Donato Lanni

Bonanza Keeneland September Sale Concludes

The Keeneland September Yearling Sale, launched last week with a Bluegrass band, mimosas, and a boutique Book 1 section, continued its momentum straight through to the end of its 11th session, concluding with a sales record average, median and buy-back rate. The gross, which was over $300,000,000 for three straight years before falling to $248,978,700 during the pre-vaccination pandemic in 2020, rebounded to $352,823,000 by the time the last hip went through the ring Friday evening. It was the auction's sixth highest gross in history. "The hope was that we...

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Blitzkrieg Opener to Keeneland Book 3

LEXINGTON, KY - The Keeneland September Yearling Sale lost none of its momentum during a dark day Friday, returning with an opening Book 3 section that featured strong demand from start to finish in Lexington Saturday. During the session, 269 head sold for $45,003,000. The session average was $167,297--up 53.46% from last year's Book 3 opener which was held amidst the uncertainty of the pre-vaccination pandemic--and the median increased 58.82% to $135,000. With just 92 horses reported not sold, the buy-back rate Saturday was 25.48%. It was 40.12% a year...

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Million-Dollar Yearlings Pace KEESEP Book 1 Opener

by Jessica Martini, Brian DiDonato & Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY - The Keeneland September Yearling Sale, led by a trio of million-dollar yearlings, opened with a day of steady trade in Lexington Monday. A total of 95 yearlings sold during the session for $38,172,000, at an average of $401,811 and a median of $325,000. "I think the trade was really strong," Keeneland's new vice president of sales Tony Lacy said at the close of business Monday. "The numbers may have stacked very comparably to last year, but I think there...

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Taking Stock: Maclean's Music is the Model for Valiant Minister

Last week, I stopped by John and Leslie Malone's 2,200-acre Bridlewood Farm in Ocala before attending the OBS June sale and got a good look at an intriguing freshman sire who'd topped the June sale six years earlier at a then-record price of $680,000. By Candy Ride (Arg) from the unraced Deputy Minister mare Spooky Minister, Valiant Minister was bred by John Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale and had breezed a bullet eighth in :9 4/5 for consignor Eddie Woods. He was purchased on the advice of Donato Lanni by Charles...

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Million-Dollar Babies Pace OBS Wednesday

By Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis OCALA, FL - A pair of million-dollar juveniles punctuated a day of lively trade in Central Florida as the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of 2-Year-Olds reached its midway point with a second session Wednesday. "We certainly picked up where we left off yesterday and the action was just as good, if not better, and we hope it continues to move forward into the next two days," said OBS Director of Sales Tod Wojciechowski. "We came into the sale with some expectations given...

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Strong Trade at OBS Opener

By Christie DeBernardis & Jessica Martini The four-day Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale got off to a strong start Tuesday. A colt from the first crop of Horse of the Year Gun Runner (Hip 118) was the day's hottest commodity, bringing $850,000 from Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen. Hip 118 was one of 181 juveniles to sell for a gross of $17,829,500. The average was $98,506 and the median was $50,000. Of the 304 catalogued, 225 were offered with 44 horses leaving the ring unsold...

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OBS Fireworks for Gun Runner Colt

The big sales results from the first crop of juveniles by champion Gun Runner (hip 118) continued Tuesday at OBS when a son of the Three Chimneys stallion sold for $850,000 to the bid of bloodstock agent Donato Lanni, acting on behalf of Michael Lund Petersen. The gray juvenile will join the $1.7-million son of Gun Runner purchased by Amr Zedan at last month's Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale in the Southern California barn of trainer Bob Baffert. "He's a beautiful horse," Lanni said. "Just a cool horse. He did everything he...

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Champion Gamine Gallops As Expected in Las Flores

Michael Lund's Gamine (Into Mischief) ran to overwhelming favoritism in what amounted to a paid workout in Sunday's GIII Las Flores S. at Santa Anita. Last seen solidifying champion female sprinter honors with a 6 1/4-length drubbing of formidable elders in Keeneland's GI Breeders' Cup F/M Sprint Nov. 7, the newly turned 4-year-old was supplemented to this event for $2,000 and took practically every penny of tote support to be off at 1-9. Ridden along from the fence by John Velazquez to seize the early lead, she looked more like...

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Market Opens Strong at OBS

by Brian DiDonato and Steve Sherack With the end of the coronavirus pandemic seemingly in sight, and both buyers and sellers eager to return to some semblance of normalcy, the opener of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's March Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training featured borderline euphoric trade from start to finish. A total of 160 head changed hands Tuesday for gross receipts of $18,482,500 at an average of $115,516 and a median of $62,500. The RNA rate as of Tuesday evening stood at 20%. While exact year-to-year comparisons are somewhat...

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Candy Man Putting the Rocket Into Little Rock

It's a philosophy that sustains a stable of Rockets--but it's not rocket science. Anything but, according to Frank Fletcher. "First, you really want to work hard," he says. "Number two, you got to have a stroke of luck. And, number three, when you get lucky and start being successful, you need to surround yourself with people a lot smarter than you are." Let's deal with those in reverse order. Because Fletcher says that the horse we want to discuss is all about the third rule; about the excellence of his...

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Laoban Filly Tops OBS Wednesday

A filly by fast-starting young sire Laoban (Hip 805) topped Wednesday's open session and the entirety of the OBS Winter Mixed Sale, selling to Nick de Meric, who signed as Sand Hill Stables, for $175,000. Consigned by McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, the bay was bred in New York by the late Kenny LeJeune. A colt from the first crop of MGISW Mor Spirit (Eskendereya) (Hip 616) brought the day's second-highest price, hammering for $115,000 to bloodstock agent Donato Lanni. The bay was bred in Florida by Beth Bayer, who consigned...

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Best Buys Top Two During KEENOV Book 1

by Brian DiDonato, Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis LEXINGTON, KY--OXO Equine's Larry Best took home the top two lots Monday during the lone Book 1 session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. Early in the day he went to $1.9 million for Indian Miss (Indian Charlie) (hip 32), the dam of champion sprinter Mitole (Eskendereya) and last Friday's GI Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up Hot Rod Charlie (Oxbow), in foal to Into Mischief and from the Hill 'n' Dale consignment; and towards the end of the session he paid $1.95...

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