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Scat Daddy’s Last Crop Remains In High Demand


Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse | 15.09.2017

Though the changed format continues to make year-on-year comparisons difficult, the fact that 11 seven-figure yearlings have been sold during the first three days of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale – compared with nine across the whole sale in 2016 – is one valid measure of a continued bull run. And certainly Wednesday's third session, the second of Book Two, again saw spirited bidding among the industry's major buyers driving prices upward.

The headline act once again was Scat Daddy (Johannesburg), whose final crop has been in such demand. MV Magnier of Coolmore, hoping for an heir to the stud’s much-lamented sire, paid the day’s top price of US$1,100,000 for his son out of the Tapit (Pulpit) mare Orchard Beach.

Another Scat Daddy colt had also topped the opening session of Book Two, when sold to Kerri Radcliffe Bloodstock for US$950,000.

Thrilled
This one, Hip 578,  is an Ontario-bred consigned by his breeder, David Anderson. “I’m more than thrilled,” Anderson said. “I mean this is over the top: my first million-dollar horse, and I couldn’t ask for a better home for him. I just hope he goes on and does well for the connections. He’s going to one of the greatest trainers in the world [Aidan O’Brien].

“As the momentum built on the last day, a lot of the proper players in the game were looking at the horse. I felt like the stars were aligned for a big price, I just didn’t know how much. Scat Daddy has been very good to me, and I got on the bandwagon late. He’s just been a tremendous sire and I think it’s evident with the prices of his yearlings.”

 

“He’s very lovely,” Magnier said of the colt. “Looks like he’s going to be a fast horse, a very good mover, all quality. Mr Anderson said he was the best horse he ever had on the farm, so let’s hope he’s right. It’s a lot of money for a horse. But he’s by the right sire that everybody wants, so I suppose he was entitled to it.”

Partnered
Magnier also partnered with Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm to purchase Hip 804,  a colt by Quality Road (Elusive Quality) for US$1,000,000. Trainer Chad Brown signed the ticket for the colt, a brother to multiple Grade Two winner Blofeld. Out of the stakes-winning mare Storm Minstrel (Storm Cat), he was consigned by Indian Creek, agent.

“We thought he was one of the nicest colts we saw all week,” Brown said. “He’s got a good pedigree. He’s everything we’re looking for.”

The day’s third millionaire was also secured by a partnership. After bidding against each other for horses, Kerri Radcliffe and Eric Fein teamed up to pay US$1,000,000 for Hip 844,  a colt by Orb (Malibu Moon) consigned by Dromoland Farm, agent.

Through the session, Keeneland reported 194 yearlings sold for a total of US$47,018,000, an average of US$242,361 and a median of US$180,000. With 97 horses failing to meet their reserves, the RNA rate was 33.3 per cent.

“A very good day,” Keeneland director of sales operations Geoffrey Russell said. “Book Two started off strong on Tuesday and continued through today. Having three million-dollar horses was a great bonus. The sires – Scat Daddy, Quality Road, and Orb – are good North American stock but were bought by an international market.

“The new format [a single Book One session followed by a three-day Book Two] is doing what we wanted it to do. It continues to show the results we expected. Buyers have been very engaged all the way through and prices have been very good.”

Falling just short of seven figures was Hip 564,  a colt from the first crop of Will Take Charge (Unbridled’s Song), who was acquired by Willis Horton Racing – who raced the Three Chimneys sire – for US$975,000. The colt, consigned by Jody and Michelle Huckabay of Elm Tree Farm, was bred by Elm Tree, Curt Leake, and Bart and Angie Stark from an unraced Bernardini (A. P. Indy) mare purchased for just US$150,000 while carrying the colt in utero.

 

“This colt reminded [Horton] a lot of Will Take Charge,” said Case Clay, chief commercial officer of Three Chimneys Farm. “He’s excited to have him; he’ll go to Steve Asmussen to train. The horse just stood like a statue, did everything right throughout the whole process. Checked all the boxes. Jody [Huckabay] raises a good horse.”

Since the colt was catalogued his half-brother Hunter O’Riley (Tiz Wonderful) had won the Bowling Green Stakes (Gr 2, 11f) at Saratoga.

 

“We were absolutely not expecting that much,” Jody Huckabay said. “We don’t even wish that high. We knew we had a lot of people interested. He has always been a good one. We foaled him and raised him at [Elm Tree]. The update was huge. We were screaming at the TV when Hunter O’Riley was coming down the stretch!

“I’ve sold a lot of high dollars but nothing like this. He’s a very, very good horse…” he said, choking back tears. “I just can’t talk.”

Shadwell Remain Active
Meanwhile, Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell paid US$750,000 for Hip 790,  a War Front (Danzig) colt from the family of Kentucky Derby (Gr 1, 10f) winner Giacomo (Holy Bull), consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent. The colt is out of the Grade Three-winning mare Stanwyck (Empire Maker).

“I’m really excited, but I loved him: he’s special,” breeder Ramona Bass said. “He’s going to a great place, so got to be happy with that, right? I spent a lot of money on the mare [sold for $2,400,000 at Keeneland’s 2014 November Breeding Stock Sale], and so I feel like it’s important to try and make some of that money back. I’m excited for the new owners – and for him.”

 

Shadwell also spent US$700,000 on Hip 668,  a son of Bodemeister (Empire Maker) from the family of Grade Two winner Tapiture (Tapit). Gainesway, agent, consigned the colt, who is out of the stakes-winning mare Remit (Tapit).

The leading buyer on Wednesday was agent Mike Ryan, who purchased eight yearlings for US$2,575,000. Lane’s End was the leading consignor with sales of US$4,345,000 for 19 yearlings.

Sales Statistics

Catalogued: 345
Offered: 290

Sold:   194

Aggregate: US$47,018,000
Average: US$242,361
Median: US$180,000

Top Price:   US$1,100,000


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