Keeneland April Sale: 10 Days and Counting

Keeneland's April sale of 2-year-olds in training will start in about 10 days (previews on April 7, followed by sale dates April 8-9). While I'm still not in the market for racing stock, I'm always eager to see what's being offered. This year's catalog had some interesting pedigrees.

I dog-eared about a dozen hips to watch, and I'll take a look at a few of them today.  Since I tend to read the catalog from back to front, that's how I'll post my comments here.

  • Hip #101 (view catalog page) is a bay colt by Seattle Fitz (ARG) out of a Pentelicus mare whose third dam is a half sister to In Reality, the standard-bearer of the Man o' War sire line. The sale colt's dam, Cometuseibella, is an interesting study in pedigree patterns, and using bloodstock that I like a whole lot.  She has the Rasmussen Factor to My Dear Girl, and her Pentelicus bloodlines bring in another cross to My Dear Girl's sire, Rough ‘n Tumble, via Dr. Fager, whose dam (Aspidistra) is also doubled in Pentelicus' pedigree.  Hip #101 is even more interesting, though, because of his sire. Seattle Fitz (on SRO) stands for a low fee at Buck Pond Farm and is a rare American source of Blenheim II via Cipayo (ARG).  This cross doesn't bring in any inbreeding (the most interesting doubled line being Swaps, 5S x 6D), but instead allows Seattle Fitz to serve as an outcross to the mare's inbreeding - a tried-and-true recipe for success.
  • Hip #100 (view catalog page), a chestnut filly by Unbridled's Song (on SRO) out of the Regal Classic mare Classic Threat, is worth mention if only because her fourth dam is Claiborne's wonderful mare State, who's responsible for such fine runners and sires as Pulpit and Minardi and Tale of the Cat and Johannesburg and Teuflesberg. This branch of that family has been a steady source of catalog black type, and the filly's potential as an eventual broodmare prospect makes her a good choice even at a 2-year-old sale.
  • Hip #92 (view catalog page), a chestnut colt by El Corredor (on SRO) out of the Carr de Naskra mare Big Fins, boasts second dam Cahooters, who produced Buddha, and a fourth dam who's a half sister to Damascus. I think inbreeding to Secretariat is highly underrated, and this colt's got Big Red 5x5, plus two more crosses to Bold Ruler, also 5x5.
  • Hip #91 (view catalog page) is a dark bay or brown colt by Birdstone (on SRO) out of the Rakeen mare Bessie's Chips, and is exciting for two reasons.  He's by freshman sire Birdstone, who is by Grindstone, probably the most likely son of Unbridled to pass on both soundness and stamina. (I think Birdstone still has detractors just for daring to dash Smarty Jones' Triple Crown chances a few years back....)  But the reason this colt is likely to attract just a bit more attention than he's already deserving of is that his third dam is La Reine Rouge, the second dam of fan-favorite and Kentucky Derby champion Barbaro. This particular branch of the family hasn't done a whole lot in two generations, but I'm predicting that the introduction of Birdstone's blood will prove to be a stroke of genius.

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