With Darby Dan Bloodstock acting on his behalf, casino industry veteran Stanley Fulton purchased an Unbridled's Song colt for $850,000 as the top price during the Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale Tuesday.
Fulton said he purchased the colt, who had been purchased by Brian Morgan for $300,000 at last year's Keeneland September yearling sale, on the recommendation of Darby Dan Bloodstock's Tim McMurry. The colt was consigned by Robert N. Scanlon.
Fulton was the founder of Anchor Gaming, from which he retired in 2000 after selling the company his 40% interest in the gaming concern. In exchange for some of his stock, Anchor Gaming sold Fulton its Sunland Park racetrack and casino in New Mexico and its 25% stake in the Plainridge Racetrack in Massachusetts. Fulton is now chairman of Sunland Park.
Keeneland reported 102 horses were sold for a gross of $17,749,500. The average price of $174,015 represented a 6.3% gain and was a record for the sale, now in its 10th year. The median price of $127,500 was also a record. At the 2001 sale, 91 horses were sold for $14,898,00, an average of $163,714 and a $125,000 median. This year's buyback rate of 42.7% was also a new high for the auction.
"The top end was very, very strong," said a pleased Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell. "The middle was a little weaker than I thought it would be and the bottom was very weak."
Russell attributed solid participation by California horsemen and Japanese as factors in the sale's success.
Top price paid for a filly was the $750,000 bid from John Oxley for a Pulpit--Aces filly consigned by Kirkwood Stables, agent for Claiborne Farm.
Oxley, who raced 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos, said "we thought she was the best filly in the sale. We liked the idea she was from Claiborne Farm."
Irish bloodstock agent Demi O'Byrne went to $700,000 to buy a Grand Slam filly. consigned by Niall Brennan, was purchased on behalf of Michael Tabor and Ned Evans and will be trained by Patrick Biancone. Evans bred the filly and sold her to the Waterside Stable partnership for $260,000 at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling sale.
"Her sire was good 2-year-old and she has 2-year-old written all over her," O'Byrne said.
The Lewises went to $650,000 to acquire a Touch Gold filly consigned by Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd. Produced from the stakes-placed mare Penny's Growl, the filly had been purchased by The Narrows as a weanling for $85,000.
"She is a beautiful filly," Bob Lewis said. "We are just thrilled we came up with the ownership. She obviously is in very fit condition and she will be on the racetrack shortly." The filly, who was timed in :32 4/5 during the pre-sale workout, will be trained by Craig Lewis.
Not much later, the Lewises were the high bidders at $550,000 on a Gulch colt produced from the Sham mare Rogue Girl. Consigned by Robert Scanlon, the colt had been bought by Woodward Farm for $125,000 at the 2001 Keeneland January sale and then bought back for $145,000 as a September sale yearling.Top Priced Horses
(Price, sex, sire--dam, consignor, price, buyer)
$850,000--Colt, Unbridled's Song--Whatamiss, Robert N. Scanlon, agent, Darby Dan Bloodstock
$750,000, Filly, Pulpit--Aces, Kirkwood Stables, agent for Claiborne Farm, John Oxley
$700,000, Filly, Grand Slam--Starr County, Niall Brennan, agent, D.L. O'Byrne
$650,000, Filly, Touch Gold--Penny's Growl, Tony Bowling and Bobby Dodd, agent, Robert and Beverly Lewis
$550,000, Colt, Gulch--Rogue Girl, Robert N. Scanlon, agent, Robert and Beverly Lewis
$520,000, Colt, Tabasco Cat--Arbela, Niall Brennan, agent, J. Paul Reddam
$440,000, Colt, Smoke Glacken--Halomatic, Kirkwood Stables, agent, B. Wayne Hughes
$400,000, Colt, A.P. Indy--Two Altazano, William B. Harrigan, agent, Lane's End Farm
$400,000, Colt, Boundary--Nameseeker, Wavertree Stables, Inc., (Ciaran Dunne), agent, Team Valor
$385,000, Colt, Maria's Mon--Full Retreat, Wavertree Stables, Inc., (Ciaran Dunne), agent, John C. Kimmel, agentTop Buyers
(Buyer, Total, Average--Number)
Robert and Beverly Lewis, $2,365,000, $295,625--8
Eishindo Co., $1,715,000, $245,000--7
J. Paul Reddam, $1,560,000, $222,857--7
Darby Dan Bloodstock, $1,310,000, $436,666--3
John Oxley, $750,000, $750,000--1
D.L. O'Byrne, $700,000, $700,000--1
B. Wayne Hughes, $640,000, $320,000--2
North Hills Management, $590,000, $147,500--4
Shadai Farm, $585,000, $292,500--2
John C. Kimmel, agent, $570,000, $285,000--2Top Sires
(Sire, Total, Average--Number)
Tabasco Cat , $520,000, $520,000--1
Unbridled's Song, $930,000, $465,000--2
A.P. Indy, $400,000, $400,000--1
Boundary, $400,000, $400,000--1
Pulpit, $782,000, $391,000--2
Maria's Mon, $385,000, $385,000--1
Dynaformer, $380,000, $380,000--1
Clever Trick, $375,000, $375,000--1
Carson City, $350,000, $350,000--1
Gulch, $680,000, $340,000--2Live hip-by-hip results, bloodhorse.com