By Sarah Mace
The 2024 renewal of the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale in Lexington, KY this week (January 8-11) featured a $200,000 New York-bred broodmare and handful of intriguing short yearlings – three fillies and a colt.
Overall, the Keeneland January sale gave back 16.0% of last year’s receipts, bringing in $38,330,300 compared to last year’s total of $45,408,300. The sales company, which cited a cumulative average price of $46,126 (down 2.3% from the $47,202 average in 2023) and median price of $15,000 (down 21.0% from $19,000), pronounced the results “healthy” and “very fair.” The auction’s RNA rate was 22.8% versus last year’s 22.9%.
In this context, the cohort of New York-breds at Keeneland did well, outperforming the sale’s overall clearance rate and matching the median. Of 85 New York-breds offered, 72 sold, for an excellent 15.3% RNA rate. The median price for a New York-bred was $15,000 and the average came in at $29,818.
The top New York-bred seller was one of the older horses on offer: 5-year-old maiden mare Preposterous, who brought $200,000 from Sinclair Thoroughbreds in Tuesday’s Book 1 Session 2 (Hip 478). A two-time winner by Union Rags and six-figure earner, Preposterous was bred to Good Magic on April 12, 2023.
Bred by Fifth Avenue Bloodstock and foaled in 2019 at Song Hill Thoroughbreds, Preposterous was offered at Keeneland by Indian Creek, Agent. Her dam Krazy Kathy is a full sister to Grade 2 winner Intense Holiday and a half-sister to multiple graded winner and millionaire Money Multiplier. Another half-sister is the dam of successful graded-stakes-performing sprinter Threes Over Deuces. This was Preposterous’ first time under the hammer.
Broodmares aside, the unveiling of tomorrow’s stars in the form of short yearlings inevitably brings intrigue and excitement to Keeneland January. A trio of New York-bred yearling fillies had the distinction of bringing six figures at this venue, led by Hip 145, who got things going on Monday in Book 1, Session 1 when scooped up by SJW Enterprises for $130,000.
Bred by Cypress Creek Equine and foaled at Sequel Stallions New York on February 25, 2023, Hip 145 is a dark bay or brown filly by McKinzie, whose first foals are 2-year-olds of 2024. Consigned by Sequel New York, Agent IV for her auction debut, she is out of Stella Performance, a two-time winner by Trappe Shot who has produced three winners from three foals to start.
The mare got an eye-catching catalogue update in December when Antonio of Venice, her 2021 colt by Laoban, won the $500,000 Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes Series. The filly’s third dam, Irish-bred Polar Bird, is a group winner in Great Britain and multiple stakes producer. Stella Performance was bred last year to New York sire Keepmeinmind, by Laoban.
Selling in Tuesday’s second session of Book 1 was another standout filly, Hip 568, a dark bay or brown filly by Authentic, whose first foals are 2-year-olds of 2024. Purchased by Avocet Bloodstock for $120,000 from the consignment of Mulholland Springs, Agent IV, she was bred by Morera Breeding & MBR and foaled, like the topper, at Sequel Stallions New York on May 16, 2023. She issues from the family of Catholic Boy.
The filly’s dam is Swak, a winner by Scat Daddy. Second dam Coya is a stakes winner, and third dam Winner’s Edge is a graded stakes performer and stakes producer whose daughter Song of Bernadette is the dam of Grade 1 Travers winner and sire Catholic Boy. Swak, two of whose four foals have started, was bred to Honest Mischief in 2023.
The third six-figure filly of the group, who also brought $120,000, belongs to the family of longshot Kentucky Derby hero Mine that Bird. Bred by James Doyle and foaled at Stone Bridge Farm on March 21, 2023, the chestnut filly by Practical Joke sold in final session of the sale on Thursday from the consignment of Doug Arnold’s Buck Pond Farm, Agent. The winning bidder was Sycamore Hall Farm / David Wade, Agent.
The filly’s dam Mezah is an unplaced daughter of Tapit who has produced three winners from five foals to start, and is currently believed to be in foal to Street Sense. She is a half-sister to Mine That Bird who, in addition to his Derby win and placings in the other two classics, was juvenile champion in Canada and bankrolled over $2.2 million for his many achievements on the racetrack. The filly’s second dam Mining My Own also produced multiple Grade 1 winner and $1.7 million-earner Dullahan, by Even the Score, and, last but not least, multiple stakes winner Mine That Star, by Pioneerof the Nile.
The top-selling New York-bred short yearling colt emerged in the fourth and final session of Keeneland January as Hip 1390. A bay by Practical Joke who was consigned by Indian Creek, the colt went to HMC Ltd for $90,000. Bred by Keithshire Farm and foaled at Stone Bridge Farm on March 12, 2023, the colt is the first foal for unraced mare Fancy Bluff, by Unified.
The luminaries of this colt’s family appear under his third and fourth dams. Third dam Gift List by Bernardini produced Grade 1 Alabama winner Dunbar Road, by Quality Road, who notched additional wins in the Grade 2 Delaware Handicap and Grade 2 Mother Goose Stakes. A runner up in the 2021 Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Distaff and third in the same race in 2020, Dunbar Road earned over $1.6 million. The colt’s fourth dam is stakes winner Private Gift, a half-sister to Grade 1 Mother Goose and Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Status and graded winner Alumni Hall, and dam of graded winners Private Mission and Secret Someone.
The breeding-stock sales season marches on in January and February, with the OBS January Winter Mixed Sale & HRA on January 23-24 and the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Winter Mixed Sale on February 5-6. Click here for New York-bred hip numbers and registration statuses.