A Smart Strike filly, the second yearling of the day to bring $550,000, was bought by investment manager George Bolton during the Sept. 16 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale. Out of the stakes-winning Sea of Secrets mare My Miss Storm Cat, she was consigned by Gainesway, agent for Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings.
“This was (bloodstock agent) John (Moynihan’s) favorite filly in the sale, and he buys all my horses and wanted me to stretch a little bit and get this one,” said George Bolton, who was acquiring his second expensive Smart Strike offspring of the sale. Two days earlier, Bolton purchased a $1 million Smart Strike colt, which topped the Sept. 14 session.
“(Moynihan) bought the mother for Ed Friendly, and she was really talented; I think she won with a 100 Beyer in her first start,” said Bolton of My Miss Storm Cat, who won or placed in six of her seven starts and earned more than $190,000. The mare was retired early due to some foot issues, but if she had kept racing, Bolton said she could have been a grade I winner.
“We also love the sire (Smart Strike), so we gave it a whirl,” he said.
Bolton, who bought the $1 million Smart Strike colt in partnership with Stonestreet, said he plans to race the filly on his own—at least for now.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “Sometimes people call me when I’m going home, but right now it’s just me. (The price) is always more (than you’re expecting). When you know everybody is going to $350,000 to $400,000, that’s not where it’s going to end. So we knew it would be a little more, but I didn’t want to lose her, so we stretched a little bit.”
My Miss Storm Cat is a half sister to grade II winner Soul Warrior and also hails from the family of grade/group I winners Cheval Volant and Lahan.
“She’s obviously beautifully bred, and the bloodstock market feels like it’s bottoming, and there are a lot of good things happening in racing this week; new owners are down here buying, so you can stretch a little more with your confidence versus last year at this time,” Bolton said.
He added that the Smart Strike filly, who was bred in Kentucky by Stonestreet, would either be sent to West Coast trainer Bob Baffert or East Coast-based conditioners Todd Pletcher or Steve Asmussen.