Anne M. Eberhardt

New Stallions Making Mark at Keeneland Sale

Young stallions Blame, Quality Road, Munnings, and Uncle Mo grab attention.

The Keeneland January horses of all ages sale serves as a benchmark for new stallions, as mares in foal to stallions who will have their first foals in 2013 are offered and sires who have their first yearlings in 2013 also try to make their mark.

As the five-day sale continues through Jan. 11 in Lexington, many will keep an eye on the performance of those young stallions.

On the first day of the sale Jan. 7, two of the top six yearling prices were paid for newly turned yearlings by 2010 champion older male and Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Blame , who stands at Claiborne Farm near Paris,. Ky., and whose first foals are yearlings of 2013. Glencrest Farm went to $170,000 to land a Blame filly out of the stakes-winning Valid Appeal mare Miz United States, and Kip Elser's Kirkwood Stables, agent, purchased a Blame filly out of the stakes-placed Carson City mare Absolute Nectar for $150,000. A prominent pinhooker, Elser said he made the purchase based on the sire and the filly's looks.

Claiborne's Del Hancock said that while the first season a stallion's progeny arrives on the track is the most important year, she likes to see positive signs for new stallions each step of the way toward that season. Blame, who stands for $30,000 in 2013, led all freshmen stallions at the Keeneland November breeding stock sale with an average weanling price of $139,583 for 12 sold.

"If you like a horse yourself and they're selling well, it gets you off on the right foot that way with the right people," Hancock said. "The proof's in the pudding at 2, when we'll start to know more about them but when you like what you see it does give you a feeling of confidence."

Other stallions whose first foals are yearlings of 2013 and saw their yearlings register top-five prices among newly turned yearlings on the first day of Keeneland January included Munnings  and multiple grade I winner Quality Road . Quality Road, who stands for $25,000 at Lane's End, finished as the leading freshman sire of weanlings by gross at Keeneland November with 14 sold for $1,720,000, an average of $122,857. The top five yearlings by price on the second day were all by veteran sires.

Other stallions with newly turned yearlings featured at Keeneland January include Desert Party , Discreetly Mine, Eskendereya, Hold Me Back, Lookin At Lucky , Majesticperfection , Midshipman , Summer Bird, Super Saver , Tale of Ekati , and Warrior's Reward .

Through the first two days of the sale, the leading stallion who will have his first foals in 2013, by average price of covered mares sold, was 2010 champion juvenile male Uncle Mo . Eight mares cataloged in foal to Uncle Mo, who stands at Ashford Stud for $35,000, sold for an average price of $112,125 through the sale's first two days.

Other Keeneland January stallions who will have their first foals in 2013 include Archarcharch, Cape Blanco, Drosselmeyer, Gio Ponti , Girolamo, Paddy O'Prado, Sidney's Candy, Tizway, Trappe Shot , and Twirling Candy .