Danehill Dancer Disappointment
Photo: Joseph DiOrio
Martin O'Dowd of Runnymede Farm
Among the 5,555 horses cataloged for the marathon Keeneland September yearling, there was only one sired by Danehill Dancer, a young stallion who is consistently one of the leading sires in Europe.

Bred in Ireland by Catesby Clay’s Runnymede Farm, the colt was expected to attract a lot of attention for the European buyers who were in abundance when the sale began Sept. 8. The colt was produced from the unraced Seeking the Gold mare Seek Easy, a half-sister to multiple grade II stakes winner Conserve. The third dam is champion Fanfreluche, the Northern Dancer mare who was so prolific she was Canadian Broodmare of the Year in 1978.

In the end, however, the colt did not attract enough attention to change hands and was bought back by Runnymede for $475,000.

“I am disappointed,” said Martin O’Dowd, Runnymede’s manager, noting that the colt’s x-rays in the repository had been inspected eight or nine times and the colt was among the most-inspected in the farm’s consignment. “There was not a mark on his body.

O’Dowd said the outcome does not reflect poorly on the Runnymede decision to bring an Irish-bred colt sired by a European sire to market in the U.S. “I have done this several times in the last five or six years with success,” O’Dowd said. “It has always been the most successful part of our sales. I am quite surprised by this.”

Realizing that some of those who inspected the colt before the sale will still be interested, with a possibility the colt will still be sold. However, Runnymede has a fall-back position if they end up keeping the colt.
“We are quite happy to race him ourselves,” O’Dowd said, with England or Ireland the logical destination for a racing career.

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