Anne M. Eberhardt

Keeneland's Horses of Racing Age a Specialized Market

Roderick Wachman brings trio of ready-to-race horses to the Keeneland November sale.

Racing rather than breeding will be foremost in the minds of many buyers deep into the eighth session of the Keeneland November breeding stock sale Nov. 14, when 18 racing prospects will be offered.

Roderick Wachman's Kingswood Farm is offering three of these ready-to-go runners along with a 2-year-old unnamed racing/stallion prospect by Uncle Mo  out of Gypsy Sage (by Hennessy) in the horses of racing age segment of the sale.

"We'll have a slightly different clientele tomorrow than you will have for the rest of the breeding stock sale," Wachman said about the Tuesday session. "You'll see a lot of trainers appear. The beauty of having most of the colts at one point in the sale is that it allows people from around the country to take one day out of their business schedules and shop that day. The same then applies as any other sale, people find what they like that jumps through the hoops. Hopefully they'll be there to buy them."

Wachman's racing prospects include Fact Finding (Hip 2841), a 3-year-old colt by The Factor  out of grade 2-placed stakes winner Sweet Belle. Fact Finding won the Smooth Air Stakes on Gulfstream Park's main track and finished well in two black-type turf stakes at Belmont ParkLe Pin (Hip 2853) is an Irish-bred 3-year-old colt by War Front  out of French stakes winner and black-type producer La Conseillante. The colt has placed twice in maiden special weights and in his last start on the turf at Keeneland he led throughout despite a far outside draw and only gave way in deep stretch. Wachman also has Vital (Hip 2884), a 2-year-old colt by Shanghai Bobby  out of the black-type producing mare Sydney's Kiss, the dam of stakes winners Katie's Kiss and Stonestreet Song. The colt is winless in two starts, but finished second in a maiden special weight Oct. 25 at Belmont.

"Those three are all sitting on go," Wachman said. "They have all run since Oct. 22 or 25. They have been on the farm for a couple of weeks, but you could take them anywhere you like and they'll be ready to run in a month. Instant action. It is good timing because the circuits are moving and people are heading to New Orleans and Florida and Texas. They have horses here they can take with them and have some fun."

Though the Keeneland November catalog is heavy on breeding stock, Wachman said the venue is perfectly suitable for people more focused on racing.

"Believe you me, every hungry trainer and bloodstock agent knows how to read a catalog," he said. "Most of the diligent trainers will have had a look. They might want to only look at one, maybe two, but it will be different people wanting different horses. They are all looking at different conditions... long, short, winners or non-winners."

Even horses that could be shipped directly to a track may wind up being diverted to a stallion barn somewhere. 

"Interesting enough it depends on the pedigree," Wachman said. "Last year we had a beautiful Tapit  colt that had not been a great performer but had been an expensive yearling. He was bought by Filipinos to go stand as a stallion." That colt was Adios Reality, a colt out of multiple grade 1 winner Dream Rush and a half brother to grade 1 winner Dreaming of Julia (A.P. Indy) and stakes winner and sire Atreides  (Medaglia d'Oro ). Adios Reality was a $1.2 million yearling purchase, but didn't break his maiden in four starts. Last November he sold to Bruno DeBerdt, agent for Magnus Farms, for $57,000.

"Pedigree attracts different people for different reasons," Wachman said. "The beauty of this, these horses are coming from Belmont or Keeneland. There are all kinds of jurisdictions where, while they may be nice horses here, they could really good horses there."