01/15/2015 7:57PM

Keeneland January: Black Onyx sold to stand in Florida


Grade 3 winner Black Onyx was purchased for $7,500 by Richard Haisfield's Stonewall Phoenix on Thursday in the waning hips of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale, and will begin his stud career at Prestige Stallions in Ocala, Fla.

The 5-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten was offered as a stallion prospect during the Keeneland January sale after finishing an on-track career that entailed three wins in seven career starts for earnings of $418,860. He raced for owner Sam Herzberg’s Sterling Racing.

Black Onyx is best known for his victory in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park, which earned him a spot in the 2013 Kentucky Derby field. However, he was scratched the day before the race with a bone chip in his front left ankle. He returned after a 14-month layoff to race twice on the turf, finishing third in his comeback start, then fifth in his final start in July.

Bloodstock agent Dani Dougherty signed the ticket on Black Onyx.

“We liked the bloodlines,” she said. “I understand Rock Hard Ten’s not big here, but I think down in Florida, he’s going to be a hit. When he walked out of the barn, he just said, ‘Look at me.’ I was just the attitude.”

Bred in Kentucky by Cloverleaf Farms II Inc., Black Onyx is out of the winning Cape Town mare Kalahari Cat, who is the dam of four winners from six foals to race, also including stakes winner Francois and Grade 2-placed Quality Council. He is from the family of Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Desert Stormer, as well as English Group 1 winner White Moonstone.

Dougherty said she was surprised by the hammer price for Black Onyx, expecting the number to be significantly higher.

“That was a steal for us,” she said. “I can’t wait. I’m excited.”