American Pharoah Reigns Supreme

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Larry Best struck at Keeneland on Wednesday to take home a son of American Pharoah (USA) (lot 729) for a session-topping US$1.4 million. It was the second seven-figure purchase of the auction for Best’s OXO Equine, which purchased a colt by Curlin (USA) (lot 211) for US$1.8 million on Monday

“He’s always been a star. A complete star from day one. He never turned a hair and he came out here and he showed like he owned the place the whole day. I think American Pharoah is going to be the next Frankel (GB). He is a dominant force," said Sierra Farm's Michael Callanan, who sold the horse.

Sheikh Hamdan’s Shadwell Estate has been busy at Keeneland September and the operation continued its buying spree, scooping up a US$1.2-million son of Medaglia d’Oro (USA) (lot 730).

Overall Shadwell has purchased 19 horses through the first three sessions for US$12.345 million.

Lot 509 inspired a heated bidding war that was won by the team of China Horse Club and WinStar at a final bid of US$1.1 million.

“We have been thinking about the horse for the last couple of days,” said China Horse Club’s Mick Flanagan, who signed the ticket on the colt. “He is by War Front (USA), who is an exceptional stallion, and is out of a Street Cry (Ire) mare from a fabulous family. He looks more like a dirt horse than a turf horse. We aren’t sure who will train him yet, but he will go back to WinStar and we will look to run him on the dirt going forward.”

A total of 151 yearlings changed hands during Wednesday’s session for a gross of US $52,883,000. The average was US$350,219 and the median was US$270,000. Fifty-five of the 206 yearlings offered failed to sell for an RNA rate of 26.7%.

American Pharoah is leading sire so far with 33 yearlings sold for a total of US$15.07 million and an average of US$456,667.

“American Pharoah is our new success story,” said Keeneland’s Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell. “What a wonderful racehorse he was and these horses are a prototype of him. The ones I saw personally and our team saw are athletic individuals with wonderful walks and the market has reacted very favorably to him.”

Yearling Fillies of Interest to Australians at Keeneland September:

Lot 306: This filly from the first crop of American Pharoah out of Pretty ‘n’ Smart (USA) was bought by MV Magnier for US$1.2-million. Two of her half-sisters, Grade III winners Heart Ashley (USA) (Lion Heart {USA}) and Ashley’s Kitty (USA) (Tale of the Cat {USA}), were bought by James Bester for Kia Ora Stud for $500,000 and $310,000, respectively. Magnier bought this filly’s half-sister by Tapit (USA) for US$2.7-million at this sale last year, and he has bought two others out of the mare: the US$900,000 subsequent Grade I winner Cupid (USA) (Tapit {USA}), who now stands at Ashford Stud, and the $1-million Dream Team (USA) (Tapit {USA}).

Lot 356: This filly by Honor Code (USA) (A.P. Indy {USA}) was bought by DJ Stable for US$300,000. She is a half-sister to stakes winner Tara From The Cape (USA) (Leroidesanimaux {Brz}), whose first Australian foal is the promising 3-year-old Lion’s Head (Snitzel), a $1-million yearling purchase by China Horse Club. Tara From The Cape was bought by Arrowfield's Jon Freyer for US$300,000 at Keeneland November in 2013.

Lot 493: This Curlin (USA) filly out of Taste of Heaven (Encosta de Lago) was bought by Justin Casse for US$625,000. She is the second foal out of the mare, a daughter of Shantha’s Choice who was bought by James Harron for $1.5-million from the Teeley dispersal in 2014. Taste of Heaven produced a Medaglia d’Oro (USA) colt this year before being bred back to Curlin.

Lot 859: This Curlin filly, who is still to be offered, is closely related to lot 493, being by the same sire and out of Drifting Cube (Encosta de Lago), a granddaughter of Shantha’s Choice also bought by James Harron for $1.1-million from the Teeley dispersal. This is also Drifting Cube’s second foal; her first, a War Front colt, was a US$1.45-million weanling purchase by MV Magnier. Drifting Cube produced a War Front filly this spring and was bred back to that sire.