Two Yearling Colts Sell For More Than $2 Million At Keeneland

A bullish market reigned at Keeneland on Thursday, the fourth and final day of the September Yearling Sale’s premier Book 1, with gains in average and median prices.

Increases were powered by the sale of six seven-figure yearlings, led by two colts which brought sale-topping prices of $2.2 million each.

For the session, Keeneland sold 128 horses for $41,585,000, down slightly from the corresponding session in 2013 when 142 horses grossed $41,874,000.

Average rose 10.17 percent from $294,887 to $324,883. The median of $225,000 represents a 7.14 percent gain from $210,000 last year.

Through the first four days, 473 yearlings have sold for $142,153,000 compared to $153,385,000 for 546 horses sold during Book 1 last year.

The cumulative average of $300,535 is nearly seven percent above last year’s average of $280,925 and the median of $240,000 is 15.66 percent above $207,500 in 2013.

The six seven-figure yearlings sold Thursday brings the total sold for $1 million or more during the first four days of the sale to 13.

“The increase in the median price and especially the depth of the upper middle market stand out,” Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. “We cataloged fewer horses in Book 1 and the results prove that was the right thing to do. Less became more in some departments. Obviously, the gross was going to be down, but the average and median are up. There were better percentages than we had hoped for.”

Russell noted several top-prices horses sold Thursday were consigned by the sons and daughters of prominent horsemen.

"One of the wonderful things about today, and Book 1 in general, is seeing the next generation, like Walker Hancock at Claiborne Farm, the Cleary brothers at Clearsky Farm, Arthur Hancock at Stone Farm, Braxton and Damian Lynch with Royal Oak, coming forward and selling sale-topping horses," he said.

Competitive bidding among multiple buyers resulted in $2.2 million prices on two yearlings.

The first sale-topper was the War Front colt purchased by Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier. Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. purchased the second, the Tapit colt who is a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year’s Day.

Claiborne Farm, agent, consigned the War Front colt, who is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Contested. He is out of the winning Arch mare Gold Vault, a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Pomeroy.

“It’s a brilliant pedigree,” Magnier said. “With Arch, he’s a brilliant broodmare sire. You have (Coolmore sire) Uncle Mo (out of an Arch mare), and all his progeny have done very well this week, so if (this yearling is) anywhere along those lines we’ll be happy to pay for him.”

“Everyone that came to see him said how great of an athlete he was, how gorgeous he was, a great specimen of an animal,” said Claiborne’s Walker Hancock. “We didn’t hear anyone saying anything negative about him so we knew because of that he was going to bring a lot of money.

“This is exciting. I’m proud of all the guys that worked at the consignment and got him ready and everybody back at the (farm).”

Clearsky Farms, agent, consigned the $2.2 million Tapit colt, who is out of multiple Grade 2 winner Justwhistledixie, by Dixie Union.

“It was a little bit more than we thought we’d have to do,” said Rick Nichols of Shadwell about the purchase price. Nichols said the colt likely would race in the U.S.

Shadwell acquired another Tapit colt from Clearsky Farms, agent, when it paid $1.1 million for a son of stakes winner Foxy Danseur, by Mr. Greeley.

During the first hour of the Thursday session, three horses sold for more than $1 million.

The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Nereid and stakes winner Sea Queen brought $1.5 million from Moyglare Stud Farm Ltd. of Ireland.

“She will most likely stay in the United States and race here,” said Fiona Craig of Moyglare. “She’s a lovely filly. I had a fair idea (the price would go to $1 million). All credit to (Royal Oak Farm’s) Braxton (Lynch). A great pedigree.”

Damian and Braxton Lynch’s Royal Oak Farm, consigned the filly, who is out of the Belong to Me mare Dowry. She is the first seven-figure horse the Lynches have sold.

“You never have that kind of number in mind – you always hope – but we knew she was nice,” Braxton Lynch said. “She did it all herself. My husband brought her over, and she looked great, but she performed. She came out every show like clockwork. From the first show to the 200th show, she never put a foot wrong. She did it on her own. These are the easy ones to sell. They do it themselves.”

The Tapit colt out of multiple Grade 1 winner Dream Rush sold to Magnier for $1.2 million. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the colt, a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Dreaming of Julia, for breeder Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC.

“He’s a very nice horse,” Magnier said. “His mother was very good. His sister was very good. The lads liked him. He’s a great mover. A lot of quality.”

The next horse in the ring was Tour de Force, the Tiznow colt out of multiple Grade 1 winner Dream Supreme, who brought $1.35 million from Mark Casse, agent for John and Debby Oxley. A half-brother to Grade 1 winner Majestic Warrior and stakes winners Evolutionist and Crystal Current, the colt was consigned by Lane’s End, agent for breeder Kinsman Farm.

“We just liked everything about him,” Casse said. “He’s a big, strong athlete with a big pedigree. We knew he wasn’t going to be cheap. When you have a horse and he checks all the marks, they bring a lot of money. He’s got a huge stallion prospect value. We knew he wouldn’t be cheap.”

“We’re very pleased (to get him),” John Oxley said. “He’s the whole package.”

Shadwell was the session’s leading buyer, spending $3.85 million for three horses.

The leading consignor was Lane’s End Farm, which sold 16 yearlings for $6,545,000.

No sale will be held on Friday, Sept. 12.

The sale will resume on Saturday and continue through Sunday, Sept. 21, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.

 

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