Uptown Twirl steals the show at Keeneland

Uptown Twirl steals the show at Keeneland
By Ron Mitchell of Blood-Horse 11:09AM 15 NOV 2016

BOOSTED by the first day of the Conquest Stables dispersal and the historic sale of Uptown Twirl for $1,075,000, prices soared during the seventh session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

Keeneland reported 254 horses grossed $13,221,100 Monday, up 78 per cent compared with the corresponding session last year. Monday saw an average price of $52,052 and a $27,000 median, up 80 per cent and 29 per cent respectively. This year's session buyback rate was 26 per cent.

This year's total sales to this point are down two per cent, with average up slightly, and median the same.


The session marked the complete dispersal of the Conquest Stable of Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell, with Lane's End acting as agent. With racing fillies or broodmare prospects on offer Monday 35 Conquest horses sold for $4,321,500, an average price of $123,471 and a $57,000 median.

Twirl makes history

Uptown Twirl was the first-ever seven-figure transaction during the second week in the history of the Keeneland November sale.

"It shows what we've always said: you bring the product, you bring quality, and it sells; be it the first week or the second," said Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell. "We were very pleased to have the Conquest dispersal, which was a great draw today, but also selling a race filly for $1,075,000 for the first time during the second week is also very exciting."

Uptown Twirl, a daughter of Twirling Candy bought by Three Chimneys Farm from Lane's End, agent, is a half sister to John Oxley's Classic Empire, a son of Pioneerof the Nile who since the catalogue was put together won the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland before going on to win the Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile, stamping the colt trained by Mark Casse as the early favorite for the 2017 Kentucky Derby.

Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing, Uptown Twirl won four of her nine starts, including the Surfside Stakes and Pleasanton Oaks, while earning more than $170,000.

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Jacob West, director of bloodstock services for Three Chimneys, said the filly's appeal was obvious, considering that she is a half-sister to a colt expected to be named champion two-year-old.

"She was a great physical herself and won two stakes races this year so she showed she had ability," he said. "She is going to be a half to a champion two-year-old so we're pretty excited to own her."

West said Uptown Twirl probably will remain in training for the rest of the year, with the long-term plan to add her to Three Chimneys' broodmare band.

Although a seven-figure transaction had never transpired this late in the marathon auction, West said: "We kind of had an idea she would be in that ballpark. We're happy to own her at any price. Quality is bringing quality. She was a quality mare with that pedigree update and she stood on her own physically."

Produced from the Cat Thief mare Sambuca Classica, Uptown Twirl is also a half-sister to stakes winner Anytime Magic.

Second-top lot honours shared

Second-highest price among the non-Conquest horses was the $230,000 paid for two different mares.

Castleton Lyons went to that figure for Accomplish First, a six-year-old First Defence mare in foal to Verrazano. A half-sister to New York stakes winner Sarah Accomplished, the mare is from the extended female family of Grade 1 winner Little Baby Bear and Grade 3 winner and sire First American.

Bred in New York by Sugar Maple Farm, Accomplish First earned $101,734 while winning three of her nine career starts. The mare consigned by Select Sales had been purchased by Jay Goodwin for $5,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale.

Also selling for $230,000 was multiple stakes winner Galina Point, bought by Maverick Racing from Bluewater Sales' offerings. A four-year-old filly by Safir, Galina Point is from the family of Grade 1 winner Fran's Valentine bred by Spring Farm.

The filly has won three of 21 starts, including the South Ocean and Lady Angela Stakes, and earned $410,573. She has placed in nine stakes races, including the Grade 3 Whimsical and Hendry Stakes.

She was a $6,637 purchase by Phillip Brooks at the 2013 September sale of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

Russell said there continued to be strong demand for weanlings, with a son of multiple Grade 2 winner and two-time track record-setter Fed Biz leading the way when bought by Machmer Hall for $170,000. The colt, consigned by VanMeter-Gentry Sales as agent, is the first foal out of a Purge mare who is a half-sister to multiple stakes winner and multiple Graded-placed Five Star Momma.

"Quality foals are bringing top dollar still," Russell said.

For more news on US racing, sales and bloodstock news visit bloodhorse.com

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