09/04/2014 12:09PM

Keeneland September: High-average quartet leads first-crop sires at Keeneland

Barbara D. Livingston
Champion Uncle Mo is among the stallions represented by his first crop of foals at the Keeneland September yearling sale.

The 13-session Keeneland September yearling sale is traditionally a showcase for young sires, whose first foals are some of the most anticipated yearlings on the sales grounds during presale inspections. Four North American-based first-crop stallions have already made good first impressions at the first three major yearling auctions of 2014 – the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale, the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga sale, and the Fasig-Tipton New York preferred yearling sale.

Tizway, Uncle Mo, Gio Ponti, and Trappe Shot each have generated six-figure averages from their yearlings sold through Aug. 18, with a handful of those purchases coming in the mixed sales earlier in the year and the rest during the three aforementioned auctions.

Spendthrift Farm’s Tizway, a multiple Grade 1-winning son of Tiznow, has 40 yearlings cataloged at the Keeneland September sale. Eight of his first-crop horses sold during the early auctions for an average of $179,375. That group is led by a pair of $425,000 yearlings purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select sale: Matthew Schera bought a colt out of the A.P. Indy mare Lady Nichola, a full sister to standout Spendthrift sire Malibu Moon, while Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm acquired a filly out of the stakes-winning Vindication mare Vindy City.

[More coverage: Sale preview | Horses to watch | Q&A with Antony Beck | Broodmare sire Dehere]

Uncle Mo, 2010’s champion 2-year-old male and now an Ashford Stud sire, had a $450,000 yearling at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, the highest price among his 24 yearlings sold through Aug. 18. That filly, bought by Craig Bernick, is out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Erica’s Melody. Uncle Mo’s yearlings have sold for an average of $145,792, and the Indian Charlie stallion has 94 cataloged at Keeneland, the most among first-crop sires.

Castleton Lyons stallion Gio Ponti drew a lot of attention during the fall 2013 breeding stock sales, where he posted a weanling average of more than $125,000. The three-time champion son of Tale of the Cat has kept up that momentum through the early yearling sales, headlined by a $500,000 filly out of Grade 1 producer Shandra Smiles, bought by Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum’s bloodstock adviser, John Ferguson, at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga. Sixteen Gio Ponti yearlings had sold for an average of $119,188 through mid-August; he has 58 youngsters cataloged in the Keeneland sale.

Trappe Shot, who stands at Claiborne Farm, also has been well received at sales, as 22 yearlings from his first crop have sold for an average of $113,818. The Grade 2-winning son of current leading North American sire Tapit had a yearling bring $400,000 at Fasig-Tipton Saratoga, purchased by Schera. That colt, out of the unraced Arch mare Mayhavebeentheone, is from the family of Wise Dan’s sire, Wiseman’s Ferry, and leading South American sire Bernstein. Trappe Shot has 50 yearlings cataloged in the Keeneland September sale.

Other first-year sires who will have a large group of yearlings at Keeneland September include Archarcharch (57), Paddy O’Prado (38), and Wilburn (31), all of whom stand at Spendthrift; Ashford Stud’s champion Cape Blanco (71); Drosselmeyer (46) and Sidney’s Candy (57), both of WinStar Farm; Airdrie Stud’s Haynesfield (47); and Lane’s End sire Twirling Candy (36).