Heart of the Order: Solid Returns for New York-Bred Yearlings in Books 3-4 of Keeneland September

By Sarah Mace

Following last Friday’s dark day, trading resumed on Saturday at the 12-session Keeneland Yearling sale. By the close of business Tuesday, the auctioneers had barreled through the heart of the six-book catalogue. Book 3 offerings were featured on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18. Sessions on Monday and Tuesday, September 19 and 20, covered Book 4.

Cumulatively through four books, 23 New York-bred yearlings have changed hands for $2,804,000 in total sales. Eleven individuals brought six figures, including four who sold for $200,000 and up. The New York-bred average checks in at $121,913, with a $90,000 median. Compared to the overall sale RNA percentage of 18.35% to date, New York-bred buybacks are elevated at 32.3%, but the final bids that fall short of the reserve are strong: $285,000 for Hip 64; $140,000 for Hip 1028, $130,000 for Hip 2555; and $95,000 for Hips 1519 and 2537. Evidently, sellers are bringing their New York-bred yearlings to auction with confidence and solid expectations. Less sprawling auctions, such as the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling sale on October 3-4, may better meet those expectations.

Book 3 Highlights

Both sessions of Keeneland’s Book 3 saw the New York-bred cohorts topped by a standout filly. In Sunday’s Session 6, Hip 1850, a dark bay or brown daughter of Runhappy, became the third top-selling Empire State-bred at Keeneland when Case Clay, Agent, purchased her from the consignment of Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent CXXIX for $210,000.

Hip 1850, a New York-bred half sister to Grade 1 winner Just One Time, sold for $210,000 during Sunday’s sixth session at the Keeneland September yearling sale. Photo courtesy of Taylor Made Sales Agency.

Bred by a many-headed partnership led by Spruce Lane, Mashnee, Blue Spader, Copper Beech et al., and foaled on April 11, 2021 at Old Saratoga Equine Services in Schuylerville, the Runhappy filly was previously purchased by Jim Wells for $85,000 as a short yearling at the 2022 Keeneland January sale. The filly’s dam is Ida Clark, a multiple winner by Speightstown acquired by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock for $60,000 at the 2019 Keeneland January sale. The filly already has four winning siblings, led by multiple graded stakes winner Just One Time and stakes winner Black Stetson, who set a course record at six furlongs at Aqueduct in 2018. Ida Clark produced a New York-bred filly by Catholic Boy in 2022 and has been covered by Essential Quality.

Meridian Partners scooped up the New York-bred standout of Saturday’s Session for $200,000: a bay filly by Good Magic bred by Erin Corners Bloodstock and foaled on February 25, 2021 at Stone Bridge Farm in Gansevoort. She is a graduate of the 2021 Keeneland November sale, where she went to Barber Road Bloodstock/WSS racing as a weanling for $90,000. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, Agent CXXXVIII and offered as Hip 1256, the filly is just the second foal from Valentines Romance, an unplaced runner by Arch. The filly’s second dam, Forest Valentine, is a full sister to multiple graded winner Carolyn’s Cat. Third dam People’s Princess is a graded winner whose siblings include Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby winner Meadow Flight and stakes winner North Lake Jane. In 2022, Valentines Romance produced a filly by Practical Joke.

Hip 1256, a daughter of Good Magic, sold for $200,000 and is one of seven New York-bred yearlings to sell for $150,000 or more so far at Keeneland. Photo courtesy of Taylor Made Sales Agency.

The most popular New York-bred colt of Book 3 was a dark bay or brown colt by Arrogate, who went to Hartley/De Renzo for $150,000 from Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield consignment. Offered as Hip 1409, the April 15, 2021 colt was bred by Epic Racing and foaled at Rockridge Stud in Hudson. The colt is the second foal produced by his unraced dam Epic Scataway, by Scat Daddy. His third dam is Unbridled Sidney, by Unbridled’s Song, a multiple stakes winner of over $660,000 and half-sister to graded stakes winner Caller One and graded winner and sire Prospect Bay.

Book 4 Highlights

Tuesday’s Session 8 saw the New York-bred topper of Book 4, a bay filly by Mendelssohn bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds & Valerie Dailey and foaled at Sequel New York in Hudson. Trainer Ken McPeek, Agent, made the winning bid of $185,000. Consigned by Sequel and offered as Hip 2741, the filly was foaled on April 17, 2021. The filly’s dam is Midnight in Giada, by Midnight Lute. A winner in her own right, Midnight in Giada received several timely catalogue updates that improved her produce record to her status as a dam of two foals of racing age, both winners. The filly’s second dam Chagall is a graded stakes performer. Multiple graded winner Diabolical, an earner of just shy of seven figures, is a standout under the filly’s fourth dam.

Hip 2741, a daughter of Mendelssohn co-bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds and Valerie Dailey, sold for $185,000 Tuesday at Keeneland. Photo courtesy of Sequel New York.

The male New York-bred topper of Book 4, like the filly, is by Mendelssohn, whose first crop are 2-year-olds of 2022 and who sits at seventh in the first-crop sire rankings. Bred by Steve Schuster and foaled on January 26, 2021 at Old Saratoga Equine Services in Schuylerville, the colt (Hip 1961) is out of Passionate Diva, a winner by Street Cry (IRE) who last changed hands at public auction when purchased by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock at the 2014 Keeneland November sale for $60,000. She has produced three winners from four foals to start, headed by stakes-performing New York-bred Mashnee Girl. The filly’s second dam is multiple graded winner Roshani.

Hip 1961, a colt by Mendelssohn and half brother to stakes-placed $180,000-earner Mashnee Girl, sold for $170,000 Monday at Keeneland. Photo courtesy of Richwood South.

Laoban Sires Top Yearling by a New York-Based Sire

The top New York-sired yearling to change hands at Keeneland to date is colt by Laoban from the stallion’s final New York crop of 46 reported live foals. In 2021 Laoban relocated to WinStar Farm in Kentucky, where he died unexpectedly in May 2021 at the age of 8.

Calumet Farm made a final bid of $130,000 on the sale colt, who was bred and consigned by Sequel Stallions New York, the farm where he was foaled on May 19, 2021 (Hip 2611). He is the most recent foal for his dam Elrose, a daughter of Deputy Minister and a half-sister to none other than Champion and Kentucky Derby hero Silver Charm. A proven and successful producer, Elrose has 14 foals, 12 of whom have started and 10 of whom are winners. Graded winner Super Freaky, by Smart Strike, is the most accomplished of the group. Her filly Right There is a stakes winner and graded stakes performer. With no foal in 2022 after being bred to Honest Mischief, she has been bred back to the same sire.

Books 5-6, which conclude the 2022 Keeneland September yearling sale, will be offered Wednesday through Saturday, September 21-24. Forty-four more New York-breds are catalogued for these final four session. Sessions begin at 10 a.m. ET.

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