Tapit daughter Bamboozle on top at Keeneland

Book 5 is underway at the Keeneland November sale

PICTURE: Keeneland – Coady Photography Tapit filly Bamboozle tops ninth session
By Evan Hammonds of Blood-horse 11:02AM 17 NOV 2016

IT was back to "business as usual" during day nine of the Keeneland November sale in Lexington. The session didn't have the higher-end horses of the Conquest dispersal that sold on Monday and Tuesday with Book 4 , but there was plenty of activity nonetheless.

"The word of the day is ‘trade,'" said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales operations. "We have horses moving along. We're into Book 5. The most important thing is we have horses here that will be going to different parts of the country and different parts of the world. That is the most important part of the Keeneland November sale."

On the day, 229 lots were reported as sold for $4,360,300, for an average of $19,041 and a median of $11,500.

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Last year's ninth session recorded 243 lots selling for $6,844,900 for an average of $28,168 and a median of $15,000. Last year's comparable session saw Donworth (by Tapit) bring $550,000 as part of the Regis Farm dispersal and Cowboy Rhythm sell for $335,000 as part of the WinStar Farm horses of racing age segment.

As for Wednesday's figures, Russell reminded: "It's hard to compare session to session. Last year the WinStar horses of racing age were in this session. This year, they were in the eighth session."

The big picture remains relatively unchanged from last year. Through nine sessions, Keeneland has reported 1,924 lots as sold, down two per cent from last year, for $208,371,300, down two per cent from $212,021,900 a year ago. The average is nearly even at $108,301 in 2016 compared with $108,285 last year. The median, $45,000, is unchanged.

Tapit filly sells well

The highest lot of the day was $140,000 for Bamboozle, an unraced four-year-old Tapit filly, selling in foal to Midshipman to Big Kid, who is Jeff Drown of Minnesota. She was consigned by Padraig Campion's Blandford Stud. Bamboozle is out of Evil, who has produced Grade 2 winner and sire Tiz Wonderful.

Early in the day's session, bloodstock agent Davant Latham went to $130,000 to purchase ten-year-old Minishaft from Wayne and Cathy Sweezey's Timber Town, agent for Robert S. Evans. Evans is the brother of the late Edward P. Evans, who bred Minishaft out of his graded stakes-winning mare Minidar. Robert Evans purchased Minishaft for $620,000 during his brother's dispersal at Keeneland in 2011.

"How can you do better than that family? And she's by Mineshaft who is just killing it. I think he's very underappreciated as a sire," Latham said. "She's a big, pretty mare that has plenty of size and plenty of scope. She sold for a bit higher than I thought she would."

Minishaft was sold in foal to Robert Evans' Tonalist.

"He won the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup; he won the Belmont Stakes; he won two of the biggest races on racing's biggest days," Latham said of the covering sire.

Of the price, Latham said he was hoping to pay a little less due to the cover date (May 27), but "the market is strong for the good horses and the trading is still strong. I'm still looking for a mare and a weanling. It's the same story: it's kind of an ‘all or nothing' market. We need more players in the middle to lower end to make things healthier."

Top-priced weanling by Cairo Prince

The top-priced weanling of session nine was a gray/roan son of first-year sire Cairo Prince out of the Harlan's Holiday mare Holiday Kiss that sold for $120,000. Consigned by Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, which bred the foal and stands the stallion, the March 22 colt was purchased by bloodstock agent Steve Shahinian, acting as agent for Harvey Clarke.

Shahinian knows quite a bit about Cairo Prince as he was the one that purchased the son of Pioneerof the Nile for $250,000 in 2012 and Clarke co-owned the Grade 2 winner. Clarke is perhaps best known best as the breeder of champion I'll Have Another, winner of the 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

"I look for two-turn shapes and two-turn horses," Shahinian said following his purchase. "This horse has the ‘walk' and a clean vet report. I went back to look at him four times. I thought I could get him for $100,000, but every time I went to see him, other players were looking, too. I told Harvey we might have to go another bump, and we did."

Cairo Prince, out of the Holy Bull mare Holy Bubbette, stands for $15,000.

"He is well put together and the type that deserves this kind of price," said Airdrie's Bret Jones. "It's a good cross with Harlan's Holiday. It seems to give those horses some stretch."

Through nine sessions, Cairo Prince's weanling average of $97,353 is based on 17 of the 19 selling.

The session came to a close with two-time Grade 1 Carter Handicap winner Dads Caps (Discreet Cat – Seeking the Silver, by Grindstone) going through the ring as a stallion prospect. Consigned by Hidden Brook, the six-year-old bay RNA'd at $190,000. In addition to his back-to-back Carter wins in 2014-15, Dads Caps has placed in eight stakes including this year's Carter. Bred and raced by Vincent Scuderi, Dads Caps has earned more than $1.1 million. His last start came in August at Saratoga.

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