There were times when the words “Keeneland September Yearling Sale” were simply background music to my ears. I was only vaguely aware of what the auction was and certainly did not know of any other Thoroughbred sale; all I was focused on was the racing – and a portion of the breeding – side of the Thoroughbred racehorse industry. All that – and more – changed when I first attended the under tack show for the Fasig-Tipton Texas Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale in 2010. The sales industry had been revealed to me and I was hooked.
However, the Fasig-Tipton Texas sales and the Keeneland September Yearling Sale were the only auctions I knew of or paid attention to. Even then, the Texas two-year-old sale was the single auction I gathered sale selections for. But once I launched Past the Grandstand, I delved into the world of Thoroughbred sales, choosing to cover various auctions across the nation by selecting my favorites in the sale catalogs.
Through doing so, I found my passion. The thrill of choosing a horse from a sale and later watching as it finds success is extraordinary, leaving me to become enthralled with the art of “discovering” a talented horse before its career begins.
2012 became my first year to make selections from a sale outside of the Fasig-Tipton Texas auctions, with the 2012 Keeneland April Two-Year-Olds In Training Sale being the initial auction I employed to embark on the adventure of studying additional sales. Through this, I found the most talented horse I have yet to select from a sale: What a Name, joint Two-Year-Old Champion Filly in France and recent winner of the Prix Imprudence (GIII). Although it is rather unlikely I will find another What a Name this year, I am eager to see what horses I can add to my “stable” of sale selections.
Listed below are the twenty-five horses I was most impressed with, based primarily on their performances in the breeze show, though pedigree received light consideration. Conformation was not used as a judging factor due it not being accessible for all horses. I will do a follow-up piece after the sale, spotlighting these horses again with the results of the auction.
Hip #5: Going a furlong in 10 1/5, this chestnut filly ran a bit too widely with her front legs but appeared to gallop fluidly while displaying considerable drive and impulsion of her stride.
A daughter of Sky Mesa, hip 5 is a half-sister to two stakes winners in Dyna’s Lassie and Princess Arabella, the former of which was graded stakes-placed. Her dam, Tortuga Lady, is a full sister to Kentucky Derby (GI) runner-up Invisible Ink.
Hip 5 is consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent III.
Photo by Melissa Bauer-Herzog
Hip #8: Appearing to just be galloping along in her 10 3/5-second breeze, hip 8 ran in a smooth, poetic motion despite struggling with maintaining the correct lead.
Sired by the terrific Giant’s Causeway, hip 8 is from the same tail female line as champion Gio Ponti and is out of a half-sister to the graded stakes-winning Puxa Saco. The filly is bred on the same Giant’s Causeway/Unbridled’s Song cross as the graded stakes-winning Hold Me Back.
Hip 8 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent.
Hip #10: Powerfully moving over the Polytrack in her 10 2/5-second-flat work, I would have preferred for hip 10 to be slightly flatter-kneed, but she did reach impressively with her stride. The first foal out of Canadian champion Van Lear Rose, hip 10 is sired by top sire Unbridled’s Song.
Hip 10 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent XIX.
Hip #13: Recording a brisk time of 10 seconds, hip 13 traveled in a strong manner, but did not allow as much lift to her shoulder or as much flatness to knee as I would have liked to see, though she did appear athletic.
Another daughter of the very successful Unbridled’s Song, hip 13 is out of a half-sister to Tiznow. Sisters to Tiznow have proven to be profitable broodmares, having produced the likes of the grade one-winning Paynter, the graded stakes winners Oxbow and Tiz West, and the stakes winners Awesome Patriot and Tizakitty.
Hip 13 is consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent.
Hip #21: Completing one-eighth of a mile in 10 2/5 seconds, hip 21 exhibited unnecessary knee action but was a very powerful mover, showing substantial length of stride.
The result of the mating between the sire of many grade one winners in Mizzen Mast and the unraced Mr. Greeley mare Bellamusic, hip 21’s dam is a sibling to three stakes winners, a pair of which won at the graded stakes level.
Hip 21 is consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent V.
Hip #24: A quick-strided filly, hip 24 appeared nimble while displaying significant length and reach to her stride despite possessing excessive action of the knees. She completed her work in 10 1/5 seconds.
Sharing the same sire as two champions in Exchange Rate, hip 24 is out of a Dynaformer-sired half-sister to a grade one winner. Hip 24 is among those whose works outshone their bloodlines.
Hip 24 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent VIII.
Hip #25: Recording a quarter-mile in a quick 21 1/5 seconds, hip 25 had difficulty sustaining the correct lead and did not have particularly attractive knee action, but galloped forcefully and had good lift to the shoulder.
Sired by the productive Candy Ride, hip 25 is out of a graded stakes-winning mare that has also yielded two black-type winners.
Hip 25 is consigned by Kirkwood Stables, Agent I.
Hip #33: Running with his head held low, this colt traveled rather smoothly, covering the ground with long strides despite not showing the greatest extension of his forelegs while completing his breeze in 10 1/5 seconds.
A son of Rock Hard Ten, hip 33 is a half-brother to Sunland Oaks winner Midnight Lucky, as well as the stakes-placed Songofthecity. His dam is a full sister to the grade one-winning Hookedonthefeelin, who has produced two grade one winners.
Hip 33 is consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent.
Hip #39: Posting a final time of 10 1/5 seconds, hip 39 could have kept a flatter knee but galloped in a robust manner while lifting her shoulder to allow for imposing reach of her stride.
A daughter of the late but great sire Pulpit, hip 39 is out of a black-type-winning mare that has produced a black-type winner.
Hip 39 is consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent IX.
Hip #43: Despite being green in his 21 4/5-second quarter-mile breeze, being unable to maintain the correct lead, and showing a bit too much knee action, hip 43 exhibited significant lift to his shoulder and length of stride.
Hip 43’s sire, Lemon Drop Kid, has sired several grade one winners and the colt’s dam won multiple black-type races. The gray two-year-old is from the family the champions Northernette and Storm Bird.
Hip 43 is consigned by de Meric Sales, Agent.
Hip #52: Though running greenly and struggling to stay on the correct lead, hip 52 was a quick-legged, athletic mover.
Hip 52 is a daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, a tremendous sire of fillies, and comes from a prolific tail female line. Her dam is not only a full sister to a group stakes winner, but a half-sister to the champion Fasliyev, the group stakes-placed Maderno, and the dam of the champion Misty for Me.
Hip 52 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent XXXIII.
Hip #53: Though there was nothing particularly special about her 10 4/5-second work, hip 53 looked athletic in her breeze in spite of running too widely with her front legs.
Sired by the on-fire Malibu Moon, hip 53 is out of the graded stakes-winning Erhu. This filly is bred on the successful Malibu Moon/Storm Cat sire line cross, which has produced the likes of grade one winner Eden’s Moon, as well as the stakes winners Managed Account, Pinkarella, and Vanderkaay.
Hip 53 is consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent XI.
Hip #54: Although the colt could have allowed more lift to his shoulder, the chestnut galloped gracefully, traveling with considerable reach and length to his stride to complete his work in 10 3/5 seconds.
By the fantastic Giant’s Causeway, hip 54 is out of the graded stakes-winning Essence. From a rather affluent female family, hip 54 is from the same tail female line as the likes of the grade one winners Marsh Side, Meteor Miracle, Pillaster, Pleasant Stage, Reenact, and Seattle Meteor.
Hip 54 is consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent XXXIV.
Hip #55: Though exhibiting too much unnecessary knee action and carrying his front legs too widely, hip 55 galloped in a very powerful fashion, driving impressively from his hindquarters to provide for an extensive stride. He finished his one-furlong work in 10 2/5 seconds.
This colt’s sire, Arch, has sired numerous champions and his dam, a daughter of Mr. Prospector, has produced a black-type-placed runner. The Arch/Mr. Prospector cross has been fairly successful, yielding the graded stakes-winning Animal Spirits and three other stakes horses.
Hip 55 is consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent VI.
Hip #71: Appearing rather professional for such a young horse, this colt lifted his shoulder notably to allow for a lengthy, reaching stride. Completing his work in 10 seconds flat, hip 71 moved with flowing strides.
A son of the outstanding Tiznow, hip 71 is out of a half-sister to the dam of the multiple graded stakes-winning Old Fashioned. The Tiznow/Mr. Prospector sire line cross on which this colt is bred has been incredibly successful, yielding the grade one winners Bullsbay and Gemologist, as well as the graded stakes winners Lovely Lil, Tizaqueena, and Tiz Miz Sue.
Hip 71 is consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent.
Hip 78: The fastest workers of the breeze show tend to be the highest-price individuals at two-year-old sales. Luckily for this filly, she was the only one to run under 10 seconds, completing her work in 9 4/5 seconds. Though the action of her front legs was rather unattractive, she displayed noteworthy reach and length to her stride, driving powerfully from her hindquarters.
Sired by the late Dixie Union, who has produced three grade one winners thus far, this filly's second dam was a champion in Canada that yielded two stakes winners and dams of stakes horses.
Hip 78 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent IV.
Hip #87: Finishing his work in a sharp 10 seconds flat, hip 87 ran greenly and held his head too high, but was a quick-legged, attractive mover that covered much ground with his stride.
A well-bred individual, hip 87 is sired by a consistently top sire in Distorted Humor and is out of a sibling to a plethora of stakes horses, including two grade one winners, one of which is a European champion.
Hip 87 is consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent II.
Hip #91: Going a furlong in 10 1/5 seconds, hip 91 was on the wrong lead for the majority of her breeze, but traveled dynamically while displaying very long, quick strides.
Another daughter of Medaglia d’Oro, hip 91’s granddam produced the multiple grade one-winning and track record-setting Formal Gold, the black-type-winning Maple Lake, and the dam of the graded stakes-winning Noonmark.
Hip 91 is consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent LI.
Hip #110: Though exhibiting a bit too much knee action while switching his leads multiple times during his breeze, hip 110 was a rhythmic mover that traveled with remarkably long strides. The final time for this colt’s work was 10 3/5 seconds.
Sired by the flourishing Malibu Moon, hip 110 is out of the graded stakes-winning Broken Vow mare Proud Heiress. Notably, his fifth dam, the Reine de Course mare Exclusive, produced Exclusive Native, a stakes winner and influential sire.
Hip 110 is property of Wayne Mogge Racing.
Hip #112: This filly moved with elegant, flowing strides, appearing quick as she covered much ground with her stride as she completed her breeze in 10 1/5 seconds.
Hip 112 is a daughter of Unbridled’s Song and is out of a graded stakes-winning mare that has produced two stakes winners – one of which was graded stakes-placed – and a stakes-placed runner.
Hip 112 is property of The Kindergarten Farm.
Hip #115: Though running greenly while displaying an excess of unnecessary knee action, hip 115 showed impressive drive from his hindquarters and lift to his shoulder, reaching with his front legs to allow great reach to his stride.
Outshone by his work, hip 115’s pedigree is rather understated. Sired by War Chant, hip 115 is out of a half-sister to the graded stakes-winning Headache.
Hip 115 is consigned by Eddie Woods, Agent XXXIII.
Hip #119: Going a furlong in 10 4/5 seconds, this filly was a fluid mover, appearing to travel with effortless strides despite struggling to maintain the correct lead. She drove well from the hindquarters and noticeably lifted her shoulders to move powerfully.
By the exceptional Tiznow, hip 119’s granddam has produced three stakes horses, including a grade one-winning producer of a graded stakes-placed runner, as well as a course record-setting graded stakes winner.
Hip 119 is consigned by Wavertree Stables, Inc. (Ciaran Dunne), Agent III.
Hip #125: Finishing his work in a swift 10 seconds flat, this colt was slightly wide about his front legs and could have been flatter about the knee but moved in a very strong manner, quickly covering ground despite incorrectly changing leads during his work. The lift of his shoulder, as well as the drive from his hindquarters, was remarkable.
A son of Speightstown, who has proven to be an effective sire, hip 125 is a half-brother to a stakes-winning, graded stakes-placed runner, as well as a black-type-placed filly.
Hip 125 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent XI.
Hip #129: In a final time of 10 1/5 seconds, hip 129 looked agile while galloping with smooth strides. I would have preferred for the filly to have been flatter about the knee and more greatly utilize her shoulder to extend her stride, but she appeared rather athletic.
Sired by the blossoming Ghostzapper, hip 129 is out of a half-sister to a stakes-winning, graded stakes-placed individual. The Deputy Minister/Unbridled’s Song cross on which this filly is bred has been successful, producing the grade one winner Rolling Fog, as well as a pair of additional graded stakes winners.
Hip 129 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent VI.
Hip #135: Moving powerfully while breezing in 10 1/5 seconds, this colt could have been smoother about the knee and lifted more with the shoulders, but his stride was of notable length.
By popular sire Bernardini, hip 135’s third dam is the grade one-winning Sugar and Spice, who produced this colt’s granddam, a graded stakes winner that placed in a plethora of grade ones.
Hip 135 is consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, Agent XXXII.