The Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall yearling sale is saving the best for last. During the lunch hour of the auction’s third and final session, a Smart Strike colt became the highest-priced horse sold so far when he commanded $270,000 Oct. 26. The previous high price was the $260,000 brought by an Arch–Royal Sanction filly during the second session Oct. 25.
Canadian-based trainer Mark Casse purchased the Smart Strike colt. He declined to reveal the bay yearling’s new owner. John and Debby Oxley have been among Casse’s his high profile clients lately, but, Casse said, “I do buy horses for other people.”
The colt is the second foal out of the winning Green Dancer mare Yaqeen. She is a half sister to Grand Courturier (by Grand Lodge), who captured the 2007 and 2008 editions of the Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (gr. IT), the 2008 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT), the 2009 Bowling Green Handicap (gr. IIT), and the 2006 Prix Derby du Midi in France. Yaqeen also is a half sister to Alainmaar (by Johar), who scored in this year’s John Doyle Buckhounds Stakes in England.
“How can you not like a Smart Strike?” Casse said. “I thought this was a really pretty colt. He met all my criteria. I thought he had a great neck and shoulder and a strong back.”
Smart Strike, who stands at Will Farish's Lane's End Farm near Versailles, Ky., was North America’s leading sire by progeny earnings in 2007 and 2008.
Shadwell Farm, which is owned by Sheikh Hamdan of Dubai, bred the $270,000 yearling in Kentucky. Bluewater Sales, agent, consigned him to the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall auction. Earlier this year, Bluewater was scheduled to offer the colt at the Keeneland September yearling sale, but he was scratched.