Hip No. 729, a colt by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah out of multiple Grade 2 heroine Bsharpsonata, brought a final bid of $1.4 million from Larry Best’s Oxo Equine LLC to top Wednesday’s third day of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.
“I felt like I was empty without (an American Pharoah) colt,” Best said. “I wasn’t sure I was going to find an American Pharoah colt that I liked, but I liked this one enough. Paid more than I thought I would have to, but the underbidder was one that I respect so I’m comfortable with the decision. Still, it’s required that you hope and pray that they can run.
“It’s a gut-feel. Just looked like a horse I should own.”
Consigned by Sierra Farm, the bay colt was foaled May 13, 2017, in Kentucky. Bsharpsonata, who is by Pulpit and counts as a half-brother Grade 2 scorer Backtalk, already boasts a trio of stakes-caliber offspring in Grade 2-placed Vigilante, Grade 3 runner-up Play It Loud and stakes-placed Mihrab.
“He was a star from Day One,” Sierra Farm Manager Michael Callanan said. “He came out here to the sale, and he acted like he owned the place.
“I think American Pharoah is going to be the next (great stallion); he has an unbelievable mind and was a great athlete. This colt handles everything so easy. We brought him in the back walking ring at the sale. He’s never seen anything like that, but he just goes and does his job.”
Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. purchased the next two highest price sellers on Wednesday when going to $1.2 million for a War Front filly and a Medaglia d’Oro colt.
The filly, consigned as Hip 696 by Timber Town (Mr. & Mrs. T. Wayne Sweezey), agent, was foaled March 17, 2017, by the Galileo mare Betterbetterbetter, who was Group 3-placed in her native Ireland. Betterbetterbetter is herself out of the Darshaan mare Jude, who is also responsible for Group 1 winners Yesterday and Quarter Moon.
“She’s a lovely filly and we’re excited Shadwell got her so she got a good home,” said Mandy Pope, whose Whisper Hill Farm bred the filly. “Hopefully everything will go forward, and she’ll start having stakes babies.”
The Medaglia d’Oro colt came from the Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consignment. The bay colt, who was born March, 2017, toured the sale’s ring as Hip 730. He is out of multiple Group 3-placed and listed-winning New Approach mare Bunairgead.
A trio of yearlings, two colts and a filly, each brought $1.1 million on Wednesday.
Hip 509 was the first on the day to reach seven figures when China Horse Club and Maverick Racing had the winning bid on the bay son of War Front. Consigned by Lane’s End, agent, the April 7, 2017, -born foal is out of the unplaced Street Cry mare Tiffany’s Honour, who is a half-sister to 2007 Belmont Stakes (G1) queen, Kentucky Oaks (G1) heroine and champion Rags to Riches as well as 2006 Belmont Stakes scorer Jazil.
“He is a big man of a horse with size and scope and uses his shoulder well,” said agent Mick Flanagan of China Horse Club, who signed the ticket. “He looks more like a dirt horse than a typical War Front turf horse.
“He has a pedigree page that draws everybody in. It is one of the best pages in America so to get a little piece of it is fantastic.”
Next to bring $1.1 million was Hip 578, a colt by Quality Road born February 23, 2017, to the Mineshaft mare What’smineismine. White Birch Farm and Three Chimneys bought the bay colt from the Indian Creek, agent, consignment. The yearling comes from the same female family as Grade 1 scorers Spring Quality and First Approach.
“It was a very good result,” Indian Creek President Shack Parrish said. “Every day he got better and better.
Hip 703, a dark bay filly by Uncle Mo, brought a final bid of $1.1 from Godolphin. Consigned by Runnymede Farm Inc., agent, the lass was foaled April, 1, 2017, by Bizzy Caroline, a multiple Grade 3-winning daughter of Afleet Alex who is a half-sister to multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire and champion Lady Eli. This female line also includes Grade 2-scoring millionaire Tejano Run, who was runner-up in the 1995 Kentucky Derby (G1).
“When she finishes racing, she will be a good addition to Godolphin’s broodmare band,” said Anthony Stroud, who signed the ticket. “She is a very elegant, light-framed filly who looks very athletic and Uncle Mo is an excellent stallion.”
Rounding out the seven-figure prices on Wednesday was Hip 740, a bay filly by Ghostzapper from the Woods Edge Farm (Peter O’Callaghan), agent, consignment. Barbara Banke’s Stonestreet Stables purchased the February 5, 2017, born filly for $1.025 million. The miss is out of stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare Capitulation and is a full sister to Grade 1 vixen Molly Morgan.
“She looks the part,” said Banke, who owns Molly Morgan. “She looks like she will be rugged and fast, and we will be happy to take her to the races.”
The filly’s third dam is Battle Creek Girl, who produced Canadian champion Wavering Girl, and is a half-sister to the dam of champion turf mare Soaring Softly.
“She was a great filly,” O’Callaghan said. “She was a unique package – she’s by an unbelievable sire of fillies and what is now proven to be an unbelievable broodmare sire. She was a great physical specimen.
“She’s exactly what most filly buyers are looking to buy, so we’re just lucky the right people got on her and it worked out.”
Keeneland saw 151 yearlings sell for $52,883,000 on Wednesday, averaging $350,219 and showing a median of $270,000. With three days now in the books, 457 horses have brought $167,338,000 for an average of $366,166 and a median of $280,000.
“The session started very strong and certainly ended with a bang,” said Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell, referring to the four horses that brought more than $1 million near the end of the day. “There is a diversity of buyers regarding those who bought the million-dollar horses and regarding where they are from geographically. There is international and domestic money at the top, which is very good for our industry.
“I think this year’s crop might be a little better than last year’s crop,” Russell added. “The market this year has seen better-quality horses come through, and these buyers are willing to stretch (their budgets) for them. We are fortunate that the top consignors in the world bring their horses to Keeneland.”
For completely results, please visit keeneland.com. The sale continues Thursday beginning at 1 p.m. (ET).