Pulpit colt, attracting attention prior to Keeneland's 2-year-olds in training sale.

Pulpit colt, attracting attention prior to Keeneland's 2-year-olds in training sale.

Anne M. Eberhardt

Pulpit Colt Among Hot Horses for Keeneland April Sale

It could have been a recipe for disaster. But the Pulpit colt in Niall Brennan's consignment emerged unscathed, and now Hip No. 124 is one of horses people are talking about in Tuesday's Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training.

During the first under tack show for the Lexington auction on April 5, the powerful-looking, long-striding colt dumped his rider, then ran once around the Keeneland track. Most horses would have been pretty winded after such a jaunt, but after a short break, the rider got back up, and the colt worked a snappy eighth of a mile in :10 3/5.

This colt, according to Niall's brother, Ian, could match the $3.1-million Stephen Got Even colt that sold earlier this year stride-for-stride when they trained together in Florida. Even as a yearling, the son of Pulpit had a commanding presence.

The colt is out of 22-year-old stakes-winning Vice Regent mare In My Cap, who is a half-sister to the dams of grade I winner Albert the Great (by Go for Gin) and grade III winner Ask Me No Secrets (by Seattle Slew). Lexington bloodstock agent Mike Ryan purchased the colt for $170,000 at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.

Pulpit had a big weekend when another of his sons, Tapit, scored in the Wood Memorial (gr. I).

Following are some of the other horses that are generating a buzz at Keeneland:

Hip No. 217, a Saint Ballado -- Sapphire Beads colt named Notta Saint. Consigned by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd. Even though his quarter-mile work of :22 1/5 didn't rank among the fastest on April 5, the colt is sleek and racy-looking. He is out of a 13-year-old, stakes winning Unreal Zeal mare and is a full brother to grade III-placed Ashmore. He is a $145,000 graduate of the 2003 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale.

Hip No. 232, a Dixie Union -- Sneaky Quiet colt. Consigned by Danny Pate's Solitary Oak, agent. Owned by Robert LaPenta, who purchased him in the name of Whitehorse Stables for $160,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September sale. LaPenta is on a big roll. He owns recent Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) winner The Cliff's Edge, and he owned the $4.5-million. Fusaichi Pegasus colt that set a world auction record for a juvenile earlier this year. The Dixie Union colt shared the honors for fastest-quarter mile time on April 5, covering the distance in :21. Has more scope than his Northern Dancer sire line might suggest. A half-brother to grade III-placed Hidden Truth (by Danzig). Their dam, a 12-year-old daughter of Seeking the Gold, was a stakes winner and finished third in the Kentucky Oaks (gr. I).

Hip No. 111, a Stravinsky -- Golden Pond filly, consigned by Robert Scanlon, agent. Shared the fastest time on April 5 for an eighth of a mile, stopping the clock in :10 1/5. Her dam, by Don't Forget Me, is a grade II winner. A $100,000 buy-back at last year's Keeneland September sale. Also watch out for these other Scanlon-consigned horses: Hip No. 177, a Cherokee Run -- Not to Be Outdone colt that also worked an eighth in :10 1/5; Hip No. 221, a Pioneering -- Scorch colt that shared the fastest time for a quarter-mile (:21); and Hip No. 227, a Seattle Slew filly out of Alcibiades Stakes (gr. II) winner She's a Devil Due, who finished third in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I).

Hip No. 155, a Fusaichi Pegasus -- Marozia colt. Consigned by Kip Elser's Kirkwood Stables. Elser says this colt is "just as good" as the $4.5-million Fusaichi Pegasus colt that the pinhooker sold as agent for LaPenta. However, the colt is a different type of horse physically -- "a little shorter through the back and a little stouter," according to Elser. Worked a quarter on April 5 in :22 4/5. LaPenta purchased the colt for $310,000 at last year's Keeneland September sale.

Hip No. 14, an Unbridled's Song -- Whatamiss colt named Imperial Wonder. Consigned by Jesse and Stacy Longoria, agents. Worked a quarter mile on April 5 in a brisk :21 3/5. A $130,000 buy-back at the 2003 Keeneland September sale. He is from the family of grade I winner Convenience, grade II winner Star of the Crop, and grade III winners Concept Win and Capital Request.