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Todd Pletcher

Todd Pletcher: set to train sale topper for Ben Leon of Besilu Stable

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

A.P. Indy colt sells for
$4.2m at Keeneland

KEENELAND'S September Yearling sale started with a bang on Sunday after an A. P. Indy colt sold for $4.2m, the highest price at the sale since 2006.

The striking colt, who is out of Zenyatta's Grade 1-winning sister Balance, duly lived up to his billing as the star lot when selling to Ben Leon of Besilu Stables.

Leon outbid both Coolmore's John Magnier and trainer Bob Baffert for the colt and was thrilled to walk away with what he called "the perfect horse".

"[Trainer] Todd Pletcher thought he was the best horse in the sale," Leon said. "When the other guy went $4.1 million, it was nothing for me to go another $100,000.

"He has the pedigree to be a superstar, he's got size - he's got everything. I want to be a part of racing for a long time to come and to actually walk away with a colt like this on my first trip to Keeneland is thrilling."

Sheikh Hamdan Maktoum - Owner

Hamdan Al Maktoum: active buyer

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

Shiekh Hamdan Al Maktoum also returned to the sales ring with a vengeance after beingabsent or limited at the auctions so far this autumn.

He paid $2.885 million for six yearlings led by a Bernardini three-parts brother to Kentucky Oaks heroine Secret Status at $800,000 while Shiekh Mohammed's bloodstock advisor John Ferguson bought one, a Bernadini colt, for $450,000.

Keeneland's had taken the decision to revamp the opening of the September sale after poor performances at past sales.

Sunday's opening section had a reduction in the number of lots consigned but focused on increasing quality, resulting in the highest lot sold since Meydan City sold to John Ferguson for $11.7m in 2006.




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