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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Who Would Have Thought $1.9 Million a Bargain?

The Keeneland 2-year-olds in training sale concluded Tuesday night, with gross revenues down nearly 28%, and just a tad fewer than 70% of the horses originally cataloged scratched or RNA (reserve not achieved). It begs the question, exactly what is going to happen to those that didn’t sell? It’s hard to imagine all those breeders and pinhookers will race them, or make private sales of any but the very best. Sounds like a lot of mediocre horses being bred with no particularly place to go—and undoubtedly some with potential being overlooked, or slipping through the cracks as few have the patience (or financial wherewithal) to nurture them as they grow into becoming good racehorses. And this isn’t just in reference to Keeneland, but the breeding industry as a whole.

On Monday, Azeri’s first foal Vallenzeri sold for $1.9 million, which is a princely sum; however, what a comedown from the $7.7 million record he set just last September as a buy-back. Goodness, who would think $1.9 million was a bargain? Do you think Michael Paulson feels like an idiot for passing up the big bucks the first time around? According to the DRF, Bob Baffert says the colt soon-not-to-be-known-as-Vallenzeri will be shipped to California for training. (Please, no cracks about The Green Monkey...yet. Maybe in honor of Bob they will call him The Silver-Haired Monkey?).

Some other famous siblings passed through the sales ring on Tuesday evening, including: a half-sister to English Channel ($190k); a half-sister to Lost in the Fog ($150k); a half-brother to Circle of Life, dam of Circular Quay ($175k); and a half-sister to Massive Drama ($100k). Two notables who failed to meet their reserve: an Elusive Quality colt ($340k) whose half-sister is the dam of Rachel Alexandra; and a Tale of the Cat colt ($240k) whose dam is a half-sister to Pioneerof the Nile.