Violence, Street Sense See Average Prices Soar In Keeneland September’s Early Books

A stallion’s performance at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale is a solid indicator of his place in the pecking order among commercial sires, but the auction’s first two books indicate who is sitting at the head of the table.

Books 1 and 2 are where the elite of the breed further cement their spots on the list, but it is also an indicator of which stallions’ stocks are rising in the eyes of buyers. A stallion who sees a significant jump in average sale price when the industry’s deepest pockets are in the building has likely done so because their commercial reputation and racetrack performance have solidified to the point where buyers are landing on several foals and battling for them.

In those terms, the two stallions who made up the most ground in Keeneland September’s elite sessions were Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms’ Violence and Darley‘s Street Sense.

In both 2020 and 2021, Books 1 and 2 consisted of four combined sessions with a similar number of horses cataloged, meaning the comparison between editions is about as apples-to-apples as the Keeneland September sale tends to get.

Violence saw the greatest year-to-year jump in average, improving by $245,000.

The son of Medaglia d’Oro saw five yearlings change hands during the first two books of both sales, and moved up from $160,000 last year to $414,000 in 2021.

That figure was helped greatly on Thursday by the sale of Hip 1057, a half-brother to multiple Grade 1-placed Standard Deviation from the KatieRich Farms consignment who sold to Repole Stable and St. Elias for $950,000. It was the most ever paid for a Violence yearling at public auction.

Though reaching an all-time high certainly helps an average sale price a great deal, the colt was far from an outlier in terms of serious prices. Four of the five Violence yearlings sold through the first two books hammered for $200,000 or more, also including Hip 919, who brought $550,000.

John G. Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms said Violence’s breakout year in 2020 likely helped shape opinions of the stallion heading into this year’s sale. He was led last year by Grade 1 winners Volatile and No Parole.

“Violence has always been a horse that’s had great commercial appeal,” Sikura said. “Last year, we were very bullish. He had two Grade 1 winners who looked like the fastest horses in the country. They were both injured and on the shelf, then Dr. Schivel won the Grade 1 (Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 31), and it got exciting again. Now, we’re waiting for the new crop of 2-year-olds. It’s great to see the resilient market that has confidence in the horse. He’s had several fantastic results in the sale ring, and it’s very rewarding. I hope he continues to climb the ladder and get more buyer confidence and great success on the racetrack.”

Violence’s expensive colt late in Thursday’s session put him up in the final strides over Street Sense, whose average price grew by $198,000 during the first two books.

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The 2007 Kentucky Derby winner jumped up from an average of $117,938 from 16 sold last year to $316,071 from 14 sold during the first two books of 2021.

Street Sense’s Keeneland September haul was led by Hip 1022, a half-brother to Grade 1-placed Bajan from the family of champion Forever Unbridled who sold to BSW/Crow Colts Group for $1 million. Offered as property of Farfellow Farms, the colt was the first seven-figure yearling for Street Sense since 2013.

Beneath the top horse, he had four horses that sold for $300,000 or more through the first two books.

Darley’s Darren Fox said Street Sense really started to hit his stride at stud after returning from his one-year stint at Darley Japan in 2013. The shape of the stallion’s resume shifted dramatically in the years that followed, and Street Sense developed into a sire whose demand has risen just as dramatically. This week’s performance just solidified that notion.

“His first five Grade 1 winners were fillies, and when his foals started going to the track after his Japan break, McKinzie set alight a great run of colts for him,” Fox said. “We have Maxfield, who will be a stallion for us at some point, and a colt a little under the radar in Speaker’s Corner. When a horse like that puts some sons in the stallion barn, and has some other high-profile ones on the track, it certainly moves him and his progeny up into that next tier.”

Looking at some of the newer faces picking up traction this year, Three Chimneys Farm’s Gun Runner, who currently leads the freshman sire race, saw the sixth-largest year-to-year gain in average, rising $108,622 to finish at $397,222. Repole and St. Elias led the way for his yearlings with Hip 574, who was secured for $975,000.

Gun Runner’s closest rival, the Ashford Stud resident Practical Joke, saw a gain of $59,980 to finish at $274,091. Talia Racing bought the most expensive one of the sale’s first week, going to $750,000 for Hip 1079.

Darley’s Nyquist, the leading freshman sire of 2020, also continued to climb, rising $19,417 to $275,667, led by Hip 825, who sold to Dr. Ed Allred and Liebau for $700,000.

The post Violence, Street Sense See Average Prices Soar In Keeneland September’s Early Books appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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