It is no surprise that when shopping at auction for athletic young horses, trainers and their clients seek prospects to one day put them in the winner’s circle. Year after year, the Keeneland September Yearling Sale affords trainers the best opportunity to find potential in every book.
“Great Price for His Pedigree”
When shopping the 2018 September Sale, Blacker and his clients landed on a More Than Ready colt that appeared to be a horse ideal for grass racing, rather than the fashionable future stallion prospect that Book 1 buyers often battle over in the sales ring. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency on behalf of Fred W. Hertrich III, the colt named Hit the Road was bought privately for $160,000 as an RNA to sale at Keeneland. The purchase proved most fortuitous when Hit the Road won the Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1).
“This Sale is Everything”
Mark Casse, a member of the Racing Hall of Fame, is a September Sale regular whose best purchase was John C. Oxley’s three-time Grade 1 winner Classic Empire, a $475,000 acquisition from Warrendale Sales, agent for breeders Steven Nicholson and Brandi Nicholson. The Pioneerof the Nile colt earned an Eclipse Award as champion 2-year-old male and retired with more than $2.5 million in earnings.
Amoss Focuses on September
For Tom Amoss, the large number of horses to scrutinize in September means buyers have the opportunity to find exactly what they want. This situation paid off for the conditioner and owner Joel Politi when they purchased Seregenti Empress, an Alternation filly, for $70,000 from Brookdale Sales. She went on to win two Grade 1 stakes, including the Kentucky Oaks (G1). The filly bred by Tri Eques Bloodstock closed her career with a second-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (G1) at Keeneland.
McPeek Finds Grade 1 Winners
Trainer Kenny McPeek has a lengthy list of September Sale successes, many purchased for modest amounts. They include two-time Horse of the Year Curlin (a $57,000 purchase), champion and classic winner Swiss Skydiver ($35,000), as well as Grade 1 winners Pure Fun ($22,000), Dream Empress ($60,000) and Tejano Run. A $20,000 purchase from Runnymede Farm, Tejano Run won Keeneland’s Breeders’ Futurity (G2) as a 2-year-old and the following year finished second in the Kentucky Derby (G1).
Sale Timing Suits Baltas
Trainer Richard Baltas said the timing of the September Sale is well suited to the needs of his clients because the offerings are so mature by the fall. Among the September grads in Baltas’ barn is Idol, winner of this year’s Santa Anita H. (G1) for his longtime client Calvin Nguyen. The Curlin colt was consigned by Denali Stud, agent for breeder My Meadowview Farm, to the 2018 September Sale, where he was purchased by John S. Holmes for $375,000.