09/12/2012 1:17PM

Keeneland September: Coolmore pays $1.55 million for Bernardini colt

A Bernardini colt, sold to Coolmore Stud for $1.55 million Wednesday, is the sixth horse at the September sale purchased for $1 million or more.

LEXINGTON – A colt by Bernardini caught the international eye of Coolmore Stud on Wednesday at the Keeneland September yearling sale, and the result was an outsized payout for the colt’s breeder, the California-based trainer Bill Currin and his wife, Betty.

Represented by Demi O’Byrne, Coolmore paid $1.55 million for the bay colt, the second-highest price paid so far during the Keeneland September sale, which started on Monday night. The colt was bought out of the sale’s second book, when pedigree and conformation standards are not as rigorous as the first book.

However, the Bernardini colt’s dam, Wilshewed, had a major update since the catalog was put together. Her foal My Best Brother, by Stormy Atlantic, had a fantastic six weeks at Del Mar, winning the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 2 after also posting a win in the Oceanside Stakes and a second-place finish in the Grade 2 La Jolla Stakes.

Wilshewed, who is also the dam of multiple graded stakes winner Stormello, is one of two active mares currently owned by Currin and his wife. The dam currently has a Giant’s Causeway filly, and Currin said on Wednesday after the Bernardini colt sold that he did not know if they would race or sell the filly.

“We’re not professional sellers or buyers,” said Currin, who trained Stormello, now a sire. “But we had a good run today.”

With the sale of the Bernardini colt, six horses have now sold for $1 million or more at the September sale, which is considered the bellwether venue for the North American bloodstock market. All told last year, six horses sold for $1 million or more, all within books 1 and 2. Yearlings from book 2 this year will sell throughout Thursday.

* Earlier in the session, a colt by Medaglia d’Oro out of the Distorted Humor mare Weekend Whim sold for $600,000 to J.S. Company, a Japanese partnership. Weekend Whim is a full sister to Any Given Saturday, the winner of the 2007 Haskell Invitational Stakes.

- additional reporting by Glenye Cain