Yearling Buyers’ Dreams Come True

Yearling Buyers’ Dreams Come True

Keeneland September Yearling Sale buyers dream of acquiring athletic individuals that go on to achieve success on racing’s biggest stages. Those dreams came true over the opening weekend of the Keeneland Spring Meet for Jeff Drown when Zandon came from off the pace for an impressive victory in the Toyota Blue Grass (G1) and for the partnership of Repole Stable, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Michael House, whose Nest romped home to win the Central Bank Ashland (G1).

Both Zandon and Nest’s victories vaulted them to the top of the Kentucky Derby and Oaks conversations.

Zandon, Toyota Blue Grass (G1) Winner
Nest, Central Bank Ashland (G1)

From Last to First

Expertly handled by jockey Flavien Prat, Zandon was last early in the 1 1/8-mile Toyota Blue Grass before weaving his way through traffic and finding running room on the outside in the stretch to prevail by 2 1/4 lengths. The victory was the second in four career starts for Zandon, who has earned $713,000 and ranks second on the leader board for the Derby, with 114 points.

What a great race. What a fantastic performance.
Jeff Drown

Another Astute Purchase By Ryan

Bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones, Zandon was purchased by bloodstock agent Mike Ryan in Drown’s name for $170,000 at the 2020 September Sale. 

He was at Barn 48 and I called Jeff after I left the barn and I said ‘we need to buy this horse. It’s late in the sale and he’s by an unproven sire, but he’s a standout and it might take a couple hundred thousand to buy him’.
Mike Ryan

‘Easy Horse to Like’

Ryan had already inspected Zandon at Airdrie Stud a month before the colt went through the sales ring. When possible, Mike and Mary Ryan attempt to make farm visits to see September Sale yearlings that are being offered in the first part of the auction.

The farm visits are so huge... When we go to the farm we look at everything we can in Books 1, 2, and 3. Sometimes the farm personnel will say ‘we have several nice horses in the later books.’ When somebody I respect says that to me I take a look.
Mike Ryan
He was a well grown, handsome colt with plenty of scope--very racy, an excellent mover... He was an easy horse to like.
Mike Ryan

Nest Moves to Fore in Ashland

Well-bred 3-year-old filly Nest was ridden from off the pace by Irad Ortiz Jr. and after shaking off the competition easily won the Central Bank Ashland by 8 ¼ lengths. The victory improved the Curlin filly’s bankroll to $623,050 as she has won four of five career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. Nest ranks third on the Kentucky Oaks leader board with 120 points.

She’s a filly that’s improved all the time. We’ve always felt like as she matured and the races got longer, she was going to get better.
Todd Pletcher

A Team Effort

Bred in Kentucky by the Lyster family’s Ashview Farm and Colts Neck Stables, Nest was a $350,000 September Sale purchase that was the result of a team effort by Repole Stable and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.

Nest as a yearling was just well made. An incredibly athletic filly. You could tell she had the frame that would allow her to grow into the beautiful filly that she is today.
Jacob West, Buyer