Seattle Slew Tops Sire Average on Keeneland Opener

Taylor Made Farm stallion Saint Ballado sired the $4-million session topper on the Monday night opener to the Keeneland July select yearling sale, but Three Chimneys Farm's venerable Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew was leading sire by average on the evening, with two colts selling for an average price of $1,925,000. Saint Ballado, with three selling for an average $1,775,000, was second, followed by Overbrook Farm's Storm Cat (2 sold, average of $1,350,000), and Claiborne Farm's second-year sire Pulpit (2 sold, average of $1,100,000) rounding out the four sires that had an average of $1 million or higher.

Seattle Slew's yearlings were conceived in 1999 off a stud fee of $125,000, while Saint Ballado's were conceived from a $30,000 fee, Storm Cat $200,000, and Pulpit $35,000. Fees for all four stallions moved up in 2001: Seattle Slew's is private, but considerably higher than $125,000; Saint Ballado's jumped to $125,000; Storm Cat's to $400,000; and Pulpit's was nudged up to $40,000.

Pulpit was last July's leading first-year sire at Keeneland, with six selling for an average of $550,833. The previous year's first-year leader at Keeneland July, Hennessy, has no yearlings in this year's sale.

Among the first-year sires with yearlings sold during the opening session, Hopewell Farm's Skip Away and Walmac International's Gentlemen had the highest individual prices, with each selling a colt for $550,000. For Skip Away, it was his only representative in the July sale. Gentlemen had two others sell on the night and the three combined for an average price of $273,333, putting him just behind Coolmore/Ashford's Grand Slam, with two selling for an average price of $275,000. Rounding out the first-year sires, each with one yearling sold, were Coolmore/Ashford's Tale of the Cat ($260,000), Adena Springs' Touch Gold ($220,000), and Coolmore/Ashford's King of Kings ($120,000).

Not represented at Keeneland is Claiborne's Coronado's Quest, who has one yearling from his first crop catalogued at Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga sale next month. Coronado's Quest had the highest entering stud fee among North America's new stallions in the 1999 breeding season, $60,000. Adena Springs' Awesome Again, who is represented in Tuesday night's session, began his stud career at $50,000 live foal, as did Skip Away.

Leading Keeneland Sires by Average