Robust competition for Thoroughbred racing prospects continued Saturday during the fifth session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, which included the sale of a colt by Candy Ride (ARG) for $1 million to Speedway Stable to increase the number of seven-figure horses at the auction to 22 and drive cumulative sales for 785 yearlings to $258,048,000.
On Saturday, the second day of the Book 2 session, Keeneland sold 224 yearlings for $43,356,000, for an average of $193,554 and a median of $160,000. Cumulatively, the average is $328,724 and the median is $250,000.
“Going into the sale, we were looking for a very strong Book 1, and we got that,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “Our goal with Book 2 was to tighten down the number of horses in the catalog and increase the quality, and there was a big rise in the median yesterday and today. So mission accomplished.
“Today’s $1 million and $650,000 colts by Candy Ride could have worked very well in Book 1, but we felt they would be better suited to Book 2,” Russell added. “It was nice to see someone like consignor Don Robinson of Winter Quarter Farm have the top two prices of this session. He’s a hard worker and does a very good job.
“The consignors are very happy and confident with their (upcoming) Book 3 horses. With the way the catalog is this year compared to last year, having fewer horses in Books 1 and 2 means there are still high-quality horses in Book 3.”
Speedway Stable acquired the $1 million colt, whose dam is multiple Grade 2 winner and Grade 1-placed Always a Princess, by Leroidesanimaux (BRZ).
“Every single person on my team loved this horse, and from the very first sighting he took my breath away,” bloodstock agent Marette Farrell, who signed the ticket, said. “We were underbidder on Mastery (Grade 1-winning son of Candy Ride) a couple of years ago, and this horse gave me that same feeling. Very easy on the eye, such a good mover and an amazing demeanor. I think he can handle anything.
“We’re excited. We love Candy Ride – he’s an incredible stallion – and we hope (this colt is) going to be a champion.”
The colt, who was consigned by Winter Quarter Farm, agent, was bred by Arnold Zetcher, who raced his dam and her Grade 1-winning half-sister, Gabby’s Golden Gal.
“I knew (his price) would be up there,” Winter Quarter owner Don Robinson said. “He is probably the most popular, the most well-received yearling I have ever brought to the sale. People who usually keep their mouths shut told me that he was the best-looking horse on the grounds so I didn’t have to do anything. This is a thrill. I have had three generations (of his family, including this colt) at the farm.”
Four colts sold for $650,000 apiece.
Winter Quarter, agent, consigned a second son of Candy Ride, who was purchased by Sapphire Stable for the amount. He is out of stakes winner and Grade 1-placed Charm the Maker, a daughter of Empire Maker who is a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Liam the Charmer.
“It’s been an amazing day,” Robinson said about selling a pair of colts for two of the session’s highest prices. “It’s probably been as strong a day as I’ve had at the sales in a long time. (These two colts) were probably borderline Book 1 types, and I love to be the big fish in the little pond. They just really stuck out, and that helped a lot.”
With two purchases for a total of $1.29 million, Speedway was the session’s leading buyer. Speedway also paid $290,000 for a filly by Air Force Blue who is the first foal of the Malibu Moon mare Secret Agenda and from the family of champions Smuggler and Inside Information. She was consigned by Stone Farm.
Mayberry Farm went to $650,000 for a colt by Union Rags out of the Grade 3-winning Sky Mesa mare Sky Girl, a half-sister to champion Abel Tasman. He was consigned by Mt. Brilliant Farm.
“He eventually will go to trainer John Shirreffs in California,” bloodstock agent David Ingordo, who signed the ticket, said. “The way the market is going, we were underbidder on very expensive horses multiple times yesterday. We always want to buy the best horse we can for the most reasonable price, so we were happy with the price. We love buying horses from the breeder (Mt. Brilliant Farm). They do an excellent job.
“I am a Union Rags man,” Ingordo said. “He is a horse who could be the next Quality Road. He has really good books (of mares) in front of him, and he has top horses on the track. He is a good value right now.”
Mt. Brilliant owner Greg Goodman was pleased with the price.
“We came to this sale thinking we would get 400 (thousand dollars) for him and we got 650 (thousand dollars) so we couldn’t be happier and couldn’t be happier with who bought him,” Goodman said.
“It is amazing how good Book 2 is,” Goodman added. “It is a continuation (of Book 1).”
SF/Starlight/Madaket paid $650,000 to acquire a colt by Into Mischief out of the winning Songandaprayer mare Keysong. Consigned by Sequel New York, agent, he is the ninth yearling the partnership has purchased at the September Sale.
“All these colts are bought for the same purpose: to go to California to (trainer) Bob Baffert,” SF’s Tom Ryan said. “Into Mischief is more than up and coming; he is a very established stallion.”
Juddmonte Farms paid $650,000 for a colt by Uncle Mo from the family of champion Queena, Grade 1 winner Chic Shirine, Grade 2 winner Chief Havoc and Grade 3 winner La Reina. Out of the Empire Maker mare Lost Empire, he was consigned by Paramount Sales, agent.
Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, was the session’s leading consignor with sales of $4,332,000 for 27 horses.
The September Sale continues through Sunday, Sept. 22, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m.
The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.