|Mendelssohn (Scat Daddy) was last year's Keeneland topper at $3 million. He broke his maiden last month.|
While summer yearling sales always provide highlights for first-crop stallion ads, the Keeneland September yearling sale seems to be more of an overall indicator of their reception with the quality of the yearlings on offer running across the board. Additionally, this year, Fasig-Tipton’s new Turf Showcase the day before the Keeneland September sale also provides a place for the more turf-orientated horses to shine, making this an interesting year in Kentucky.
Below are a few of the first-crop sires who will be ones to watch at both sales over the next two weeks based on their reception at previous sales, the pages of their offerings and a few other factors that could make them interesting commercial successes or bargains.
Cairo Prince (Pioneerof the Nile) – The star of the first crop sire show this year has undoubtedly been Airdrie Stud’s Cairo Prince (stood in partnership with Godolphin), who has had 13 of his 17 sold bring six figures in the ring at the yearling sales including a $500,000 colt. The median of $130,000 and average of $177,647 both came off a $10,000 stud fee for his first year at stud, which attracted 148 mares for 119 live foals, according to The Jockey Club. Cairo Prince doesn’t have any yearlings in the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase but has 48 currently scheduled to go through the ring at Keeneland September over the next two weeks so it could be another huge sale for him with 14 horses in Book 2.
Fed Biz (Giant’s Causeway) – Out of a half-sister to Tale of the Cat (Storm Cat) and the dam of Johannesburg (Hennessy), multiple Group 2 winner Fed Biz has a stallion pedigree behind him. Standing at WinStar Farm, he also should have gotten a lot of support in the shed and bred 275 mares in his first two seasons. Thirteen of those foals conceived in his first season have sold at summer yearling sales for an average of $104,615 and median of $85,000 this year with the highest priced being a $275,000 colt. He’ll have 40 go through the ring at Keeneland September, including a colt out of a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Condo Commando (Hip 379), a filly out of a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Sky Diva (Hip 1402), a half-brother to Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Caleb’s Posse (Hip 1517) and a half-sister to the dam of Grade 1 winner Force the Pass (Hip 1644).
Goldencents (Into Mischief) – A two-time Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner, Goldencents has the credentials to stand on his own four hooves without any help but add in being by Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday), whose fee is shooting up to $100,000 in 2018 on a nearly full book and Goldencents looks like he could make things interesting this sale. To be fair, he hasn’t been a huge hit yet in the ring this season with his average sitting at $49,496 for nine sold so far so saying he’ll have huge success here may be a bit of a stretch. But he does have 38 going through the ring at Keeneland with many having blacktype close-up on their pages and two in Book 2.
Magician (Galileo) – A Group 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and Group 1 Irish 2,000 Guineas winner, Magician is the first horse on this list to have yearlings in both the Fasig-Tipton Turf Showcase and Keeneland September. He only has 22 between the two sales but could get European attention as a classic winner on that continent. He’s only had three go through the ring so far this year with all three selling for an average of $25,989, about two times his stud fee.
Mucho Macho Man (Macho Uno) – The Mucho Macho Mans may not be commercial yearling types if they follow their sire’s more classic build but they’ve been useful at the earlier sales this year with 13 selling for an average of $46,544 and median of $38,000 off a $15,000 stud fee with his top priced yearling being a $140,000 colt. The Breeders’ Cup Classic winner has 10 selling at Keeneland as of right now with the highlight probably being a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Big Score (Hip 1357).
Noble Mission (Galileo) – A full-brother to Frankel, Noble Mission is another with horses in both the Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland sales. A European champion, Noble Mission had a weanling sell for $210,000 last year and his only yearling to sell this year brought $80,000. He has 54 yearlings between the two sales with some good pages including a grandson of a Grade 1 winner (Fasig-Tipton Hip 14), a filly out of a half-sister to Grade 1 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos (FT Hip 34), a grandson of Grade 1 winner Shared Interest (FT Hip 123), a granddaughter of multiple Grade 1 winner Sightseek (Hip 137), a colt out of a half-sister to two Group 1 placed fillies (Keeneland Hip 728), a filly out of a half-sister to a multiple Hong Kong champion (Hip 1064), a grandson of Grade 1 winner Honest Lady (Hip 1353), and a colt out of a half-sister to Gabby’s Golden Gal (Hip 1999).
|Noble Mission's Hip 1064 (out of a half to a Hong Kong champion) as a foal.|
Real Solution (Kitten’s Joy) – It may be a stretch this sale that a son of Kitten’s Joy is one to watch at a sale as Kitten’s Joy himself has never been commercial but Real Solution is an interesting one who may prove to be a bargain at both the Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland sales. A multiple Grade 1 winner, Real Solution only had 40 foals in his first crop according to The Jockey Club with 15 going through the ring over the next few weeks. Included in that group is a three-quarters brother to Grade 3 winner Kitten Kaboodle (FT Hip 33), a half-brother to a Group 3 winner in Peru (Hip 113), a filly out of a half-sister to Brother Derek (Keeneland Hip 2893), another three-quarters brother to two stakes winners (Hip 3325) and a filly out of a half-sister to Grade 1 winner We Miss Artie (Hip 3772).
Strong Mandate (Tiznow) – The first of two Tiznow colts to win the Grade 1 Hopeful Stakes in the last five years, Strong Mandate has 35 yearlings in the Keeneland sale only a month after having a filly sell for $825,000 in Saratoga and two months after a colt sold for $240,000 at Fasig-Tipton July off $10,000 stud fees. All but one of Strong Mandate’s offerings are in Book 3 or later so he probably won’t have any upper six figure yearlings here but could still make noise in those later books.
|Strong Mandate as a yearling at Keeneland September.|
Verrazano (More Than Ready) – The interesting thing about Verrazano is that he showed he had talent in both the US and Europe so he could have a large group of buyers wanting his yearlings. He’s had a $285,000 and $230,000 colt and filly respectively but may be able to raise those top prices here with 64 yearlings at Keeneland – including being one of only two horses on this list to have a Book 1 offering at Keeneland, that being a three-quarters brother to multiple graded stakes winner Made You Look (hip 61) – and four at Fasig-Tipton including a Group 1 French Oaks winner Nebraska Tornado granddaughter (Hip 38). It will be quite interesting to see where all the Verrazanos go at the end of the sales.
Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song) – With all 11 of his yearlings to sell so far bringing six figures, including a $475,000 colt and $260,000 filly, don’t be surprised if Will Take Charge is challenging Cairo Prince for the top first-crop sire spot at the Keeneland sale this year. Which may help even more is that his half-brother Take Charge Indy stands fourth in the First-Crop Sire race rankings by winners with nine, including one stakes winner showing that the family should be able to produce racehorses (remember, his half-sister Charming also produced champion Take Charge Brandi.) His offerings include a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Twirling Candy (Hip 331) and a half-brother to Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Plum Pretty (Hip 437).
|Will Take Charge's Hip 978 as a foal.|