September Sale Grads in Belmont Sweep
September Sale Grads in Belmont Sweep
An impressive victory by Arcangelo in the 155th running of the $1.5 million Belmont (G1) led a 1-2-3 finish by graduates of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale in the final classic of the North American racing season. The 3-year-old son of Arrogate held off a strong stretch challenge from Forte, with Tapit Trice a nose back in third to round out the September Sale trifecta in the “Test of the Champion.”
Arcangelo became the 11th Keeneland sales graduate to win the Belmont since 2006, joining Mo Donegal (2022), Sir Winston (2019), undefeated Triple Crown winner Justify (2018), Creator (2016), Palace Malice (2013), Ruler On Ice (2011), Drosselmeyer (2010), Da’Tara (2008), Rags to Riches (2007) and Jazil (2006).
A Historic Belmont
The 2023 Belmont was one of many firsts—the first win in the 1½-mile marathon for jockey Javier Castellano and the first Grade 1 win for Blue Rose Farm of Jon Ebbert—but it will be etched in history because Jena Antonucci became the first female to train the winner of a Triple Crown race.
A $35,000 Bargain
With the $900,000 winning Belmont purse, Arcangelo improved his bankroll to $1,067,400, with three wins and one second from five starts. Ebbert bought the gray ridgling from the Gainesway consignment at the 2021 September Sale for what now appears to be a bargain $35,000.
A Diamond in the Rough
Arcangelo’s purchase price belied his blue-blooded pedigree. The ridgling bred in Kentucky by Don Alberto Corp. is from the second crop of Arrogate and produced from Modeling, a daughter of leading sire Tapit. The colt’s female family includes Belmont winners Jazil and Rags to Riches, both produced from 2007 Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour.
Fortuitous Owner-Trainer Meet at September Sale
Owner Ebbert not only found his Belmont winner at the 2021 September Sale, but that is where he also met and decided to turn his new yearling purchase over to Antonucci, who was shopping the sale with her business partner Katie Miranda in search of yearlings that could be re-sold. The fortuitous meeting led to an historic Belmont.
Forte and Tapit Trice Complete Sweep
Forte and Tapit Trice, both trained by Todd Pletcher, finished close behind Arcangelo to complete the September Sale trifecta. Forte, whose impressive victory in last year’s FanDuel Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Keeneland earned the colt an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male, was purchased by Jacob West’s West Bloodstock, agent for owners Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable, from Eaton Sales. Tapit Trice, winner of Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (G1), was purchased in Book 1 of the September Sale by Whisper Hill Farm for $1.3 million and races for Whisper Hill and breeder-consignor Gainesway.
September Sale Grads Dominate 2023 Classics
As the curtain fell on the Triple Crown season, stellar performances by September Sale graduates once again showed by the auction is the premier source of classic success. Of the nine top spots in the Derby, Preakness and Belmont, seven went to September Sale grads. This included a 1-2-3 for September Sale graduates in both the Derby and Belmont.
Kentucky Derby winner and Preakness third-place finisher Mage was purchased for $235,000 by the New Team pinhooking partnership of Sequel Bloodstock’s Becky Thomas and partners Lewis Lakin and Joey Platt from the Runnymede Farm consignment at the September Sale. Derby runner-up Two Phil’s was offered at the September Sale and campaigned by breeder Phillip Sagan, Patricia’s Hope LLC and Madaket Stables. Angel of Empire, third in the Derby, was bought by Albaugh Family Stables for $70,000 from Warrendale Sales at the September Sale.