said. “It’s about the horses. And we have a great crew. Lindsay Schultz [who manages Glen Hill’s Florida farm] did the equine program at Louisville and was an assistant to Tom Proctor and was in Darley Flying Start. She has worked a sale or two, but never in a management position. This is her first sale where she’s ever run a barn and she sold two of the three most expensive horses in the sale, so she did a great job.” —CDeBernardisTDN

Inflamed Headed to Japan

Inflamed (Unusual Heat) is scheduled to fly to Japan next month after summoning $525,000 from Naohiro Hosoda, who was acting on behalf on Shadai Farm. The chestnut does not have much of a race record, but her first foal is GI Hollywood Derby winner and Eclipse Award finalist Mo Forza (Uncle Mo).

“She has a nice catalogue page,” Hosoda said of the mare, who was supplemented to the sale as Hip 795E. “Mo Forza is a tough horse. Japanese racing is tough and is main track. She is a proven mare and still young, only 10-years-old. The key is Unusual Heat. He is a California sire and his progeny is active on fast ground. We have the same type of fast ground racing.”

He added, “Of course, I know she sold for $170,000 at November, but her value has gone up.”

Craig Bernick, who offered the mare as part of the resurrected consignment of Glen Hill Farm, purchased the mare for $170,000 carrying a foal by Tapiture at the recent KEENOV sale. That sale was just days after Mo Forza’s victory in the GII Twilight Derby and Bernick felt he had a strong chance to take the Hollywood Derby as well. Luckily, he was right and the colt also added the GII Mathis Brothers Mile to his resume Dec. 28.

“Mo Forza was on the page but…I just expected her to make more money in November,” Bernick said. “Mo Forza won the Hollywood Derby then followed it up with another win and he looks like he’s on a good track. It’s hard to find a 10-year-old mare in January that is a Grade I producer. She will go to Japan and they’ve got one of the best breeding programs in the world.”

A full-sister to GSW Burns and GISP Brushburn, Inflamed is also responsible for a now-3-year-old colt by Graydar and a yearling colt by Munnings. —CDeBernardisTDN

Pomeroys Pistol to Drown

Jeff Drown’s Kindred Stables, which has a sophomore with potential on the Triple Crown trail in Eclipse finalist Structor (Palace Malice), added the dam of another promising 3-year-old to its burgeoning broodmare band when bloodstock agent Mike Ryan made a final bid of $475,000 to secure Pomeroys Pistol (Pomeroy) (hip 795K) Tuesday at Keeneland. The 12-year-old mare is the dam of GII Los Alamitos Futurity winner Thousand Words (Pioneerof the Nile).

“He wants to play on the upper end of the market with quality mares,” Ryan said of Drown. “She is obviously a very good mare, a brilliant race mare and who knows how good this horse [Thousand Words] is-he was a million-dollar yearling. She has only just turned 12 and she’s in great shape. She’s a mare hopefully that we can breed a couple of good ones out of her.”

Pomeroys Pistol won the 2011 GII Forward Gal S. and GII Gallant Bloom H. and was second in the GI Prioress S. and GI Test S. for owner, breeder and trainer Amy Tarrant. Tarrant’s Hardacre Farm, through the Brookdale Sales consignment, sold Thousand Words for $1 million at the 2018 Keeneland September Sale.

“That’s what we were hoping for,” Brookdale’s Joe Seitz said of Tuesday’s result. “It was spot on. The fact that Thousand Words is undefeated and the leading horse on the “TDN Derby trail” is great. He was a million-dollar yearling, who looks just like his mother even down to the white socks. Spitting image. Put it this way, I think she might look inexpensive if things go the way we’re hoping.”

Drown burst onto the national racing scene with the unbeaten Structor, who won the GIII Pilgrim S. and GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf last season.

“He has a handful of very nice mares,” Ryan said of Drown’s broodmare band. “He’s starting to buy nicely bred fillies and wants to play the game. He wants to be on the quality end of things. He’s in it for the long haul. He’ll be a commercial breeder, but he’s not opposed to racing as well. I’m sure if he got a good filly out of her, he might want to keep her. So all the options are on the table.”

Pomeroys Pistol sold Tuesday not in foal and Ryan said there had only been preliminary discussions on who to send the mare to this spring.

“We’ve talked about a few horses,” he said. “Into Mischief would be very high on the list. She would suit him. She’s a big scopey mare. She’s a fast mare, but she’s produced a good horse. She’ll go to a top-end horse.” @JessMartiniTDN

Tiz Breathtaking Set For a Date with Constitution

Grade III winner Tiz Breathtaking (Tiznow) (Hip 496) will officially retire from racing and head to the WinStar breeding shed for a date with hot young sire Constitution after being purchased by WinStar in partnership with Larry Taylor for $375,000 Tuesday.

“We bought her to go to Constitution,” said WinStar’s David Hanley, after signing the ticket seated alongside Taylor and his wife, Denise. “Larry Taylor is partnering with WinStar on her. We love Tiznow broodmares. She is a beautiful, quality mare. We love the package, love the family. We have had some luck with the family, so we were keen to get her.”

When asked what makes her a good match for Constitution, Hanley said, “He loves Tiznow with [Grade I winner] Tiz the Law, obviously. I think physically she will suit him. She is just a lovely mare.”

Owned and bred by the late William Graham of Windhaven Farms in Ontario, Tiz Breathtaking was a debut winner at Woodbine in June of 2018 and was second next out in that venue’s My Dear S. Returning to winning ways in the Shady Well S., the bay captured the GIII Mazarine S. next out and was third in the Princess Elizabeth S. in November of her 2-year-old season. She was not seen again until November of this year when she was eased after incurring a lot of bumping at the start and being pinched back during an optional claiming event. The now 4-year-old retires with a record of 6-3-1-1 and earnings of $198,715.

Graham bought Tiz Breathtaking’s dam I’m Breathtaking (Elusive Quality) for $130,000 at the 2010 KEENOV sale carrying a foal by Malibu Moon. The resulting foal turned out to be SW & GSP Matador. She is also the dam of MSP My Cousin Martha (Stay Thirsty). Her now-3-year-old Defeatisnotanoption (Honor Code) was purchased by Mike Ryan for $400,000 at the 2018 KEESEP sale and is still unraced. I’m Breathtaking is a half-sister to MGSW Sapphire N’ Silk (Pleasant Tap) and GSW Golden Itiz (Tiznow). This is also the family of GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf S. heroine Sharing (Speightstown).

Tiz Breathaking was consigned by Eaton Sales, who was the day’s second-leading consignor, selling 15 head for $1.829 million.–CDeBernardisTDN

Mastery Filly Proves Popular

A filly from the first crop of Grade I winner Mastery attracted a host of admirers before ultimately selling for $365,000 to the bid of bloodstock agent Andre Lynch.

“She’s for a client who prefers to remain anonymous,” Lynch said after signing the ticket on hip 623. “She’s a lovely filly and she’s been bought to race.”

The dark bay filly was bred by The Neuman Group and was consigned by Damian and Braxton Lynch’s Royal Oak Farm. Out of Dowry (Belong to Me), she is a half-sister to Grade I winner Nereid (Rock Hard Ten), who sold for $1.25 million at last year’s Keeneland November sale.

“Obviously, the Masterys are very popular, but she just showed herself so well,” Braxton Lynch said. “She kept coming out of the stall and doing her walk. It was all her. These are the easy ones to sell. She was a pure athlete and I think that’s why people went so strong on her. You just don’t come across horses that move that well that often.”

Hip 623 was the fifth purchase of the sale for Lynch, who also signed for a filly by Practical Joke (hip 321) for $150,000 and the mare Painting Corners (Pleasant Strike) (hip 1) also for $150,000.


Practical Joke Colt a Career Score for Voss

Mina Voss, 11 years removed from breeding her first foal, had a career day in the Keeneland January sales ring Tuesday when she sold a colt by Practical Joke for $320,000 to Larry Best’s OXO Equine.

“I’m over the moon,” Voss said as she accepted congratulations from the pavilion to the back walking ring. “This is by far my biggest sale. The best weanling price before this, I sold a Competitive Edge two years ago for $40,000.”

The short yearling (hip 550) is out of Bayou Miss (Dixie Union) and was consigned by Brookdale Sales.

“He was a superstar from day one,” Voss said of the colt. “My mare is just a little Dixie Union mare with some speed and some nice family. I booked her back to Practical Joke because this colt was so nice. My mare gets runners and this is her superstar so far.”

Voss, whose early successes as a breeder include multiple graded-placed Il Villano (Pollard’s Vision), acquired Bayou Miss privately after the mare RNA’d for $37,000 at the 2012 Keeneland January sale.

“She RNA’d at the January sale, she was a maiden off the track, so I bought her privately,” Voss explained. “She wasn’t super expensive, but she’s one of my more expensive mares as far as I can afford.”

A native of Texas, Voss spent time working in the registration department at The Jockey Club and has worked as a veterinary assistant. She currently has eight broodmares.

“I breed to sell as weanlings,” she explained. “We missed November with this guy, he had some hiccups, but he came back for this sale and everything was great. I really appreciate Joe Seitz and Brookdale.”

Asked if she would be reinvesting some of the colt’s $320,000 selling price, Voss said, “I just had to see what happened here. But I’m always looking for mares. There will be some money brought back here for sure.”

Hip 550 was Best’s second purchase of the January sale. He purchased a son of Gun Runner (hip 397) for $300,000 during the auction’s first session Monday. Taylor Made’s Katie Taylor signed for both weanlings on his behalf.

“We were walking around short-listing for Bloodstock Investments and looking at all the weanlings on the grounds,” Taylor said. “This one was just really good quality and he had good vetting and was sound of mind. And Larry Best really likes Practical Joke–he has another two really nice ones at the farm. He asked us to look at this one for him and we thought he was a really good colt. Everything lined up and he’s a good horse for his program and he’ll probably go on to the races.”

Multiple Grade I winner Practical Joke (Into Mischief) is represented by his first crop of yearlings this year. Earlier in Tuesday’s session, Brookstone purchased a colt by the Coolmore stallion for $210,000 from Padraig Campion’s Blandford Stud.

“We really like Practical Joke,” Taylor said. “They are a little bit different than the Into Mischiefs, they have a lot of substance and size already on them. And they have a little more body to them, but they’ve got a lot of the same good characteristics, too. They are pretty straightforward and easy-going horses. And they all seem really athletic. They speak to me like the American Pharoahs did when they were yearlings. They all are really good movers.”

Taylor also gave an update on GI Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Blue Prize (Arg) (Pure Prize), who Best purchased for a sale-topping $5 million at the Fasig-Tipton November sale last fall. The mare is expected to visit Into Mischief this year.

“She is settling in and she’s being spoiled,” Taylor said. “She’s living the dream life at the Aaron and Marie Jones barn on the farm. That’s a barn full of mares that have made a lot of really nice babies.” @JessMartiniTDN

Candy Ride Colt Back to Empire State

Bloodstock agent Miguel Clement, bidding on behalf of a racing partnership, went to $280,000 to acquire a New York-bred colt by Candy Ride (Arg) early in Tuesday’s second session of the January sale. The short yearling will be trained by his father, Christophe Clement.

“We’re very thankful to have very loyal and supportive owners,” Clement said after signing the ticket on hip 478. “As you know, the stable is very much into the New York-bred program. So it’s exciting and hopefully we can see him on the racecourse.”

The chestnut colt is out of Sweet Aloha and is a half-brother to stakes winners Filibustin (Bustin Stones) and Indy’s Lady (Take Charge Indy). He was consigned by Stuart Morris on behalf of breeder Dr. Jerry Bilinski’s Waldorf Farm. Sweet Aloha was bred to Union Rags last spring.

Clement agreed the colt’s state-bred status was an incentive in the purchase for his father’s New York-based stable.

“The New York-bred program is a great program,” he said. “And I thought this was probably the best colt here in the sale. So it was a no-brainer for us. We bid more, without a doubt, because it was a New York-bred. He’s a very exciting horse and we’re very lucky to get him.” @JessMartiniTDN

Graves Hard at Work on next Pinhooking Project

Brian Graves has enjoyed great success over the years with his weanling-to-yearling pinhooks and he was hard at work building his 2020 group Tuesday at Keeneland, topped by a $260,000 filly by top sire Into Mischief (Hip 448).

“I liked everything about that filly,” said Graves, who signed the ticket as Blue Sky Stables. “She is leggy, a very elegant type, long neck, a nice square behind to her. She is by a leading sire. He is number one. We will bring her back [to auction] and see how it goes.”

Bred by Reiley McDonald’s Athens Woods Farm and consigned by Eaton Sales, the bay filly is out of the Indian Charlie mare Silent Circle. She is also responsible for GSW Sonic Boom (More Than Ready) and GSP Galientos (More Than Ready).

“It was about what I expected,” McDonald said. “She is a lovely filly and the mare is a good producer. The 3-year-old out of the mare looks quite good as well. I figured she would bring about that and I am glad that Brian bought her.”

Silent Circle’s 3-year-old is a filly named Tulanian (Twirling Candy), a $120,000 KEESEP buy, who has hit the board in four of her five starts for owner Joel Politi and trainer Tom Amoss.


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