A daughter of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah whose undefeated half-sister Echo Zulu captured Saratoga’s Spinaway (G1) eight days ago sold for $1.4 million to Northshore Bloodstock, agent, to top Monday’s opening session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
During the first of two sessions of the Book 1 catalog, Keeneland sold 95 yearlings for a total of $38,172,000, for an average of $401,811 and a median of $325,000. Totals include six horses sold via online bidding for $2,605,000. Three horses brought seven figures.
Keeneland amped up the atmosphere in the Sales Pavilion to kick off the September Sale to create excitement and showcase the best of what the Bluegrass has to offer.
“The sale should be a fun environment,” Keeneland president and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “It is exciting that we are here, that we are all back together and that we have these phenomenal horses on offer in Book 1. We had complimentary cocktails being passed and brunch being served, a Bluegrass band playing ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ on the auction stage right before the sale started. We worked hard to create that environment, and we got a lot of positive feedback. Book 1 at Keeneland’s September Sale is special, and it deserves to feel that way.”
“Trade was really strong today,” Keeneland vice president of sales Tony Lacy said. “There was confidence, and the money was spread out over more horses. The energy on the grounds was very strong. I have not seen the sales pavilion this full in a long time.”
Betz Thoroughbreds, agent, consigned Monday’s top-priced yearling, who also is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Echo Town and Grade 3 winner J Boys Echo. They are out of Grade 2 winner Letgomyecho, by Menifee.
Alan Quartucci of Northshore purchased the filly for owner Joe Allen and said she most likely will go to trainer Shug McGaughey.
“She looks like a real runner,” Quartucci said. “She has a fantastic pedigree that’s still going forward every day. The filly who won in Saratoga (Echo Zulu) was amazing. (The yearling) was the whole package.”
Consigned by Mt. Brilliant Farm, a colt by Into Mischief from the family of North American champion and English and Irish highweight Islington (IRE) sold to Ron Winchell’s Winchell Thoroughbreds for $1.35 million. He will be trained by Steve Asmussen.
“He’s probably an Into Mischief who doesn’t look like an Into Mischief,” Winchell said, “and I’ve had Into Mischiefs that look like Into Mischiefs and I can’t seem to find the winner’s circle with them, so I figured I would go a different direction. I knew he might be expensive.”
“He has always been outstanding,” said Mt. Brilliant owner Greg Goodman, who purchased the colt’s dam, the Hard Spun mare Superioritycomplex (IRE), as a 3-year-old in England. “He’s always done everything right. A calm horse, smart; we’re really happy with him and we’re really happy Mr. Winchell got him and that he’s going to a good home.”
A filly by Uncle Mo out of the winning Forestry mare Nikki’s Choice sold for $1.1 million to Don Adam’s Courtlandt Farm.
Paramount Sales, agent, consigned the filly, who is from the family of Canadian champion Charlie Barley, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner Success Express and Grade 1 winner Greenwood Lake.
“She’s an April foal, but you can see that she’s still a little high behind and see she’s gonna develop still,” Courtlandt’s Ernie Retamoza said. “A real athletic, type-y filly, young mare, fits our program to a T. Not sure where we’ll send her, but we’ll get her home and break her. She acts like she’s gonna be the right type of filly that we’re looking for. Had to stretch, obviously, to get her, but Mr. Adam looked at her this morning and loved her – we all loved her – and we felt like she was a filly worth stretching for.”
“She was a beauty,” Pat Costello of Paramount said. “She didn’t put a foot wrong from the day she was here, and we could see with the way the vetting was going, everybody was on her. She deserved to bring the kind of money she brought because she’s just stunning. She came from a client of ours and she was always nice, very much so. We were delighted with the price. It was a little bit more than we thought she would bring.”
During the session, Courtlandt acquired five yearlings for $2.6 million to lead buyers.
Three yearlings on Monday sold for $950,000 apiece.
M.V. Magnier paid the amount for a colt by Quality Road whose dam is a half-sister to champion Rushing Fall. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for WinStar Bred & Raised, consigned the colt, who is out of stakes winner Milam, by Street Sense.
“He is a lovely colt and he has done well his whole life,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s president, CEO and racing manager. “We are very proud of him and that Coolmore got him and wish him nothing but the best.”
Walden said he is confident in the market at this point of the yearling sales season.
“There are six race tracks with maiden races for over $100,000,” he said. “When I trained 15 years ago, we were running for $30,000. It is amazing. Purses have caught up and gives a person a chance to make money on the race track. I think that will translate all the way through. I don’t know about you, but I have never seen so many people on Day 1 in there sitting down (in the sales pavilion).”
Taylor Made Sales Agency sold 14 yearlings for $5,782,000 to lead consignors during the session.
Donato Lanni, agent, spent $950,000 for a Medaglia d’Oro filly consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent. She is the first foal of the Distorted Humor mare Naples Princess, a full sister to stakes winner Banker’s Buy, and from the family of champion Mitole and 2021 Grade 2 winner and Belmont Stakes runner-up Hot Rod Charlie.
Lanni bought the filly as agent for Michael Lund Petersen and Willow Grace Farm, owners of recent Del Mar Debutante (G1) winner Grace Adler.
“She wasn’t a hard one to find – she had everything,” Lanni said. “He’s (Medaglia d’Oro) just a proven sire over and over. He’s got good fillies, colts. (She has a) great female family. She’s an athlete, she’s classy and she’s got pedigree. I hate to say it: She just checked all the boxes.”
Lanni said the market has “really been strong all year. There’s a big appetite for really good horses out there, and it’s nice to see us get back to some kind of normalcy.”
A colt from the first crop of Triple Crown winner Justify who is a half-brother to multiple Grade 2 winner Pretty N Cool sold for $950,000 to Hideyuki Mori of Japan. Consigned by Baccari Bloodstock, agent, he is out of the Rockport Harbor mare Stayclassysandiego and from the family of Grade 1 winner Sean Avery.