After selling a colt from the first crop of champion Will Take Charge for $975,000 during the Sept. 13 session of the Keeneland September yearling sale, Jody and Michelle Huckabay could not contain their emotions.
Consigned by the couple's Elm Tree Farm, the colt out of the unraced Bernardini mare Oblige was bought by Willis Horton Racing. Horton raced Will Take Charge, who stands at Three Chimneys Farm. The colt, consigned as Hip 564, was bred by Elm Tree, Curt Leake, and Bart and Angie Stark. The mare was purchased for $150,000 while carrying the colt in utero.
"This colt reminded (Horton) a lot of Will Take Charge," said Case Clay, chief commercial officer of Three Chimneys Farm, where Will Take Charge stands. "He's excited to have him; he'll go to Steve Asmussen to train. (The colt) just stood like a statue, did everything right throughout the whole process. Checked all the boxes. Jody (Huckabay) raises a good horse."
The price was the highest ever paid for a yearling bred by Elm Tree.
"We were absolutely not expecting that much," Jody Huckabay said. "We don't even wish that high. We knew we had a lot of people interested. He has always been a good one. We foaled him and raised him at (Elm Tree). The (catalog) update was huge. We were screaming at the TV when (Hunter O'Riley) was coming down the stretch (to win the Bowling Green July 29).
"I've sold a lot of high-dollars but nothing like this. He's a very, very good horse..." he said, with his voice tailing off while choking back tears. "I just can't talk."
Michelle Huckabay took over.
"I'm not good at this," said Michelle, who had trouble composing herself. "He's been good since the day he was born. We have partners who are new to the business and we are just overwhelmed and ecstatic. Obviously we are very happy he's going into some good hands and will have a great opportunity."
Huckabay said about 100 mares are foaled annually at the nearly 700-acre Elm Tree Farm near Paris, Ky., where cattle are also raised. The couple own all or part of about 40 broodmares.