Hip No. 43, a Maria's Mon colt who brought $525,000 at the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Hip No. 43, a Maria's Mon colt who brought $525,000 at the Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training.

Photos by Z / Keeneland

Maria's Mon Colt Brings $525,000 at Keeneland

Trainer John Ward buys him for John Oxley from Eddie Woods, agent.

A Maria's Mon colt became the highest-priced horse sold so far at the  Keeneland sale of 2-year-olds in training in when he brought $525,000 late in the afternoon of April 5 in Lexington. Trainer John Ward bought the chestnut juvenile for John Oxley.

Ward and Oxley have enjoyed great success with Maria’s Mon’s sons Monarchos, who captured the 2001 Kentucky Derby (gr. I), and grade II winner Strong Contender.

“We’ve been looking for colts all season and we wound up buying fillies,” Ward said. “We want to buy horses that are Derby-type animals and that’s him. We think this horse is a really, really nice horse. His price was a little on the strong side, but he’s probably one of the best 10 horses I’ve seen for the sale season so I’m happy. He’s a beautiful mover with no wasted motion.”

Ward, who kept in touch with Oxley via cell phone during the bidding on Hip No. 43, said the colt reminded him of Strong Contender.

Eddie Woods, agent, consigned the colt to the auction. IEAH purchased him for $500,000 from Top Line Sales, agent, at the 2009 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction. He worked an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 prior to the Keeneland sale.

“We had to get comfortable with it,” said Ward, when asked how the yearling price affected his decision to buy the colt. "Between $500,000 and $525,000 there was conversation.”

The colt is out of the unraced Last Tycoon mare La Cucina, who is a half-sistger to English stakes winner Ocean Air (by Elegant Air). He is a half-brother to grade II winners Miss Isella (by Silver Charm) and Sir Cherokee(by Cherokee Run).

The sale got off to a hot start when a sleek Birdstone  colt commanded a $310,000  bid and an Indian Charlie filly brought $325,000.

Cataloged as Hip No. 3, the dark bay or  brown Birdstone juvenile was purchased by Prime Equestrian of France. One of the members of the group declined to talk to reporters, saying: “Later, later. Let us have some fun.”

Ciaran and Amy Dunne’s Wavertree Stables consigned the colt, which worked an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5 prior to the auction. Produced from the El Corredor mare Elle Nicole, he is a half-brother to the winner Make a Grand (by Grand Reward). Elle Nicole, who finished third once in three races, is a half-sister to two added-money winners: American Century and Energized. She also is a half-sister to Utah Gold, the dam of stakes winner Bright N Golden.

Twin Peeks Racing bought the colt for $150,000 from Clabes Bloodstock, agent, at the 2009 Keeneland September yearling sale.

Thoroughbred Futures purchased the Indian Charlie filly, which was cataloged as Hip No. 13. Produced from the stakes-placed Mining mare Fast an Sexy, the dark bay or brown juvenile is a half-sister to added-money winner Swede (by Yankee Victor).

“It’s the same old story; the really good ones  bring really good money,” said Thoroughbred Futures’ Andrew Cary. “We were hoping to get her for a little less than that, but it looks like there is a new bidder here from Europe that is very strong that I think bought the Birdstone colt. We had to fight him off. We love the sire; Indian Charlie has had a lot good fillies and (trainer) Todd Pletcher is going to get this one. We’re thrilled to have her. She’s a April foal, and I think she’s got of developing still to do. We hope to race her through the summer and fall.”

McKathan Bros. agent consigned the filly, which was purchased by Ahmed Zayat’s Zayat Stables for $175,000 from Paramount Stables, agent, last September at Keeneland. She worked an eighth of a mile in :10 1/5.