Keeneland officials reduced the number of under tack shows from two to one this year for their April sale of 2-year-olds in training in Central Kentucky. But a muscular Langfuhr colt needed only the one shot Monday to make a big impression on the auction’s prospective buyers. He ripped through an eighth of a mile over Keeneland’s Polytrack surface in :9 3/5, equaling the world record at that distance for a juvenile auction. Last year, Patricia’s Gem, a daughter of Mineshaft, turned in the same time and ended up topping the sale with her $1.75-million price.
“We’re obviously delighted with the breeze,” said Niall Brennan, the gray/roan colt’s consignor. “Quite honestly, we didn’t think he was that kind of horse because we always figured he would want two turns. We thought he would be the kind of horse that would go in :10 1/5 and gallop out beautifully, but he just covers the ground so efficiently. It’s not like he has a quick, limited type of stride.”
Jockey Dale Beckner was aboard the colt, which is out of the 13-year-old Rubiano mare Coral Sea and is a half-brother to this year’s Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. II) winner Cool Coal Man. A son of Mineshaft , Cool Coal Man is scheduled to run in the April 12 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland.
“He’s never been rushed in his training, but he’s got a lot of talent,” said Brennan of the Langfuhr colt. “We pointed for this sale because he’s a big-bodied horse and we didn’t want to push on too early with him. He’s a May foal, but he’s very mature through his body. If you look at him, there’s so much Danzig and Northern Dancer (the sire and grandsire, respectively, of Langfuhr) about him. He has great substance.”
The colt is owned by a pinhooking venture headed by Brennan and Kentucky bloodstock agent Mike Ryan, who acquired him at last year’s Keeneland September yearling auction. Brennan and Ryan were the immediate underbidders on the colt to Florida pinhooker Murray Smith, who got him for $135,000.
“We were bidding on him, and we actually stood there while Murray signed the sale ticket,” Brennan said. “We were going to flip a coin for him, and she said, ‘Look, you know what, I’ve got so many damn horses. If you want him, take the ticket.’ We took the ticket.
“Murray is a great horsewoman,” Brennan continued, “and she’s bought many good ones. She might have a little regret now, but how do you ever know? We all buy so many yearlings.”
While the colt was the fastest Keeneland April sale horse at an eighth of a mile, two juveniles were the quickest at a quarter, each covering the distance in :20 2/5. One was an Aldebaran – Propriety colt, and the other was a Forestry – Broad Dynamite colt.
Kip Elser’s Kirkwood Stables is the consignor of the Aldebaran colt. He is a full brother to winner Grace Anatomy, who finished second in the 2008 Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. II) and third in the 2007 Darley Aclibiades Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland. Other family members include champion Soaring Softly and grade I winner Plenty of Grace. Timbertown Stables purchased the colt for $100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction.
Brothers J.B. and Kevin McKathan, as agents, are the consignors of the Forestry colt, which they purchased for $150,000 last September at Keeneland. The colt is a half-brother to the winner Santa Croce (by Saint Ballado), who was third in the 2005 Correction Handicap at Aqueduct. Their dam, a grade II winner, is from the family of 1987 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Very Subtle.
The weather for the under tack show was warm and sunny. There was a light breeze.
“It was one of the best-attended shows that we’ve ever had,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “There was a good cross-section of industry personnel. I thought it went very smoothly.”
Horsemen watching the works included California storage magnate B. Wayne Hughes; trainers Steve Asmussen, Todd Pletcher, Neil Drysdale, John Kimmel, and Richard Mandella; Doug Cauthen, Bill Casner, and Elliott Walden of WinStar Farm; and Darley USA president Jimmy Bell.
The sale is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, with each session beginning at 7 p.m. (EDT).