September Sale Grads Shine over Labor Day Weekend

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Labor Day Weekend Success

As curtains fell on the premier boutique race meets at Saratoga Race Course and Del Mar over the Labor Day weekend, some of the most impressive performances were turned in by recent Keeneland September Yearling Sale graduates, including Grade 1 wins by Echo Zulu, Max Player, Pinehurst and War Like Goddess.

Additionally, the catalog pages of several entries in this year’s sale were enhanced by Grade 1 victories of full or half siblings over the Labor Day weekend.

Coming on the eve of this year’s September Sale, the accomplishments of the holiday weekend performers underscored why the auction is the preferred destination for trainers and owners seeking athletes that can perform on the biggest stages throughout the world.

September Sale

Gun Runner Filly Shines

Echo Zulu, a 2-year-old filly from the first crop of Horse of the Year Gun Runner, showcased her talent at the highest level by becoming her sire’s first Grade 1 winner with a front-running victory as the prohibitive favorite in the Spinaway. Winchell Thoroughbreds, in whose colors Gun Runner raced, bought Echo Zulu for $300,000 from the Betz Thoroughbreds consignment at the 2020 September Sale. Echo Zulu is out of Grade 2 winner Letgomyecho, whose yearling filly by American Phoaroah will sell in Book 1 of the September Sale as Hip 43.

ECHO ZULU winner of the Spinaway S. (G1)
Echo Zulu
Steve Asmussen, Trainer of Echo Zulu
I can’t measure how much I wanted to have Gun Runner’s first Grade 1 winner. She is all class. Training her, she’ll go as easy as you want her to go and picks it up when asked. She’s not been in a hurry for a filly that’s as fast as she is.
Steve Asmussen, Trainer

Another Precocious Juvenile

Another precocious product of last year’s September Sale closed Del Mar’s meet on a high note when Pinehurst led from the outset en route to a commanding 4 1/2-length triumph in the Runhappy Del Mar Futurity (G1) for a large ownership group that includes SF Racing, Starlight Racing and Madaket Stables, who were among the partners on Triple Crown winner Justify. The bay son of Twirling Candy bred by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding was a $385,000 purchase from the Woods Edge Farm consignment to Keeneland. The colt had previously gone through the Keeneland sales ring where he was sold for $180,000 as a weanling.

PINEHURST wins the Del Mar Futurity (G1)

“Goddess” Lives up to Name

George Krikorian’s War Like Goddess lived up to her name when the English Channel filly charmed the Saratoga crowd with an impressive triumph in the Flower Bowl (G1) for her fourth consecutive graded stakes triumph that included the Bewitch (G3) at Keeneland. Calumet Farm bred War Like Goddess, who was offered as part of the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment to the 2018 September Sale. War Like Goddess has won six of seven career starts for trainer Bill Mott and earned $713,684.

WAR LIKE GODDESS winner of the Flower Bowl (G1)
War Like Goddess

She has developed very nicely. As a 2-year-old, she was kind of a spindly little girl but she has filled out, gotten stronger, and is very professional.
Bill Mott, Trainer

Maxing It at Saratoga

Another stable star at Saratoga for Steve Asmussen, who became the all-time leading North American trainer by number of wins during the Spa meet, was Max Player, a commanding 4-length winner of the $1 million Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1). The 4-year-old son of Honor Code, who races for George E. Hall and SportBLX Thoroughbreds Corp., has earned more than $1.2 million. Offered as part of the Lane’s End consignment at the September Sale in 2018, Max Player was bred by K & G Stables.


Jockey Gold Cup (G1) winner MAX PLAYER
Max Player

He’s matured wonderfully. He’s made a beautiful older horse, getting strong and running his best races at the right time.
Steve Asmussen, Trainer

Catalog Page Boost from Gunite

A filly entered in this year’s September Sale should attract attention from buyers because  her full brother Gunite posted an impressive victory in the Hopeful (G1) at Saratoga after finishing second in the Saratoga Special (G2). Both Gunite and the filly, cataloged as Hip 539 by Gainesway, agent, are by Horse of the Year Gun Runner, whose first foals have been quick out of the gate with two Grade 1 winners at Saratoga. The yearling filly was produced from the stakes-winning mare Simple Surprise.

Into Mischief Colt’s Pedigree Enhanced

The already stakes-laden female family of an Into Mischief colt entered in this year’s September Sale became even stronger over the Labor Day weekend on the merits of a victory by his half-sister Grace Adler in the TVG Del Mar Debutante (G1). The bay colt is cataloged as Hip 99 and is the property of Blue Heaven Farm, which also bred the undefeated Curlin filly Grace Adler. Our Khristy, dam of the Into Mischief yearling and Grace Adler, is a graded stakes winner and graded stakes producer who is a half-sister to three stakes winners, including Whitney (G1) winner and sire Bullsbay.

Hip #99