By Sarah Mace
The 2017 New York-bred yearling sales marketplace got a nice kick-start this week when a yearling from the second crop of Shanghai Bobby topped the filly offerings in Book 1 of Keeneland’s January sale. Hunter Valley Farm went all the way to $280,000 to secure this popular individual in Tuesday’s second and concluding session of the first book.
The sale filly, offered as Hip 516, is a dark bay or brown yearling bred by Yehuda Cohen’s Kingsport Farm LLC, Chris Bernhard’s Hidden Lake Farm LLC and David Campbell. Consigned by Mulholland Springs, Agent XV and Breeders’ Cup nominated, she was the highest-priced of three yearlings by Shanghai Bobby offered Tuesday.
Martha Jane Mulholland of Mullholland Springs said, “She is almost black, has a beautiful head and walk. Her body is so mature that she looks like she will be a grand yearling. She had it all. We knew she would sell well. A lot of people were very interested in her.”
Mulholland also told the TDN’s Christie DeBernardis, “We had a $99,000 reserve on her, but I have not had as many scopes as we had on this filly in a number of years. She got a lot of action. A lot of people were very interested in her. We knew she’d sell well, but we try to put realistic reserves on them.”
The filly, who was foaled on April 18, 2016, is out of Saravati, an unplaced daughter of Giant’s Causeway, who is a half sister to Grade 1 winner You, Grade 2 winner You and I Forever and Grade 3 performer Causeway’s Kin. Her first foal Mask Zorro (Roman Ruler) won a Group 3 race in Japan in 2016.
Hidden Lake Farm / Kingsport Farm LLC bought Saravati for $40,000 at the 2015 Keeneland November sale with the sale filly in utero. The mare was bred to Bellamy Road last year, who stood his first season in New York in 2016 Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains. He commands a $7,500 stud fee in 2017.
“She was by far the best [yearling] offered today,” Hunter Valley co-owner Fergus Galvin said. “[Shanghai Bobby] we are huge fans of; we think he is going to be one of the top freshman sires for this year.”
Continued Galvin, “I’d say she will be re-offered, we are not sure yet. At that sort of (price), it’s a bit more than you would like, but she’s just the real deal. Quality is shining through. Anything that especially looks like her is going to be at the top end of the market, and you have to be prepared to pay for it.”
Other New York-bred standouts in the first two days of trading included the top yearling colt, Hip 597. Bred by Pine Ridge Stables Ltd, the Breeder’s Cup-nominated chestnut by Union Rags sold to Good Way Purchases for $120,000 from the consignment of Paramount Sales, Agent XVII. His dam Ubuskuku is a half sister to Grade 2 True North winner Fast Bullet. His third dam is 1986 champion 2-year-old filly Brave Raj, who won the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Fillies. This is also the family of sire Eurosilver.
The top older New York-bred to change hands in Book 1 was 7-year-old Neck of the Moon, Hip 466, who was offered as a racing or broodmare prospect. By More Than Ready, out of Cotopaxi and bred by Stone Bridge Farm in Gansevoort, Neck of the Moon was purchased by Dell Ridge Farm from the Hidden Brook consignment for $105,000. A $402,312-earner and stakes performer over the course of five strong seasons of competition, Neck of the Moon got a timely first stakes victory in the South Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park on December 17.
Overall, New York-breds performed solidly in Keeneland’s Book 1. The New York-bred average of $49,773 was in the same neighborhood as the sale average of $56,181. The New York-bred median of $31,500, outperformed the $30,000 sale median. The New York bred buyback rate of 35.3% (34 offered, 22 sold) is nearly identical to the sale’s 35.3% RNA percentage.
Through Book 1, the Keeneland January sale has seen a 21.0% decline in average from 2016, and 14.3% decline in median. Last year’s numbers got a lift from the dispersal of the late Sarah Jane Leigh’s stock.
The auction continues through Friday, with sessions beginning each day at 10 a.m. Eastern.