Keeneland September Sale Preview: Session 2

Session 2 starts on Tuesday, September 11th at 11:00 AM, beginning with HIP 249 and ending with 495; as a reminder, the sale does stream online through the Keeneland website and you can also attend the sale in person, though you cannot sit in the auction ring area, as those are reserved for buyers. They don’t want you accidentally purchasing a half million dollar yearling by scratching your nose at the wrong person. 😉

HIP 253– bay filly by War Front out of Often (IRE); this female family is a crowning glory of European racing. Often (IRE) is a daughter of the legendary Galileo and Mariah’s Storm, the dam of the late, great Giant’s Causeway. The black-type and class in this family is eye popping but having Danzig over Galileo in just the second generation back is a turf runner’s dream. Often (IRE) is a young mare from a family with a history of producing great runners; it’s going to be interesting to see how her later foals look, but this was a very smart breeding for an unknown producer. This filly is a late January foal, and it would be a shock to see anyone other than European interests purchasing her.

HIP 281– bay colt by Union Rags out of Peace Royale (GER); I was worried when I didn’t have even one yearling by one of my favorite sires, but I was clearly waiting for this one. This colt doesn’t have a traditional American female family, and that might turn more than a few buyers away. The first and second dam not only both have black-type with various stakes victories and efforts to their credit, but they’ve also produced black-type winners that have had success all over Europe and the United States. If you’re willing to take a chance on such a pedigree, you could be very handsomely rewarded by a horse that can have a multiyear campaign, as German mares are famous for imparting soundness. The female family in this colt’s case lives up to that stereotype, as the second dam had at least 10 foals (since there are 10 confirmed winners from her alone) after a career that lasted well into her 4YO year. Take a leap if you’re feeling adventurous as this is a cross of speed over hardy. I’m looking forward to seeing him in person.

Distorted Humor at Winstar Farm

HIP 296– chestnut colt by Distorted Humor out of Plum Pretty; this colt’s dam is a Gr. I Kentucky Oaks victoress, a multiple Grade I winner and Graded stakes placed runner that descends from Silent Account, a daughter of the sire Private Account, whose dam was the Champion, Numbered Account. There’s a lot of accounts in there, but I promise it’s not complicated. I like seeing that almost every daughter of Silent Account has produced a black-type runner of some kind; this extends to Plum Pretty’s dam despite Liszy being unplaced in her two starts.

Medaglia d’Oro brings a lot of class to this colt through Plum Pretty, and Distorted Humor (left) has a proven record of throwing horses that can take a longer distance easily; as evidence, Funny Cide and Drosselmeyer, two horses that ran and won in the American Classic races. Drosselmeyer especially thrived going long, and even won the Breeders’ Cup Classic under the lights at Churchill Downs. I’m not one for birth dates being part of a trend for anything other than developmental purposes, but there was a “trend study” that was released that claimed that March foals fared better in the elite races. So, if you’re doubting that Plum Pretty will produce a runner, there’s always that bit of information.

HIP 298– bay colt by American Pharoah out of Ponche De Leona; everyone who knows me knows my love for Mucho Macho Man. I was attending my first ever Breeders’ Cup the year that he just missed going by Fort Larned (2012) and to say that I was disappointed was an understatement. I got the Breeders’ Cup victory that I had wanted for him in the end, and I am a loud supporter of all his foals, family members, and connections. That being said, this colt will be especially exciting for me and I am looking forward to seeing if he resembles his enormous half-brother. If he has half the career that MMM did (almost five years of racing) then he’s going to do just fine. The dam herself was a fair racer, and has produced two black-type earners by Tapit (one of each sex) and a black-type filly named Mucho Mans Gold. If he takes more after his sire (and many yearlings of his that I’ve seen at other auctions do) then he’s going to benefit from not having to grow into an enormous frame, which set his half-brother behind despite his enormous talent to accompany the body size.

HIP 312– bay colt by American Pharoah out of Profess; I select horses based on female family first, and sire second, hence why AP is showing up for the sixth (and counting) time now. However, when you have Preach as the second dam, you take notice regardless of who the sire is; this Claiborne family especially, as these aren’t bloodlines that you get access to often that’s for sale. The dam, Profess is by War Front and only has one other registered foal. While she didn’t run her competition off their feet, genetically, she’s a quarter pole ahead. The family of Narrate is responsible for some of the best sires in the business, who in turn, sire some of the best runners. Pulpit and his son, Tapit, are such an example of this phenomenon. Preach’s older daughters of note have all produced black-type horses and her sons have both become sires. If the colt shows even a modicum of talent, he will most definitely be picked up for a breeding career overseas if the offers from American farms cannot compete. I would love to see this family in Poland, as that is a circuit almost complete untouched of this family and I feel like he might just be a breed shaper for the country; much like Sunday Silence was for Japan.

Gun Runner at Three Chimneys

HIP 327– bay colt by Candy Ride (ARG) out of Quiet Giant; holy full-brother to Gun Runner alert! If anyone wants to buy me (what is guaranteed to be) a very expensive early Christmas present, you can bid on this guy! Gun Runner just missed becoming the richest racehorse in American racing history, but it’s no shame to come in second, having made only $15,988,500. To accompany his princely stud fee of $70,000 LFSN, both he and HIP 327 have a pedigree that could go toe-to-toe with any Claiborne family. The dam, Quiet Giant, only has one winner from three horses to race, but she’s only had four registered foals. Being by Giant’s Causeway, Mariah’s Storm’s influence sneaks in to the third generation along with Quiet American, who is another stallion that you just don’t see anymore in some “commercial” pedigrees (breed to sell operations). The second dam, Quiet Dance is the dam of 12 winners, including Saint Liam (sire of Havre De Grace) who died tragically after only one season at stud, Miss Besilu, Dance Quietly, and Funtastic. If he gets a few wins to his name and some black-type, this is another one that I could see going to an overseas farm or becoming a regional stallion.

HIP 371– bay colt by War Front out of Say (IRE); here is another family where runners produce runners who produce runners. Say (IRE) solely raced in Europe but she comes from a brilliant American family. The second dam Riskaverse (by Dynaformer) had a five year campaign where she visited the winner’s circle nine times and still managed to amass earnings of over $2.1 million. She’s the dam of four foals and they’re all winners. This colt does have a full-brother currently racing named Naval Intelligence, who’s a winner this year in England. Danzig over Galileo in the second generation, what’s not to like?

HIP 418– bay colt by Into Mischief out of Sky Mirage; this is the first foal of a young mare that only managed to place in her short career. Despite her shortcomings, the granddam (Flaming Mirage) makes up for it by producing Kinsale King, and Victoria’s Wildcat and the third dam (Flaming Leaves) bring black-type by producing Light of Morn, Dancing Mirage, and Swiss Mirage. I like the trend that this female family goes in, and I think that the lack of racing ability from the dam only enhances the chance that more of Into Mischief’s genetic gifts will catch on in their place. It might be wishful thinking, it might not.

Will Take Charge

HIP 443– chestnut colt by Will Take Charge out of Stage Magic; if this horse doesn’t hit a million in the first two jumps of the bidding war, I will be stunned. This half-brother to 2018 Triple Crown winner Justify is a selling point on its own; I could not tell you anything else about him, and you already know that none of us can afford him. That factoid aside, his family has 12 (I counted them) black-type horses with five of them winners with a Triple Crown in the family to boot. As good as he was as a runner, Will Take Charge almost gets overshadowed here, and that’s hard to do when the sire won almost $4 million in career earnings. If Glenwood Farm doesn’t opt to keep him, he will end up being one of the most expensive horses of the sale.

That’s it for the second session. The first book is always applauded as the fanciest of the auction, and it’s true every year. To buy from this particular part of the Keeneland September sale, you need to be in a very elite tax bracket, and that’s just not achievable for many start-up operations. However, have hope because some of the best racers (or most consistent performers) were purchased for far less than what most of these horses will bring! Such examples are:

  • Zenyatta, sold for $60,000 and retired as the wealthiest female racehorse in American history with over $7 million in earnings
  • Fan-favorite Game On Dude RNA’d for $210,000 and earned $6.4 million
  • Yahilwa sold for $52,000 in 2011 and has earned over half a million dollars
  • Undrafted sold for $50,000 to Wes Welker and he’s earned over $1.4 million

You can find a deal, and I’ll analyze more of the horses that won’t sell for huge money later this week.