By Frank Angst and Esther Marr
A Distorted Humor colt fetched the highest price of any newly turned yearling on the first day of the Keeneland January horses of all ages sale Jan. 7 in Lexington.
Canadian Nat Rea of Regis Farms went to $300,000 to land the colt out of the A.P. Indy mare Endless Journey, who is a full sister to grade II winner and sire Jump Start . The Distorted Humor colt is the first foal out of Endless Journey, who was unplaced in one start.
Rea is a former vice chairman and director with Martinrea International, a Canadian auto parts manufacturer.
Consigned by Cara Bloodstock (Bernard McCormack), agent, the colt's third dam, Hopespringsforever, by Mr. Prospector, is a full sister to group I winner and successful sire Miswaki.
"He's a special colt—we had him in (Keeneland) November," McCormack said. "He had a little setback, so we thought we'd roll him into January and he'd be a star. He really never let us down the whole time...he never took a step back and he has a great mind. We bought (Endless Journey) for $380,000, so we paid the mortgage on the mare. She's in foal to Tiznow and is going to Speightstown (this year)."
McCormack was glad to see Rea land the colt, hoping it signals continued strength in Canada.
"He sold to a Canadian, so that's showing strength for up north of the border, so that's very encouraging," McCormack said. "(Nat Rea) just got into the business...he bought a farm in Canada and a farm down here—Silver Springs near Paris, Ky., so he's a new Canadian player and is developing his plans and buying good mares...He's buying at the top end. I wouldn't speculate whether they're going to pinhook or race."
Rea got involved in the Thoroughbred business several months ago. He bought a $130,000 Curlin—Lady Cerise filly through agent Richard Hogan at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale and a daughter of Malibu Moon for $265,000 at the 2012 Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale.