Pioneerof The Nile colt on top as Book 3 begins

Pioneerof The Nile colt on top as Book 3 begins By Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse 12:45PM 19 SEP 2016

THEY saved the best for last during Sunday's session of the Keeneland September yearling sale when the day's highest price of $700,000 was paid by Paul Haughey's PTK Racing for a Pioneerof The Nile colt.

Consigned by Peter O'Callaghan's Woods Edge Farm, the colt, next-to-last through the ring, is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Softly Lit and out of a half-sister to Grade 3 winner He Loves Me and multiple stakes winner For Kisses.

The colt's second dam is Grade 3 winner Palliser Bay. He was bred in Kentucky by Clicquot Bloodstock.

"He's just a spectacular-looking horse," said Haughey, who was accompanied by trainer Dane Kobiskie. "He looks the part and he's really smart."

Haughey, who owned two siblings to the colt's dam, Running Creek, said he has ramped up his programme by buying better horses.

"We've bought enough $5,000 ones and some of those turned out and some $20,000 ones turned out, but we thought we needed an eye for well-bred horses, particularly fillies."

Across-the-board gains in Book 3 opener

With a diverse buying bench that included a large contingent of trainers, pinhookers, agents, and end-users, the first session of Book 3 produced across-the-board gains following similar results during the first five days of the sale.

Keeneland reported 269 horses grossed $23,243,000 for an average price of $86,405, up 17 per cent over $73,752 figure for 266 that totaled $19,618,000 during the same session a year ago. The median jumped 27 per cent to $55,000 and the not sold rate was 26 per cent.

After six days, the average of $196,808 is tracking eight per cent ahead of a year ago, with 1,081 lots selling for $212,749,000. Through the first six days of 2015, 1,234 yearlings had grossed $224,536,000. The cumulative not-sold rate is 31 per cent.

Mineshaft filly for Hronis Racing

The second-highest price of $410,000 Sunday was paid for a daughter of Mineshaft consigned by Lane's End. The chestnut filly, hip 1416, was one of the first horses through the ring.

Trainer John Sadler said the filly was purchased on behalf of Hronis Racing. Agent David Ingordo signed the sales receipt in the name of Martin Anthony.

"I just thought she was a big, strong filly, regardless of the day she sold on," said Sadler of the purchase, in reference to a future prospect bringing that kind of price on the sixth day of the auction.

Bred in Kentucky by Three Chimneys Farm, the filly is out of the Empire Maker mare Scenic Drive, a sister to stakes winner Supreme and from the female family of Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos.

"She stacks up as well as any other fillies in the sale", Ingordo said.

Baffert takes a chance on Violence

A colt from the first crop of Hill 'n' Dale's first-crop sire Violence was bought by trainer Bob Baffert for $400,000 as the third-highest price on the day.

Produced from the Grade 3-placed With Approval mare Bala, the colt is a half-brother to Canadian Grade 2 winner Bay To Bay, a Sligo Bay filly who was also a stakes winner and Grade 1-placed while amassing earnings of $744,728.

Bred in Kentucky by Black Rock Thoroughbreds, the colt represented a successful pinhook transaction as he had been previously purchased by Marc Ricker for $100,000 from the Blake-Albina Thoroughbred Services consignment to this year's Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February mixed sale.

Baffert, who was buying for an unnamed new client, said he had no trepidation about paying that much for a yearling by a first-crop sire "as long as they can run. That's a lot of money for a horse if they can't run, but we'll worry about that when the time comes."

Violence, who stood this year for $15,000, is a son of Medaglia d'Oro who won the CashCall Futurity (gr. I) and Nashua Stakes (gr. II).

"He looks a lot like he (Violence) did when he was running," Baffert said of the yearling.

The sale continues through to Sunday with sessions that begin at 10am local time daily.

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