Frosted relation leads way as numbers dip

Frosted relation on top as numbers dip By Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse 1:54PM 20 SEP 2016

A BERNARDINI colt from the family of top handicap horse Frosted was purchased by Ben Glass on behalf of Gary and Mary West for $600,000 to top Monday's session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, in which the numbers dipped slightly.

The session had a slight dip in momentum since the previous six days of the auction as 286 horses were sold for $20,935,500.

The session average of $73,201 represented a six per cent decline from the $77,906 figure a year ago when a Curlin filly was sold for a Book 3 record price of $975,000.

The median rose by five per cent to $57,500 from $55,000 and the not sold rate was 22 per cent compared with 26 per cent a year ago.

The sale continues until Sunday, trending ahead of last year with 1,367 lots averaging $170,947 from gross receipts of $233,264,500, which is a five per cent increase from the $163,278 average in 2015.

The median of $100,000 is down five per cent and the cumulative not sold rate is 29 per cent.

"Overall today was a good, solid Book 3," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales operations, adding that the strength at the top of the market continued on from last week's strong Book 1.

"They have found a comfort level and are very happy in that comfort level. It really has continued on and they're happy to spend the money. The competition was good."

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With the sale transitioning into Book 4 for Tuesday's session, Russell said there are still a lot of buyers who haven't filled their orders so they should remain active, along with the usual group of new buyers who show up during the second week of the auction.

"He stood out so we had to step it up"

The Bernardini colt, consigned as Hip 1928 by Taylor Made Sales Agency on behalf of Godolphin, was produced from the winning Unbridled's Song mare With Sugar On Top, a half-sister to Frosted, who won his third Grade 1 in the Whitney Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Fast Cookie, the dam of Frosted and With Sugar On Top, is a multiple Grade 2-winning daughter of Deputy Minister bred and raced by Bob McNair's Stonerside Farm.

Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin purchased the 2,000-acre Stonerside Farm and nearly all of its bloodstock holdings in September 2008.

"He was an athletic horse who had a great walk on him," said Glass. "He looked like he would be an early horse; the kind of horse the Glasses like. He stood out so we had to step it up [in price]. We got lucky."

Mark Taylor said the colt was in Book 3 of the Keeneland sale rather than placed with the better prospects of Book 1 because when he was inspected by Taylor Made's representatives in early spring "he had a good walk but he was a little on the small side."

Then, when it came time to do the catalogue placement for Books 2 and 3, the colt ended up on the second day of Book 3. "We had other Bernardini foals for Book 2 so we just bumped him back.

"He really blossomed during the summer and he was a quality horse. All the big players found him. He was the obvious standout today but I think he would have brought about that whether no matter which book he was in. He just had charisma about him."

People still buying in Book 3

Consignor Kerry Cauthen of Four Star Sales said the consignment "had a great sale" on Monday, selling 26 of 29 offered on the day for receipts of $1,607,000.

"There are a lot of people who still need horses," Cauthen said as he and his staff kept pace with the busy activity at the barn. "There was a lot of steam at the end of Book 2 and it keeps on going. We had a nice group of horses and there are buyers here for them if you keep your reserves honest and let the market decide what they're worth.

"You have a lot of end-users buying to take them to the track, and that's what you want to see in a healthy market. It's not being buoyed by investment money."

A Curlin colt consigned as Hip 1843 bought the day's second-highest price of $485,000, going to agent Mike Ryan. Bred by Happy Hill Farm, the bay colt is out of the Lawyer Ron mare Sing Like A Bird, a half sister to multiple stakes winner Wirefortwotwenty.

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