08/30/2012 1:43PM

Keeneland September: The 50 best hips to watch

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In response to the contracting foal crops and yearling markets, Keeneland continues to modify its September yearling sale. It is still the most extensive marketplace for Thoroughbred yearlings in the world, with 3,604 individuals cataloged this year, but that figure is down 715 hips from last year’s 4,319.

The opening select sessions have undergone another change this year. Book 1 has been reduced to only one ultra-select session of 132 cataloged yearlings, starting at 4 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10. On the other hand, Book 2 has been expanded to three sessions − Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday − totaling 915 hips. After the dark day Friday, the sale continues through Books 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Let’s not forget that this year’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another, was Hip No. 3660 in the second-to-last session at the 2010 September Sale, which had 4,857 hip numbers. He brought just $11,000. This year’s Prioress Stakes winner, Emma’s Encore, was even further back in the book as Hip No. 4203, selling for just $2,000. There are definitely good horses selling at the end of the sale for the buyer who has the time to wait and watch.

Still, the real fun is in the first two books, where the very best sires are represented with their offspring out of top racemares and broodmares. This is where we meet many of the stars of tomorrow, so here are my selections of the 50 most exciting yearling pedigrees in the first two books.


BOOK 1

(Hip number, sex, sire – dam and dam’s sire, consignor.)

6, filly, Distorted Humor – Our Golden Song by Unbridled’s Song, Lane’s End, agent.
Sold last year at the Keeneland November sale as a weanling for $200,000. Her dam is not only a full sister to stakes winner Stage Luck, but a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Drosselmeyer.

8, filly, Street Cry (IRE) – Palangana by His Majesty, Gainesway, agent.
This is a half-sister to five winners, including champion female sprinter Informed Decision.

10, colt, Broken Vow – Playa Maya by Arch, Eaton Sales, agent.
He’s a half-brother to three winners, including champion 2-year-old male Uncle Mo.

16, filly, Empire Maker – Rutherienne by Pulpit, Stone Farm, agent.
Here’s the first foal out of Grade 1 winner Rutherienne, from a great filly-producing family. Rutherienne is a full-sister to Grade 3 Ruthenia and a half-sister to 2012 stakes winner Ruthville.

32, colt, Tiznow – Supercharger by A.P. Indy, Taylor Made, agent.
He’s a half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and Grade  3 winner Brethren, from one of the strongest sire-producing families in America.

39, filly, Smart Strike – Teeming by Storm Cat, Hill ’n’ Dale, agent.
She’s a half-sister to stakes winner Cascading, and her second dam is the great broodmare Better Than Honour, dam of Belmont Stakes winners Rags to Riches and Jazil. She could become someone’s foundation mare.

40, filly, Empire Maker – Ticker Tape (GB) by Royal Applause, Eaton Sales, agent.
A daughter of the great turf mare Ticker Tape, this filly was a $400,000 short yearling in January. Ticker Tape’s half-sister Sant Elena is the dam of the European juvenile sensation Reckless Abandon.

41, colt, Street Cry (IRE) – Tizso by Cee’s Tizzy, Taylor Made, agent.
The catalog came out before this colt’s half-brother Paynter won the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational. His dam is a multiple-stakes-producing full sister to Tiznow.

42, filly Giant’s Causeway – Topliner by Thunder Gulch, Hill ’n’ Dale, agent.
She’s a filly from a top filly-producing family, being a half-sister to Grade  1 winner Star Billing. Her dam is a half-sister to Grade 1-winning fillies Stellar Jayne and Starrer.

45, filly, Smart Strike – Untouched Talent by Storm Cat, Brookdale Sales, agent.
This is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and classic-placed Bodemeister, and her dam was a Grade 3 winner.

54, colt, Indian Charlie – Another Vegetarian by Stalwart, Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent.
He’s a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Sweet Talker and Grade 3 winner Silver Medallion, from a classy Airdrie family that has also produced 2012 Grade 1 winner Include Me Out.

58, colt, Unbridled’s Song – Bear Now by Tiznow, Taylor Made, agent.
This is the first foal out of champion Canadian mare Bear Now. He is bred on Unbridled’s Song’s good nick with In Reality-line mares.

64, filly, Dynaformer – Catchascatchcan (GB) by Pursuit of Love, Paramount Sales, agent.
She’s a half-sister to Grade 2 winner Antonius Pius and also is out of a winner of the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, so she is bred to be a classic winner across the pond.

68, colt, Smart Strike – Class Kris by Kris S., Lane’s End, agent.
He’s a half-brother to Student Council, a good freshman sire who won the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. He also is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Gradepoint.

73, colt, Tiznow – Cool Storm by Storm Cat, Denali Stud, agent.
He’s out of a full sister to Grade 1 winner Bluegrass Cat, from the same immediate family as Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. He also is bred on Tiznow’s good cross with Storm Cat-line mares.

77, colt, Street Cry (IRE) – Dark Sky by Storm Cat, Hunter Valley Farm, agent.
This colt brought $475,000 as a weanling last November. He’s the first foal out of a full sister to Group 1 French Oaks winner Nebraska Tornado. The dam also is a half-sister to group winners Burning Sun and Mirabilis.

81, filly, Divine Park – Don’t Trick Her by Mazel Trick, Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent.
She’s a half-sister to three stakes winners: 2012 Grade 1 winner Include Me Out, Grade 1 winner Check the Label, and stakes winner On the Menu; from the family of Grade 1 winner Sweet Talker and Grade 3 winner Silver Medallion.

83, filly, Unbridled’s Song – Eden’s Causeway by Giant’s Causeway, Denali Stud, agent.
Here’s a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Eden’s Moon. The second dam is Bridlewood blue hen North of Eden (IRE), who produced Grade 1 winners Paradise Creek, Forbidden Apple, and Wild Event. She’s bred on her sire’s good nick with Storm Cat.

90, filly, Medaglia d’Oro – Fleet Indian by Indian Charlie, Lane’s End, agent.
She’s the last foal out of champion older mare Fleet Indian.

94, colt, War Front – Gold Vault by Arch, Claiborne Farm, agent.
Here’s a half-sister to 2012 multiple Grade 1 winner Contested. She’s bred on the same Danzig/Kris S. cross as War Chant and is 2x4 to Danzig.

102, colt, Sea the Stars (IRE) – Ice Mint by Awesome Again, Clearsky Farms, agent.
This is a European classics prospect from the first crop of superstar Sea the Stars, out of a half-sister to French 2,000 Guineas winner Falco.

103, colt, Unbridled’s Song – Ideal Image by Hennessy, Taylor Made Sales, agent.
He brought $490,000 as a short yearling at the January sale and is a half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Sassy Image. He’s bred on his sire’s good nick with Storm Cat-line mares.

115, colt, Smart Strike – Life Is Sweet by Storm Cat, Lane’s End, agent.
He’s the first foal out of multiple Grade 1 winner Life Is Sweet, who was a full sister to champion 2-year-old filly Sweet Catomine.

119, filly, Unbridled’s Song – Madcap Escapade by Hennessy, Hill ’n’ Dale Sales, agent.
This is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Mi Sueno, out of the brilliantly fast Grade 1 winner Madcap Escapade, and bred on that good Unbridled’s Song/Storm Cat cross.

120, filly, Unbridled’s Song – Maggy Hawk by Hawkster, Gainesway, agent.
She’s a half-sister to champion and dual classic winner Afleet Alex and to Afleet Alex’s Grade 2-winning full brother Unforgettable Max.

123, colt, Tiznow – Memories of Silver by Silver Hawk, Darby Dan Farm, agent.
A half-brother to recently retired multiple Grade 1-winning turf mare Winter Memories as well as stakes winners British Blue and War Trace, he’s from one of Darby Dan’s best families.

130, colt, Pulpit – Ms. Cornstalk by Indian Charlie, Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent.
He’s a half-brother to Canadian champion fillies Biofuel and Tu Endie Wei.

131, colt, Distorted Humor – Mushka by Empire Maker, Eaton Sales, agent.
He’s the first foal out of Grade 1 winner Mushka. A full brother to Mushka brought $1.1 million at the Saratoga Sale this year.

132, colt, Distorted Humor – My Miss Storm Cat by Sea of Secrets, Gainesway, agent.
This is a half-brother to 2011 champion 2-year-old filly My Miss Aurelia. He was bred on a similar Mr. Prospector cross.


BOOK 2

137, filly, Henrythenavigator – Noches de Rosa (CHI) by Stagecraft (GB), Allied Bloodstock, agent.
With a real international pedigree, this is a daughter of one of the leading freshman sires in Europe, out of a Grade 1 winner in North America and Chile.

150, colt, Awesome Again – Orate by A.P. Indy, Claiborne Farm, agent.
He’s a colt with a stallion pedigree, being by Awesome Again out of a full sister to leading sire Pulpit, from the immediate family of Tale of the Cat.

151, colt, Elusive Quality – Our Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, Lane’s End, agent.
This looks like another good stallion prospect, being out of a stakes-winning half-sister to top young sire Hard Spun.

161, colt, Dynaformer – Passing Shot by A.P. Indy, Three Chimneys Sales, agent.
He’s out of Grade 1 winner Passing Shot, who is already a winner producer.

184, filly, Distorted Humor – Possibility by A.P. Indy, Mill Ridge Sales, agent.
She’s out of a half-sister to Grade  1 winners My Flag, Miner’s Mark, and Traditionally. The second dam is champion Personal Ensign. She’s bred on Distorted Humor’s good cross with A.P. Indy and Seattle Slew-line mares.

213, colt, Giant’s Causeway – Questress by Seeking the Gold, Gainesway, agent.
This is a half-brother to the brilliant Grade 1 winner and good young sire Pomeroy and a half-brother to the dam of 2012 Grade 1 winner Contested. He’s bred on the good Giant’s Causeway/Seeking the Gold cross.

234, filly, Flower Alley – Refinement by Seattle Slew, Three Chimneys Sales, agent.
She’s by the sire of Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner I’ll Have Another and is a full sister to Grade 1-winning filly Lilacs And Lace. Flower Alley and his sire, Distorted Humor, have crossed very well with Seattle Slew-line mares.

261, filly, Bernstein – Ruthian by Rahy, Stone Farm, agent.
A filly from a top filly family, she’s a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Rutherienne, Grade 3 winner Ruthenia, and 2012 stakes winner Ruthville.

349, filly, Tiznow – Storminthegarden by Stormy Atlantic, Sweezy and Partners, agent.
She’s out of a daughter of blue hen North of Eden (IRE), who is the dam of Grade 1 winners Paradise Creek, Forbidden Apple, and Wild Event. She also is bred on the successful Tiznow/Storm Cat nick and has inbreeding to Seattle Slew, which works well with Tiznow.

384, filly, Giant’s Causeway – Takesmybreathaway by Gone West, Lane’s End, agent.
This is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Frost Giant, and her dam is a half-sister to the good sire Mutakddim.

413, colt, Awesome Again – Tizamazing by Cee’s Tizzy, Burleson Farms, agent.
He’s a full brother to stakes winner and Grade 3-placed Awesome Patriot, out of a full sister to Tiznow, so his breeding is almost identical to Grade  1 winner Paynter, who also is by Awesome Again out of another sister to Tiznow.

423, filly, Street Cry (IRE) – Treasure Trail by Pulpit, John J. Greeley III (Wintergreen Farm) agent.
This is a very close relative to Horse of the Year Zenyatta, being by the same sire and out of a half-sister to Zenyatta. Her dam is also a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Balance.

463, filly, Street Cry (IRE) – Where’s Bailey by Aljabr, Hermitage Farm, agent.
This is another very close relative to Horse of the Year Zenyatta, being by the same sire and out of a stakes-winning half-sister to Zenyatta and Grade 1-winning filly Balance.

469, colt, Bernardini – Wilshewed by Carson City, Valkyre Stud, agent.
This is a half-brother to Grade 1-winning juvenile Stormello and to 2012 Grade 2 winner My Best Brother.

569, colt, Tiznow – Bethany by Dayjur, Sweezey and Partners, agent.
He’s a half-brother to  multiple Grade  1 winner Tizway and to stakes winner Ticket to Seattle.

659, colt, Distorted Humor – Cotton Blossom by Broken Vow, Eaton Sales, Agent.
This is the first foal out of Grade 1 Acorn winner Cotton Blossom.

669, colt, Colonel John – Crystal Shard by Mr. Prospector, Woods Edge Farm, agent.
He is a half-brother to 2012 Grade 1 winner Gemologist and was sired by one of the best racing sons of Gemologist’s sire, Tiznow.

673, colt, Zensational – Daijin by Deputy Minister, Hill ’n’ Dale Sales, agent.
This is the last foal out of the grand broodmare Daijin, the dam of Canadian champion older female Serenading, stakes winner Handpainted, and Speed Succeeds, who was the dam of Grade 1 winner Brilliant Speed.

745, colt, Sea the Stars (IRE) – Exciting Times (FR) by Jeune Homme, Lane’s End, agent.
He’s from the first crop of European superstar Sea the Stars and is a half-brother to Grade 1 Beverly D. winner Gorella (FR) and stakes winner Porto Santo.

799, colt, Unbridled’s Song – Golden Ballet by Moscow Ballet, Michael C. Byrne, agent.
This is a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Drosselmeyer and stakes winner Stage Luck.

876, colt, Distorted Humor – Justenuffheart by Broad Brush, Mt. Brilliant Farm.
He’s a full brother to Grade 2 winner Justenuffhumor and a half-brother to champion 2-year-old filly Dreaming of Anna and Grade 2 winner Lewis Michael. His dam is a stakes-winning half-sister to champion and top sire Kitten’s Joy.