Qatar Racing hopes for Kentucky Derby prospect in $1.2 million colt

September 11, 2019 02:54pm

A marriage between Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and his Californian wife has resulted in a unity of his Qatar Racing and trainer Simon Callaghan that strengthened Wednesday at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Qatar Racing went to $1.2 million for a son of Medaglia d’Oro who’s also the first foal out of Grade 2-winning mare Keene Pauline, who took Pimlico’s 2016 Black-Eyed Susan (G2).

“Sheikh Fahad is upping his interest in American racing,” Callaghan said after the hammer fell. “He’s spending more time in California, so he wants to go after some of these top, high-end colts and go down the road of the (Kentucky Derby).”

Gainesway consigned the bay colt for Stonestreet, the same farm behind the Keeneland sale’s $4.1 million topper purchased by Godolphin.

“Physically, he’s one of the top horses in the sale,” Callaghan said of Hip 472. “We knew he was going to be around a million. We’re lucky to get him.”

Callaghan estimated he already trains eight or nine Qatar Racing runners. The group also has a strong presence in Europe, last season running the late champion Roaring Lion.

The trainer has proven Derby experience after saddling Firing Line, the 2015 runner-up behind eventual Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Adding a client such as Qatar Racing should up his chances to return, as he also conditions horses campaigned by prominent owner Kaleem Shah.

Wednesday’s acquisition came amid what many buyers were calling a strong market at Keeneland.

“We thought it was going to be in an around that type of money to buy him,” Callaghan said. “We thought maybe it could have gone higher, so we’re happy to acquire him.”


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