09/09/2014 1:44PM

Keeneland September: War Front colt sets bar for second session

Keeneland Photo
A War Front colt sells for $1.3 million in Tuesday's second session of the Keeneland September Sale.

by Joe Nevills and Nicole Russo

A War Front colt set the bar high in the opening hours of the Keeneland September yearling sale’s second session, selling for $1.3 million to M.V. Magnier, representing the Coolmore team.

The colt was consigned by Denali Stud, as agent. He was the first horse of the sale’s second session to fetch seven figures, and the sale’s third to reach the mark overall. His price tag surpassed a $1.2 million Bernardini filly, sold yesterday, to take over as the sale’s leader thus far.

"We'll decide over the next few days, but he'll most likely go to Europe," Magnier said. "It's hard to expect to pay that kind of money for a horse, but when a horse looks like that and he has a great pedigree ... Hopefully he'll be worth it."

Coolmore continued its commercial support of War Front after also purchasing the 2013 Keeneland September sale topper, a $2.5-million son of the popular young Claiborne Farm sire.

Tuesday's session leader is out of the A.P. Indy mare Score, dam of three winners from as many starters, including Grade 2-placed juvenile Timely Tally.

Score comes from an outstanding female line cultivated by the Phipps Stable. Out of multiple Grade 1 winner Educated Risk, the mare a full sister to stakes winner Strategy, and a half sister to stakes winner and Grade 2-placed Consequence.

Educated Risk is a half sister to champion and Hall of Fame racemare Inside Information, the dam of champion Smuggler. Another of Inside Information’s daughters, Illicit, is a graded stakes producer.

Educated Risk is also a full sister to stakes winner Diamond, and a half sister to Grade 2-placed Hidden Reserve and stakes placed Foreign Aid, both multiple stakes producers. It is the extended family of Hopeful winner and leading sire What a Pleasure, champion Misty Morn, champion sprinter Kona Gold, and Grade 1 winner Hot Cha Cha.

"He's a beautiful horse, he's by a great stallion, and it's a real pedigree," Denali's Craig Bandoroff said. "The mare's an A.P. Indy mare, a daughter of Educated Risk. It's very hard to get them to tick all the boxes and he ticked all the boxes. We came in there knowing we had a nice horse. I can't ever remember showing a horse more than that horse. He showed over 250 times and showed like a man, did his job. I'm proud of the boys at the farm and I'm proud of him. The first thing was he passed the vet. Believe me, that's not easy. The beautiful thing about Claiborne is they don't breed these horses to a lot of mares. They're a rarity. There's not a lot of them in here and there's not a lot at his level."