Keeneland enjoyed near perfect weather for the first under tack show for its sale of 2-year-olds in training on April 10. But the conditions were far from ideal Monday during the second and final preview before Tuesday's auction in Central Kentucky.
Heavy rains overnight and early in the morning soaked the track, and left it "brutally heavy" in the words of one shopper, Kentucky bloodstock agent John Moynihan. Officially, the surface was rated "good," but the workout times were slow, and many consignors opted to leave their horses in the barns or just gallop.
Only 18 juveniles breezed, and just 19 galloped. Keeneland didn't allow any horses to work on the soggy turf.
"We learned today that the most important thing is to have the first gallop show to be held under optimum conditions, which we had last week," said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales. "We can't control the weather. Unfortunately, we had a thunderstorm and rain last night. We are happy that we had a good show last week, and now people will watch the videos and make their decisions. Some horses that didn't work spectacularly last week got compromised by not getting to come back today. But that's the nature of the beast at 2-year-old sales. The track today is good, but it's just got moisture in it, so it's slower. When it rains and especially when it's a drying out track, it's slower."
An colt from the first crop of champion sprinter Orientate
was the fastest worker at a quarter mile, covering the distance in :22. He is out of the 14-year-old stakes-placed Great Above mare Pascali, who is a half-sister to stakes winner Darian's Reason.
Consigned by Kip Elser's Kirkwood Stables, agent, the Orientate colt is a half-brother to the winner Noble Place. Parthenon purchased the colt for $90,000 at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale.
The fastest time for an eighth of a mile, :10 4/5, was turned in by two juveniles: a Buddha
-- Comical Cat colt, consigned by Leprechaun Racing, agent, and an Officer
-- Genteel World filly named Lady Officer, a member of her sire's first crop. Lady Officer is consigned by American Equistock.
The Keeneland sale starts at 1:30 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday.