Irish agent Demi O'Byrne outlasted all other bidders to acquire a Bernardini colt for $1,550,000 at the Sept. 12 third session of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington.
Produced from the Carson City mare Wilshewed, the colt is a half brother to grade I winner and sire Stormello. He was consigned by Catherine Parke's Valkyre Stud, agent for Mr. and Mrs. William Currin.
O'Byrne said the price was in the ballpark of what he expected to pay, but noted he was "nearing the end" of his limit.
O'Byrne, who buys for the Coolmore Stud interests of Michael Tabor, Susan Magnier, and Derrick Smith, said the colt was "one of the best" in the marathon auction. The agent said the colt was a "good-looking horse" with a "good walk."
Bred in Kentucky by Currin, the colt's half sister Ever So Pretty was bought for $90,000 by Fred Hertrich III at the 2009 Keeneland November breeding stock sale from the Valkyre consignment. She RNA'd for $165,000 at last year's Keeneland November sale when consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency.
The colt is also a half brother to My Best Brother, winner of the Sept. 9 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) for Currin and Allen Eisman. My Best Brother (by Stormy Atlantic ) was a $90,000 RNA when consigned by Valkyre at the 2009 Keeneland November breeding stock sale. He is trained by Julio Canani.
Wilshewed's youngest foal, a filly by Giant's Causeway , was born Feb. 28.
Earlier in the session, Japanese-based J S Company went to $600,000 to purchase a Medaglia d'Oro colt, consigned as Hip No. 457 by Lane's End. The colt was produced from the unraced Distorted Humor mare Weekend Whim, a full sister to Haskell Invitational Handicap (gr. I) winner Any Given Saturday and to grade III winner Boehmian Lady.
Keisake Onishi, who signed the sales ticket, said trainer Yoshito Yahagi really liked the colt’s pedigree, especially since he was produced from the same female family of Any Given Saturday .
"This pedigree is very exciting, especially (with) Any Given Saturday," said Onishi.
The colt was bred by WinStar Farm. Coconut Shrimp, his juvenile half sister by Giant's Causeway, was bought by Repole Stables for $170,000 from the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale through J. J. Crupi, agent.
Coconut Shrimp broke her maiden at Saratoga Race Course Aug. 13 and is entered in the Natalma Stakes (Can-IIT) at Woodbine Sept. 15.
Esther Marr contributed to this story.