09/25/2017 12:16PM

Will Take Charge, Cairo Prince among top first-crop sires at Keeneland September

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LEXINGTON, Ky. – In a group of first-year yearling sires with accomplished racetrack careers, champion Will Take Charge and multiple graded stakes winner Cairo Prince continued as the commercial leaders of the class at the Keeneland September yearling sale. Will Take Charge finished as the leading first-crop sire by gross, while Cairo Prince finished as the leading Kentucky first-crop sire by average.

Both stallions represent the Unbridled sireline, which has been resurgent in recent years. Will Take Charge is Unbridled’s grandson via his late son Unbridled’s Song, a commercially-popular sire who has produced two champions posthumously, including leading money winner Arrogate. Cairo Prince is a great-grandson of Unbridled via Pioneerof the Nile, sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Will Take Charge was represented by 43 yearlings sold at Keeneland for $6,817,000, an average of $158,583. The Three Chimneys resident was led by a $975,000 colt purchased by Willis Horton, who campaigned Will Take Charge on the track. The stallion also had a pair of $500,000 colts.

“They’re a lot of rangy horses with good leg under them, very good movers like their father,” said Frances Relihan, bloodstock manager for Oussama Aboughazale, who purchased one of the $500,000 colts. “He’s putting good range and scope on them. They seem to have good minds.”

Cairo Prince was represented by 37 yearlings sold for $6,231,000, an average of $168,405. His group was led by a $900,000 half-brother to Grade 1 winner Sam’s Sister, purchased by Shadwell. The colt was a third-generation product of the breeding program of Brereton Jones, who stands Cairo Prince at his Airdrie Stud in association with Darley. Kiaran McLaughlin, who conditioned Cairo Prince, is a primary trainer for Shadwell.

“Kiaran knows Cairo Prince better than anyone else on the planet,” Airdrie’s Bret Jones said. “He trained him and told us a long time ago he really believed he was going to win the Kentucky Derby. He had the talent to do it, but had bad luck. That was a big reason we set out to partner with Darley. They have been the greatest partners in the world to let us come in and really get behind him with our mares and partner up the way that we have.”

The regally bred Epsom Derby and Irish Derby winner Australia, who is based at Coolmore’s Irish headquarters, led all first-year sires by average, with his five yearlings averaging $218,000. The son of Galileo and globetrotting star Ouija Board was led by a $490,000 colt sold to Godolphin.