The catalogues for the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale are ripe with potential superstars, but there are a few that will be looked at more closely than most based on famous family members.
Included in those expected to shine is the first live foal out of champion Azeri, named Vallenzeri (by A.P. Indy). The chestnut colt will sell as hip no. 127 from the consignment of Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent. Also expected to draw attention is the half-sister to Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Big Brown. Dr. Gary Knapp’s Monticule will consign the chestnut daughter of Touch Gold out of the Nureyev mare Mien as hip no. 484.
Racing as a homebred for the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust, Azeri earned Horse of the Year honors in 2002 and was champion older mare in 2002-04.
Azeri (Jade Hunter-Zodiac Miss) earned $4,079,820 from a career record of 17-4-0 from 24 career starts. Her biggest win came in the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Distaff (gr. I). She won the grade I Apple Blossom Handicap three consecutuve years, 2002-04, and took the 2004 Overbrook Spinster Stakes (gr. I).
Commenting on Vallenzeri, Andrew Carey of Hill ‘n’ Dale said, “He is an excellent first foal. He is a well-made classy horse and we expect him to be very popular. So far he has shown very well. He looks like Azeri, he is a chestnut and is a very similar color to his mom. He has a great big shoulder like her and he has the attitude of a racehorse. I think he takes after his mom quite a bit.”
The Hill ‘n’ Dale consignment, agent for the late Robert Sangster’s Sweetham Stud, also features the first foal, a filly by Giant's Causeway , out of the Sadler’s Wells mare Playful Act. The filly will sell as hip no. 12. Playful Act established a record price for a broodmare or broodmare prospect when she sold for $10.5 million to Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock advisor John Ferguson at the 2007 Keeneland November mixed sale.
A champion in England, Playful Act captured the 2004 Meon Valley Stud Mile (Eng-I) and also won two group II events. Playful Act lost the Kingmambo foal she was carrying prior to the Keeneland November auction.
“She’s a lot like her mom, they share a lot of the same characteristics. This filly is extremely valuable based on her pedigree and anything she does as a racehorse is a bonus,” Carey said. “She is always going to have a lot of residual value. I think anyone looking for a filly for the long term is going to like her a lot.”
Knapp said it would be difficult to compare and contrast Big Brown to his younger half-sister, but added both are put together very well and both appear to have a heart capacity that is larger than average for the breed.
“Basically, the difference between the two is that he is a colt and she is a filly,” Knapp said. “Their whole family is a very alert group of horses. Starting with Miasma (their second dam), whenever you go out and move around the paddocks or the pastures, you can see that their whole family of horses are typically the first to lift their heads up to see what is going on. They are more aware than most of the horses on our farm.”
Other yearlings of interest include:
Hip no. 329, colt, Storm Cat- Tranquility Lake. The colt is a full brother to grade I winner After Market and to Jalil, who sold for $9.7 million to Sheikh Mohammed at the 2005 Keeneland September sale. Jalil is a group II winner in Dubai and placed in the Waquoit Stakes Aug. 30 at Suffolk Downs. The colt is consigned by Lane’s End, agent for Pam and Martin Wygod.
Hip no. 345 colt, Kingmambo-Weekend in Seattle. This colt is a full brother to Mambo in Seattle, who finished second in a photo to Colonel John in the Travers Stakes (gr. I). The bay colt is consigned by Lane’s End, agent.
Hip no. 48, colt, Ghostzapper-Secret Status. This colt is a half-brother to Objectivity, who sold for $6.3 million to Ferguson at the 2005 Keeneland September sale. The colt is also consigned by Lane’s End.
Hip no. 263, filly, A.P. Indy-Private Status. This filly is a full sister to grade I winner and producer Secret Status and grade III winner and stallion Alumni Hall. The chestnut filly is consigned by Lane’s End, agent.
Hip no. 109, filly, Unbridled’s Song-Xtra Heat. This filly is the fourth foal out of champion Xtra Heat and is a half-sister to stakes winner Southwestern Heat. The gray or roan filly, named Don’t U Baby Me, is consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Hip no. 449, filly, Distorted Humor -Hookedonthefeelin. This filly is a half-sister to multiple grade I winner Pussycatdoll. She is consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
Hip no. 54, colt, Storm Cat-She’s a Winner. This dark bay or brown colt is a full brother to grade I winner and stallion Bluegrass Cat. He is consigned by Denali Stud, agent.
Hip no. 330, filly, Kingmambo-Turkish Tryst. Named Kissed by a Star, the bay filly is a half-sister to grade I winner and stallion Hard Spun . She is consigned by Eaton Sales, agent.
Hip. 56, filly, Unbridled’s Song-Silken Cat. This filly is a half-sister to champion sprinter and stallion Speightstown . The chestnut filly is consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent for Aaron and Marie Jones.
Hip no. 190, colt, Storm Cat-Goulash. This bay colt is a half-bother to champion Ashado and grade I winner Sunriver, and grade III winner Saint Stephen. Taylor Made Sales Agency will consign the colt on behalf of Aaron and Marie Jones.
Hip no. 340, colt, Giant’s Causeway-Vertigineux. The chestnut colt is a half-brother to grade I winners Zenyatta and Balance. He is consigned by Winter Quarter Farm, agent for Maverick Productions.
Hip no. 379, filly, Empire Maker -Away. The bay filly is a half-sister to grade I winner Eight Belles, who broke down in the gallop out after finishing second to Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby. Three Chimneys Sales, agent, will consign the filly.
Hip no. 391, colt, Maria’s Mon-Candytuft. The dark bay or brown colt is a half-brother to champion sprinter Midnight Lute. Trackside Farm, agent for Tom Evans, Macon Wilmil Equines, and Marjac Farms, will consign the colt.