Hip 5 brought $485,000 when sold at the Keeneland April sale.

Hip 5 brought $485,000 when sold at the Keeneland April sale.

Coady Photography/Keeneland

Keeneland Juvenile Sale Off to Strong Start

Ohio-bred War Front colt is early sale topper at $485,000.

The Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training got off to a good start when two of the first four horses in the sales ring brought prices of $485,000 and $400,000.

Agent John Moynihan went to $485,000 on behalf of his main client Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables to get a War Front  colt from the consignment of Ciaran Dunne’s Wavertree. The colt, bred in Ohio by William R. Sheppell, had previously been purchased by John Savino for $60,000 at the 2010 Fasig-Tipton October yearling sale.

The colt was produced from the El Prado mare La Prada, whose dam was a multiple stakes winner on the Ohio circuit.

“He went out extremely fast,” Moynihan said, referring to the colt’s April 7 Preview Day work in which he breezed an eighth of a mile in :10. “He’s a gorgeous horse. We thought we’d take a chance.”

Just before Moynihan’s purchase, prominent owner John Oxley went to $400,000 to acquire a son of Tiznow  produced from the stakes-winning Salt Lake mare Lake Lady. The colt was consigned by Steve Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds and had been purchased by W. D. North Thoroughbreds for $80,000 at last year’s Keeneland September yearling sale from the Dixiana consignment.

Oxley said the final price was slightly more than he thought he would have to pay for the colt, but noted that the competition at a boutique sale like Keeneland’s is stiff and the better horses are attractive to all the top bidders.

“He is a horse that checks all the boxes,” Oxley said. “He may the best horse in the sale.”

The colt had worked a quarter mile in :21 1/5 during the pre-sale breeze, but Venosa said prospective buyers who clock horses had timed him in 1:01 for five furlongs when he galloped out during the work.