American Pharoah Colt Brings $2.2 Million At Keeneland September, Most Expensive Horse This Year

A colt by 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has achieved the highest price paid at public auction this year, dropping the hammer at Keeneland September for $2.2 million to Godolphin.

The chestnut colt, Hip 91, is the second foal out of the Grade 2-placed stakes-winning Indian Charlie mare Kindle. His extended family includes French champion Play It Safe and Australian Group 3 winner Tonopah.

Woods Edge Farm consigned the colt, as agent. The Daily Racing Form reported Coolmore was the underbidder on the colt.

“He’s a smashing horse,” said Peter O’Callaghan of Woods Edge. “He was a smashing horse the day we bought him, and he did everything he needed to do in the meantime. He stayed healthy, grew well, and got strong, and turned into a beautiful yearling, by the most special horse I’ve seen in my lifetime. I just hope he can be a good racehorse now.”

O’Callaghan bought the colt as a weanling for $400,000 at last year’s Keeneland November breeding stock sale.

“It was the most I ever paid for a foal, and probably the most I ever will pay for a foal. There’s a lot of worry in that year. We followed the horse and we didn’t think we’d get him and we got him. He was just meant to be our lucky horse. There are some horses you get, some horses you don’t, and you need them to be lucky for you when you get them, and this fella was.”

The colt was bred by HnR Nothhaft Horse Racing, managed by Carl McEntee.

“She was a lovely racemare,” McEntee said about Kindle. “She got beat a whisker by Mizdirection [in the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes]. I wanted dirt speed and classic distance on top, and it just hooked up really nice. $400,000 was a good number for him at the time, and obviously he’s gone on an rung an absolute bell. The mare has a Pioneerof the Nile on the ground, so obviously we like that mating.

“My clients are absolutely thrilled,” McEntee continued. “It helps make the mare. We kept her first Tiznow foal as a 2-year-old in training, and we’ve got the Pioneerof the Nile now, so it looks like we’ll have some fun.”

Later in the session, a half-brother to two-time Horse of the Year California Chrome sold to the Coolmore partnership for $1.1 million.

The gray or roan Tapit colt, Hip 141, is out of the winning Not For Love mare Love the Chase, who is the dam of three winners from four foals to race. The colt sold Monday was in-utero when Love the Chase sold for $1.95 million at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall Selected Mixed Sale.

“Michael Tabor, when he saw him, was really taken by him,” said M.V. Magnier of the Coolmore partnership. “The mare is a very good producer, and he’s a brother to a very good horse. He’s going to stay here and go to Todd Pletcher, so let’s hope he’s good.”

Bedouin Bloodstock consigned the colt, as agent.

Next to eclipse the seven-figure mark was Hip 203, a Tapit filly out of the Grade 3-winning Trippi mare Miss Macy Sue who sold to Don Alberto Corp. for $1.4 million.

The gray or roan filly is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Liam’s Map, Grade 3 winner Not This Time, and Grade 2-placed stakes winner Taylor S.

“We liked the pedigree – Tapit,” Liliana Solari of Don Alberto. “We have Unique Bella, who is the same [by Tapit]. We like good pedigrees in mares.”

The filly was bred by Albaugh Family Stables, which bought Miss Macy Sue privately during her on-track career. Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned the filly, as agent.

“Sometimes you’ve got to make that tough decision to sell, and we wanted to buy a lot of colts this sale.” said Albaugh Family Stables general manager Jason Loutsch. “It was a tough decision, but she’s going to a good home. It’s a great family, and that mare has done so much for us. We can’t be more grateful.”

Shortly after the hammer fell on that filly, Larry Best’s OXO Equine went to $1.8 million on Hip 211, a Curlin colt out of the Grade 1-winning Ghostzapper mare Molly Morgan.

The bay colt is the first foal out of Molly Morgan, from the family of Canadian champion Wavering Girl, Grade 1 winner Military, and Grade 2 winners Tricky Creek and Parade Ground.

“I know some of the underbidders and I thought they’d take it over $2 million,” Best said. “All I know is I got the horse I wanted. I hope and pray he can run. The horse vetted out perfectly. I don’t have a Curlin and I always wanted a quality Curlin. Now I’ve found one.”

Summerfield Sales consigned the colt as agent for Stonestreet Farm’s “Bred and Raised” program.

“We knew he was a very fancy horse and people liked him,” said Summerfield’s Francis Vanlangendonck. “Everybody’s buying the quality like that and his mother was a great racehorse.”

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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