Wilburn, 'The Iron Horse,' Tops Keeneland April Sale

The stallion Giant's Causeway is nicknamed "The Iron Horse," but there's another Thoroughbred out there who deserves the nickname and he's only a 2-year-old.

 

Wilburn, the top-priced horse at $625,000 in the Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training worked like clockwork at Keeneland and Turfway Park before the auction.

 

The son of Bernardini was the only juvenile that breezed three furlongs in the under tack show, covering the distance in :33 4/5. But look at what he was doing before then based on information obtained from Equibase:

 

Keeneland

3/26/10

 

All Weather Track

 

4F

48.20

Breezing from the gate

Rank 1/6

Turfway Park

3/20/10

 

All Weather Track

 

4F

48.20

Breezing from the gate

Rank 1/22

Turfway Park

3/13/10

 

All Weather Track

 

4F

49.20

Breezing

Rank 6/23

Turfway Park

3/06/10

 

All Weather Track

 

4F

49.00

Breezing from the gate

Rank 3/24

Turfway Park

2/20/10

 

All Weather Track

 

4F

48.40

Breezing

Rank 7/37

Turfway Park

2/13/10

 

All Weather Track

 

4F

49.00

Breezing

Rank 3/16

Turfway Park

2/05/10

 

All Weather Track

 

3F

36.80

Breezing

Rank 2/8

 

That's not the usual scheduled for a sale juvenile, but the plan  was to race Wilburn just prior to the Keeneland auction, according to Mike Helmbrecht, who is the president of Woodbridge Bloodstock, which bred the colt in Kentucky. Helmbrecht's brother, Bill, trained Wilburn and consigned him to the Keeneland sale.

 

That plan was scrapped, Mike Helmbrecht said, after some pretty big-time buyers convinced the brothers they were really interested in Wilburn and preferred that the colt not race before they had an opportunity to purchase him.

 

According to Mike Helmbrecht, Wilburn had some minor physical problems as a yearling, but if the regular works indicate soundness is not an issue. He was breezing just the way you would want to see a horse coming up to his first race.

 

The other nice thing about Wilburn is his demeanor. I stopped by his barn at Keeneland, looked at him in his stall, and watched him being shown to buyers, and he is one of the most laid-back young horses I've ever seen. He stands quietly, walks out of his stall with the calmness of an elderly horse, and when he's in his stall, he closes his eyes, drops his head, and rests. There were no hitches in the colt's smooth, easy stride when the buyers watched him walk.

 

Wilburn is one of the most interesting prospects to come through a 2-year-old sale in a while. John Moynihan, the bloodstock adviser for Jess Jackson, whose Stonestreet Stables purchased the colt, said Wilburn probably would get some time off and then be prepared for summer or fall racing. Moynihan considers him to be a top two-turn prospect that will excel at classic distances.

2 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Kekira

That colt is just drop dead gorgeous. I went to foal track to find pictures of him and he's just beautiful. And he's so well-built for a two-year old. He looks to have a lot of potential.

06 Apr 2010 11:48 AM
Dave

I don't know how great Wilburn will be (looks very promising), but i have no doubt in my mind that Bernardini will spit out champion after champion.

06 Apr 2010 3:13 PM

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