09/19/2016 4:26PM

Record set for Louisiana-bred yearling

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A Curlin colt sold for $350,000 to Katsumi Yoshida during Book 1 earned a unique distinction as the most expensive Louisiana-bred yearling ever.

The colt was bred in the state by Don Hargroder’s Circle H Farm of Abbeville, La. Hargroder purchased the colt’s dam, the unraced Bernardini mare Moonlight Lover, for $60,000 at the 2011 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The Curlin colt, her second foal, was consigned to Keeneland September by VanMeter-Gentry Sales, as agent.

“This colt was very special from the time he hit the ground, and we are very proud to have been part of his life,” Hargroder said in a release put out by the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders. “Several years ago, I said my goal was to get national respect with Louisiana-breds, and I think we did that with this colt.”

Hargroder said that Moonlight Lover has a “very attractive” Lewis Michael filly this year. He purchased the latter stallion, a Grade 2 winner, as a private stud for his broodmare band last year.

Circle H is known for partnering with another major statebred player, Carroll Castille’s Whispering Oaks Farm, “to have a stronger purchasing power to buy higher-quality stallions and spread the risk of these investments,” according to the latter’s website. The two marshaled their forces to put their stallions together at the new Louisiana Stallion Station, which Castille built near Evangeline Downs. The outfit stands horses such as Closing Argument and D’wildcat.