Late Fireworks for Unraced $1-Million Into Mischief Colt at Keeneland

$1-million Into Mischief colt | Keeneland photo

An unraced 2-year-old colt by record-setting sire Into Mischief brought $1 million from Mick Wallace, agent, on behalf of Gandharvi Racing, to dissolve a partnership very late in the day to top Keeneland's single-session November Horses of Racing Age Sale Thursday.

Produced by Gaudete (Distorted Humor)–an unraced half-sister to leading young sire Munnings (Speightstown)–Hip 5352 was consigned by Highgate Sales, Agent XXXV.

The topper previously brought $350,000 from China Horse Club/Gandharvi Racing at last year's Keeneland September Sale. His yearling half-brother by Violence brought $300,000 from Repole Stable and St. Elias Stables at Keeneland September.

Either alone or in partnership, Gandharvi Racing purchased 18 yearlings earlier this year at Keeneland September for $7.605 million ($422,500).

China Horse Club brought home the next two toppers, also consigned by Highgate Sales to dissolve that same partnership, going to $560,000 for an unraced 2-year-old filly by Practical Joke–Competition, by Dixie Union (Hip 5344) and $450,000 for an unraced 2-year-old colt by Street Sense–Sweeter Than Ever, by Exchange Rate (Hip 5346).

The Practical Joke filly, from the family of Grade I winners Sailor's Valentine and Coup de Fusil, previously brought $420,000 from China Horse Club/Gandharvi at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga. The Street Sense colt, from the family of Grade III winner Bibury Court, brought $350,000 from China Horse Club/Gandharvi at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga.

CHC Inc. purchased four horses for $1.385 million to lead all buyers Thursday.

“We got approached by some parties that were dissolving a partnership,” Highgate Sales's Jacob West said. “We just offered a service of putting them through the ring for them. It all came together in the last minute. They handled everything at the barn–signage, marketing–it was a total team effort from everybody. We did not see this coming. China Horse Club was one of our supporters early. They were responsible for our first $1-million horse. Now they are responsible for our second.”

Highgate Sales led all consignors for the auction, selling 15 head for $3.383 million, good for an average of $225,533.

West continued, “I think this comes from us pounding the drum on how we are no-nonsense, straightforward, straight-shooting people and offer this service to our clients to represent them the best we can at the sales. The horses came to us in great shape. They had been in kind of a holding pattern for a little bit and ready to go on and do their next thing. It is a unique situation when you can tell people it's to dissolve a partnership. There was a horse there for everybody that was shopping. There was a horse that brought $1 million and a horse that brought $6,000.”

This year, Keeneland created the stand-alone auction for horses of racing age, which in previous years was incorporated as part of the November Breeding Stock Sale. A total of 161 horses sold during the session for $11,029,500, for an average of $68,506 and a median of $35,000.

“It was a very healthy day of trade,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said. “There was plenty of action in the barns, in the back rings and a lot of action in the Repository. We know this is a really good time of year for people who are trying to reorganize their barn to transition horses in or out of their programs. They are looking for horses to run at Oaklawn or Fair Grounds or other winter tracks, and here they are able to do their homework and be well educated on the horses that are in front of them. It's very welcome for both buyers and sellers.”

“This segment is its own sale now, and we think it's off to a really good start,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Cormac Breathnach said. “It's contiguous with the Breeding Stock Sale, but it's a different market with a later entry deadline and more flexibility with supplements. There's now a concentration of racehorses before trainers rather than before when the racehorses were spread out over days with breeding stock. We did a little over $6 million in gross last year when we put the racehorses at the end of the Breeding Stock Sale, and this year we did just over $11 million. That's significant. We've set a baseline for what the November Horses of Racing Age Sale can be, and we'll try to grow it from here.”

Other highlights during the sale included:

Hip 5206: Sifting Sands (GB) (c, 4, Dubawi {Ire}–Yummy Mummy {GB}, by Montjeu {Ire}). *Winner of the 2021 Better Talk Now S. and close second in the 2022 Fasig-Tipton Lure S., both at Saratoga. **1/2 brother to MG1SW Legatissimo (Ire) (Danehill Dancer {Ire}). ***Consigned by ELiTE, agent; $200,000 purchase by RRR Racing. ****”I bought him for RRR Racing and he is going to Dubai,” Corbin Blumberg said. “He's obviously a pretty high-class horse. He's rated at 106 over there, so he can go right into the [Dubai World Cup] Carnival. They love the sire Dubawi over there and are pretty familiar with him.”

Hip 5297: Ethereal Road (c, 3, Quality Road–Sustained, by War Front). *Winner of the 2022 Sir Barton S. and runner-up in the GII Rebel S. **1/2 brother to GSW Turned Aside (American Pharoah). ***Consigned by Paramount Sales, Agent LXX; $200,000 purchase by Steven W. Young, agent. ****”He's a horse I've watched all year,” Young said. “He's a super nice horse I bought for really good people. I think the horse will be going to Oaklawn Park. He broke his maiden there and he should have won the Rebel there. We're excited for them. I think this sale has a ceiling to it. I figured that is about what he would bring.”

Hip 5305: Lovemesomeme (f, 4, Paynter–Eagle Putt, by Pioneering). *Third behind GISW Bell's the One (Majesticperfection) with a career-high 85 Beyer Speed Figure in Churchill's Lady Tak S. **Full-sister to GSP Scarto. ***Consigned by Mill Ridge Sales, agent; $350,000 purchase by L & L Racing. ****”She's for a client to go to Brad Cox,” Clay Scherer said. “She ran very consistent numbers at Churchill Downs and she will fit in very well at Oaklawn Park. She has been fast and consistent and Tommy Drury has done a great job with her. It's nice to go into a big-time winter meet at Hot Springs with a nice, fresh horse. The market has been very strong for good racehorses and it continued into today.”

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