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$1 million colt heads solid day at Keeneland

BUYERS were still having to stretch their budgets for top prospects during the third session of the Keeneland September Salein Lexington, Kentucky, yesterday as the strong momentum generated during the select two-day portion of the sale carried over into Book 2.

Although yesterday was the first non select session of the sale, it produced another million dollar yearling in a son of Smart Strike knocked down to owner George Bolton.

Bidding opened at just $50,000 for the colt but it didn't take long for interest to rocket towards seven figures with Bolton eventually getting the last laugh at a round million. The colt, who is the fourth foal out of Grade 3 winner Ask Me No Secrets and was consigned by Greenfield Farm, is the third yearling of the September sale to sell for $1 million or more.

Boltonwas a partner with Jess Jackson in Smart Strike's standout son Curlin, the winner of six races en route to landing consecutive US Horse of the Year honours, and made no secret of the regard in which he holds the stallion.

"Smart Strike has been very lucky for us - he throws runners and this colt could havea lot of stallion potential," said Bolton. "It's in the back of our mind that he could be a stallion prospect. I think the stallion market is rebounding - it's half ofwhat it was in say 2007 but it won't be going any lower.

"My agent John Moynihan picked him out and said I had to get on a plane over here. The good ones are hard to buy here and with the way it's been over the past few days, I thought we'd have to spend around that mark."

Despite continued demand for top end bloodstock, there was no hiding for vendors from the selective nature of the market with 68 per cent of horses offered during the day listed as sold.

All told 204 yearlings were sold for an aggregate of $27,292,000. The average fell six per cent from the corresponding day last year to $133,784 while the median dropped two and a half per cent to $97,500.

Read more in Wednesday's Racing Post.




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