Hip 389, a half-sister to Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, sells to Godolphin for $1.75 million at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

After an active day of buying on Monday at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, the Godolphin operation returned for more on Tuesday, landing a half-sister to 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist by War Front for $1.75 million. The transaction highlighted a run where a trio of seven-horses sold within the span of nine hips.

The bay filly, Hip 389, is out of the winning Forestry mare Seeking Gabrielle, whose first foal was Nyquist, a son of Uncle Mo who was named champion 2-year-old male of 2015 and retired to Godolphin’s Darley America stallion base in Lexington, Ky.

“It was very strong,” John Gosden, signing for Godolhpin, said about the price, “but when you’re buying a filly of that absolute quality, from a fine breeder, by a big stallion, and a half-sister to a Kentucky Derby winner, that’s exactly what you expect to pay to race and be a broodmare.”

The filly was offered as property of Hinkle Farms, which bought Seeking Gabrielle in foal to Blame for $100,000 at the 2013 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. The weanling Nyquist, by Uncle Mo, sold a hip earlier to Madison Farm at the 2013 sale for $180,000.

“We bought Seeking Gabrielle when Nyquist was a weanling,” said Tom Hinkle of Hinkle Farms. “We weren’t interested in weanlings, but we were buying mares, and we bought the mare because he was such a lovely horse. The mare gets really nice foals, and she’s a sweetheart. I guess she gets to live in my living room now.”

Hinkle said the filly that sold Tuesday showed about 250 times in the days leading up to the sale, and the hammer price was the highest ever for a yearling he had consigned.

“We were expecting her to sell well, but you don’t ever expect that,” he said. “She’s going to a great place, and she’ll have the best opportunity she could possibly have.”

Shortly before that horse went into the ring, bloodstock agent Mike Ryan briefly had the session-topper after signing on Hip 383, an Uncle Mo colt, for $1.4 million on behalf of an unnamed partnership.

The bay colt, named Secret Agent, is out of the placed Street Cry mare Secret, whose first foal to race is a winner. Grade 1 winner Well Chosen is in the extended family.

“That might have been the best yearling I saw this year,” Ryan said. “We haven’t figured out who will train him yet, but he’ll go to a top trainer. We think he’s a top-class dirt prospect, a classic horse. He’s out of a Street Cry mare, and we’re dreaming Derby.”

Bridie Harrison consigned the colt as agent for Peter E. Blum Thoroughbreds.

Rounding out the quick-hit trio was Hip 388, an Empire Maker colt who sold to Phoenix Thoroughbreds for $1.35 million.

The bay colt is out of the winning Carson City mare Seeinsbelieven, who is the dam of Grade 2 winner Conquest Big E and stakes winner Aquapazza. Grade 2 winner Softly is in the extended family.

VanMeter-Gentry Sales consigned the colt, as agent.

Shadwell Estate Co. went to $1.2 million to land Hip 291, a War Front colt out of the English stakes-placed Lookin at Lucky mare Pin Up. He is the first foal out of Pin Up, with an extended family including Group 1 winners Yesterday, Quarter Moon, and Diamondsandrubies.

Dromoland Farm consigned the colt, as agent.

“He was a very good individual, a very nice horse with page and everything, but you’re always surprised when you come up here,” said Dromoland Farm’s Gerry Dilger. “I’m absolutely delighted with the colt and the price of him, and also for the breeders for giving me the chance to sell him, and for the staff of Dromoland.”

Later in the session, the Coolmore partnership went to the same price to buy Hip 306, a first-crop American Pharoah filly out of the Grade 2-placed Beau Genius mare Pretty ‘n Smart. The chestnut filly is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Cupid, Grade 3 winners Heart Ashley and Ashley’s Kitty, and stakes winner Indianapolis.

Coolmore raced Cupid and stands him at its Ashford Stud in Lexington, Ky. The group also previously campaigned Indianapolis, and topped last year’s Keeneland September sale for a full sister to Cupid, going to $2.7 million.

“We’ve been very lucky with the family in the past, and Cupid was very good when he won the Gold Cup at Santa Anita,” said Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier. “He’s very popular at stud at the moment. We were a little disappointed we didn’t get the horse yesterday.”

Magnier said the filly would be sent to Europe to be trained by Aidan O’Brien.

VanMeter-Gentry Sales consigned the filly, as agent. Pretty ‘n Smart has been a cornerstone mare for the consignment, both on the racetrack and in the sale ring, residing at Waggoner Farm in Lexington, Ky. Her broodmare was managed by Olin Gentry, who died suddenly in June.

“She’s had the sale-topping yearling for us every year we’ve been in business, since 2011,” Tom VanMeter said. “Olin Gentry picked her out right on the track, paid $75,000 for her, and we’ve sold something like $7 million out of her, so it’s been pretty awesome.

VanMeter said the American Pharoah filly showed about 200 times in the days leading up to the sale, indicating strong interest.

“I would rank her as maybe the best foal she’s had,” he said. “I would rank her over the $2.7-million one last year, but American Pharoah’s unproven and Tapit was, so that might be the difference.”

Also hitting the seven-figure mark was Hip 297, a Pioneerof the Nile colt out of the Grade 2-winning Pomeroy mare Pomeroy’s Pistol, who sold to the partnership of Albaugh Family Stables and Spendthrift Farm for $1 million.

Former Albaugh runner Brody’s Cause stands at Spendthrift Farm in Lexington, Ky., and Grade 1 winner Free Drop Billy is committed to stand there upon his retirement, setting the foundation for Tuesday’s partnership.

Jason Loutsch, general manager of Albaugh Family Stables, said on Monday that the operation had come to the sale to buy colts, and it had picked up some capital that day after selling a homebred Tapit filly for $1.4 million.

“If we hadn’t sold that one, I don’t think I’d be bidding on this horse,” said Dennis Albaugh.

Brookdale Sales consigned the colt as agent for Hardacre Farm.

Trade was strong during the opening session of the Keeneland September Yearling sale, and the momentum looks to carry into the auction’s second session on Tuesday.

Two horses have already hammered for $900,000 or more during the session’s first hour, setting an electric pace for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Of particular interest in today’s session is Hip 443, a half-brother to Triple Crown winner Justify by Will Take Charge. The colt is out of the Grade 3-placed Ghostzapper mare Stage Magic, who is also the dam of Grade 3 winner The Lieutenant. Glennwood Farm consigns the colt, as agent.

Monday’s session finished with 138 horses sold for revenues of $48,620,000. The average sale price finished at $352,319, the median closed at $260,000, and the buyback rate finished at 35 percent.

The most expensive horse of Monday’s session was a first-crop American Pharoah colt who sold to Godolphin for $2.2 million. With Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum in attendance, the Godolphin operation also went to $1.3 million for a Medaglia d’Oro colt.

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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