Pricey Karakontie Colt Highlights Book 5 Opener


Hip 2814Keeneland


A colt by Karakontie (Jpn) (Hip 2814) achieved a very rare feat in Keeneland September's Book 5 opener Tuesday, summoning a session-topping $500,000 from Marsha Naify. The Gainesway stallion had another yearling in the top five lots of the day with a full-sister to graded stakes-bound Spanish Loveaffair (Karakontie {Jpn}) (Hip 3161) bringing $220,000 from Ballyfair Bloodstock.

A total of 253 yearlings brought $6,484,100 Tuesday with an average of $25,629 and a median of $15,000.Fifty-five horses failed to meet their reserves Tuesday.

Throughout the first nine days of trade, 1,880 youngsters sold for a gross of $240,340,300 with an average of $127,841 and median of $62,000. There were 743 RNAs.

“It has been really thin except for top horses in your draft,” said Brian Graves of Gainesway, which bred and consigned the day's top lot. “The top horses have a lot of action and bring more than you think they will bring and the horses below that are tougher to sell and you really have to adjust your expectations and be willing to let the market say what they are worth.”


Karakontie Colt Sparks Fireworks in Book 5

It is pretty unusual to see a yearling summon $500,000 in Book 5 of Keeneland September, but a colt by Karakontie (Jpn) (Hip 2814) did just that Tuesday, selling to California-based owner Marsha Naify, who did her bidding over the phone.

“The sire can be grass or dirt,” said Naify. “We think the yearling would be a good dirt miler, but he could also go on turf. There is a lot of upside. There were obviously a lot of bidders for that horse, which drove the price up. But, that's okay. I stuck to my guns and stayed in there.”

The chestnut is out of Untouch (Speightstown), a half-sister to SW and GI Kentucky Derby third-place finisher Mr. Big News (Giant's Causeway). This is also the family of GISW sire Sligo Bay (Ire). The yearling was bred and consigned by Gainesway, where Naify keeps her broodmares.

“The Karakontie was a drop-dead gorgeous horse,” Gainesway's Brian Graves said. “He had everything you want to see. I know we were in Book 5, but he had everything you want to see in a Book 1 horse. He had a lot going for him. Physically, he was a standout. He was really athletic with a big, sweeping walk and was correct. He attracted the interest of Maria Niarchos [of Flaxman Holdings, who bred and campaigned Karakontie] and of Marsha Naify, who decided she wasn't going to leave the sale without him. It culminated to a perfect sale. It is a very good thing for Karakontie. We wish Marsha Naify the best of luck with him.”

With Naify not in attendance at the sale, it was Graves that pointed the colt out to her.

“Brian Graves helped me and my trainer Karen Headley out,” Naify said. “That is who I will be sending the horse to here in California once it gets cold in Kentucky. I send all my purchases back to Gainesway just to stay in Kentucky a little longer.”

She continued, “He was on my short list. I made some other smaller purchases, not like that one of course. There were a couple I lost out on. Everyone else I know who is over there said he was a good-looking horse and of course they have the videos online. I also got another cell phone video sent to me.”

Naify has purchased five yearlings at Keeneland so far, but Hip 2814 is by far the most expensive. Her other purchases include: a $75,000 Liam's Map filly (Hip 2235), a $70,000 son of Carpe Diem (Hip 1905), a $35,000 daughter of Jimmy Creed (Hip 3064) and a $30,000 filly by Gormley (Hip 2842).

“I am usually pretty conservative on my bidding,” Naify said. “I don't spend a lot of money at auctions. I look for horses in the more conservative range who could be stars. This one was just special. He just caught my eye. Everybody said he was a great horse and obviously the underbidders thought he was a great horse. Sometimes you have to just go for it.”

She added, “They will all go to Karen. This is the biggest grouping we will have together. I used to have horses with Bruce Headley. He also looked at the video and thought this was a great horse. He still has an eye for the horses.”

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