The Keeneland Fall 2019 Yearling Sale: Book 1
By Kaitlin Free
The annual Keeneland September Yearling Sale is finally once again upon us. Arguably the finest yearling sale on the planet, the best of the best come together in hopes of finding the next great one. Often but not always a great one will come in the highly competitive Book 1. Book 1 is comprised of the best looking and well bred yearlings America has to offer. Every now and again a European bred yearling will sneak in to the sale as well. This year is a very important year for the sale with super stars California Chrome, Frosted, Nyquist, Runhappy, and Not This Time yearlings appearing at auction for the first time. Headlines have also been highlighted by the groundbreaking decision by the Phipps Stable to enter all of their yearlings in this year’s sale. Their highly coveted bloodlines have never been readily available to anyone outside, especially the colts. The sale is top to bottom with nothing but quality, but let’s take a spotlight to this year’s deep Book 1. Here are my top 5 from each session.
- HIP 167 FILLY (Galileo x Turbulent Descent)
At a sale in Europe, this filly would be earmarked as one of the top prospects most likely. It is no secret that at American sales Galileo has been extremely under appreciated. It is no secret that Galileo is the top stallion in the world and has been the best sire since his father Sadler’s Wells. Galileo gives this filly stamina while her dam gives her plenty of speed. Turbulent Descent was a speedy mare with many accolades during her racing career. This filly is loaded with class from top to bottom with everything you could want in a potential classic distance turf pedigree. Turbulent Descent has one foal to race and is this filly’s full brother Spanish Steps, who is a Grade 3 winner in Europe. This cross is graded stakes proven and has loads of potentials. Will probably go to someone for an absolute bargain.
- HIP 138 COLT (Medaglia d’Oro x Tara’s Tango)
While Stonestreet enters most of their yearlings in the sales, I’m a little surprised that they did not decide to keep this one. This colt is the first foal out of the Grade 1 winning Tara’s Tango. Tara’s Tango was a fast mare that was proven sprinting and going a bit longer. Medaglia d’Oro was a fantastic first choice for Tara’s Tango as a match, he is a favorite of Stonestreet as well. Medaglia d’Oro with Unbridled’s Song mares is becoming a popular cross that offers both speed and stamina. Look out for this classic bred colt that should be catching some eyes. If he does not meet his reserve, Stonestreet will happily take this one back home.
- HIP 51 COLT (Tapit x Rigoletta)
Another hip that is a perfect mix of speed and stamina is this Tapit colt out of the top broodmare Rigoletta. This colt is a half brother to the late and extremely talented Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Battle of Midway. Battle of Midway was a horse that seemed to have little limitations and was gutsy up until his death. Photos of this colt have shown a rich roan coat with a fantastic body style. He exudes class and commands your attention as he moves. Tapit pairs best with mares that have a speedy background such as this one. Tapit continues to be hot at the sales and this one will be highly sought after with the loss of Battle of Midway. This colt will be a flashy edition to anyone’s barn.
- HIP 106 COLT (Pioneerof the Nile x Stage Magic)
This colt is considered by many to be the top offering of Session 1. By the late Pioneerof the Nile, he is a half brother to Triple Crown Winner Justify. This is the first offering at public auction in recent times of a sibling to a Triple Crown Winner by a Triple Crown Winning sire. This colt does have a full sister that was sold before Justify won the Triple Crown or even entered training. She was injured in her only race and was retired to broodmare duties. A tall yearling with a high hip, this colt resembles American Pharoah more than he does Justify. He has a great presence and what breeders call a “wow walk.” This colt is the total package and will have his buyer’s dreaming lofty dreams. Should eclipse the price of his half brother by Will Take Charge that was an RNA last year at $1.75 million. Truly one of the rarest of offerings.
- HIP 156 COLT (American Pharoah x Tiz Miz Sue)
This top selection may surprise a few people but with Tiz Miz Sue’s history it should not. Tiz Miz Sue was a brilliant race mare with a long career. Her pedigree speaks for itself and has nothing but rich blacktype throughout. Tiz Miz Sue is a half sister to inaugural Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Bulletin. Dam Sue’s Good News has been one of the least discussed top broodmares of recent times. In racing and in retirement, Tiz Miz Sue has been sound as can be and seems to have a foundation made of steel. Soundness and pedigree go hand and hand to make this colt extremely attractive. This horse could realistically be bred for either the dirt or turf, long or short. Tiz Miz Sue so far has been an extremely attractive broodmare so far to buyers. Her first foal, a Tapit filly, was never sold. Her 2016 and 2017 foals were both sold for top dollar to huge international racing ownerships. Her 2016 Tapit colt was purchased for $2.5 million, and the 2017 Uncle Mo filly was a $500,000 pick up for North Hills Co. in Japan. Breeders certainly will not overlook all this colt has to offer and he will be a pleasant surprise to everyone in attendance.
- HIP 227 COLT (Empire Maker x Angela Renee)
Empire Maker has returned to the United States with a bang. His return foals are now 2 and are tearing up the tracks. He has a good amount entered in this year’s sale with this colt being perhaps one of his top offerings. Dam Angela Renee is a Grade 1 winning mare that was extremely precocious at age 2. Her speed will compliment Empire Maker’s stamina. Her pedigree also promotes stamina, being by Bernardini. Her full brother is Grade 1 winner To Honor and Serve, and her half brother Elnaawi was a distance specialist. The family is extremely classy and loaded with blacktype. Angela Reene has many textbook marks that indicate she could continue the productivity of her lineage.
- HIP 375 COLT (Dubawi x Eblouissante)
Originally sold to Winter Quarter Farm back in 2013, Eblouissante was sold back to American interests in 2016 for almost $1.5 million. The buyer was Summer Wind Farm. Eblouissante was an exciting filly at the beginning of her racing career, but after a gate injury she unfortunately was never the same. Eblouissante is a half sister to the great Zenyatta and Grade 1 winner Balance. She is what you would call a “designer” broodmare, one that is highly sought after because of pedigree alone. This colt is Eblouissante’s first foal born in the United States. She was in foal with him when she was purchased by Summer Wind. Sire Dubawi is second only to Galileo when it comes to the top stallion in Europe. Like Galileo, Dubawi progeny are undersold in the United States and aren’t considered as commercial as United States based stallions. The Zenyatta factor should give this colt an extra boost in looking for a potential buyer. The colt, named Bluenote, is known to have an excellent temperment and was a favorite at the farm. He will probably be an easy horse to work with but may need a little extra time.
- HIP 370 COLT (Medaglia d’Oro x Dream Rush)
Multiple Grade 1 winner Dream Rush is another top broodmare in Stonestreet Farm’s extensive band. Not only was she fantastic on the track but she is one of the best mares the farm has. She is the dam of Grade 1 winner Dreaming of Julia, Grade 3 sprinter Dream Pauline, and the young stallion Atreides. This colt is a full brother to Atreides and a half to the others. A proven cross, this colt is a classic Stonestreet offering with loads of potential.
- HIP 291 COLT (Medaglia d’Oro x Cambiocorsa)
Here is another example of a Medaglia d’Oro colt with a loaded page. Out of Cambiocorsa, this colt joins a rich family coming from a highly underrated broodmare. Cambiocorsa is the dam of quick graded stakes winning fillies Moulin de Mougin and Schiaparelli. She also is the dam of stakes winner Bronson and stakes placed filly Vionnet. Vionnet happens to be the dam of late Cartier Horse of the Year Roaring Lion. Cambiocorsa herself is a full sister to Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner California Flag. With dirt and turf potential in his blood, this colt could turn into anything. Enriched with speed and stamina, this is another colt bred perfectly for classics all over the world. He will be one of the highly sought after Medaglia d’Oro offerings in the sale.
- HIP 369 FILLY (Not This Time x Dream of Summer)
With his first crop now yearlings, Not This Time has been one of the most popular unproven stallions in recent memory. In his first two books, he managed to breed several top broodmares including Dream of Summer. Dream of Summer is a classic ‘blue hen’ mare that keeps on giving. As years went by she was a regular visitor to Giant’s Causeway, producing her best foals by him. Those foals are Grade 1 Winner Creative Cause, Grade 2 winner Destin, and Grade 3 winner Vexatious. Both Creative Cause and Destin are now standing at stud and producing their own foals. When Giant’s Causeway died, his popular son Not This Time seemed like the obvious choice for her next mating. Not This Time foals so far have impressed and will be highly touted at the sales. He has a good amount entered in this sale, but this one will absolutely be his top offering. Coming from a rock solid cross, this filly will have her lucky buyers dreaming big.
- HIP 390 Filly (Tapit x Fascinating)
Picking only five yearlings in Session 3 was especially hard. In my opinion this is the top day of the entire sale list. This filly caught my eye as being one that had great potential. Her dam is the Grade 1 placed mare Fascinating. In her racing days, Fascinating was very talented but was unlucky. She was in the money in both the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante and the Chandelier Stakes. She is a half sister to Grade 1 winner and top stallion Bodemeister. Like Bodemeister, Fascinating was extremely precocious on the track. Their dam Untouched Talent comes from a top broodmare family that is known to produce. Any Tapit filly is popular at the sales, especially one with an extensive black-type page such as this girl. Her pedigree screams potential especially at an early age. She is also a top prospect for a future broodmare given her bloodlines.
- HIP 485 FILLY (Empire Maker x Lady Pewitt)
One thing about this filly really stuck out to me and made me want to include her on my list. I saw several pictures of her over the weekend and she has some of the kindest eyes I have ever seen on a thoroughbred. Her sire Empire Maker is one of the kindest active stallions in the country. She also gets even temperament from her dam whose foals have been easy to handle as well. Other than her kind demeanor and sleek profile, this filly is a half sister to Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies winner Jaywalk. She traces back to La Paz, another exceptionally productive broodmare of recent times that happens to be her third dam. With this pedigree profile to boot, this filly is an exciting prospect to any potential buyer. She will be a gem to be around in the future.
- HIP 473 FILLY (American Pharoah x Keertana)
Another American Pharoah filly out of a popular and productive broodmare family. Dam Keertana has been commercially popular and has produced like it as well. Her first foal Ticonderoga was extremely talented early and a graded stakes winner on the grass. Keertana’s dam, Motokiks, has been known for being a ‘broodmare of broodmares’ if you will. Not only does she have Keertana, but she also has Snow Top Mountain to her credit. Snow Top Mountain was a top filly on the racetrack like her sisters and has impressed in retirement. Her first foal was graded stakes winner and Kentucky Derby hopeful Greyvitos. Motokiks also has the late and talented Diversy Harbor on her resume who no doubt would have also been an exceptional broodmare. This filly’s female family leaps off the page at you and being by a Triple Crown winner doesn’t hurt either. Will be highly respected on the track and someday in the breeding shed.
- HIP 546 COLT (Uncle Mo x Miss Macy Sue)
Uncle Mo’s unprecedented popularity at stud has yet to waiver and as long as he is getting mares like Miss Macy Sue it never will. Miss Macy Sue is the type of mare that works well with any stallion she is bred to. All of her foals are by different stallions and three won stakes races out of four to race. Of her foals she has Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map, Grade 3 winner and popular a stallion Not This Time, and stakes winner Taylor S. This colt is a half brother to all of them. Given his pedigree this colt could be lightning fast. Both sire, dam, and siblings were known for their speed and early precocity. If he is anything like his family, look out. This colt could be a potential super star.
- HIP 498 FILLY (American Pharoah x Leslie’s Lady)
What more can you say about this filly? Her photos and her page speak for themselves. This filly will most likely be the top offering of the entire sale. She is an extremely rare offering being by a Triple Crown winner out of a blue hen mare. A yearling with this exciting of a pedigree hasn’t been sold since the 1980’s when Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Affirmed were commanding the sales. Leslie’s Lady is perhaps the top American broodmare of the 21st century, surely the last decade. Not that it needs repeating, but she is the dam of three time Breeders’ Cup Champion Beholder, Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner Mendelssohn, and Into Mischief – the top stallion currently standing in America. Mares like Leslie’s Lady are truly once in a lifetime just like this filly above is. Many that have photographed her remark her uncanny resemblance to her big sister. She is the closest thing in looks and temperament that they have bred to Beholder. Could she be the next Beholder? With the way American Pharoah is producing so far she already has a head start on all of her competition. I simply cannot express enough how special of an offering this filly is. She should sell upwards of $3 million, and even that is a bargain. She is worth her weight in gold even if she never sets foot on a racetrack.
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