Into Mischief Continues His Commercial Ascent At Keeneland September Sale

The past 12 months have seen Spendthrift Farm‘s flagship sire Into Mischief achieve just about everything a stallion needs to do in order to be considered a major commercial sire.

Let’s go down the list:

Breeders’ Cup winner? Check.

Eclipse Awards? Covfefe got him two for good measure.

Leading sire title? He earned his first at the end of 2019.

Classic winner? Authentic went from the outside post to the history books earlier this month.

With that kind of momentum behind him, the next step was to have a big showing at this year’s Keeneland September yearling sale. Another box, another check.

During Monday’s session alone, Into Mischief had three yearlings bring seven-figure prices, adding to the one he hammered down on Sunday’s opening day of trade. His four total seven-figure offerings tied him with Medaglia d’Oro for the most by a sire at Keeneland September through the end of Book 1. Prior to this year, his million-dollar yearling club consisted of a single horse.

If there was any remaining doubt that Into Mischief has earned his place among the the very top echelon of North America’s commercial sires, it was pulverized with every seven-figure fall of the hammer.

“It’s just building on what he’s done,” said Spendthrift Farm general manager Ned Toffey. “He’s always been a commercial horse, but when you win the Derby and you show people that you’re able to get a classic horse, which was sort of the only question left unanswered with him, this has just given people that much more confidence to go out and ante up for a really nice Into Mischief. That’s great news for us, it’s great news for our breeders, and we couldn’t be happier with it.”

The leader of the pack for Into Mischief through the end of Book 1 at the Keeneland September sale was Hip 438, a filly out of the Grade 2-placed stakes-winning Medaglia d’Oro mare Taylor S who sold to Larry Best’s OXO Equine on Monday for $1.9 million, the second-highest overall price for both the day and the sale.

Taylor S is a half-sister to Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile winner Liam’s Map and Grade 3 winner Not This Time, who have both gotten off to fast starts as stallions. Taylor Made Sales Agency consigned the top filly, as agent.

It was the second Into Mischief yearling Best purchased at the sale, after landing Hip 121, a colt out of the Grade 2-placed Cuvee mare Curlina, for $1 million on Sunday. He was handled by Gainesway, agent.

Elsewhere, Courtlandt Farm bought Hip 275, a filly out of the stakes-placed Distorted Humor mare Mary Rita, while BSW/Crow Bloodstock landed Hip 405, a filly out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Special Me whose siblings include Grade 1 winner Gift Box and Grade 2 winner Stonetastic. Both yearlings were purchased for $1,025,000.

The performance by Into Mischief’s yearlings during the Keeneland September sale carries on the momentum set last week during the Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearlings Showcase, where he had 17 yearlings sell for a combined $6,745,000, led by a colt out of the Distorted Humor mare Blind Copy who sold to the partnership of SF Bloodstock, Starlight Racing, and Madaket Stables for $800,000.

Had the yearling season ended after just the two days of the Fasig-Tipton sale, Into Mischief’s 2019 foal crop would have been the fourth-highest out of his 10 crops to reach the market by number of horses sold at upper price points ($750,000 and up, $500,000 and up, or $250,000 and up). After two more days of selling at the market’s highest level, this season’s crop of yearlings sits second or third in those three categories, with a solid chance of finishing the year safely in first across the board.

With 2020 being an unprecedented year in practically every aspect of the Thoroughbred industry, Into Mischief was also the beneficiary of arguably the biggest update a sire has ever received heading into the yearling season: Authentic’s victory in the postponed Kentucky Derby, just days before selling began.

With that being said, Toffey said a Derby winner alone doesn’t guarantee an immediate spike in returns.

“The ‘Derby bump’ doesn’t happen without the stock out here that he’s got,” he said. “As his stud fee has gone up, the mare quality has gotten better, the individuals have gotten better, and that just continues to happen.

“That’s the thing that’s been remarkable over the years – not every stallion improves as the mare quality improves, but he’s continued to do that,” Toffey continued. “In his second year, his stud fee was as low as $6,500, and all the way right up to last year at $175,000, the mare quality continues to go up and the quality of the offspring just continues to look better, and they continue to perform better. We’re just glad he’s on our team.”

Into Mischief’s average yearling sale price reflects the stallion’s climb up the commercial ladder. His first crop of yearlings saw 26 members go through the ring in 2011 for an average price of $22,792.

A year later, his second crop had 13 yearlings average $21,269 from combined revenues of $276,500 – all their respective lowest points. Into Mischief’s average yearling sale price in 2019 was greater than his combined second-crop gross from 2012, and he stands a good chance of surpassing that threshold for a second time this year, continuing a journey to the top of the marketplace that seemed like a pipe dream a decade ago.

“That’s the great thing about this game,” Toffey said. “You’re always hoping for the best, you’re shooting for the stars, and most of the time, you don’t get these kind of results. Horses like Into Mischief just don’t come along very often. He’s just been remarkable. We thought we had the horse of a lifetime with Malibu Moon, and we’ve got another one with Into Mischief.”

The post Into Mischief Continues His Commercial Ascent At Keeneland September Sale appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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