Monday, April 9, 2012

Part Two: 2012 Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale

It’s all come down to this. The prepping, the preview show, and the showings to prospective buyers have led to this moment. A juvenile Thoroughbred steps into the lavish Keeneland sales ring before prospective buyers, its bright eyes taking in the unfamiliar sights around it. Thoughtfully, this horse was bred. Carefully, it was taken care of and raised. Prudently, it was handled and broke to ride. Meticulously, it was groomed and prepped. This moment is one of the biggest defining moments of this horse’s life.

This moment occurred for several two-year-old Thoroughbreds tonight in Lexington, Kentucky. The glossy, beautifully bred creatures stood within the boundaries of the sales ring as the auctioneer led the buyers to the final fall of the hammer. By the end of the sale, the juveniles had sold for a total of $9,754,000 with an average price of $165,322 and a median of $120,000. There were eleven less horses sold in 2012 than 2011, causing the gross to fall by $1,810,000 and the median to decline by $10,000. However, the average was up by a mere $122.

Listed below are the horses featured in Part One, with descriptions of the results of the auction:

Hip #8: By the powerhouse sire Medaglia d’Oro and out of the Easy Goer mare Kissing Gate, hip eight is a half-brother to the multiple grade one-winning Magical Fantasy and the stakes-winning Forward Move. Though powerful, hip eight’s work was erratic with a bit too much knee action. The colt brought $100,000 and was purchased by Dogwood Stable, Inc.

Hip #18: Yet another colt by a driving force of a sire, hip eighteen is by Unbridled’s Song and out of the grade one-winning mare Madcap Escapade. This makes him a half-brother to the grade one-winning Mi Sueno. Though quick in his work, he wasn’t extremely flashy. He did not reach his reserve.

Hip #41: A half-brother to the multiple graded stakes-winning No Advantage, hip forty-one is a direct descendant of the great, influential mare La Troienne. This bodes well for him, as other direct descendants of La Troienne include Easy Goer, Sea Hero, and Smarty Jones. In fact, four of her direct descendants have won the Kentucky Derby (GI). I did not particularly like this colt’s work, but he still brought $115,000 for F. Brothers, agent.

Hip #44: Lemon Drop Kid, a member of Lane’s End Farm's spectacular stallion roster, is the sire of this half-sister to the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (GI)-winning Unrivaled Belle. In addition to her impressive pedigree, Beyond Belle turned in what I saw as one of the most impressive works on preview day. Her remarkable pedigree and work led her to be sold for $400,000 to Chad Brown on behalf of Martin Schwartz.

Hip #69: This half-brother to the graded stakes-winning Bittel Road posted one of the most remarkable works at the under-tack show, displaying a smooth, efficient stride while going a furlong in 10 1/5 seconds. The colt was purchased for the bargain price of $20,000 by Mongolian Stable.

Hip #115: A full brother to the grade one-winning Drill, hip one hundred fifteen turned in a very impressive work, galloping effortlessly over the Polytrack surface to post a final time of 10 1/5 seconds. However, he was declared out of the sale.

Hip #125: This full sister to the graded stakes-winning and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (GI)-placed Crown of Thorns is out of a half-sister to the champion Smoke Glacken, the multiple graded stakes-winning Smokey Glacken, the stakes-winning and graded stakes-placed Capote’s Crown, and the graded stakes-placed Argyle Pink. This filly turned in a beautiful 10 2/5-second one-furlong work, but did not attain her reserve.

Hip #133: Had this colt’s action been smoother and more visually impressive, he would be my top selection. After all, he is a direct descendant of the great Flawlessly and is a half-brother to the multiple graded stakes-winning horses Denomination and Woke Up Dreamin’. However, his relatively unremarkable work may have caused him to not reach his reserve.

Hip #148: Out of a half-sister to two graded stakes winners, this filly is by the blossoming commercial sire Big Brown, who sired the sale topper at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale. Bred on the same cross as two group one victors, hip one hundred forty-eight exhibited beautiful action while breezing an eighth of a mile in 10 seconds flat despite running greenly. She was my co-leading choice for fillies and was purchased by Twin Creeks Racing for $180,000.

Hip #161: By the up-and-coming grade one-winning sire Any Given Saturday and out of the multiple graded stakes-winning mare It’s Personal, hip one hundred sixty-one is a half-brother to the multiple graded stakes-winning It’s No Joke, as well as the black-type-winning horses Mildly Offensive and Keep Laughing. To describe his breeze in one word, it would be along the lines of ‘average.’ He was not flashy, but he did not look terrible, either. As the final horse to strut through the sales ring, hip one hundred sixty-one did not reach his reserve.

Honorable Mentions:

Hip #5: Though more impressive in action than in pedigree, this filly’s grade one-winning second dam is the mother of the black-type-winning sire Yankee Gentleman. One of the advantages of her pedigree is that she is bred on the very successful Unbridled’s Song/Storm Cat cross. I found her work more impressive than her bloodlines however, as she displayed an impressive drive that gave her a lengthy stride. However, she was declared out of the sale.

Hip #15: The Kitten’s Joy/Storm Cat sire line cross that this filly is produced from has been quite successful, producing such horses as the grade one- and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (GII)-winning Stephanie’s Kitten and the stakes-winning Major Magic. Her bloodlines don’t fit under the category of spectacular or terrible, but her one-furlong work could certainly be labeled as tremendous, as the chestnut filly moved effortlessly with a strong, smooth stride and imposing impulsion. Yet she did not reach her reserve.

Hip #98: Out of a full sister to Tiznow and out of the spectacular sire Medaglia d’Oro, this filly is certainly royally bred. Her work, however, was not fantastic, though she did reveal a commanding presence while galloping. She was purchased by Immensity Bloodstock for $85,000.

Hip #106: A half-sister to the multiple graded stakes-winning Diabolical, this filly does have an exciting pedigree, though it may not be as exciting as others entered in the sale. She did, though, turn in an outstanding work, being one of seven horses to complete a furlong in 9 4/5 seconds. While doing so, she thrust herself forward from her hindquarters impressively, stretching over the ground with a powerful stride. She went to John McCormack Bloodstock for $350,000.

Hip #135: This filly’s dam is a half-sister to the champion sprinter Housebuster and the graded stakes-winning Quero Quero, as well as a full sister to the stakes-winning Cat Buster. Hip one hundred thirty-five comes from a dam line full of successful producers, which bodes well for her since she’s a filly. This daughter of Corinthian also worked well, turning in a 10-second furlong while maintaining a good frame, though she needed a bit more length of stride. However, she was declared out of the sale.

The two horses with slightly unpretentious pedigrees that greatly impressed me in their works (Hip #123 and Hip #142) actually brought the highest prices of my top seventeen selections at the fall of the hammer. Hip #123 was the sale-topper, going for $700,000 to Stonestreet Stables and George Bolton while Hip #142 drove the hammer to $525,000 but did not reach his reserve.

Overall, my featured seventeen horses brought a total of $1,950,000 with a total of three horses declared out of the sale. The top ten were purchased for a total of $815,000 with one horse scratched out of the sale, the five honorable mentions were purchased for $435,000 with two declared out of the sale, and the top two workers brought a total of $700,000 with just one of the two reaching his reserve.

The Keeneland sales grounds
Photo: Terri Cage
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  1. Has hip #142 been purchased? What stable now has him in training?

    1. Sorry, I don't know, as he has not yet been named. But once he has been given a name, I will follow him.