Mr. Greeley colt, sold for $1 million.

Mr. Greeley colt, sold for $1 million.

Anne M. Eberhardt

O'Byrne Goes to $1 Million For Mr. Greeley Colt

A day after the third-highest price ever recorded for a yearling sold at public auction, things were much calmer at Wednesday's session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. But there was a $1-million horse and the gross and average were up.

When the day started there was still a buzz about the $9.7 million Sheikh Mohammed paid for a son of Storm Cat Tuesday. But as the session got going, it was time to sell more horses.

Demi O'Byrne, representing Coolmore, was outbid for the sale topper Tuesday but Wednesday he paid $1 million for a colt by Mr. Greeley out of the Dixieland Band mare Dreams of Success. The colt's dam is a half-sister to Burning Roma (by Rubiano), a multiple graded stakes winner of $1.5 million. He was consigned by Craig and Holly Bandoroff's Denali Stud as agent.

"There were a lot of people bidding for him, weren't there?" O'Byrne said, "so obviously he was very popular. I knew he would be expensive but I didn't think he would make that much. He was remarkable--big, good-looking, a great mover.

"He (Mr. Greeley) has El Corredor and he's capable of getting a good horse."

The Mr. Greeley colt was purchased for Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith. He will be trained by either Todd Pletcher or Patrick Biancone.

For the Wednesday session:

-- 282 horses were sold
-- 90 were listed as RNA (24.2%)
-- The gross was $50,257,000 (up 14.4% from $43,920,000)
-- The average was $178,216 (up 12% from $159,130)
-- The median was $130,000 (no change)

For the three sessions combined:

-- 654 horses were sold
-- 212 were listed as RNA (24.5%)
-- The gross was $237,471,000 (up 22.1% from $194,568,000)
-- The average was $363,106 (up 16.6% from $311,309)
-- The median was $200,000 (up 11.1% from $180,000)

"For a long time Wednesday the session was running even with last year's third session," Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell said. "The end of the session helped."

Russell said the expected trickle down effect from the strong Monday and Tuesday sessions appeared evident on Wednesday and he thought it would continue Thursday.

"This is the top of the middle market (Wednesday and Thursday) so there are still very good physicals and pedigrees," he said.

Jess Jackson's Stonestreet Stables went to $950,000 for a colt by Unbridled's Song. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, the colt is out of the Storm Cat mare Thiscatsforcaryl and thus a full brother to stakes winner Be Like Mike.

"He's a really nice horse," said Kentucky bloodstock agent John Moynihan, who is an adviser to Jackson. "Whenever I find a good one by Unbridled's Song that's out of a Storm Cat mare, I have a lot of confidence because that's a cross that has worked with Buddha and several others. He has a really good physical, and he's a well-bred horse. After today, there will be fewer and fewer of those kind."

For $700,000, Winchell Thoroughbreds purchased a colt by Cherokee Run out of the unraced A.P. Indy mare Checkered Flag. The first foal from Checkered Flag is stakes winner Victory Lap, by Touch Gold. The colt was sold by Bluewater Sales.

Also for $700,000, the second to last hip through the ring was purchased to My Meadow View Farm. Sold by Lane's End Farm, the colt is by Awesome Again  out of the stakes winning Dayjur mare Lucette. Will Farish's Lane's End is the leading consignor by gross through three days, just a tick ahead of Taylor Made, with $39,907,000 and $39,830,000, respectively.

John Oxley paid $675,000 for a filly Wednesday by Giant's Causeway  out of the unraced Mr. Prospector mare Prospect of Joy. The filly's dam is out of the grade/group-winning mare Heart of Joy. She was consigned by Blackburn Farm, agent for Longleaf Pine Farm.

A filly sold for $650,000 and a filly and a colt each brought $625,000 in other leading sales Wednesday. Robert and Lawana Low spent $650,000 for a Storm Cat filly. She was consigned by Bluewater Sales. The filly is out of the Devil's Bag mare Fabulist, who is a half-sister to three stakes winners including Tale of the Cat , who is by Storm Cat.

Jerry Moss, who races 2005 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo, paid $625,000 for a Gone West filly sold by Threave Main Stud. She is out of the Dynaformer mare Abita, who is a half-sister to three stakes winners.

For the same price, Anthony Stroud bought as agent a colt by Elusive Quality--Fair Settlement, by Easy Goer. The half-brother to stakes-placed Mustang Jock was sold by Woods Edge Farm, agent.

For $600,000 Bob and Beverly Lewis bought a son of Silver Deputy sold by Taylor Made Sales Agency.

The Silver Deputy colt's dam, Saudi Poetry, by Storm Cat, raced for the late Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp. A multiple graded stakes winner, she was purchased as part of his dispersal at the 2003 Keeneland November sale by WinStar Farm, agent, for $2.2 million. The Silver Deputy colt, her first foal, was bred by Racehorse Management.

With daily sessions at 10 a.m., the sale continues through Sept. 26, except for this Friday, when there is no sale session.

Leading Sires

Hip-by-hip results from Keeneland