04/11/2011 8:13PM

Keeneland sale: $625,000 Indian Charlie colt tops auction

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Keeneland/Coady Photography
Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stable bought the topper at the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds for the second year in a row. This Indian Charlie colt brought $625,000 Monday in a sale that posted numbers similar to last year's.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Bloodstock agent John Moynihan, representing Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables, paid $625,000 Monday evening to buy the Keeneland April 2-year-old sale’s highest-priced horse, an Indian Charlie colt, at an auction that saw relatively shallow declines across the board.

Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables also bought last year’s April sale-topper, the Bernardini colt Wilburn, for $625,000; he’s now a winner.

The one-day auction in Lexington sold 70 juveniles for $11,564,000, a decrease of 4 percent from last year’s aggregate for 71 horses. The 2011 average price was $165,200, down 2 percent, and the median fell 4 percent to $130,000.

Buybacks decreased, falling from 37 percent last year to 32 percent, but there were 65 scratches.

“This sale is as close to last year as is humanly possible,” said Keeneland’s sales director, Geoffrey Russell. “Same sale-topper, good strength all the way through, the buyback rate was down, which is good.”

“You always hope for a bump,” added vice-president for sales Walt Robertson. “But in this day and time, with the economy we live in, as close as we were to last year is pretty good, in our opinion.”

Hartley/De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent, consigned the sale-topping son of the A. P. Indy mare Teenage Temper. The bay colt had worked an eighth-mile in 10.20 seconds at the April 7 under-tack show, but Moynihan felt he could be even better than that.

“I don’t think he really liked this racetrack,” Moynihan said, referring to Keeneland’s Polytrack synthetic surface. “We saw him train down in Florida, and he trains a lot better on the dirt than he does on this. You could tell he was kind of jumping and switching his leads. He just had a little trouble with it.”

The colt had been scheduled to sell in Florida at Fasig-Tipton’s Florida auction last month, but Moynihan said he “had a little setback and couldn’t make the sale for some little weird deal. He was fine two or three days after the sale. We’d seen him before that sale and liked him a lot.”

Earlier, Moynihan also bought a $485,000 colt by hot young sire War Front out of La Prada that Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree agency sold. In both cases, Moynihan said the prices were higher than he’d expected to pay, and the horses involved turned nice profits for their sellers. The Indian Charlie colt cost Randy Hartley and Dean DeRenzo $150,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Saratoga auction before turning up his big price Monday night. And the War Front colt, the first bought by Jackson, previously had sold for $60,000 to buyer John Savino at Fasig-Tipton’s October 2010 yearling sale.

An underbidder on Stonestreet’s War Front purchase came back to snap up another colt by the sire of Kentucky Derby hopefuls Soldat and The Factor. Agent Steve Young outdueled Vinery’s Tom Ludt to secure the second War Front colt for $475,000. The May 4 colt is a bay half-brother to Grade 1 winner Laragh and sold through Niall Brennan’s consignment. Young declined to identify the buyer but said the colt would go to trainer Christophe Clement.

Other expensive horses sold Monday night included a $400,000 Tiznow-Lake Lady colt that W. D. North Thoroughbreds (Steve Venosa, agent) sold to John Oxley; a $400,000 Unbridled’s Song-Di’s Time colt that Nick de Meric, agent, sold to Steve Young; a $400,000 Empire Maker-Cosmic Wish colt that Niall Brennan, agent, sold to Katsumi Yoshida; and a $375,000 Broken Vow-Fashion Girl colt that Eddie Woods, agent, sold to Bear Stables.

Others selling for $300,000 or more were a $335,000 Indian Charlie-West’s Secret filly that Wavertree sold to Justice Family Racing; a $300,000 Unbridled’s Song half-brother to Grade 1 winner Eddington that Hoby and Layna Kight sold to Bear Stables; and a $300,000 Empire Maker-Safe Haven filly that Eddie Woods, agent, sold to Prime Equestrian.

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