Keeneland sale horse being prepared for showing.

Keeneland sale horse being prepared for showing.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Sons of Giant's Causeway, Maria's Mon Looking Good at Keeneland

To bring high prices, 2-year-olds in training have to jump through a lot of hoops. They need to work fast, look good physically, and pass veterinary exams. Following are some of the horses that were generating positive buzz prior to Tuesday's Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training:

Hip No. 111, Giant's Causeway  – Roza Robato colt, consigned by Robert N. Scanlon, agent. "He's a big, gorgeous horse, and he's been a standout for us all year," said Scanlon's son, David. "When we first got him, he had a beautiful frame, and he filled out and matured beautifully. He's a terrific mover. You can tell he's a horse with a future." Worked an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 and a quarter mile in :21 4/5..

Hip No. 39, Maria's Mon – Kopenhagen colt, consigned by Murray Smith. Standing 16.2, this chestnut colt is built for power and he also has speed, turning in quarter-mile work of :21 2/5. "He's always X-rayed and scoped super clean, and he's never missed any training," Smith said. "He's a very willing, agreeable horse; he's got a great attitude every day. He's a big red train." His second dam, Eterna Fe, was a group I winner in Argentina.

Hip No. 30, Unbridled's Song – In the Storm colt, consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent. "He's out of a Storm Cat mare, and he has a lot of Storm Cat about him," Brennan said. "He's also a very agile colt. He seems to be what everybody is looking for at these sales. He's got the pedigree; he's by a hot sire; he's got a tremendous physical; and he's exceptional on the racetrack." Shared co-fastest honors for a quarter-mile, covering the distance in :20 3/5. From the family of grade I winner Formal Gold, he is a $275,000 graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale. Brennan also has been impressed with Hip No. 104, an Unbridled's Song – Regally Appealing colt named Phaedo. "He's not quite as forward as the other Unbridled's Song colt, but he had an exceptional breeze and he has a tremendous physical," Brennan said. Covered a quarter mile in :21 2/5. In addition, Brennan likes Hip No. 72, a Dynaformer – Moments of Magic colt. "He's the best Dynaformer that I've ever been around, and we've been lucky to sell a lot of good ones," the Florida pinhooker said. "He's obviously got a turf pedigree, but he's very versatile. He's got a lot of strength on the racetrack." A $100,000 graduate of the Keeneland September yearling sale, the colt worked an eighth (on dirt) in :10 2/5.

Hip No. 105, Maria Pia, Silver Deputy – Restraint filly, consigned by Sandra Murphy, agent. "She's awesome," Murphy said. "She's been super from day one, and she has a wonderful mind. She's not a dainty, little filly; she's very bullish." Her eighth in :10 1/5 was one of the fastest. Sold for $260,000 at Keeneland September yearling sale.

Hip No. 213, Praying for Cash, Songandaprayer – Cash No Credit colt, consigned by Sequel Bloodstock, agent. "He's a very nice individual with a pretty body and a lot of leg," said Robert E. Lee, who works for Becky Thomas at Sequel. "He has a tremendous amount of talent. He's a good worker; he likes to train." Sold for $100,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction. Worked a quarter in :21

Hip No. 114, Fantastic Light – Sahibah filly, consigned by Niall Brennan Stables, agent. "She's a got a gorgeous physical and a tremendous mind," Brennan said. "She's got all the quality in the world. She's my favorite filly that I've had this year." A $190,000 graduate of the Keeneland September yearling sale, she worked an eighth of a mile in :10 3/5 on dirt even though she is from the first crop of a sire who was a champion on grass.

Hip No. 163, Yes It's True – Tri Toasted colt, consigned by William B. Harrigan, agent. One of the fastest workers at an eighth with a time of :10 1/5. "He's a really classy horse who's obviously very talented," Harrigan said. "He's smart and sound. He's a big and athletic with a good disposition."

Hip No. 143, Victory Gallop – Sugar Is Gold colt, consigned by Hartley/ De Renzo Thoroughbreds, agent. "He's the kind of horse that looks good all the time," said Randy Hartley. "He looks good galloping; he looks good when he's getting a bath. He's a pretty horse." The colt is a $200,000 graduate of the 2003 Keeneland November breeding stock auction, where he was sold as a weanling. Breezed a quarter in :21. Hartley's partner, Dean De Renzo, also likes Hip No. 23, a Five Star Day – Hope Island colt that worked a quarter in :21 2/5. "He's a big, handsome, robust individual," De Renzo said. The colt is a $180,000 graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale.

Hip No. 194, Grand Slam– Ann Margot colt. Consigned by Terry Oliver, agent. Even though he had to overcome an abscess in a foot that caused him to miss about two months of training, this colt turned in an impressive quarter-mile work time of : 21 1/5. "He's a purely talented horse – very, very special," said Florida pinhooker Tony Bowling, a partner in the colt. Oliver purchased the colt for $285,000 at the Keeneland September yearling auction.

Hip No. 131, Broken Vow  – Smooth as Silk colt, consigned by Terry Oliver, agent. "He's a big, leggy horse, and he's probably one of the prettier horses on the sales grounds," Oliver said. A $77,000 Keeneland September yearling, he worked a quarter in :21. Hip No. 199, a Forestry – Barefoot Dyana colt spooked, ducked in, and bounced off the inside rail, but still worked a quarter in :21 3/5. Came back in second under tack show and breezed an eighth in :10 3/5. "He's a great moving horse," Oliver said.

Hip No. 28, Forest Wildcat – Infomint filly, consigned by John D. Stephens, agent. "She's very physically attractive, and she moves well," Stephens said. "She's not a typical filly; she's stronger and has a heavier hip. She's a forward training filly that does everything right, and she's going to be early and precocious. All the right people are looking at her." A $190,000 graduate of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale, she was one of the fastest workers at an eighth of a mile, covering the distance in :10 1/5. Hip No. 223, a Saint Ballado – Colony Bay colt, "has a lot of class on the racetrack," Stephens said. "He has such a presence about him." He's also a full brother to grade III winner Lindsay Jean.

Hip No. 35, a Lemon Drop Kid  – Karen's Magic colt, consigned by Nick de Meric, agent. Worked a sharp eighth in :10 2/5, but it's his sudden development of mental maturity that has excited de Meric the most. "He's made great progress in the last month," said the Florida pinhooker. "He was a little backward mentally. He didn't really focus and didn't have his heart in it. He has a much brighter future than we gave him credit for earlier in the year." The colt is from the family of grade I winners Magical Maiden and Miss Houdini. De Meric said to also keep an eye on Hip No. 10, an Unbridled's Song –Grand Deed colt, and Hip No. 41, a Red Ransom – L'Abidjanaise colt, who has a strapping body, "bone to spare, and speed to go with it."

Hip No. 31, a Coronado's Quest – Jazz Rags colt, consigned by Kirkwood Stables, agent. Shared honors for the fastest quarter at :20 3/5, making him hard to overlook.