Updated on 09/17/2011 1:24PM

Pulpit colt sells for record $3.3 million


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Keeneland 2-year-old sale on Tuesday continued a record-breaking season for the nation's major juvenile auctions, setting a new sale record of $3.3 million for a Pulpit colt. The previous record of $2 million was set in 1999 for the Not For Love colt La Salle Street.

Coolmore Stud agent Demi O'Byrne, represented at the ring by Aisling Duignan, purchased the sale-topping colt, who is out of stakes-winner In My Cap and therefore is from the family of multiple Grade 1 winner Albert the Great. Niall Brennan, agent, consigned the colt. The colt sold last year for just $170,000 at the Keeneland September sale, where Mike Ryan signed as purchaser.

Coolmore Stud clearly was willing to pay a lot more for him seven months later. Coolmore employee Aisling Duignan, bidding from the back of the pavilion, shook off some tough competition from Jess Jackson and Satish Sanan's Padua Stables.

O'Byrne also bought a $1.4 million Dixie Union--Sneaky Quiet colt from Solitary Oak (Danny Pate), agent.

Brennan also sold a $450,000 Deputy Minister colt that David Moore's Edgewood Farm bought. That colt, a $180,000 yearling that Mike Ryan purchased from the 2003 Keeneland September sale, is out of the Forty Niner mare Date Stone. He is a half-brother to stakes winner Deputy Warlock.

Moore was a relatively new name on the buyers list, but his Edgewood Farm nom de course has become increasingly notable. Edgewood Farm, named for a Pennsylvania property Moore's grandfather once owned, campaigns Kentucky Derby hopeful Pollard's Vision.

Moore, a retired investment banker, is a soft-spoken 47-year-old with an unusually serene demeanor, given that he has gotten a Derby contender in his first two years in the racing game.

"I'm really trying to run this as a business," Moore said after buying the Deputy Minister colt, which he said was only his seventh horse.

"I think it can be a business. We hope to have about 10 horses, and we will eventually be in the breeding business, and we are considering pinhooking. At the end of the day, we remain disciplined and think of it as a business. But with Pollard's Vision's success, it has been a little easier."

Pollard's Vision has undoubtedly increased in value. Moore bought his star colt for just $70,000 at this auction last year on the advice of his bloodstock consultant, Edward Rosen, and trainer Todd Pletcher. Pollard's Vision has since won the Illinois Derby and more than $445,000. That's the kind of investment any owner would like to turn.

"I think you can diversify the risk," Moore said. "You have to be lucky at the end of the day, but you can diversify the risk, and then you need to be patient. I intend to be very patient, because I plan to be in the business for 10 to 20 years."

Overall, the single-session auction sold 101 juveniles for gross receipts of $22,012,000, up from last year's total of $21,375,000 for 127 horses. Average price rose 29 percent, from $168,307 last year to $217,941. Median jumped 35 percent, from $100,000 to $135,000. The gross revenue and average and median prices were also records for the auction.

The sale took place one day after Keeneland cancelled its final under-tack preview when a Pulpit filly suffered a fatal injury at the track. Although consignors generally supported the decision to cancel the remaining workouts over the sloppy track, many also were concerned that their horses' prices might suffer because buyers had not gotten to see those lots breeze a second time. The sale's first under-tack show took place on April 5.

Keeneland officials had expected significant withdrawals from the sale as a result. Those scratches reduced the catalog, but selling was strong, particularly in the last half of the session.