Eric Mitchell

Union Rags, American Pharoah Top Sires at January Sale

Union Rags lead covering sire by average, 'Pharoah' top yearling sire

Union Rags , Lane's End's runner-up second-crop sire of 2018, led covering sires by average at the conclusion of the four-day Keeneland January horses of racing age sale. 

The 9-year-old son of Dixie Union was represented by three mares sold out of three offered that brought a $243,333 average and a $200,000 median. He was the January sale's only covering sire with an average and median above $200,000.

Union Rags' top-selling mare was Charm City Girl, a stakes-placed winning daughter of Pioneerof the Nile , who was consigned by Upson Downs Farm and sold for $350,000 to Larkin Armstrong as agent. The mare is a half sister to Miss Preakness Stakes winner I'm Mom's Favorite (by Indian Charlie) and stakes-placed winner Toutsie Rules (Roman Ruler).

The other covering sire with a six-figure average was WinStar Farm's Gemologist , who was represented by four sold out of eight offered that averaged $112,375. He was represented by the highest-priced in-foal mare at the sale, the Unbridled's Song daughter Spring Eclipse, who sold to Green Leaf Farm for $425,000. Shawhan Place sold the mare, who is a half sister to graded stakes winners Softly (Binalong) and Coragil Cat (Forest Wildcat). Gemologist had more disparity in his mare prices as a covering sire as indicated by his $9,750 median.

Rounding out the top five covering sires by average are Three Chimneys Farm's Will Take Charge  (five sold, averaging $77,000), Hill 'n' Dale Farms' Kantharos  (four sold, $68,750), and Airdrie Stud's Cairo Prince  (11 sold, $63,727).

Yearlings by Ashford Stud's American Pharoah  put him atop the leading yearling sire list by average, among sires represented by at least three sold. He had three sell for an average of $540,000.

American Pharoah's top seller was a $1 million half brother to multiple group 1 winner Caravaggio. The colt, who sold to Coolmore Stud's M.V. Magnier, was bred in Kentucky by Richard C. Imbert's Windmill Manor Farms in partnership with Petaluma Bloodstock. Charlie O'Connor, director of sales for Coolmore Stud, is one of the principals in Petaluma Bloodstock. Windmill Manor and Petaluma also bred Caravaggio.

The 2015 Triple Crown winner was also represented by a $400,000 colt out of multiple graded stakes producer Air France, who Alex and JoAnn Lieblong bought out of the Crestwood Farm consignment. The Air France colt was bred in Kentucky by Mount Joy Stables and foaled at Crestwood.

Ashford Stud's Uncle Mo , the leading third-crop sire of 2017, was the second-leading yearling sire with an average of $152,500 from four sold out of five offered. The son of Indian Charlie's top seller is a $240,000 colt who is the first foal out of the Malibu Moon  daughter Grace is Gone. Richwood Thoroughbred bought the colt out of the Four Star Sales consignment.

The other yearling sires with six-figure averages include Hill 'n' Dale's Violence  (three sold, $140,000), Spendthrift Farm's Malibu Moon (four sold, $138,750), Lane's End's Candy Ride  (three sold, $125,000), and Union Rags (three sold, $125,000).