09/22/2005 11:00PM

Six-figure statebreds at Keeneland


Several yearlings from New York families commanded six-figure prices during the first several days of the Keeneland September yearling sale, the two-week marathon from Sept. 12 through Sept. 26.

One of the top prices among those yearlings was $190,000 for a half-brother to statebred Private Emblem, winner of the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby and an earner of nearly $800,000.

Consigned by Denali Stud, the son of Distant View was purchased by James C. Robertson.

Private Emblem also won the Black Gold Handicap at Fair Grounds and the Albany Handicap at Saratoga during his 3-year-old campaign in 2002.

Private Emblem is out of Merion Miss, a daughter of Halo who also produced Rhum, an earner of more than $300,000 who has captured the Ticonderoga Handicap.

Merion Miss is the dam of still another stakes-quality New York-bred in Taghkanic, who placed in the Broadway Handicap.

Trainer H. James Bond, long a supporter of the New York program, purchased two New York-breds for $100,000 each at Keeneland as agent.

He bought a filly by first-crop sire Outofthebox out of the top mare Bigger Half, by former New York-bred star Megaturn.

She is a half-sister to New York-bred Megascape, winner of the Grade 3 Valley Stream Stakes at Aqueduct, and Richest Half, a daughter of state sire Rizzi who won the Mountain Valley Stakes at Oaklawn Park.

"She is a grand-looking individual with an exciting pedigree," Bond said. "She's a knockout, and the New York-breds are getting better and better these past few years."

Bond also bought a daughter of Silver Deputy whose half-brother Running Tide won the Grade 3 Leonard Richards Stakes. The filly is out of Current Abbey, a winning daughter of Preakness and Belmont winner Little Current, and was consigned by Taylor Made as agent.

It is a pedigree cross that Bond said he feels will provide some stamina.

"She's a beautiful-bodied filly, and I think getting her for a hundred was a bargain,"Bond said.

Her third dam is Lady Donna, who is a half-sister to Grade 3 winner Low Tolerance and the mother of Aspen Rose, a multiple graded-stakes winner who placed in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl Handicap.

Bond said his purchases are in line with his hopes in the near-term future of New York breeding and racing.

"I think New York purses could double when the slots are up and running," Bond said. "This has been my whole business plan for the last two years. And the New York program is still second to none."

The New York Racing Association is hoping to open its Aqueduct slots operation in late 2006.

The first Keeneland session produced an expensive New York-bred filly by the great stallion Sadler's Wells. Out of Seattle Slew's daughter Flamelight, she drew a final bid of $340,000 from Gary Middlebrook.

Consigned by Darby Dan Farm as an agent, she descends from a host of group and graded winners, including King Luthier, Cool, and Paris House.

A New York-bred half-sister to the good statebred turf runner Celtic Sky was bought by Kern/Lillington Association for $130,000.

By Mt. Livermore out of Axe Creek (Gulch), she was consigned by Winter Quarter Farm as agent, and she is also a half-sister to Cloon, a group-placed stakes winner in France.

Celtic Sky won the Kingston and West Point handicaps and has earned more than $330,000.

The first session at Keeneland featured a colt from the family of the classy New York-bred turf star Incurable Optimist, winner of the Grade 3 Pilgrim Stakes in New York and Grade 3 Generous Stakes in California as a 2-year-old in 1998.

Consigned by Denali Stud, he is by Kentucky Derby winner Fusaichi Pegasus and was bought by Jon S. Kelly for $100,000.

The colt is out of Coaching Club American Oaks winner Class Play, whose daughter Miss Turlington produced Incurable Optimist.

A daughter of New York stallion Freud, whose first crop is at the races this year, she brought $82,000 at Keeneland.

Consigned by Taylor Made as agent, she was purchased by Parrish Farm and is out of the stakes-placed Exclusive Era mare Giana.

Giana, a half-sister to multiple stakes winner Sadie's Dream, is also the dam of stakes-placed Sweeping Analysis.

Freud is the sire of My Interpretation, who finished second in the open P.G. Johnson Stakes on the Saratoga turf course on Sept. 2.