Keeneland September Establishes All-Time Record Gross

At the conclusion of Thursday's 10th session, the 2022 Keeneland September Yearling Sale became the highest-grossing auction in Keeneland's history with total sales weighing in at $399,940,000. The previous record of $399,791,800 was set during the 2006 September Sale. With two sessions remaining, a total of 2,488 yearlings (through the ring) have sold for $399,940,000, an increase of 14.63% over the same period last year when 2,428 horses sold grossed $348,885,500. Average price of $160,748 is up 11.87% from $143,693, while the median of $85,000 is 13.33% above $75,000 in...

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Echo Again Becomes Sixth Rising Star for Gun Runner

Echo Again (Gun Runner) was no secret coming into this debut and ran to the hype, becoming the latest 'TDN Rising Star' for his sensational young sire with an eye-catching graduation at Saratoga. Away quickest of all from the center stall, the 3-5 chalk seized the early advantage and seemed well within himself as he coasted along through opening splits of :22.39 and :45.66. Turning for home with a head of steam, the gray opened up with ease while under a hand ride from Ricardo Santana, Jr. to win for...

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GMP Stable Takes Next Step Towards Big Dreams at the Spa

When Gary Gullo retired from training in September of 2020 after 40 years on the Belmont backside, it was with big goals in mind. Gullo teamed up with longtime owner Anthony Melfi to start GMP Stable, an operation focused on breeding, selling, racing and now an equine rehabilitation farm. Gullo and Melfi's main goal has always been to acquire and breed top- quality horses and the first member of their new-and-improved breeding program will be offered at the prestigious Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale next week. "It's our first time upgrading our...

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For Chub Wagon, Tougher Spots Will Have to Wait

Owner-breeder Danny Lopez doesn't know how good Chub Wagon (Hey Chub), the 2021 Pennsylvania-Bred of the Year and 2021 Parx Horse of the Year, is. That's the way it is when you have a filly who is 11-for-12 lifetime and has won seven stakes, but has never faced graded stakes company. Is he curious to find out? Not at all. "I'd rather be a big fish in a little pond," said Lopez, who co-owns Chub Wagon with George Chestnut. "We've made a lot of money ($593,600) with her and, by...

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Zulu Alpha Retired to Old Friends

Grade I winner Zulu Alpha (Street Cry {Ire}--Zori, by A.P. Indy) has been scratched out of Saturday's GII Calumet Turf Cup and Kentucky Downs and will be retired from racing. The 8-year-old will take up residence at Old Friends. "I'm going to scratch Zulu," Hui told the KY Downs notes team. "He's going to be retired to Old Friends. There's not a whole lot that's physically wrong with him. After consultation with Mike this weekend, he just believes he will not be competitive at this level." Claimed by Hui and...

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Taking Stock: Bernardini is Relevant

There's a tendency in this business--as in life--to downgrade the relevance of the aged and to push them aside in favor of youth. You see this in bloodstock all the time. Everyone wants young mares, just as everyone wants to patronize first-year sires. Old mares, even some stakes producers, are discarded cheaply, and older sires, unless they are elite, have a hard time attracting mares, even at discounted fees. Likewise, everyone wants good 2-year-olds that will mature into early 3-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail, but no one seems to...

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Constitution Filly Lives Up to the Hype

5th-Saratoga, $62,000, (S), Msw, 7-24, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:05.02, ft. IRISH CONSTITUTION (f, 2, Constitution--D'wild Ride {MSW, $622,841}, by D'wildcat) had a lot of buzz heading into this debut and was backed down to 7-2 off a 12-1 morning-line quote. The chestnut dueled for early control through a :22.81 first quarter before gaining a length advantage. Three wide turning for home, she was confronted by Party at Page's (Gemologist) to her inside and was briefly headed by that rival, but battled back in the final strides to score by...

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What's in a Name: Meritaten

By Andrea Branchini Meritaten, f, 3, War Front--Queen Nefertiti (Ire) (GSP), by   Galileo (Ire). Sam Houston Race, 1-29, 1m (off turf), 1:41.38.   B-Claiborne Farm (KY). A winner of a maiden in Texas has a curious name. MERITATEN is a daughter of QUEEN NEFERTITI, in very ancient history--and also in the Jockey Club Register three millennia later. The original Nefertiti (1370-1330 BC) was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, the Pharaoh who started a religious revolution by worshipping one god only, the sun (named Aten). Meritaten was...

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Taking Stock: Tagg's Classic Prospect

Barclay Tagg is a straightforward, no-nonsense type of guy who's been training horses for close to 50 years. During his career, he had a stint as an assistant to legendary hard-boot trainer Frank Whiteley, Jr., and before that, he was a steeplechase jockey. He's in his early eighties and has spent most of his adult life around Thoroughbreds, including some greats, like Ruffian. He's won some big races, too, like the Gl Kentucky Derby and that's a big package of experience he brings to the table as the man behind...

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Glorious Journey Gives Appleby Meydan Trifecta

Tattersalls October co-topper Glorious Journey (GB) (Dubawi {Ire}) bounced back from a ninth in the Oct. 6 G1 Qatar Prix de la Foret at ParisLongchamp, with a comfortable win in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort over 1400 metres at Meydan on Thursday. The first three home were all trained by Charlie Appleby who was winning this contest for the fifth time, with Her Highness Sheikha Al Jalila's 2.6-million guineas purchase besting the Godolphin duo of Mythical Magic (Ire) (Iffraaj {GB}) and Mubtasim (Ire) (Arcano {Ire}) by 3/4s of a length...

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Coolmore to Purchase Half of Sottsass

Coolmore has agreed to purchase a 50% interest in last year's G1 Prix du Jockey Club winner Sottsass (Fr) (Siyouni {Fr}), who stays in training this year with trainer Jean-Claude Rouget. The news was first reported by Paris-Turf. Bred by Ecurie des Monceaux out of Starlet's Sister (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}), Sottsass was a €340,000 purchase at the 2017 Arqana August Yearling Sale by Peter Brant through Michel Zerolo's Oceanic Bloodstock. Racing in the green silks of Brant's White Birch Farm, Sottsass won at second asking at two. He took the...

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'Lily' Blooms in Cape Verde

Magic Lily (GB) (New Approach {Ire}), third in the G1 Fillies' Mile as a juvenile, made good on her early promise with a narrow victory over Team Valor International's Nisreen (Ire) (Raven's Pass) in the G2 Cape Verde at Meydan on Thursday. The Charlie Appleby runner bore the Godolphin blue silks in the one-mile contest under pilot James Doyle, who, along with Appleby, were winning their third Cape Verde. The 5-year-old completed the Cape Verde in a new stakes and track record-setting time of 1:34.84. Sent straight to the head...

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