Plenty of tal­ent left in sale’s later books

Daily Racing Form National Digital Edition - - Daily Racing Form - By Ni­cole Russo

The Keeneland Septem­ber year­ling sale’s first two books, where ma­jor buy­ers vie for the jew­els of the North Amer­i­can foal crop, will be in the books as of Sun­day night. But there still will be 2,723 re­main­ing year­lings cat­a­loged to sell in Books 3 through 6, and the sec­ond week of the sale has of­ten yielded di­a­monds in the rough for those will­ing to prospect for them.

Three 2017 Eclipse Award cham­pi­ons were grad­u­ates of Book 3 or be­yond of the Keeneland Septem­ber sale. West Coast, voted last year’s out­stand­ing 3-year-old male, was pur­chased by Ben Glass as agent for Gary and Mary West for $425,000 out of Book 3 in the 2015 re­newal of the sale.

Cale­do­nia Road and Roy H are both Book 4 grad­u­ates. Cale­do­nia Road, the Eclipse Award cham­pion ju­ve­nile filly of last season, sold for $140,000 to Zoom and Fish Sta­ble. Ciaran Dunne went to $115,000 for Roy H at the 2013 sale be­fore pin­hook­ing the even­tual cham­pion male sprinter.

Other re­cent stand­outs on the track who have sold dur­ing or be­yond the sixth ses­sion of Keeneland Septem­ber in­clude Monomoy Girl ($100,000 in 2016), whose four straight Grade 1 vic­to­ries are high­lighted by the Ken­tucky Oaks; Ken­tucky Oaks run­nerup Won­der Gadot ($80,000 in 2016), who went on to win two Cana­dian clas­sics; Preak­ness Stakes win­ners Ex­ag­ger­a­tor ($110,000 in 2014) and Cloud Com­put­ing ($200,000 in 2015); and Grade/Group 1 win­ners Col­lected ($150,000 in 2014), Fin­ley’sluck­y­charm ($77,000 in 2014), and Hop­per­tu­nity ($300,000 in 2012).

Book 1 of the Keeneland Septem­ber sale wrapped with mo­men­tum, with 26 sev­en­fig­ure horses fu­el­ing the mar­ket that saw solid av­er­age and me­dian prices of $363,780 and $300,000. Of ad­di­tional im­por­tance for the sec­ond week of the sale, Book 1 posted an im­proved buy­back rate of 28 per­cent in a highly se­lec­tive at­mos­phere, in­di­cat­ing the pres­ence of a mid­dle mar­ket. With ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive bid­ding at a va­ri­ety of lev­els, agents said they ex­pected the mo­men­tum to con­tinue into Books 2, 3, and be­yond.

“I think [the mo­men­tum] has to” con­tinue, blood­stock agent Ja­cob West said. “There’s so many peo­ple that are walk­ing around here that haven’t bought horses.”

Bar­bara Banke was both buy­ing and sell­ing year­lings via her Ston­estreet Farm and was find­ing the for­mer pur­suit much harder than the lat­ter.

“I think we brought a very good group this year, and the mar­ket is hot,” Banke said. “I’ve tried to pur­chase a few horses, too, you know. And I have not been all that suc­cess­ful. But I’m over­all pleased. I’m just go­ing to have to shop in Book 3.”

There is still plenty of sire power in the cat­a­log for Book 3 and be­yond, in­clud­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a strong group of first-crop year­ling sires. Triple Crown win­ner Amer­i­can Pharoah had four year­lings re­main­ing af­ter Book 2, in­clud­ing a half-sis­ter to Breed­ers’ Cup Ju­ve­nile Turf win­ner Hoo­te­nanny.

Year­lings by Curlin, Medaglia d’Oro, Into Mis­chief, Pioneerof the Nile, and Un­cle Mo, all of whom had sev­en­fig­ure year­lings sold dur­ing Book 1, also re­main for Week 2 shop­pers.

BAR­BARA D. LIV­INGSTON

West Coast, shown win­ning the 2017 Penn­syl­va­nia Derby, was sold from Book 3 of the 2015 Keeneland Septem­ber auc­tion.

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