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Blame, Quality Road top new sires weanling sales
By Joe Nevills
The two Kentucky mixed sales in November offered buyers their first look at foals from a number of new sires.
Twenty-two first-crop sires had weanlings cataloged at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky selected fall mixed sale and the Keeneland November breeding stock sale, including five champions, three winners of Triple Crown races, and two Breeders’ Cup winners.
While the mixed sales give buyers a chance to get in on the ground floor with a young stallion’s offspring, the potential comes with the risk of the unknown when buying foals of unproven stallions.
“We’re really looking at the potential of the body of the horse, because you’ve really got nothing to go on to know whether those horses are going to double, triple, or quadruple your money,” said Ocala-based Richard Alker, a veterinarian, who purchases weanlings to pinhook for Synergy Thoroughbred Group. “We really just want to look at that body and know the body has potential to be something of value somebody’s going to look at as a yearling.”
Here is a look at how five high-profile sires fared through the first two major mixed sales of the season, through book four (Tuesday) of the Keeneland November sale and including the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky mixed sale.
The 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and champion older male has continued his dominance into the commercial market, leading all first-crop sires by average sale price.
The son of Arch had 13 offspring sell at the November sales for an average of $136,154. Bloodstock agent Steven Young signed the ticket on the most expensive Blame foal, a $320,000 colt out of Unbridled’s Song mare Lifeinthefastlane, dam of Grade 3 winner Eightyfiveinafifty.
“We had three of them in the sale and two of them sold very well, above our expectations,” said Fergus Galvin of Hunter Valley Farm, who consigned the most Blame foals in the November sales. “We had two fillies that were very athletic and had a very nice shape, and obviously well received in the marketplace.”
Galvin said there was a broad interest from buyers.
“He just seemed to be popular among a broad range of buyers, be it Europeans or Americans,” Galvin said, noting that Blame’s broodmare sire, Seeking the Gold, also increased the stallion’s popularity. “He is a stallion that could go either way with his pedigree. They could be dirt or turf or European types.”
Blame stands at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., and his fee in 2013 will be $30,000.
Lookin At Lucky
The highest-priced weanling among first-crop sires in November came courtesy of two-time champion Lookin At Lucky. English-based Badgers Bloodstock went to $500,000 for a colt out of Group 1-winning Sadler’s Wells mare Yesterday.
“We paid a serious amount of money for [Yesterday’s] full sister Song at Newmarket three years ago,” said Grant Pritchard-Gordon of Badgers Bloodstock. “With them both being daughters of Sadler’s Wells, there has always been an issue as to finding a good outcross stallion, and we were very interested to see just why the owner of Yesterday had chosen Lookin At Lucky. Having seen the colt, we knew that someone had perhaps opened up the Pandora’s box for us.”
Pritchard-Gordon said the European success of the colt’s grandsire, Smart Strike, also made the weanling an attractive prospect.
“We saw a lot of similarities in his foal, who had very good limbs and a great walk, seemingly very unfazed by the sales experience,” he said.
During the November sales, Lookin At Lucky had 10 weanlings sell for an average of $114,000.
Lookin At Lucky will stand the 2013 season at Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky., for a fee of $25,000.
The multiple Grade 1-winning Elusive Quality stallion Quality Road finished second among first-crop sires in both total sales and average price, with 14 weanlings selling for a total of $1,720,000 and average of $122,857.
A colt out of the Kingmambo mare Charming Tale led the way for the Quality Road progeny, selling to Shadwell Estate Co. for $410,000.
Hill ’n’ Dale Bloodstock bought the second-highest-priced Quality Road foal, a colt out of multiple stakes-producing Premiership mare Flashy Frolic, for $270,000.
“There’s a lot of bone, a lot of size,” Donato Lanni of Hill ’n’ Dale said about the Quality Road yearlings he saw. “They all seem pretty athletic. I’m sure he was bred to some nice mares, and he’s going to get some nice foals.”
Quality Road will stand at Lane’s End in Versailles, Ky., in 2013 for a fee of $25,000.
Grade 1 winner Eskendereya had seven foals from his first crop sell in November for an average of $71,286. However, Travis White of Taylor Made Stallions said the best is yet to come for the son of Giant’s Causeway.
“A lot of them are in breed-to-race programs, so I think that’s going to be helpful down the road,” White said. “I think they’ll be better yearlings.”
Stonestreet Stables bought the top-priced Eskendereya foal, going to $210,000 for a colt out of the winning Carson City mare Kit’s Girl, dam of multiple Grade 2 winner Eaton’s Gift.
As the stallion nominations manager at Taylor Made’s Nicholasville, Ky., farm, White has seen his share of Eskendereya foals.
“They’re big, strong horses,” he said. “They’ve got good bone to them. They’ve got good length of body, good scope. They’re big horses, and I think they’ll be two-turn [runners].”
Eskendereya will stand for a fee of $17,500 at Taylor Made in 2013.
The 2010 Kentucky Derby winner had the most weanlings go through the ring of the first-croppers, with 21 selling for an average of $61,667. Super Saver’s top foal at the November sales was a colt out of the stakes-winning Hennessy mare Broadway Hennessey, going to WEF Stable for $175,000.
Alker, who bought a Super Saver filly, looked at a number of Super Saver weanlings during the November sales and said that the sire clearly stamps his foals.
“They had a lot of scope, stood over a lot of ground, and were pretty leggy,” Alker said, “which is something we’re looking for.”
Super Saver will stand for a fee of $20,000 in 2013 at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky.
New sires with foals
First-crop weanling sires at Fasig-Tipton and Keeneland November sales (sires with two or more weanlings sold).
|Sire||Farm||2012 stud fee||Catalog||Sold||Total||Average|
|Discreetly Mine||Lane's End||15,000||20||12||330,000||27,500|
|Hold Me Back||WinStar||6,000||6||3||52,000||17,333|
|Line of David||Spendthrift||7,500||3||3||117,000||39,000|
|Lookin At Lucky||Ashford||30,000||29||10||1,140,000||114,000|
|Quality Road||Lane's End||35,000||31||14||1,720,000||122,857|
|Tale of Ekati||Darby Dan||15,000||10||4||163,000||40,750|
Statistics through Nov. 13 at Keeneland November