Behave Virginia

The Process: Ken McPeek

With thousands of horses on offer from the top of the market and on down, Keeneland September is unlike any other yearling sale and requires serious hard work and focus to shop effectively. We've caught up with several prominent buyers to find out how they attack the auction from pre-sale preparations and into the two weeks of selling. This first installment features trainer Ken McPeek, whose prowess at finding top athletes for value--often with less fashionable pedigrees--is well documented. Among McPeek's long list of KEESEP finds are Hall of Famer...

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Taking Stock: Unified, Mohaymen, Gormley the Ones to Watch

I noted on Steve Byk's "At the Races" radio show last Wednesday that some stallions that enter stud for between $10,000 and $20,000 occasionally punch above their weight and find lasting success. The in-your-face examples of this are Into Mischief, Tapit, and War Front, three of the best and most expensive horses at stud, but others that have fit the profile through the years include Distorted Humor, Candy Ride (Arg), Elusive Quality, Munnings and Twirling Candy. Twirling Candy, a son of Candy Ride, was recently profiled in this space along...

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Unified Filly All Business in Debutante

Behave Virginia (Unified), the first winner for Unified when dueling free and airing on debut beneath the Twin Spires May 28, became her freshman sire's first stakes winner in Saturday's $150,000 Debutante S. at Churchill Downs. The 4-1 chance bobbled slightly at the start and sat behind the leaders in an inside fourth. She split horses as they turned for home and ran to the money to stay perfect. The winner's dam, a $25,000 purchase by Arif Kurtel at the 2019 KEENOV Sale, had a colt by Tamarkuz in 2020....

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Freshman Sire Unified Gets First Win at Churchill

Lucky Seven Stable's Behave Virginia (Unified) launched her career in style, rolling home an impressive 5 1/2-furlong winner at Churchill Downs Friday to become the first winner for freshman sire Unified (Candy Ride {Arg}). Narrowly in front into the far turn, she was briefly headed by 6-5 favorite Trade Secret (Goldencents), but wrested the lead back from that rival turning for home. In command from there, the 7-1 chance drew clear through the stretch, crossing the wire 5 1/2 lengths ahead of Trade Secret while under a hand ride. Her...

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