Guess who? Godolphin pays $2.9 million for Believe You Can colt

September 10, 2019 01:59pm
Anthony Stroud, the trainer serving as an agent for Godolphin at Keeneland’s September Yearling Sale, promises Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum set a budget. But the international racing and breeding operation isn’t bidding like it.

Godolphin outdid itself Tuesday, going to a sales-topping $2.9 million for a War Front colt out of the 2012 Kentucky Oaks winner Believe You Can.

“It was a great deal of money, but (Sheikh Mohammed) really liked it,” Stroud said of Hip 258.

“…They pushed us all the way. I don’t know who the under-bidder was.”
The final price eclipsed the $2.5 million fetched Monday by a half-brother of 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, the previous sales topper. It also went down as the most expensive yearling sold at Keeneland since Mendelssohn went for $3 million to Coolmore in 2016.

Stroud added that the $2.9 million total was “more than we anticipated,” and now it’s up to this colt to prove he’s worth it. A decision will be made later on where to campaign him.

Believe You Can, who won five stakes other than the Oaks running for breeder Brereton Jones, the former Kentucky governor, has produced two foals to race. The winner, Believe in Royalty, shows three wins from 12 starts, including last year’s Ellis Park Derby.

Brereton Jones’ son, Bret, head of bloodstock services at the family operation Airdrie Stud, credited Hip 258 for handling the entire sales process, including making a nice showing as teams from Godolphin and elsewhere visited in the days leading up to his trip to the ring.

“He showed himself as well as one could,” Bret Jones said.


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