09/11/2012 3:45PM

Keeneland sale notes: Untouched Talent filly sells for $1.3 million

Photo by Z/Keeneland
A Smart Strike filly out of Untouched Talent, the dam of Bodemeister, sells for $1.3 million.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Bodemeister’s dam, the young Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent, added another feather to her cap Monday when her yearling Smart Strike filly brought $1.3 million from John Sikura and Bruce Lunsford.

“If you have a Storm Cat out of an A.P. Indy, it’s not that easy. There are not that many horses who fit,” said Jens von Lepel, who manages Audley Farm for the filly’s breeders Eric von Baumbach and Christophe Boehringer. “We like Smart Strike. We like that Mr. Prospector on the Storm Cat-Northern Dancer line. The thing is, you don’t want the genetics too near, and the best breeding is A.P. Indy, Storm Cat, and these horses. But if you have that in the second generation, you cannot breed back to those horses. It’s not easy to find the best mating.”

Von Lepel, like many U.S. breeders, misses Bodemeister’s sire, Empire Maker. Juddmonte sold the Unbridled horse in 2010 to Japanese interests.

“I’m really sorry about that,” he said. “At first, we thought the Japanese would buy [the $1.3 million filly] and bring her back to Empire Maker, but she stays here. That’s great.”

The Smart Strike-Untouched Talent match worked successfully from a sales perspective, and only time will tell whether she’ll be another one like Bodemeister.

“We loved her from the time she was born,” he said of the $1.3 million filly. “She was very good in the herd with the others, she made good friends. She has a wonderful attitude. And it was fun to prepare her for the sale. We prepared her for nearly three months, walking her from 10 minutes up to 45 minutes. You could see the good stride she has; that’s a big plus.”

Untouched Talent had a Tiznow filly on Jan. 9. Von Lepel said Audley will keep that one.

Sandford looks for next Derby horse

Charles Sandford, who campaigns Florida Derby winner Take Charge Indy with his wife, Maribeth, came to Keeneland’s September sale looking for another potential Triple Crown horse. But he also took the opportunity to update Take Charge Indy’s status: The son of A.P. Indy and Take Charge Lady has been back in training with Pat Byrne for 30 days and is pointing to Keeneland’s Fayette Stakes on Oct. 27. Another Sandford runner, Bashford Manor second Positively, also will head to Keeneland for the Oct. 6 Dixiana Stakes, “if everything goes well – a big if,” Sandford said.

The Sandfords bought three select yearlings Monday, including a $1 million Street Cry-Tizso colt that Taylor Made consigned. The colt’s second dam, Cee’s Song, produced the two-time Breeders’ Cup Classic winner and stallion Tiznow.

“This was the big one for us tonight,” Sandford said Monday after the $1 million purchase. “We had three or four we were gonna play on, and hard. He was the first one to come up. We went a little bit more than I wanted to, but if you want to play, you gotta pay. We’re thrilled to get him. Hopefully, he’ll be our next Derby horse. That’s the plan.”

The Sandfords also picked up a $600,000 A.P. Indy-Coral Sea colt, a three-quarter-brother to 2008 Fountain of Youth winner Cool Coal Man, from Lane’s End and a $130,000 Bernardini-Our Legacy colt from millionaire Guided Tour’s family.

Yearling out of Xtra Heat garners $525,000

Xtra Heat, the hardy champion 3-year-old filly sprinter of 2001 who won 26 races from her 34 career starts, won’t be mistaken for a blue hen broodmare anytime soon, though she has produced two minor stakes winners and a stakes-placed runner. She’s been better in the sales ring, though, and during Monday night’s select session, her colt by Elusive Quality, a full brother to one of her stakes winners, sold for $525,000, the highest price paid at auction for any of her yearlings.

The colt was bought by Juddmonte Farms, the multinational operation headed by Khalid Abdullah, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family.

The previous highest price paid for a yearling out of Xtra Heat was set in 2007, at the height of the bloodstock boom, when her daughter Elusive Heat brought $425,000. Elusive Heat was pinhooked the next year at the Keeneland April sale, and she brought $750,000. She went on to win a restricted stakes and finish second in the Grade 3 Old Hat Stakes during a short career.

Some of Xtra Heat’s yearlings have been high-priced buybacks. In 2005, her colt Southwestern Heat brought a final bid of $600,000 but was bought back. The colt went on to be Xtra Heat’s highest earner to date, banking $155,340 and finishing second in the Grade 3 Hirsch Jacobs Stakes in Maryland. At the 2008 Keeneland September sale, her daughter Don’t U Baby Me was a $435,000 buyback.

Xtra Heat did not come from a particularly deep or attractive family. Sired by Dixieland Heat, she was out of Begin, a Hatchet Man mare who has produced 10 winners from 13 foals, but no other stakes winner other than her most famous daughter.

Distorted Humor tops sale’s leading sire list

There were no big surprises on the leading sire list for the select session Monday night, with familiar names filling out the top five (with a minimum of three yearlings sold). Distorted Humor led the list with an average of $605,714 for seven yearlings sold, followed closely by A.P. Indy, whose six yearlings sold for an average of $600,000. The A.P. Indy yearlings were from the sire’s last crop, and the two yearlings that did not sell Monday night were bought back by their owners after reaching bids of $975,000 and $725,000.

The rest of the top five: Street Cry, four yearlings sold, average of $556,250; Smart Strike, 7, $522,857; and Empire Maker (who now stands in Japan), 5, $390,000.

– additional reporting by Matt Hegarty