Diamonds in the Rough - 2013 Keeneland September Yearlings

September 13, 2013 09:08am
Keeneland Sale 615 X 400
Photo: Eclipse Sportswire


The Keeneland Sales kicks of on Monday, September 9 through September 21. This is the largest yearling sale of the year and attracts buyers worldwide. Some of the most exquisitely bred babies will walk through the sales ring on their way to becoming the two year old stars of 2014. It's easy to find those blue-bloods, as they can cost in the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Not all of tomorrow's stars will cost so much money. You could have bought last year's Kentucky Derby winner I'll Have Another for a paltry $11,000. That's less than the cost of many claiming horses. This year's Florida Derby runner-up and track record setter Itsmyluckyday was a $47K yearling purchase. Dreams can be bought for only $1,000. Two-time stakes winner Don't Tell Sophia cost that much at the 2009 September Yearling Sale and graded stakes winner Bourbon Bay was a $1,700 purchase.

But enough about the current runners. Let's take a look at some of the diamonds in the rough selling at this year's sale. I'll follow these babies and post updates to see how well they do. Maybe we'll get lucky and find a stakes winner. Sales yearlings can be difficult to follow until they re-surface either at a two year old in training sale or on the racetrack. If you have connections to any of these babies, I'd appreciate it if you could email me occasionally informing me of their progress.

Hip #1176 Filly (Discreet Cat – Valuable Partner, by Mr. Prospector) named Stay Beautiful. Discreet Cat's offspring have been hitting at all levels this summer. His promising son Debt Ceiling won the Bashford Manor sprinting on dirt and last month the stallion's daughter Discreet Marq won the Del Mar Oaks traveling 1 1/8 miles over turf. Only two of this filly's half siblings made it to the races. One is a two year old who has raced only once. The other is stakes placed. Their unraced dam is a half sister to the producing mare Net Dancer (by Nureyev). She's the dam of Japanese Gr. 1 winning sire Eagle Cafe and Grade 1 winner Let, who herself is the dam of the multiple graded stakes winner Centre Court and Sham Stakes winner Ravel. The second dam Doubles Partner is a graded stakes winner. Farther back in this family branch are the Champion Arazi and multiple Group winner Noverre. The fourth dam Native Partner and fifth dam Dinner Partner are blue hens. This filly has the pedigree to handle a mile, maybe 1 1/16 miles. She could be precocious.

Hip #1255 Colt (Lookin At Lucky – Chief Secretary, by Deputy Minister) From the first crop of Preakness hero Lookin at Lucky, Hip #1255 is a half to the turf router Left a Message, a stakes winner at 1 ½ miles. Their dam raced only once, but is a winner. She's a half sister to the graded stakes winning sires Exchange Rate and Sabre D'Argent, plus the multiple graded stakes placed Cable. Hip #1255's second through fourth dams all own black-type and his fifth dam Native Partner is a blue hen. This colt may do well over a variety of surfaces and will likely relish two turns. Could he avenge his sire in the Kentucky Derby?

Hip #2470 Filly (Eskendereya – Chimichurri, by Elusive Quality) Her first crop sire, winner of the Wood Memorial, is the latest son of Giant's Causeway to stand at stud. If the records of previous sons of this great sire are any indication, Eskendereya's babies will generate a lot of buzz on the track and he could wind up being one of the leading freshmen sires. Hip 2470 has seven half siblings, four have raced, three have won and one is stakes placed. Their dam is a graded stakes winning sprinter/miler. Hip 2470's third dam Homespun and fifth dam Gallita are blue hens. Hip 2470 and Hip 3336 are distantly related, as both are descended from daughters of the blue hen Homespun. Hip 2470 could develop into a precocious sprinter/miler.

Hip #2531 Colt (Harlan's Holiday – Floating Island, by A.P. Indy) is the fifth foal out of his dam. Three half siblings raced, one is a winner. Their dam was an indifferent runner, placing twice in six attempts. She's a half sister to two graded stakes winners, Pico Teneriffe (by Red Ransom), dam of 2008 – 2009 Sovereign Award Winner & stakes winner Congor Bay; Salmon Ladder (by Bering) and stakes winner Capote's Prospect (by Capote). Another half sister is the dam of Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner Minister Eric and she's also the grand-dam of the heroic G-1 winner Devil May Care and her half brother, UAE Derby winner Regal Ransom. Hip 2531's fourth dam Mock Orange and fifth dam Alablue are blue hens. This is a colt who might show some mid-season precociousness and develop into a nice two turn runner.

Hip #2638 Colt (Arch – Miss Hellie, by A.P. Indy) Only three of his six half siblings raced, two won. One half sibling, a 2011 Henrythenavigator colt, worked twice this year in July and hasn't been seen since. That doesn't bode well for Hip 2638, but his sire is noted for getting strong-boned individuals. Hip 2638's dam is G-2 stakes placed at 1 ½ miles (Orchid Stakes). She's a half to a G-2 winner and another half sister produced a stakes winner. Third dam Too Chic is a Grade 1 winner and the fourth and fifth dams are blue hens. This female family has produced the graded stakes winners Verrazano, Hungry Island, El Padrino, Somali Lemonade, Soaring Empire, Al Khali, Serra Lake, Coal Play, Queena, Brahms, La Renia and many more. Hip 2638 should relish classic distances.

Hip #2970 Colt (Curlin – Koko Pop, by A.P. Indy) this colt is from a lightly raced, but talented family. He's the third foal out of his dam. One half sibling raced, hitting the board in her only start. His unraced dam's full brother made only three starts, winning once. So what's the appeal? His second dam is the Santa Anita specialist, Got Koko. Remember her? She handed defeats to the likes of Azeri, Adoration and Sightseek. Hip 2960 should have the lungs to handle 1 ¼ miles and if he inherited any of his second dam's tenacity, look out.

Hip #3077 Filly (Old Fashioned – Saintcerely, by Saint Ballado) has a deceptively nice pedigree. She's a sixth foal. A ¾ sister has been in the money four of six races. Three half siblings have raced and one has won. Their unraced dam is a half sister to multiple G-1 winner Octave (by Unbridled) and her full brother stakes winner Unbridled Behavior, stakes winner Be Mine Tonight (by Belong to Me) and multiple graded stakes winner Belle Cherie (by Belong to Me) who is the dam of stakes winners Beau Choix and Last Best Place. Hip 3077 has 4S x 4D inbreeding to Caro, plus further back, inbreeding to the blue hens Pocahontas, My Dear Girl and Nothirdchance. ThoroStride video:

Hip #3336 Filly (Langfuhr – Hula Skirt, by Dixie Union) is the first foal out of an unraced full sister to the Grade 3 winners Grasshopper and Turf War, plus a the stakes winner Straw Hat. Her fourth dam Homespun is a blue hen. This is the distaff family of Japanese Champion Three Year Old Eishin Champ, Oak Leaf (G-1) heroine Folk Art, and the Group winners Mark of Esteem, Local Talent and Mashaallah. Langfuhr is a solid sire but is often overlooked. His offspring include Lawyer Ron, Imperial Gesture, Jambalaya, Euroears, Kimchi, Mobile & Wando.

Hip #3407 Colt (Smart Strike – Parris Hill, by A.P. Indy) the second foal out of his dam, his half sibling hasn't raced. The dam was in the money in 7 of 10 starts, earning $103,950. She's a half sister to Take Charge Lady (by Dehere), the multiple graded stakes mare who is fast approaching blue hen status. Think Take Charge Indy and Will Take Charge. Parris Hill is also a half to the multiple graded stakes warrior Commendation (by Capote) and stakes winner Eventail (by Lear Fan). This one has a classic pedigree and classy female family.

Hip #3439 Colt (Super Saver – Renda, by Medaglia D'Oro) the second foal out of his dam, his half sibling hasn't raced. Super Saver's sire Maria's Mon is better as a broodmare sire. His sons at stud haven't done all that well, with stud fees ranging from “private” to $4K. Super Saver stands for $20K. What's the difference between Super Saver and the rest? He hails from the stallion making 1-x female family and there are many well-known stakes winners produced by these mares. Hip 3439's first three dams are all black-type runners. Plus, this colt has the breeding to get 1 ¼ miles. Here's hoping.

Hip #3453 Filly (Distorted Humor – Saskawea, by Stormy Atlantic) is a first foal out of a multiple stakes winner with a record of 24-7-8-2 ($753,937). The talented dam won from 6 – 7 furlongs and placed second in stakes company at 1 ¼ miles over turf and polytrack. She owns the only blacktype in two generations, however the second dam is a half to the hardy graded stakes veteran Gleam of Hope. The second dam foaled only three runners, but all of them are winners.

Hip #3736 Filly (English Channel - Rhineland, by Mr. Prospector) is a half to the stakes placed runners St. Hildegard (by Arch) and Cologne (by Horse Chestnut). Seven of her half siblings have raced and five are winners. Hip #3736's dam is an unraced half sister to Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf hero George Vancouver (by Henrythenavigator) and Remsen (G-2) winner Saarland. Hip #3736 carries the famed Phipps family bloodlines. Her second dam Versailles Treaty was a multiple grade 1 winner of over $1 million dollars. The fifth dam Exclusive, is a blue hen whose son Exclusive Native sired Triple Crown hero Affirmed, Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risk, etc. Hip #3736 will likely prefer turf.

Hip #3809 Filly (Colonel John - Wind River, by Storm Cat) Her sire, a son of Tiznow, is one of the top first crop sires. His daughter Concave won the Sorrento (G-3) and placed in the Del Mar Debutante (G-1). Another daughter, Sweetsoutherndame, placed in the Arlington-Washington Lassie. Hip #3809 is a half sister to G-3 stakes placed Nottawasaga (by Deputy Minister). Her dam compiled a 10-2-1-2 ($47,474) race record and she's a half to stakes winners Pacific West (by Gone West), Merzouk (by Theatrical) and the French stakes winner Valses Pour Moi (by Gate Dancer). Hip #2809 is a direct decedent of the blue hen Portage. Members of this distaff line include the sire Dixie Union, Champions Dubai Millennium, Bianconi and Timber Country, to name a few. Hip #3909 has similar breeding to the Champion Filly Folklore, and the multiple graded stakes winner American Lion as they are by Colonel John's sire Tiznow out of Storm Cat mares. Hip #3809 may do well over any surface and will likely prefer two turns.

Hip #3855 Colt (Candy Ride – Cajun Flash, by Bertrando) he's a half to the multiple graded stakes placed runner Snapshot (by Awesome Again) and to stakes placed Cajun Gent (by Yankee Gentleman). All five half siblings to race have won multiple times. Their dam won 3 of 4 starts and earned $90K. She's a full sister to Grade 1 placed Lacquaria and a half to the multiple stakes winner Wild Lightning (by Wild Again) and stakes winner Minnetonka Mist (by Benchmark). Hip #3855 hails from an excellent distaff line filled with winners. His fifth dam is Sequence, a half sister to the great Mr. Prospector. Mr. Prospector is the fifth tail sire of Candy Ride and Sequence is the fifth dam of Hip 3855. Farther back, the bloodlines of Alanesian can be found 4S x 6D. Candy Ride has one runner, a winner of $33K out of a Bertrando mare. Hip #3855 could be precocious and do well over the polytrack. If you're looking for a horse to race next year at Del Mar, he could be the one.

When the Keeneland September Yearling Sale is complete, I'll update with sales prices and owner information.



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Older Comments about Diamonds in the Rough - 2013 Keeneland September Yearlings...

Laurie, I have not been one to anticipate yearling sales in the past, but your article drew some interest. I was disappointed in the early retirement of Majesticperfection. He had beaten the eventual BC Sprint Champ, Big Drama, with ease, prior to his retirement due to injury. He was bought by Airdrie Stables, and, I think, this might be his first crop. Did you, by chance, spot any offspring of his at this sale? Otherwise, thanks for enlightening me with your insight, and educating me in an area where I have not had any experience.
il lie good horses
what about Bullet Train does he have any yearlings yet ??
Like you I'm really excited to see what kind of horses Eskendereya will turn out next year. Its seems that people are sending him quality mares right from the get go.
Great! Hip #2638 Arch Colt is from the same family as the$1.5 Mil MDO filly that was the 1st day sales topper.
I am heading to KEE for the sales on this weekend. I hope Looking at Lucky makes a solid sire. Same for Eskendenreya. Both were very talented. The atmosphere at the sales is just unbeievable. Lots of positive energy and hope. I will follow along with you on these hidden gems.

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Meet Laurie Ross

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Through hands-on work at barns, I learned valuable lessons about Thoroughbred conformation, gait, and temperament and later worked withThoroughbred rescue/re-train organizations. I have committed my passion for horses to the intensive study of pedigree and breeding theory for the last 20 years. 

I support clients with all aspects of pedigree/breeding analysis, research, sales, catalogue review, and recommendations on claims or private sales. Clients include national leading owners, racing/breeding syndicates, the little guy with one mare, and everyone in between. 10-20% of all proceeds are donated to Thoroughbred rescue & retraining groups. Check out my website, Iron Maidens Thoroughbreds, and the IMTBreds blog.

I welcome your questions regarding pedigree, handicapping, and breeding. If you would like me to cover a specific topic, please contact me. 

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