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Todd Pletcher

Todd Pletcher: bought the $750,000 son of Giant's Causeway

Keeneland September Sale - day 4 as it happens

Book 2 statistics

Offered: 918

Sold: 655 (71%)

Aggregate: $132,853,000

Average: $202,829 (+5%)

Median: $150,000 (unchanged)

No. of $1 million+ lots: 7 (2011: 6)


Day four statistics

Offered: 264

Sold: 198 (75%)

Aggregate: $35,750,000

Average: $180,556 (+11%)

Median: $140,000 (+8%)

Leading consignor: Taylor Made Sales Agency, 18 sold for $3.47 million



 Lot no.  Breeding  Purchaser  Price ($)
 956  c Empire Maker - Lu Ravi  Big Red Farm  1.1 million
 1021  c Smart Strike - Mon Belle  Stonestreet  Stable  900,000
 1004  c Unbridled's Song - Miss Macy Sue  St. Elias/JJ Crupi  800,000
 807  c Giant's Causeway - Good Vibes  Todd Pletcher  750,000
 960  f Indian Charlie - Macoumba  Solis Bloodstock  650,000
 1042  c Dynaformer - My Chickadee  650,000



 Name  No. bought  Total ($)  Average ($)
 Live Oak Plantation  6  2.07 million  345,000
 Fox Hill/T. McGreevy  6  1.39 million  231,667
 Ben Glass, agent  5  1.22 million  244,000
 Big Red Farm/S. Okada  1  1.1 million  1.1 million
 Amerman Racing  4  990,000  247,500


LEADING SIRES BY AVERAGE (more than one sold)

 Name  No. offered  No. sold  Average ($)
 Empire Maker    8  315,625
 Indian Charlie  7  282,500
 Distorted Humor  4  278,250
 Smart Strike  8  268,750



 Name  No. offered  No. sold  Average ($)
 Cape Cross  1  1  150,000
 Danehill Dancer  1  1  250,000
 Duke Of Marmalade  1  1  25,000
 Galileo  5  5  368,000
 Invincible Spirit  1  1  270,000
 Montjeu  1  1  85,000
 Raven's Pass  1  0  ----
 Sea The Stars  3  2  365,000
 Shamardal  1  1  110,000



 Name  2010 fee  No. sold  Average ($)
 Colonel John  $15,000  3  245,000
 Conduit  Private  1  42,000
 Kodiak Kowboy  $15,000  1  100,000
 Pioneerof The Nile  $20,000  4  198,750
 Pyro  2 million JPY  1  140,000
 Sea The Stars  €85,000  2  365,000
 Zensational  $25,000  4  183,750


Lot 1021 - George Bolton and Barbara Banke's Stonestreet Stables have enjoyed incredible success with the progeny of Lane's End Farm stallion Smart Strike and Stonestreet returns to the well again when paying $900,000 through John Moynihan for a colt from Dromoland Farm.

"He's a real pretty horse and we've had so much luck with the stallion," said Moynihan referring to the partnership's success with Curlin and recent Saratoga Grade 2 winner Dominus.

"He's a very good-looking horse but it was a lot to pay. I was expecting him to make $600,000 to $750,000 but I didn't jump in until about $700,000. Barbara [Banke] was spurring me on!"

The chestnut is a half-brother to Listed winner Supreme and out of Mon Belle, a winning Maria's Mon sister to Kentucky Derby hero Monarchos.

Lot 1015 - the end of an era as the hammer falls at $200,000 on the final A P Indy yearling of the sale, a filly out of Grade 3 winner Mo Cuishle. Mark Casse is the buyer.

The final yearlings by A P Indy, a champion runner and sire who sold for $2.9 million at the 1990 Keeneland July Sale, have mostly been in demand this week, averaging $466,111 for nine sold led by a $1.1 million filly sold to Whisper Hill Farm on the first night.

A P Indy's peaked in 2005 when 22 yearlings averaged $925,773.

"We consider A P Indy a Keeneland horse," said Geoffrey Russell, director of sales at Keeneland. "He topped the July Sale and we were very proud of him on the racetrack and at stud. His legacy will last forever. 

"I thought there might have been bit more of premium on them this week, especially for the fillies, but that's the marketplace."

Lot 1004 - "If he can run, he has enough pedigree to be a stallion," says agent J J Crupi after signing at $800,000 for an Unbridled's Song colt out of Grade 3 winner Miss Macy Sue. The colt has been bought on behalf of St. Elias, a New York-based partnership.

"He looked like a racehorse. He was a real standout and had everything in the right place."

Taylor Made Sales Agency sold the colt.

Lot 956 - the new session-topper is a son of Empire Maker from Peter O'Callaghan's Woods Edge Farm who sells for $1.1 million to Shigeyuki Okada of Big Red Farm in Japan. 

He is the seventh yearling to sell for $1 million or more.

Bred on the same A.P. Indy cross that yielded 2011 champion Royal Delta, the colt is a three-parts brother to Listed winner Ravi's Song and out of Lu Ravi, whose 11 wins included a pair of Grade 2 races. Further back, it is the family of champion two-year-old filly Halfbridled.

He was bred in Kentucky by Nakago Fujita and hails from the final American crop of former Juddmonte stallion Empire Maker, who now stands at the JBBA Stallion Station in Japan.

"He'll go back to Japan," said Okada. "He has very good conformation and strong muscle. I also liked his temperament, he took everything well.

"I expected him to make more. In another country, like Japan or Australia, I think he could have cost more money."

Big Red Farm stood 13 stallions in 2011, including leading sire Stay Gold and the top European runner Conduit. Next year, the roster will be complemented by this year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes hero I'll Have Another.

"I'll Have Another is settling in well," he said. "I also have Conduit and I expect him to be a very good stallion."

O'Callaghan was high on the colt before the sale, saying: "He's an exceptional looking colt with a very good pedigree. He's the whole package."

Lots 876 and 877 - the Justenuffheart family generates $800,000 within minutes for Greg Goodman's Mt. Brilliant Farm.

Heading the pair is an Irish-bred Distorted Humor colt out of Justenuffheart herself who sells to Charlotte Weber's Live Oak Plantation for $500,000.

Not only is he a brother to Grade 2 winner Justenuffhumor, but also a half-brother to champion juvenile filly Dreaming Of Anna as well as Grade 2 winner Lewis Micahel. In addition, Listed winner Justenuffheart, by Broad Brush, is a half-sister to champion and leading sire Kitten's Joy.

He was followed into the ring by a Tapit filly out of Justenufftime, an unraced Giant's Causeway daughter of Justenuffheart. She was snapped up by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm and agent Tom McGreevy for $300,000.

Lot 870 - Runnymede Farm's Conduit filly will race for West Point Thoroughbreds after selling to Terry Finley's operation for $42,000.

Yesterday, West Point secured Runnymede's colt by Pyro, like Conduit a resident of Japan.

The Conduit filly was bred in Kentucky out of the Danehill mare Josette and is a half-sister to four winners including the Group 3-placed Japanese colt Deep Sound.

Conduit, who won the King George, St Leger and two renewals of the Breeders' Cup Turf for Sir Michael Stoute, stands at Big Red Farm in Japan for approximately £29,000.

Lot 847 - talk to some vendors and the market is perceived as dull and patchy. Not so for Antony Beck's Gainesway, which sells its seventh $500,000 + yearling of the sale in a son of Empire Maker that falls to B. Wayne Hughes' Spendthrift Farm for $625,000.

From the last American crop of his sire, the colt is the second foal out of Inda, a winning A.P. Indy half-sister to Grade 1 winner Brahms.

"Three of the largest buyers from the past couple of years are not participating but the market is still strong," said Beck after congratulationg Hughes.

"But in my opinion, the market is getting more polarised. All the big players are on the same horses but then there's some, which will turn into real good racehorses, that are not making what they should. The horse has got to have all the right physical attributes and then vet." 

Lot 807 - a Giant's Causeway half-brother to the top Hong Kong performer Sweet Orange (Warning Flag when with Aidan O'Brien) will join Todd Pletcher after the leading trainer fights off the competition at $750,000.

"I had a lot of success with Giant's Causeway and I love him," said Pletcher, who said he was acting on behalf of a group of established owners - not Coolmore. "So when you get one by him that looks and walks like this colt, you have to pay - it was a little higher than we expected. But I thought he was outstanding."

Four Star Sales sold the colt, who is the eighth foal out of the minor winning Unbridled's Song mare Good Vibes.

"The market is strong," added Pletcher. "For me, it seems to be showing signs of recovery. If you find a really good individual, then you have to pay out of the ball park prices. 

"In my opinion, yesterday's horses were a stronger group. But I think the new format works really well - I was able to get enough time to look at them all."

Lot 798 - the powerful combination of Gainesway and Tapit are enjoying a phenomenal sale.

Prior to today, Gainesway had sold seven yearlings by their flagship sire for an average of $394,286 (a very strong figure considering Tapit stood for $50,000 in 2010) and they strike again early today through a grey colt that sells for $510,000 to J.B. McKathan on behalf of Fog City Stable, best known as the part owner of The Factor.

Steven Young was the underbidder.

"He was a really classy, smooth walking, elegant colt," said McKathan, a juvenile pinhooker by trade based in Florida. "Tapit is really flavour of the year.

"With Tapit being so popular, I'm not surprised he made that much but it is a lot of money. He'll go down to Florida for now. It hasn't been decided yet who will train him."

The colt was bred by S F Bloodstock out of Gold Canyon, a daughter of Mr Prospector whose previous foals include the Grade 2 Lane's End Stakes winner Adriano (by Tapit's grandsire A P Indy).

Lot 766 - the sole Cape Cross catalogued is heading to Japan after selling to the J S Company for $150,000. Bred in Kentucky by his vendor Indian Creek, the colt is out of the Victory Gallop mare Flowerette, a half-sister to Flower Alley.

The progeny of European sires have been well received so far - for instance, while Galileo was responsible for a $500,000 colt on the opening night, there was also the Invincible Spirit colt who sold for $270,000 and the Shamardal colt who sold for $110,000.

The only mediocre result has been the $25,000 paid for yesterday's Duke Of Marmalade colt - he is off to Thailand.

Keeneland graduates have enjoyed plenty of success in Russia of later and the Russian-based Raut LLC has stepped their activity a notch with two bought within the first hour. They include a $240,000 son of Ghostzapper.

Lot 745 - the Sea The Stars half-brother to Gorella and Porto Santo fails to prompt much interest, with the hammer coming down at $55,000 in Mark Johnston's favour.

The colt is Johnston's fourth purchase of the sale, and Johnston has tweeted: "Four yearlings for sale from Keeneland. Colts by Dynaformer, Bernstein, Stormy Atlantic and See The Stars. Almost like the good old days."

More European buyers are coming out to play. All the usual pinhookers are here - Willie Browne, Norman Williamson, Roger O'Callaghan, Thomond O'Mara etc - as is Federico Barberini, who found Dream Ahead for $11,000 in Book 7 of this sale three years ago.




King's Theatre £1,905,930
Presenting £1,616,604
Kayf Tara £1,300,285
Beneficial £1,224,898
Flemensfirth £1,132,421
Milan £1,088,445
Oscar £920,342
Westerner £850,657
Old Vic £555,127
Midnight Legend £480,454

Sales summary

Goffs   Feb 10 2016