11/11/2011 1:35PM

West Virginia-bred weanling sells for record $190,000 at Keeneland

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A colt by the successful young sire War Front sold for $190,000 at Keeneland’s November sale on Wednesday, a record auction price for a West Virginia-bred weanling. The previous high was $185,000 for a Vin Nistelroy colt at the 2007 Keeneland sale.

Kingsbury Stables bought the colt from 84-year-old West Virginia breeder Buck Woodson.

Woodson said he felt confident enough in the colt, based on a number of private offers before the sale, to set a reserve price of $99,000.

War Front, a top freshman sire of 2010, currently ranks third on the 2011 second-crop sire list, thanks to the success of Grade 1 winners The Factor and Summer Soiree, along with Grade 2 winner Soldat. As a result, War Front’s stud fee has been raised from $15,000 in 2011 to $60,000 for 2012.

“People have told me he looks like The Factor,” said Woodson of the colt, who is a product of War Factor and Dancing Trieste. “I just loved the Danzig line with my mare and he [War Front] was in the price range I was looking at, so we decided on that mating. If his book wasn’t full for the coming year, I’d have still bred to him for the $60,000.”

The colt’s dam, Dancing Trieste by Old Trieste, raced six times and never won. The second dam, La Promenade, was an Argentinian-bred by Southern Halo who was Group 1-placed in South America. It was the potential cross Woodson saw with a stallion he stands, Ghostly Minister, that led him to purchase her.

“We originally bought the mare for $20,000 to breed to the stallion we have,” Woodson said. “Two of the best horses Old Trieste had were Minister Eric, who was out of a Deputy Minister mare, and Sinister Minister, whose dam’s sire was a son of Deputy Minister. I thought it could work if we flipped the mating and bred our Deputy Minister stallion to an Old Trieste mare. That’s really why we bought her.”

Woodson said Dancing Trieste produced a yearling and 2-year-old by Ghostly Minister he currently has on his farm.

– Joe DeVivo