Momentum Builds at Keeneland September Opener


Session-topping hip 75 | Keeneland photo

by Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato and Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, KY – The Keeneland September Yearling Sale may have started out slowly, but momentum built throughout Monday’s first session of the 13-day auction and the day ended with seven million-dollar transactions. Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation made the day’s biggest purchases, going to $2.5 million to acquire a Tapit half-brother to GI Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist (Uncle Mo) from Hinkle Farms and later spending $2.15 million for a Stonestreet-bred colt by Medaglia d’Oro from the Denali Stud consignment.

During Monday’s session, 107 yearlings sold for $46,231,000 for an average of $432,065 and a median of $325,000. With 44 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate was 29.14%.

While last year’s select Book 1 session of the September sale was four days, Keeneland has shortened Book 1 to just three sessions this year, making direct comparisons inexact. However, last term’s first session saw 138 yearlings gross $48,620,000. The session average was $352,319 and the median was $260,000. The buy-back rate was 34.91%.

“It was incredible,” Keeneland’s Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said of Monday’s results.

Godolphin was last year’s leading buyer at September and appeared ready to defend that title Monday. In addition to their pair of $2-million purchases, the operation purchased a second Medaglia d’Oro colt for $600,000. Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate Company was the session’s next leading buyer with five yearlings purchased for a total of $3,060,000.

“Obviously, Sheikh Mohammed carried a bunch of the water today,” Elliston said. “What a tremendous supporter he is of Keeneland and we couldn’t be more proud of that. Sheikh Hamdan [of Shadwell], as well, was up there; the Japanese got in there and bought; Larry Best had a good day–he got a few nice ones. I saw a lot of domestic bidders who were in there punching away, way late in those extended rounds but who didn’t get it done. That gives me enthusiasm [going forward] because we’ve got two more days of Book 1.”

The Hinkle family’s Hinkle Farms sold a pair of seven-figure yearlings Monday in Lexington. In addition to the session topper, the farm sold a colt by Curlin for $1.05 million.

“I’d be remiss if I didn’t stop and say something about the Hinkles,” Elliston said. “What a day they had–two millionaires. What a tremendous family. Tom, Henry and Anne Archer are loyal Keeneland customers and we couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Monday’s leading consignor was Gainesway, which sold 11 yearlings for a total of $5,425,000 and, in addition to the $2.5-million session topper, the farm’s marquee stallion Tapit also was represented by the session’s third-highest priced yearling, a $1.5-million full-brother to champion Unique Bella.

“We continue to live in Tapit’s world, and he’s having another terrific year,” said Gainesway’s Michael Hernon. “He continues to produce many graded stakes winners from a limited number of mares. He breeds roughly just 115 mares a year, and they’re obviously very high-quality mares, handpicked.”

Also with a pair of seven-figure sales Monday was Medaglia d’Oro, who led the session with seven sold for $6,225,000, and the late Pioneerof the Nile, who had seven sell for $4.2 million.

Book 1 sessions continue through Wednesday with bidding beginning daily at noon.

“I’ve heard it said that this might have been the lightest of the three sessions, which I’m struggling to believe with seven millionaires,” Elliston said. “If that’s the case, and with what we’ve seen in terms of active trade today, we’re still up for some pretty solid returns I think.”

Godolphin Gets Another Nyquist Sib

Sheikh Mohammed stands champion Nyquist (Uncle Mo) under his Darley banner, and he acquired a second yearling half-sibling to the 2016 GI Kentucky Derby winner for $2.5 million Monday in Lexington. The session-topping Tapit colt was consigned to the sale by his breeder, Hinkle Farms, as hip 75 (click for ring footage).

Team Godolphin paid $1.75 million for the War Front filly out of dam Seeking Gabrielle (Forestry) here 12 months ago. She was subsequently named Maria Rosa and sent to Great Britain.

“He’s a half-brother to Nyquist, and the Hinkles do a great job breeding and raising their horses,” said Godolphin representative Anthony Stroud. “We bought the half-sister here last year by War Front and she’s going very well. So, he was a very nice horse and Sheikh Mohammed liked him very, very much. He was one of our picks of the day–Sheikh Mohammed’s pick of the day–and that was it, really; fantastic pedigree, good physical and he’ll be an exciting prospect.”

Stroud said no decisions on where the Tapit colt would be sent had been made yet.

“[Sheikh Mohammed] makes all the decisions,” he said. “I think he wants to see how the week goes and how it pans out and then we’ll go from there. He’s completely instrumental in the selection of the horses, and it’s great that he’s here. We’ve been very impressed with the Nyquist yearlings as well. We’ve been going around and looking at them.”

Hinkle Farms paid $100,000 for minor winner Seeking Gabrielle–a daughter of GSW Seeking Regina (Seeking the Gold) from a very productive family–at the 2013 Keeneland November sale. Seeking Gabrielle’s first foal, Nyquist, had sold for $230,000 at Keeneland September and would bring $400,000 at Fasig-Tipton Florida before reeling off a perfect five-for-five juvenile campaign that culminated in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.

The Blame filly Seeking Gabrielle was carrying when the Hinkles bought her went for $330,000 at KEESEP ’15; and a Flatter colt of 2016 cost $460,000 here in 2017.

“It’s the culmination of about two years of work, and it all happens in about 30 seconds, so right before it happens we all maybe want to throw up or something because we get so nervous,” said Anne Archer Hinkle. “But, we’re really happy, and we have a wonderful team at the farm and this is a testament to their hard work. I’m so thrilled for my dad [Tom Hinkle]. He’s been doing this for so long. We’re happy.”

Seeking Gabrielle produced a full-brother to Nyquist Apr. 20 and was bred back to Quality Road for 2020. —@BDiDonatoTDN

Banner Day for Hinkle Farms

Hinkle Farms enjoyed a banner day at Keeneland Monday, selling a pair of seven-figure yearlings, including the $2.5 million session topper, Hip 75. A few hours later, they hit another home run when a colt by Curlin (hip 162) summoned $1.05 million from Shadwell.

“We are thrilled with the result and excited he is going to be in great hands,” said Henry Hinkle. “He is a really nice colt and developed nicely. He never made any mistakes and was a clean, straight-forward kind of colt with a great walk. He is one of those dream colts that doesn’t come around that often. We are obviously very thrilled.”

The Hinkles bought hip 162’s dam Transportation (Giant’s Causeway) for $370,000 with this colt in utero at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale. Out of MSW & GSP Alternate (Seattle Slew), Transportation is a half-sister to MGSW sire Alternation (Distorted Humor), who sired this year’s GI

Kentucky Oaks victress Serengeti Empress; GI TVG Pacific Classic hero Higher Power (Medaglia d’Oro) and MSW Interrupted (Broken Vow), who was purchased by Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm for $575,000 in foal to Distorted Humot at last term’s Keeneland November Sale.

“It was totally unexpected,” Hinkle said of the family’s homerun. “We were very lucky that we bought her in foal to Curlin, who is a great sire, but how would anybody know he was going to be the leading sire at Saratoga this year. He is having a great year at stud and they are in high demand. It looks like he is going to be a sire of sires too, so the colts are in great demand. We are just extremely fortunate to be able to buy the mare and she had such a nice foal. I hope he does great for the Shadwell folks. I know he will have every opportunity and be in great hands.”

Those were Hinkle Farms’ only two offerings Monday. When asked how he felt after such a banner day for his family’s operation, Hinkle said, “Hopefully, it validates that we are doing the right things raising our horses. When preparing for the sale, we just do hand walking and a lot of it. I think it pays off. It means a lot. You have to keep reinvesting in this business to stay current. We will be able to come back in November to reinvest in some more nice mares for our broodmare band.”

Hip 162 was the most expensive of five yearlings purchased by Shadwell Monday. Sheikh Hamdan’s operation also bought hip 76, an $800,000 Curlin filly; hip 52, a $575,000 Speightstown colt; hip 117, a $325,000 Kitten’s Joy colt; and hip 147, a $310,000 Lope de Vega (Ire) filly. Shadwell spent a total of $3.06 million Monday with an average of $612,000.


Big Day for Bandoroffs

The Bandoroff family’s Denali Stud enjoyed a banner day at Keeneland September Monday, selling a $2.15-million colt by Medaglia d’Oro (hip 138) (ring footage) and a Curlin colt (hip 68) and filly (hip 76) for $800,000 each.

Hip 138 was offered on behalf of Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet and purchased by Godolphin, which also purchased the session-topping Curlin colt.

“He’s by Medaglia d’Oro, who stands at [Darley] Jonabell, Sheikh Mohammed really liked him and he’s a very smooth-going horse,” said agent Anthony Stroud after signing the ticket.

Hip 138 is the first foal out of GI Santa Margarita S. heroine andTDN Rising StarTara’s Tango (Unbridled’s Song). A half-sister to GISW Visionaire (Grand Slam), GSW/MGSIP Scarlet Strike (Smart Strike) and GSW Madison’s Luna (Tapit), Tara’s Tango is a half to hip 68, who was also bred by Stonestreet.

“It’s always nice to get off to that sort of start,” said Conrad Bandoroff. “We knew coming into the day that we had three very nice horses with the right pedigrees. Over the past few days we’ve had great showing activity at the barns. Keeneland has done a really good job promoting the sale and all the right people are here–a lot of international entities–there’s been good energy around the grounds. I haven’t looked at the results, but I know at least from our perspective, it’s correlated.”

Bandoroff continued, “The first two horses brought $800,000, and then obviously you knew on 138 that he was popular and had all the right people [interested], but you never let your expectations get that high. He was an incredible physical. Stonestreet raises as good a horse as anybody in the business, and he’s really a testament to the evolution of their program: a homebred, who was a Grade I winner from one of their best mares. The Curlin colt we sold earlier in the day was from the same family. It really is a feather in the cap for the Stonestreet Bred & Raised program and we were just very fortunate that we got to represent them and their whole team. Give them all the credit.”

While hip 76 wasn’t bred by Banke’s operation, she was sired by Stonestreet superstar Curlin out of a Tapit half-sister to champion Honor Code purchased by Bridlewood Farm for $3 million at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

Of hip 138, Bandoroff said, “He was just all class. For a first foal, he was just a tremendously balanced horse. Every time he would come out, he was a wow horse. He acted like a true professional for every show–his first show was the same as his last show. When horses do that, and they’re bred the way that they are, they make our jobs easier.”

Denali also sold $1.5-million and $1-million colts by Curlin at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga–the latter was Stonestreet-bred.

“We’re very blessed to get to represent the people that we do,” Bandoroff said. “It’s extremely gratifying for our team and my father [Craig] and I. How lucky am I to work alongside my dad? To have days like this, we’ll remember it for the rest of our lives.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Curlin Continues to Be in Demand at KEESEP

After a banner Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale, where he was represented by three seven-figure colts, Curlin continued to put on a strong showing at Keeneland September with an $800,000 colt from a strong family selling early in the opening session. Bloodstock agent Mike Ryan, who purchased Curlin’s champion son Good Magic for $1 million at this auction in 2016, signed the ticket on behalf of that MGISW’ part-owner e Five Racing. Like Good Magic, hip 68 was bred Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings and was consigned by Denali Stud, who also consigned one of the sale-topping Curlin colts at Saratoga, as well as a $1- million Curlin filly bred by Stonestreet.

“He was bought based on the Curlins of Saratoga, who were really nice horses and some of them brought $1.5 million,” said Ryan. “To be honest, I ranked him superior to those horses. Sometimes you can’t explain it, but he, to me, is one of the top five colts in the sale. He has it all. He is by a great sire, has a superb physical and the mare is a great producer.”

He continued, “I thought this was a serious horse, an unbelievable horse. He is coming from Stonestreet and they do an unbelievable job. Their success is phenomenal. It gives you great confidence. They do it right and they know how to raise them. [Barbara Banke] has a great broodmare band.”

Stonestreet purchased Hip 68’s dam, SP Scarlet Tango (French Deputy) for $850,000 carrying a full-sibling to her Grade I-winning son Visionaire (Grand Slam) at the 2008 Keeneland November Sale. Her second foal for them was GSW & MGISP Scarlet Strike (Smart Strike) and she was followed by Grade I winner and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Tara’s Tango (Unbridled’s Song), who carried Banke’s gold and burgundy colors. The mare is also responsible for last year’s GIII Hutcheson S. victor Madison’s Luna (Tapit). @CDeBernardisTDN

Stonestreet on Both Sides of the Ledger

Shortly before creating fireworks as sellers, Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables made one of Monday’s biggest purchases, going to $950,000 to secure a filly by Medaglia d’Oro (hip 114).

“She had beautiful balance, she was a very sturdy-looking Medaglia d’Oro filly. You know I like those,” Banke, who campaigned champion Rachel Alexandra (Medaglia d’Oro), said.

The yearling was bred by Doug and Felicia Branham and was consigned by Eaton Sales. She is out of stakes winner Stoweshoe (Flatter), who is a full-sister to Grade I winner Taris and a half to multiple graded placed Theatre Star (War Front).

Stonestreet purchased Stoweshoe’s dam Comedy (Theatrical {Ire}), in foal to Tapit, for $1.5 million at the 2015 Keeneland November sale. That Tapit colt sold for $900,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September sale.

“She’s got great breeding–we own the mare Comedy and we’ve had some excellent babies from her,” Banke continued.

Mike Recio purchased Stoweshoe for $330,000 at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February sale. Her first foal, a colt by Curlin also bred by the Branhams, sold for $1.3 million at last year’s Keeneland September sale. @JessMartiniTDN

Pletcher Getting New Money Honey Full Bro

Trainer Todd Pletcher was left signing the $1.5-million ticket on hip 185 Monday for a powerful ownership trio of Mike Repole’s Repole Stables, Vinnie Viola and Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier. The full-brother to MGISW turfer New Money Honey was offered by Lane’s End on behalf of Summer Wind Equine.

“He’s a beautiful horse, well bred–everything you look for in one,” said Pletcher. “I’ll talk to all the guys and come up with a plan, but he’ll go to Ocala eventually and I hope he turns out to be as good as he looks.”

Already named Golden Whim, hip 185 is out of an unraced full-sister to Any Given Saturday (Distorted Humor), who took the 2007 GI Haskell Invitational S. under Pletcher’s tutelage.

“He made a very positive first impression–he’s a very attractive colt, athletic mover and had the pedigree to support him,” Pletcher said. “I think he should be able to do anything–dirt, turf–he should certainly be able to get the [distance], so he’s a Classic-type horse hopefully.” —@BDiDonatoTDN

Summer Wind Continues to Blow in the Right Direction

Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm has enjoyed great success on the racetrack and in the sales ring over the past couple of years, producing runners such as champion Game Winner (Candy Ride {{Arg}), MGISW McKinzie (Street Sense) and Grade I winner Chasing Yesterday (Tapit). They had a banner sales season last term and look poised to have an even better one this year with two colts reaching seven figures already. A Tapit son of Feathered summoned $1 million from West Point Thoroughbreds at last month’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale and their luck continued at Keeneland Monday with a Medaglia d’Oro colt (Hip 185) bringing $1.5 million from the powerhouse trio of Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier, Vinnie Viola and Mike Repole.

“It is starting off right,” Lyon said with a bright smile in reference to her strong start to the sales season. “We felt like this colt was worth at least $1 million, so for him to get $1.5 million is very good. We are very happy.”

Lyon went to $1.4 million to acquire Hip 185’s unraced dam Weekend Whim (Distorted Humor) carrying this colt at the 2017 Keeneland November Sale. This was on the heels off a stellar two seasons for his full-sister New Money Honey, who won the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and GIII Miss Grillo S. in 2016 and captured the GIII Wonder Again S. and GI Belmont Oaks Invitational S. in 2017. Unfortunately, Weekend Whim passed away not long after delivering this colt, making this sale a bit bittersweet for Lyon.

“Even at this [price], I wish it had been a filly and I was keeping it,” Lyon said. “I hope he goes on and keeps her name up there and remembered.”

Lyon also offered an update on ‘TDN Rising Star’ Chasing Yesterday, who has officially been retired from racing. A half-sister to Triple Crown hero American Pharoah (Pioneerof the Nile), the 3-year-old chestnut filly provided Lyon with one of her greatest highs in racing, her first Grade I as an owner, when winning the GI Starlet S. last term. Named in honor of Lyon’s late husband Frank, Chasing Yesterday won five of her seven career starts, with four of those being stakes victories, for earnings of $488,650. She will join her mother Littleprincessemma (Yankee Gentleman) as part of her owner/breeder’s illustrious broodmare band. Lyon has not picked out a stallion for Chasing Yesterday yet, but said it would be a proven sire.

“I decided she did not owe me anything,” said Lyon, who has Chasing Yesterday at her Georgetown farm since the filly entrapped her epiglottis when running third in the GI Santa Anita Oaks Apr. 6. “When she came home because she had entrapped her epiglottis, I debated sending her back, but she had not been a horse for almost two years because she had been in training all that time. I just thought what could she do to make her value that much more. It wasn’t worth it to me to put her back in training. She is loving just being a horse. She is with her best friend Shadow Play (Galileo {Ire}) [a half-sister to GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny (Quality Road)] in her paddock and she is growing and filling out. She is just as happy as she can be and that makes me happy just to look at her.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Japan-Bound Tapit Colt Could be Back

A colt by Tapit, a full-brother to champion Unique Bella, will be heading to Japan, but connections are already hoping for a return trip for the yearling. Bloodstock agent Hiroyasu Takeuchi made the winning $1.5-million bid to secure the gray colt (hip 172) on behalf of new owner Yuji Hasegawa.

“The plan is to take him back to Japan and hopefully take him on the Japanese road to the Kentucky Derby and bring him back over here as a Derby horse,” Takeuchi said through interpreter Kate Hunter.

The Japanese-based Master Fencer (Jpn) (Just a Way {Jpn}) earned a spot in this year’s GI Kentucky Derby when he finished second in the Fukuryu S. He was a solid sixth in the Run for the Roses and added a fifth-place effort in the GI Belmont S. five weeks later.

The seven-figure yearling will be trained by Kazuo Fujisawa and it might be a milestone pairing for the 67-year-old conditioner.

“He is one of the best trainers in Japan and he will get him,” confirmed Takeuchi. “In Japan, trainers have to retire at the age of 70. They have no choice, they have to retire. So this will be the last crop of horses becoming 3-year-olds that he will be able to train. He thinks that it would be great to go to the Kentucky Derby with this horse.”

Hasegawa is a soybean farmer in Japan and the Tapit colt was his second purchase. He bought a foal by King Kamehameha (Jpn) out of multiple graded stakes winner May Day Rose (Rockport Harbor) for ¥76 million (about $699,200) at this year’s JRHA Select Sale.

The gray colt is out of GI Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Unrivaled Belle (Unbridled’s Song). His full-sister Unique Bella, purchased by Don Alberto Corp for $400,000 at the 2015 Keeneland September sale, was a three-time Grade I winner and was named champion female spinter in 2017 and champion older dirt female in 2018.

“I’ve seen both the dam and the sibling’s races,” Takeuchi said. “That’s one of the things that drew me to the horse. The female family is very, very strong, that really impressed me. Tapit and Unrivaled Belle make a wonderful pairing.”

Of the colt’s final price tag, Takeuchi added, “I figured the horse would go for about $2 million, but we were prepared to spend what we needed to get him.”

The yearling was consigned by Timber Town on behalf of breeder Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm. Pope purchased Unrivaled Belle, in foal to Tapit, for $3.8 million at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. The foal the mare was carrying is the unraced Unrivaled Princess, who was working at Churchill Downs over the summer. With no foal this year, Unrivaled Belle was bred back to Tapit. @JessMartiniTDN

McElroy Strikes for Pioneerof the Nile Colt

During a 15-minute fury of bidding, in which three horses in a row brought seven figures, a $1.05 million son of Pioneerof the Nile was last of the trio, but certainly not least. Hip 174 was purchased by Ben McElroy on behalf of Qatar Racing and will be trained by Simon Callaghan, who was seated alongside McElroy as he signed the ticket.

“To be honest with you, I just thought he was one of the better colts today,” McElroy said. “That was reflected by the price. I was actually underbidder on his dam [Uptown Twirl (Twirling Candy)] as a yearling. I’ve always followed the dam. She was pretty talented and ended up being a half-sister to Classic Empire. This colt was bred on the same cross as a champion 2-year-old and was just a great physical.”

A $110,000 KEESEP yearling turned $630,000 OBSMAR juvenile, Uptown Twirl was a two-time stakes winner in California for John Sadler and Hronis Racing. She summoned $1.075 million at the 2016 Keeneland November Sale, just days after her half-brother Classic Empire (Pioneerof the Nile) concluded a championship season with a victory in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, which was his second top-level score that term following a win in the GI Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity S. He went on to win the GI Arkansas Derby the following year and finish a very close second in the GI Preakness S. before retiring to Coolmore’s Ashford Stud.

Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned Hip 174 for Three Chimneys. The Taylor brothers’ operation represented 17 yearlings Monday for a gross of $5.385 million and an average of $316,765. @CDeBernardisTDN

The Best Mischief

Larry Best admitted he came into the Keeneland September sale specifically targeting offspring of Into Mischief and he came away with a pair of yearlings by the Spendthrift stallion Monday in Lexington. Best purchased a colt out of Canadian champion Sealy Hill (Point Given) for $950,000. The bay, bred by Bonne Chance Farm and consigned by Gainesway, is a half-brother to Best’s recent GI Del Mar Oaks winner Cambier Parc (Medaglia d’Oro) (hip 71). Earlier in Monday’s first session of the September sale, Best paid $750,000 to acquire an Into Mischief colt (hip 28) out of graded placed Poof Too (Distorted Humor) from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment.

“You probably realize I’m collecting Into Mischiefs,” Best said with a smile after signing the ticket on hip 71. “I probably have more than I need, but I like every one I have. I have a filly and I have colts. I have [2018 GII Best Pal S. winner] Instagrand and [MGISP] Rowayton the performances have been stunning, even though I would like a few more graded stakes from them and I hope that those graded stakes are in the future. The heart of Into Mischief is hard to replicate in any other sire and I see it throughout every horse that I buy. So in this new crop, I wanted to have some representation from Into Mischief. And we now have two good buys, I think.”

Best purchased Cambier Parc for $1.25 million at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. Trained by Chad Brown, the filly was a two-time Grade III winner this year before finishing third in the GI Belmont Oaks Invitational and shipping west to win the Del Mar Oaks.

“This one, there was some emotion,” Best said of the purchase of his Grade I winner’s half-brother. “Sealy Hill I bet on with Medaglia d’Oro and we got two Grade IIIs and a Grade I. She is training very well and she’s very durable. So if you could combine Sealy Hill with Into Mischief, you just hope that that’s a good combination. It’s mostly hope and prayers, but we’ll see how it rolls.”

Best purchased Instagrand for $1.2 million at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream sale and the speedy colt was tabbed a ‘TDN Rising Star’ following a 10-length debut win at Los Alamitos last June. He added the GII Best Pal S. in his second start and was third in both this year’s GIII Gotham S. and GI Santa Anita Derby, but cut back to a mile while finishing eighth in the May 4 GIII Pat Day Mile in his most recent start.

“Both hip 28 and hip 71 have a little more scope to them than say an Instagrand, so I am hoping that they have two-turn potential,” Best said.

Later in Monday’s session, Best paid $575,000 for a filly by American Pharoah (hip 182) fron the Upson Downs Farm consignment.

Hip 71 represents the third crop of foals from Gilberto Sayao Da Silva’s Bonne Chance Farm, which purchased the 300-acre property that had previously been Nat Rea’s Regis Farm in 2015. Also in 2015, Gilberto Sayao purchased Sealy Hill, in foal to Medaglia d’Oro, for $750,000 from the Regis dispersal at the Keeneland November sale. The foal the mare was carrying, Cambier Parc, became the first Bonne Chance-bred yearling sold at auction when Best made his seven-figure bid at the 2017 September sale.

“We always loved him,” Bonne Chance general manager Alberto Figueiredo said of the mare’s latest September offering. “We are very fortunate to have Sealy at the farm. She has thrown some outstanding horses and this one was no exception. And we are very glad that he is going to Mr. Larry Best.”

Sealy Hill’s 2017 filly by Medaglia d’Oro sold to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm for $425,000 at last year’s Keeneland September sale.

“She is not currently in foal unfortunately, but she’ll probably be bred back next year,” Figueiredo said of the 15-year-old mare.

Of Bonne Chance’s early results at the September sale, Figueiredo said, “This is our third crop. We are excited so far, no complaints. And we have four more to sell this week.”

Antony Beck’s Gainesway consigned Cambier Parc, as well as Monday’s Into Mischief colt, to the September sale on behalf of Bonne Chance.

“We are thrilled,” Gainesway’s Brian Graves said of the result. “We are grateful to Mr. Best for buying this nice horse. He’s by a sire who can do no wrong out of a mare who has done a lot of right. He was a lovely horse, a really nice physical and a lot of sharp people here were on him. We’re grateful to Bonne Chance for letting us sell him as well.”

Less than midway through Monday’s first session of the 13-day sale, Graves looked down to check his sheet, which featured a perfect sale rate, when asked his early impressions of the September market.

“We are six for six, so I’m finding the market to be pretty steady,” Graves said with a smile. @JessMartiniTDN

Coolmore, Brant Show Confidence in ‘Egypt’

Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier and White Birch Farm’s Peter Brant struck late in Monday’s opening KEESEP session for a $1-million Pioneerof the Nile colt (hip 173) from the Lane’s End draft.

The Apr. 1 foal is a half toTDN Rising StarMonarch of Egypt (American Pharoah), who was acquired by the same connections for $750,000 here 12 months ago.

Turned over to Aidan O’Brien, Monarch of Egypt took his Naas debut Apr. 13 and finished second in both the June 29 G2 Railway S. and Aug. 9 G1 Keeneland Phoenix S. at the Curragh.

“He’s a very nice horse,” Magnier said of hip 173. “Monarch of Egypt is going to run in the [G1 Juddmonte] Middle Park [S. at Newmarket Sept. 28] hopefully and Aidan has a very high opinion of him.”

Jan Vandebos and Bob Naify’s Ran Jan Racing paid a sale-topping $2.2 million for hip 172’s MGSW/G1SP dam Up (Ire) (Galileo {Ire})–a Coolmore colorbearer–in foal to War Front at the 2015 Keeneland January sale. Up is a half to Group 1 winner Dutch Art (GB) (Medicean {GB}). —@BDiDonatoTDN

Bargain Buy Pays Off Again for Haymarket

For the second straight year, Haymarket Farm principal Chip Montgomery and farm manager Kelly Jackson were celebrating at Keeneland September after a yearling out of Queen’s Wood (Tiznow) sold to China Horse Club and WinStar Farm’s Maverick Racing. This year’s youngster was a colt by red-hot Into Mischief consigned by Vinery Sales as hip 41. He brought $560,000.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of money, but I’m not sure it’s newsworthy at this sale,” Montgomery said. When reminded that he paid only $47,000 for the mare, he replied with a smile, “Oh yeah, we did do that.”

Haymarket purchased unraced dam Queen’s Wood in foal to Quality Road at the 2017 Keeneland November sale just weeks before her son True Timber (Mineshaft) finished second in the GI Cigar Mile H.

On the back of added momentum from the year Quality Road had in 2018, Haymarket sold the resulting colt at November last year for $250,000. Now named Motown Music, he had been working regularly at Saratoga until mid-July.

“We bought the mare a few years ago at Keeneland November and got a beautiful Quality Road that [China Horse Club and WinStar] bought already,” said Jackson. “Brian Lyle at Spendthrift told us that if we sent her to Into Mischief we’d do well and, 18 months later, he was right.”

Jackson said he was expecting that kind of money after the run Into Mischief has had both on the track and in the sales ring. Queen’s Wood was bred to another Spendthrift stalwart for 2020 in Malibu Moon.

Montgomery owns and operates Montgomery Chevrolet in Louisville. Haymarket Farm, which is also in the Louisville area, is a 180-acre property and houses approximately 25-30 mares.

Haymarket bred 2018 GIII Fantasy S. winner Sassy Sienna (Midshipman), who competed in last year’s GI Kentucky Oaks and was co-owned by China Horse Club before Maverick purchased her for $775,000 at Keeneland November. @BDiDonatoTDN

Another Justify Sibling RNAs at KEESEP

At last year’s Keeneland September Sale, just three months after Justify (Scat Daddy)’s historic Triple Crown sweep, his breeders John and Tanya Gunther of Glenwood Farm offered his half-brother by Will Take Charge and he was led from the ring unsold at $1.75 million. It was a bit of deja vu at this year’s September sale with his yearling half-brother by Pioneerof the Nile RNA’d for $950,000 (Hip 106).

“I just felt like if he didn’t sell around that price, I’d be just as happy to race him,” said John Gunther, adding that the bay RNA’d at just “a tick” under his reserve. “I think a lot of people are comparing him to Justify with Justify being a much larger individual as a yearling. This colt is by Pioneerof the Nile and quite often he throws a fairly big horse. This horse is athletic, has a great mind and has a lot of class about him. I think him being on the smaller side turned a lot of the big buyers away. But to me, he has a tremendous walk and a great mind. I am more than happy to race him.”

Stage Magic (Ghostzapper)’s now 2-year-old Will Take Charge colt is named One More City and is currently going through his pre-training. His breeders are taking their time with the hulking chestnut, who shares his famous brother’s large frame.

“He was a big colt,” said Gunther. “He looked a lot like Justify. We have been taking our time with him. He has been at a training center, but he just had a growth spurt, do I don’t think we will see a start from him until early in his 3-year-old year.”

Justify’s year-older half-sister Holiday Music (Harlan’s Holiday) was claimed off the track last year and privately purchased by Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm. She produced her first foal, a Pioneerof the Nile filly, this spring. The two-time Eclipse winner’s year-younger half-sister, Egyptian Storm (Pioneerof the Nile), was retired earlier this year after failing to place in her lone start and is currently in foal to Quality Road. Stage Magic lost the foal she was carrying by Quality Road this spring and was bred back to Curlin. @CDeBernardisTDN

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