By Sarah Mace
A pair of colts proved the most popular of the New York-breds offered in Book 3 of Keeneland’s 2023 September Yearling Sale, which took place over two sessions on Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17.
Through Book 3, 18 New York-breds have sold at Keeneland (of 24 offered), led by a Book 1 Candy Ride (ARG) colt bred by Joe Fafone who brought $525,000 (read more). The New York-bred topper of Book 2 was a Chester and Mary Broman-bred Into Mischief colt who sold for $500,000 in Book 2 (read more).
Total sales of New York-breds to date amount to $3,310,110, with a robust average price of $194,706 and a $150,000 median. With only one RNA among the eight New York-breds offered in Book 3, the overall New York-bred RNA rate saw a welcome moderation to 25% (from the 37.5% posted at the conclusion of Book 2).
The New York-bred topper of Book 3 was Hip 1687, a chestnut colt from the first crop of Improbable bred by Jerry Bilinski, DVM and foaled on March 11, 2022 at Bilinski’s Waldorf Farm in North Chatham. Unveiled as a weanling at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Mixed sale, he was purchased by Norevale Farm for $170,000. Consigned at Keeneland by Paramount Sales, Agent LV, he went to Mathew Robert for $150,000.
The sale colt is the second foal from Ellie’s Smile, an unplaced daughter of Tapit who is a half-sister to multiple graded stakes winner Dust and Diamonds, by Vindication. Winner of the Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, Dust and Diamonds finished second to Groupie Doll in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint, retiring with $496,260 in earnings. Dust and Diamonds has gone on to produce Do Deuce, a multiple Group 1 winner and juvenile champion in Japan, and U.S. multiple graded stakes performer Much Better. The sale colt’s third dam is stakes winner Darling Dame.
Ellie’s Smile was purchased by Bilinski for $65,000 at the 2020 Keeneland November Breeding Stock sale. Her 2023 colt by Not This Time did not survive, and she has been bred for 2024 to American Pharoah.
Barry K. Schwartz purchased the second highest-priced New York-bred of Book 3 for a winning bid of $140,000. The bay colt by Kantharos was catalogued as Hip 1832 and consigned by Sequel New York, Agent IV. He RNA’d as a weanling at the Fasig-Tipton New York Fall Mixed sale in Saratoga on a $97,000 bid.
Bred by Sequel Thoroughbreds LLC & Tuscany Bloodstock and foaled at Sequel Stallions in Hudson on April 4, 2022, the Kantharos Colt is out of Owl Moon, a multiple winner by Ghostzapper and already a producer of four foals to win from four starters, led by stakes performer Blue Strike, a filly by Smart Strike.
Owl Moon is also a half-sister to turf stakes winner Fool’s Paradise and stakes producer Bodie’s Gold. The third dam, stakes performer Lucinda K., is the dam of three stakes horses, led by graded winner Moonwalk and Thatswhatimean, a stakes winner and graded stakes performer. Grade 1 winner Stormy Lucy also appears under the third dam. In April 2023, Owl Moon foaled a filly by Mitole and has been bred to Early Voting.
With the first three Books of the auction completed, the Keeneland Sale will continue uninterrupted with daily sessions though Saturday, September 23, the final session of Book 6.