09/10/2013 6:48PM

Keeneland September: Smart Strike colt fetches $1 million


A colt by Smart Strike out of a Canadian champion brought $1 million from a partnership led by Dr. Mark Dedomenico’s Pegasus operation late in the second session of the Keeneland September yearling sale on Tuesday.

The colt is the second foal out of Serenading, by A.P. Indy, a champion older mare in Canada and winner of $538,754. Serenading’s dam, the stakes-winning Daijin, is a full sister to Belmont winner Touch Gold and a half sister to Canadian Horse of the Year and Triple Crown winner With Approval. Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency consigned the colt as agent.

“[He’s] just a really classy, gorgeous horse,” said Mike Puhich, agent, who signed the ticket for the partnership, which includes trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “He’s by a top stallion, and we really fell in love with him.”

Based in Washington, Pegasus breeds and races horses privately and also puts together racing syndicates, with horses typically running on the West Coast.

The colt was the third horse to sell for $1 million or more at the Tuesday session, bringing the total number of horses to sell for $1 million or more to seven, equaling the number sold for $1 million or more sold during the first four sessions of the Keeneland September sale last year. At the time of the sale, average and median for the first two sessions were both running approximately 10 percent higher than the cumulative totals for the first two days of the sale last year. The final horse through the ring, a Malibu Moon filly, also sold for $1 million.

Puhich said the Smart Strike horse would be shipped to Pegasus’s training center in Washington for breaking and training. The horse will be sent to Jerry Hollendorfer when he is ready to go to the track, Puhich said.

“[Hollendorfer is] probably going to stay in with a piece of him, because that’s the type of horse he wants,” Puhich said. “We were just joking with him about being a partner, and he said, ‘Well, let’s get [Bob] Baffert to train him.’”

Puhich had purchased two other horses prior to the $1 million colt, a $300,000 Bernardini colt and a $35,000 Harlan’s Holiday filly, both on Monday. He said he planned to keep purchasing at the sale later this week.