Monday, September 14, 2015

2015 Keeneland September Yearling Sale: Session One

Updated Sept. 15, 2015 (the day following session one) with sales results

Sales have always fascinated me, and I have always enjoyed selecting my favorite horses from auction catalogs, seeing how much they bring at the sale, and following them throughout their racing career. I have been able to follow many successful horses because of this hobby, including the Grade 1 winners Strong Mandate and Streaming, in addition to a multitude of other graded stakes winners - including Barbados, Hebbronville, Onlyforyou, She's Not Here, and Tower of Texas. Of course, a catalog page is not every thing and, when given the chance, I much prefer to also view the sales prospects in person. However, I have only been able to do that at one major yearling auction - the 2013 Fasig-Tipton July Sale, which is where I found eventual Grade 3 Jersey Shore Stakes winner Hebbronville.

Having been very busy with school and horses, I have not had much time to go through sales catalogs as of late, but set aside some time to at least sort through part of Book 1 for this year's Keeneland September Sale - the largest yearling sale in the world - to choose my favorite horses from the first session, which will begin on Monday at 11 a.m. From 241 yearlings, I was able to narrow down my selections to 18 yearlings, in addition to three sentimental favorites:

Hip 23 - Medaglia d'Oro-Weekend Whim, by Distorted Humor
Bay filly - Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency
$450,000 - Mike Ryan, Agent

This filly is by top sire Medaglia d'Oro, who has been an outstanding sire of female runners. Her dam, who has also produced the stakes-placed Coconut Shrimp, is a full sister to Grade 1 winner and sire Any Given Saturday, as well as a half sister to the graded stakes winner Bohemian Lady.

Hip 34 - Street Cry-Winter Memories, by El Prado
Chestnut colt - Consigned by Gainesway

This is the first foal out of the multiple Grade 1-winning mare Winter Memories, who herself is a daughter of a multiple Grade 1-winning mare, Memories of Silver. Being a son of the late, great sire Street Cry is certainly an advantage, as well.

Hip 38 - Fastnet Rock-Wonder of Wonders, by Kingmambo
Bay colt - Consigned by Eaton Sales
$350,000 - Al Shahania Stud

A son of top Australian sire Fastnet Rock, this colt is the second foal out of the stakes-winning, multiple Group 1-placed mare Wonder of Wonders. That mare is out of the group stakes-winning mare All Too Beautiful, who is a daughter of the legendary Urban Sea. This makes this colt's granddam a full sister to the tremendous sire Galileo and highweight champion Black Sam Bellamy, as well as a half-sister to the great Sea the Stars and many other outstanding runners and producers.

Hip 42 - Hard Spun-Zoftig, by Cozzene
Gray/roan colt - Consigned by Hunter Valley Farm
$60,000 - L&N Racing, LLC

By Hard Spun and out of the Grade 1-winning mare Zoftig, this colt is a full brother to the Grade 1 winner Zo Impressive and a half-brother to the Grade 1 winner Zaftig.

Hip 47 - Distorted Humor-Achieving, by Bernardini
Bay filly - Consigned by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency
$550,000 - John Ferguson

By leading sire Distorted Humor, this filly is out of a half-sister to the grade one winner Streaming. Her third dam is the great broodmare Better Than Honour, the dam of Grade 1 Belmont Stakes winners Jazil and Rags to Riches (the latter of which is an Eclipse Award Champion), highweight Man of Iron, and the graded stakes winner Casino Drive.

Hip 48 - Bernardini-Acoma, by Empire Maker
Bay colt - Consigned by Gainesway
$400,000 - China Horse Club

A son of Bernardini, this colt is the third foal out of the Grade 1 winner Acoma. That mare, a daughter of tremendous sire Empire Maker, is a half-sister to UAE Horse of the Year Festival of Light, as well as Grade 1 winner and sire Arch and several other stakes horses.

Hip 49 - Medaglia d'Oro-Afleeting Lady, by Afleet Alex
Bay colt - Consigned by Mill Ridge Sales
$875,000 - John Ferguson

It would be difficult for a pedigree to be more impressive than this colt's. A son of leading sire Medaglia d'Oro, this colt is out of the graded stakes-winning mare Afleeting Lady. That mare is a daughter of one of the best broodmares in recent years, Oatsee - the dam of Grade 1 winners Shackleford and Lady Joanne, as well as graded stakes winner Baghdaria and stakes winner Stephanoatsee.

Hip 72 - Giant's Causeway-Amber Grace, by Elusive Quality
Chestnut colt - Consigned by Paramount Sales
RNA ($150,000)

By top sire Giant's Causeway, this colt is out of a half-sister European champion Russian Rhythm and from the same family as an abundance of other champions and highweights, including Park Appeal, Alydaress, and Nashamaa.

Hip 73 - Tapit-Amelia, by Dixieland Band
Chestnut filly - Consigned by Gainesway
$750,000 - Shadai Farm

Being a daughter of Tapit is noteworthy enough, but this filly's female family is also impressive. His stakes-winning dam - a half-sister to group stakes winner Bertolini and stakes winner Alchemilla - is also the dam of three graded stakes winners and the Grade 1-placed He's Had Enough.

Hip 85 - Speightstown-Arania, by Dynaformer
Chestnut filly - Consigned by Gainesway
$700,000 - Joseph Allen

By one of the top sires in the nation, Speightstown, this filly is from the same female family as the aforementioned hip 48, with her dam a full sister to Japanese champion Yamanin Paradise and two other stakes winners, as well as a half-sister to UAE Horse of the Year Festival of Light and grade one winners Acoma and Arch.

Hip 96 - Giant's Causeway-Ava Knowsthecode, by Cryptoclearance
Chestnut colt - Consigned by Valkyre Stud
$300,000 - Rigney Racing

Not only is this colt a son of top sire Giant's Causeway, but his dam has produced a multitude of successful runners, including Grade 1 winner Justin Phillip and additional graded stakes winners Keyed Entry, Successful Mission, and Algorithms.

Hip 116 - War Front-Betterbetterbetter, by Galileo
Bay filly - Consigned by Timber Town
$1,450,000 - Shadwell Estate Company, LLC

A daughter of one of the country's top sires, War Front, this filly is the first foal out of the group stakes-placed mare Betterbetterbetter. That mare, a daughter of the outstanding Galileo, is a half-sister to three highweights, including the Group 1 winners Yesterday and Quarter Moon.

Hip 144 - Medaglia d'Oro-Cambiocorsa, by Avenue of Flags
Gray/roan colt - Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency
$350,000 - Todd A. Pletcher, Agent

This colt is by outstanding sire Medaglia d'Oro and out of the graded stakes-winning full sister to California Flag, Cambiocorsa - who has foaled four stakes runners. Of those four stakes horses, two are graded stakes winners, one is a stakes winner, and the other is Grade 1-placed.

Hip 160 - Galileo-Charge of Angels, by Distorted Humor
Chestnut colt - Consigned by Hill 'n' Dale Sales Agency
RNA ($485,000)

One couldn't ask for a better pedigree than this colt's. A son of the world's best sire, Galileo, hip 160 comes from one of America's best female families. His second dam, She's A Winner, is the dam of five stakes runners - including Grade 1 winner Bluegrass Cat. Additionally, She's A Winner is a full sister to the Grade 1 winner Girolamo and the graded stakes winners Daydreaming and Accelerator.

Hip 196 - More Than Ready-Dalmiya, by Kalanisi
Gray/roan filly - Consigned by Bluegrass Thoroughbred Services
RNA ($140,000)

This filly is a full sister to group stakes winner Dalwari. Her granddam is the dam of two French Horse of the Years - Daylami and Dalakhani - as well as another group stakes winner and stakes winner.

Hip 200 - Medaglia d'Oro-Dance Quietly, by A.P. Indy
Dark bay/brown filly - Consigned by Four Star Sales
$400,000 - Rio Dois Irmaos, LLC

Another Medaglia d'Oro yearling, this filly is out of the stakes-winning A.P. Indy mare Dance Quietly, who is a half-sister to Horse of the Year Saint Liam, two other graded stakes winners, and a Grade 1-placed runner - as well as a full sister to the graded stakes-placed American Dance.

Hip 224 - Smart Strike-Distinctively, by Awesome Again
Dark bay/brown filly - Consigned by KatieRich Farms
RNA ($50,000)

By two-time leading sire Smart Strike, this filly's stakes-placed dam is a daughter of champion Heavenly Prize, who is also the dam of Grade 1 winner Good Reward, graded stakes winner Pure Prize, and stakes winner Cosmic.

Hip 227 - Bernardini-Divalarious, by Distorted Humor
Bay colt - Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency
$375,000 - John Ferguson

By Bernardini, this colt's dam is a daughter of Irish and Italian Broodmare of the Year Alidiva. That fantastic mare is the dam of three highweights and an additional graded stakes winner.

Sentimental Favorites:

Hip 21 - Malibu Moon-Wasted Tears, by Najran
Dark bay/brown colt - Consigned by Stonehaven Standings and Bart Evans
RNA ($300,000)

This colt is the second foal of one of my favorite mares. His dam, Wasted Tears, won three editions of the now-extinct Grade 3 Ouija Board Distaff at my home track, Lone Star Park, and was always one of my favorite horses to watch.

Hip 51 - Tapit-Agave Kiss, by Lion Heart
Chestnut filly - Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency
RNA ($435,000)

This filly is out of another one of my favorite racemares, Agave Kiss, who I followed throughout her entire racing career - which included a six-race win streak and four stakes wins (one of which was graded).

Hip 181 - Creative Cause-Comfort Zone, by Rubiano
Gray/roan colt - Consigned by Clarkland Farm
$155,000 - John Kelly

I had the chance to meet this colt - a half-brother to graded stakes winner The Pamplemousse - in May while visiting the great people and horses of Clarkland Farm.

The eye of hip 181 - May 28, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

HRN: Texas Racing Faces Fight

Each time I post a new article on my Horse Racing Nation blog, I post a notice on this blogThese notices include an excerpt from the beginning of that article and a link to the piece. My latest Horse Racing Nation article is. . .

"I was nine years old when I first set foot at Lone Star Park. It was the first time I witnessed stunning Thoroughbred athletes competing against each other to the sound of pounding hooves and the roar of the crowd. I had loved and ridden horses all my life, but this was something different – something special.

As I grew older, Lone Star became my happy place. Horse racing developed into my passion – so much so that, at a very young age, I decided that I wanted to have a career in the industry. This decision made Lone Star a necessary destination multiple times a year for me; as a one-hour drive, it is the closest racetrack to my home. The track has offered me many chances at hands-on experience within the racing industry, giving me the opportunity to meet horsemen and track officials, enjoy live racing, and simply learn more about the sport while making connections. I was aware throughout these years that the quality of Texas racing was not up to par in comparison to many states, but I enjoyed it just the same, as it was my chance to be around racehorses "at home."

However, the decline of Texas racing only continued to become more sickeningly apparent.  . ."

Click here to read the rest of my newest Horse Racing Nation article.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Latest 'American Racehorse' Magazine Article

Check out "Golden Horse: Texas-Bred Transitions from the Track to the Barrels" - a feature I wrote in the September/October issue American Racehorse, my fourth article published with this magazine (previously Southern Racehorse). The piece (originally published on the websites of the Texas Thoroughbred Association and American Racehorse) tells the story of Brooks Open Gold - a Texas-bred gelding (now retired from racing) who has led a double life as a racehorse and barrel horse. The magazine can be accessed by clicking the link below. The article is on page 36 of the magazine (page 39 online).

Golden Horse: Texas-Bred Transitions from the Track to the Barrels