LEXINGTON, KY (Sept. 16, 2016) – Bob and Cassidy Edwards’ E5 Racing Thoroughbreds of Florida signaled its desire to participate at racing’s highest level by purchasing through Mike Ryan, agent, a $1 million colt by Curlin during Friday’s fourth session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, which saw active trade that fueled across-the-board increases in results.
During the Friday session, the first day of the two-day Book 2 catalog, Keeneland sold 242 yearlings for $38,898,000 compared to $38,462,000 paid for 258 horses at the corresponding session last year. The average of $160,736 rose 7.82 percent from $149,078 in 2015, and the median of $130,000 increased 8.33 percent from $120,000 last year.
The Curlin colt is the ninth seven-figure yearling of the sale and the first million-dollar yearling in Book 2 since 2011.
“Having a horse sell for a million dollars in Book 2 was a nice surprise,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “We say all the time that a good horse will sell well anywhere it appears in the sale. Book 2 is not that far away from Book 1. This colt deserved his purchase price, which indicates we still have the people here to support a horse of that quality.”
Through the first four days of the 13-day auction, 588 yearlings have sold for $159,123,000, down 7.93 percent compared with last year’s four-day gross of $172,823,000 for 701 horses. The cumulative average increased 9.77 percent from $246,538 in 2015 to $270,617. The median of $200,000 equaled last year’s median.
“There was a great depth of buyers, a good cross section,” Russell said about the activity on Friday. “We’ve seen good participation from the European pinhookers, who have had great success with horses purchased at this sale. Meanwhile, the domestic buying has been very strong.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised, consigned the $1 million colt, whose dam is stakes winner Glinda the Good, by Hard Spun. He is from the family of Grade 3 winners Take the Ribbon and Exfactor and stakes winners Flash Forward, Flash Mash, Bright Magic, Market Magic and Hot War.
“He has a great mind on him,” Ryan said. “He’s a very easy horse to like and it didn’t take much genius to pick him out. He’s as good a Curlin as you want to find. I knew he was going to be hard to get and that we were going to have to stretch to get him.”
This year, E5 Racing’s stable includes Zindaya, a 5-year-old daughter of More Than Ready who won the Intercontinental Stakes in June at Belmont for trainer Chad Brown. Ryan, agent, purchased Zindaya for $550,000 at Keeneland’s 2015 November Breeding Stock Sale.
On Friday, trainer Mark Casse signed the $625,000 ticket on behalf of Everett Dobson and John C. Oxley’s The Oakie Connection to acquire the second-high seller, a Pioneerof the Nile colt out of the Deputy Minister mare Pontiana. Gainesway, agent, consigned the colt, whose second dam is Grade 1 winner Shine Again. This is the first horse Dobson and Oxley have purchased together.
“We just loved him, but of course we love Pioneerof the Nile,” Casse said. “We still believe that (Oxley’s) Classic Empire (a son of Pioneerof the Nile who won this year’s Bashford Manor-G3) is one of the best 2-year-olds in the country.”
Tom Conway paid $550,000 for a colt by Curlin out of the winning Giant’s Causeway mare On My Way consigned by Eaton Sales, agent for Waymore LLC.
“I’m gonna win the (Kentucky) Derby with him,” Conway said. “I’d also like to win the (Grade 1 Toyota) Blue Grass (at Keeneland) like I did (in 2010) with Stately Victor. You can look at him and tell he is an athlete. A horse like that comes along once or twice in a lifetime and I am 80 years old, so if not now, when?”
Lane’s End purchased a colt by Uncle Mo for $525,000. Dromoland Farm, agent, consigned the son of the winning Forestry mare Greenback Forest, a half-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Elloluv.
Dromoland Farm, agent, also consigned the Paynter colt purchased for $520,000 by Mike Ryan, agent for E5 Racing and Magic Cap Stable. A member of the first crop by the Grade 1 winner, the colt is out of the Not For Love mare Bobbie Use and is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Starship Truffles.
“I thought he was one of the top horses of the day,” Ryan said. “(E5 Racing and Magic Cap) really enjoy racing. Last year we bought all fillies, but this year they wanted to mix it up and get some good colts. I think this horse is exceptional.
“I love Paynter,” Ryan continued. “I have a share in him. I was so impressed with him on the race track – his courage, his tenacity, his desire to win. And then to overcome an incredible illness (colitis) and perform so well afterwards, he had to have the heart of a lion. This is the best one I have seen by him and obviously I was not alone because we stretched. We stretched big time.”
A colt by More Than Ready sold to China Horse Club/Maverick Racing for $500,000. Elm Tree Farm, agent, consigned the colt, a half-brother to stakes-placed Poseidon’s Way. He is out of the winning Smart Strike mare Winsome Ways and is from the family of stakes winners Don Dulce and Sweet Relish. His third dam is Grade 1 winner Ms. Eloise.
Asked what he liked about the colt, Elliott Walden, representing Maverick Racing, said, “His balance, and obviously More Than Ready is a great sire. He is very athletic and looked like he’d be the kind to be able to go on both (dirt and turf) surfaces, which is what we are looking for.”
“We bring them here to try to sell them,” Jody Huckabay of Elm Tree said. “He’s a very nice horse. Everybody was on him. We’re very pleased. Book 2 has been very good to us (in the past).”
A half-sister to Spinaway (G1) winner Condo Commando sold to Steven Young, agent, for $385,000 to be the day’s top-priced filly. Consigned by Gainesway, agent, she is from the first crop of Jimmy Creed and out of multiple Grade 2 winner Yearly Report, by General Meeting.
Ahmed Zayat’s Zayat Stables, which bred and raced 2015 Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner American Pharoah, bought five horses for $1,395,000 to be the session’s leading buyer.
Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, sold 37 yearlings for $5,247,000 to be the session’s leading consignor.
The September Sale continues through Sunday, Sept. 25, with all sessions beginning at 10 a.m. ET. The entire sale is streamed live at Keeneland.com.