Hip 509, a War Front colt who sold to China Horse Club and Maverick Racing for $1.1 million at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

True to form with the racing side of the Thoroughbred industry, partnerships between major establishments have had a big presence at this year’s Keeneland September Yearling Sale. A pair of big-time teams have set the pace during Wednesday’s session, each securing their lots for $1.1 million.

The potent combo of China Horse Club and WinStar Farm CEO Elliott Walden’s Maverick Racing was the first to pass the seven-figure mark, going to $1.1 million for a War Front colt.

The bay colt, Hip 509, is the first foal out of the unplaced Street Cry mare Tiffany’s Honour. His second dam is the 2007 Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, putting him in the family of champion Rags to Riches, Belmont Stakes winner Jazil, Breeders’ Cup Marathon winner Man of Iron, and Grade 2 winner Casino Drive, among others.

“We’ve been thinking about the horse for the last couple of days,” said Mick Flanagan, China Horse Club’s European bloodstock adviser. “He’s by War Front, who’s an exceptional stallion, out of a Street Cry mare from a fabulous family. He looks more like a dirt horse than a turf horse, so we’re not sure who will train him yet, but he’ll go back to WinStar and we’ll look to run him on the dirt going forward.”

Lane’s End consigned the colt, as agent.

Later in the session, the partnership of Three Chimneys and Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm went to the same price for Hip 578, a Quality Road colt.

The bay colt is out of the winning Mineshaft mare What’smineismine, whose first foal to race is a winner. His extended family includes Grade 1 winners Spring Quality and First Approach, Grade 2 winner Alice Springs, and Grade 3 winner Holiday Star.

“He was a hellacious mover, and every day he got better and better,” said Shack Parrish of consignor Indian Creek.

Last year’s Keeneland September sale saw a similar transaction, with White Birch Farm partnering with Coolmore for the $1-million Quality Road colt Sagaponack, also consigned by Indian Creek.

A total of 4,538 yearlings are cataloged over the 13 sessions at Keeneland’s centerpiece yearling auction. Its prestigious Book 1 spans four sessions, from Monday to Thursday.

Last year’s sale finished with 2,555 horses sold for revenues of $307,845,400, up 13 percent from the previous renewal, and the first time the gross rose above $300 million since 2008. The average sale closed at a record $120,487, up 23 percent, while the median rose 43 percent to a record $57,000. The buyback rate finished at 25 percent.

To view the Keeneland September catalog, click here.

To track the sale’s results, click here.

Watch live video of the sale here.


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