Programs, get your programs here (Keeneland Sale)


Do you ever wish you had a glossy program for the Keeneland Sales?  Sometimes the youngsters go through the ring so fast I don’t always catch who they are and who their relatives are. 


If someone would pay $5.00 for a magazine with photos of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s offspring, imagine what horse racing fans would pay for the same privilege to see the siblings of Zenyatta and Big Brown.


All kidding aside, here are some of the yearlings that I will be keeping an eye out for this week in the first two hundred through the ring.  Who do you like?



Hip 10 – (A.P. Indy out of Penny’s Fortune by Storm Cat) This colt is out of a half-sister to Old Trieste, who was also sired by A.P. Indy out of the Vigors mare Lovlier Linda.  This is the dam’s first foal.  Old Trieste barely had time to leave his mark on the breed before his death at the age of eight.  We will never know just how good he could have been.  His offspring seemed to be speedy, but also liked turf, which might have made him a desirable sire for synthetic surfaces.


Old Trieste showed some affinity for dams by the sires His Majesty, sons of Roberto and the sire and offspring of Deputy Minister.  Since this colt is by A.P. Indy this makes him very close in breeding to the departed stallion.

Old Trieste’s son, Silver Train, winning the 2005 Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Belmont Park



Hip 12 – (Giant’s Causeway out of Playful Act (IRE) by Sadler’s Wells)  If a broodmare with an aborted breeding sold with only a weanling filly (this one) under her name is worth a record setting $10.5 million dollars, what is her first daughter by Giant’s Causeway worth? 


Playful Act was sold by Swettenham Stud (Sangster family) last fall.  Sheikh Mohammed purchased the broodmare on behalf of his Darley operation after one of those famous battles with Coolmore.  It is reasonable to think that the value could have been a little skewed because of the parties involved, but Sadler’s Wells is probably the best broodmare sire in the world.  This could be the last and only offspring sold from the mare Playful Act, and with the sire being Coolmore stallion, one has to wonder if Darley will abstain or if they will want to ensure they are the only ones with Playful Act’s offspring.  Their actions may determine the price level this filly reaches.  It is hard to imagine Coolmore letting this one get away for any reasonable price.




Hip 20 – (Gone West out of Queen (IRE) by Sadler’s Wells) This gray colt out of a daughter of the grade 1 stakes winner, Infamy (IRE).  Infamy was a lovely gray filly who swished her tail like a propeller when she ran.  She beat the males in the 1988 Grade 1 Rothmans International and then went to Churchill Downs for the Breeder’s Cup Turf.  She was part of a trio of very accomplished racemares, along with Triptych and Indian Skimmer.  Infamy did not handle the trip on that day, while Indian Skimmer survived a rank trip and proved the best of the three behind pacesetter, Great Communicator.


Peter Brant’s Triptych won multiple Group 1 races and placed in the Epsom Derby and the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe twice.  She won the Irish Champion Stakes, the Cornation Cup twice and the list goes on-and-on.


The other gray filly in the race was Indian Skimmer, Sheikh Mohammed’s champion mare.  She did not reproduce herself as a broodmare and was retired from that job at Darley to reside with his retired broodmares.  She does have a paternal side granddaughter you might have heard about, Ipi Tombe, by Indian Skimmer’s son Manshood (by Mr. Prospector).  She was the winner of 12 of 14 starts, a South African champion and legend.  


Triptych was bred to Mr. Prospector the year following her fourth-place-finish in the Breeder’s Cup Turf.  Unfortunately she died in a freak accident with a security vehicle making nightly rounds. 


Infamy has gone on to produce four black-type-offspring and ten winners including Innuendo and Rostropovich.



The 1988 Breeders’ Cup Turf



Hips 48 (Ghostzapper out of Secret Status by A.P. Indy), 138 (Ghostzapper out of Bird Town by Cape Town) and 383 (Ghostzapper out of Belva by Theatrical (Ire) –Ghostzapper gets 27 of his first crop in this important sale, produced from mares like Grade 1 Test Stakes winner Victory Ride, dams of multiple Grade 1 winner Greg’s Gold, Grade 1 winner Joey Franco and Grade 2 winners Runway Model and Zanjero.  Also, Grade 1 winners Mandy’s Gold and Collect the Cash.  But these three really stand out on paper because of their accomplishments either on the track or in the breeding shed.  Two are Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winners and the other is the dam of eclipse turf champion English Channel. 


Both of the Oaks winners have produced bay colts while Belva has produced a chestnut filly, a May foal.


(Hip 138 has been withdrawn from the sale) Bird Town’s 2003 Kentucky Oaks win


Secret Status 2000 Kentucky Oaks win


English Channel in his gutsy 2007 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic



Hip 62 – (Storm Cat out of Spain by Thunder Gulch) This dark bay colt out of Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Spain is a full brother to Spain’s first foal, the three-year-old Plan who won the Group 3 Keeneland International Stakes at the Curragh.  He also placed in Winchester’s Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington in his first start in the United States for the IEAH and Michael Tabor partnership.  


Spain is out of a tough knocking filly named Drina.  I was a fan of Drina’s.  She raced at Calder failing to break her maiden until her twelfth start on the Calder/Hialeah/Gulfstream circuit and then only for the $15,000 level.  She continued to languish in those lower level claiming races until the tag was put on her when she was claimed in her third year of racing, her 22nd start, by Joseph Calascibetta, albeit for a tag of $15,000 in 1993. 


Drina ran on lasix in her 23rd start and won by nine lengths at Hialeah.  This was her first start on the turf.  Drina went on to win or place in eight of her next ten starts, dirt and turf.  She won the Viscaya Handicap at Calder and ran second in the Ms Tropical Handicap.  She was as tough as nails, like many Calder campaigners.  She ran and won on fast dirt, mud and sloppy courses and turf courses.  She won at all three south Florida tracks.


The daughter of Regal and Royal out of the Private Account mare Wandering Lace had a 44-race-career and won over $205,000.  Aside from Spain, she is the dam of stakes winners, Fantastic Spain, Path of Thunder, and Puerto Banus.


Spain wins the 2000 Breeder’s Cup Distaff at 50-1



Plan runs second in 2008 Arlington Million


Hip 69 (Storm Cat out of Starry Dreamer by Rubiano) – This is a bay colt out of the graded stakes winner Starry Dreamer by Rubiano.  Starry Dreamer has produced graded stakes winners Teammate, War Front and Ecclesiastic.  Although this colt is not grey, the grey line in this family traces back hundreds of years, as does the talent.


War Front is Hip 69’s half brother and here is his 2006 performance in the grade 2 Tom Fool.



Hip 86 – (Pulpit out of Tap your Heels by Unbridled)  This gray March-born filly is a full sister to Grade 1 stakes winner and sire Tapit. 


Tapit’s second dam is Ruby Slippers, the daughter of Nijinsky (CAN).  She produced champion sprinter Rubiano and the dam, Tap Your Heels (by Unbridled).   Ruby Slippers is out of the In Reality mare, Moon Glitter.  Moon Glitter is a full sister to the influential sire Relaunch, out of The Axe mare Foggy Note.  Relaunch sired Grade 1 winners Waquoit, One Dreamer, Honour and Glory, With Anticipation and Skywalker.  

Moon Glitter also produced the speedy Dewan sire Glitterman, sire of Grade 1 winner Glitter Woman.  Glitter Woman was not gray but she produced the new Claiborne sire and Grade 1 winner Political Force (by Unbridled) who is gray. 


Tapit’s win in the 2004 Grade 1 Wood Memorial


Hip 107 – (Mr. Greeley out of Won’t She Tell by Banner Sport) - this a chestnut colt out the half-sister to Affirmed, Won’t She Tell.  The dam is a foal of 1984.  Her 1993 colt, Dr. Caton was a son of Affirmed’s racing foe, Seattle Slew.  He was famously named after a physician who cared for D. Wayne Lukas’ son, Jeff, when he was terribly injured by the colt Tabasco Cat.  There are quite a bit of common names in this pedigree, but I liked the Affirmed connection


Mr. Greeley’s daughter Finsceal Beo (IRE) winning the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket



Hip 131 – (A.P. Indy out of Banshee Winds by Known Fact) This bay filly named EZ Indy is a half-sister to champion three-year-old filly and Breeders’ Cup Distaff champion Banshee Breeze.  Banshee Winds also produced the mare Unbridled Breeze.  Her son, Speed Limit, made an impressive debut at Saratoga in a well-meant-field, but faltered in his second star after a rough trip for owner Overbrook Farm.


Banshee Breeze wins 1998 Breeder’s Cup Distaff at Churchill Downs


Hip 148 (Unbridled’s Song out of Classic Approval by With Approval) – This bay colt is out of Classic Approval, dam of graded stakes winner Gulch Approval.  This is a Fred Hooper female family with stakes winners Class Kris, Patriot Act, Gradepoint, Sleeping Indian, Don’t Get Mad and Grade 1 winner Student Council all under second dam Classic Value.  The dam’s side is a who’s who of Hooper stakes winners including Copelan, Tri-Jet, Crozier and Hooper’s champion Susan’s Girl. 


Susan’s Girl was three-year-old champion in 1972 and the champion distaffer in both 1973 and 1975.  She made 63 starts with 29 visits to the winner’s circle and 25 placings.  She was inducted into the National Museum or Racing’s Hall of Fame in 1976.


Broodmare sire With Approval wins the Canadian Triple Crown in the Breeders Stakes 1989


It is hard to think of With Approval’s triple crown run without thinking of the 1990 triple crown winner also owned by Kinghaven Farms, Izvestia.  A tragic injury in 1991 would take this talented son of Icecapade, a half-brother to Ruffian.  But here he gives his connections a happier day with his win in the Breeder’s Stakes.



Hip 177 (Storm Cat out of Farda Amiga by Broad Brush) – This is a bay filly out of the 2002 Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks and the Alabama Stakes winner, Farda Amiga.  The victory for Farda Amiga over Take Charge Lady in the Kentucky Oaks announced her great distance ability and her subsequent win in the Alabama followed by a second place effort in the Breeder’s Cup behind Horse of the Year Azeri sealed her three-year-old champion honors.


Farda Amiga wins the 2002 Kentucky Oaks


Farda Amiga’s 2002 Alabama stretch run



Hip 187 – (Distorted Humor Colt out of Golden Ballet by Moscow Ballet)  Distorted Humor has kept the Forty Niner lineage alive in this country and the speedy Golden Ballet seems like a nice fit for a sire that has produced a double Whitney Stakes winner (Commentator), Travers winner Flower Alley and Kentucky Derby winner Funny Cide. 


Golden Ballet was precocious at two, winning the Cinderella Stakes but she was able to stretch out to win the Sanita Anita Oaks as a three-year-old.  She won six of her ten starts and accumulated over $730,000 in earnings. 


Golden Ballet’s best offspring was a $1.6 million dollar purchase for Darley.  The 2004  filly Stage Luck is by Unbridled’s Song.  She races for Darley Stable and won or placed in all five of her starts.  She won the Affectionately Handicap at Aqueduct.  


The product of this mating is a chestnut colt.


Golden Ballet’s game win in the 2001 Santa Anita Oaks win



Hips 194 (Harlan’s Holiday out of Henderson Band by Chimes Band) and 311 (Harlan’s Holiday out of Strollin Slew by Seattle Slew) – Both are offspring of the promising sophomore stallion Harlan’s Holiday.  His sire Harlan by Storm Cat out of the  Gun Bow mare Country Romance would have been a nice outcross for many of our mares if not for his untimely death in 1999. 


With only four crops and a small sampling, he produced outstanding colts like the subject stallion and the $1.7 million dollar earner Menifee, along with several other graded stakes winners or placed horses.  


Harlan’s Holiday, has produced some nice runners in his first crop.  Denis of Cork, second in last year’s Belmont Stakes (G.1) and third in the Kentucky Derby (G.1), Into Mischief winner of the Grade 1 Cashcall Futurity and Sorrento Stakes (G.3) winner Tasha’s Miracle. 

Hip 194 is a bay filly out of Henderson Band.  The yearling’s dam produced Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes winner Cash Included.  Hip 311 is a bay colt out of Strollin Slew who is out of the Forty-Niner mare Footing who is from a steady female family that melds a Claiborne family that produced Swale and Forty Niner and melds it with great Florida breeding such as Tartan Farms’ great Dr. Fager who appears in the fifth generation


Harlan’s Holiday wins the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream Park


Denis of Cork by Harlan’s Holiday wins the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park



Outside of those first 200, look for hip 340 a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Balance and Horse of the Year candidate, Zenyatta (Giant’s Causeway out of Vertigineux by Kris S.) and hip 484 a half-sister to Big Brown, another Horse of the Year candidate (Touch Gold out of Mien by Nureyev).


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