The 2012 Keeneland September Sale presents opportunities abound for any person with a couple of thousand dollars and a dream. Buyers and sellers will come from all over the world to participate in what is the best yearling sale in the world.
With 11 books and 3604 entrants in the sale, it wont take an outrageous investment to score a potential stakes horse. Of course, having big bucks doesn’t hurt, but it should be noted that yearlings are a very high risk/reward investment. It’s largely like buying a lottery ticket.
Many bloodstock agents would have you to believe they have some sort of “eye” that allows them to distinguish the good from the bad. Let me put it simply; those agents are full of it.
One of the best ways to survey the top yearlings in the sale is quite obvious; analyze the breeding. Here is a look at some of the sires in this years sale that will bring the greatest value for those that purchase their progeny.
#1 City Zip ($20k @ Lanes End, 29 entries): This stallion doesn’t get nearly as much credit as he deserve. From eight crops that have reached the track, City Zip has produced an impressive 14 graded stakes winners, 38 stakes winners and 44 stakes placed horses. His progeny have been successful on dirt and turf as well as in sprint and route races. City Zip has the production ability of a top tier stallion and the respect of Rodney Dangerfield.
#2 Hat Trick ($15k @ Gainesway, 7 entries): Despite having only 116 foals of racing age, Hat Trick is already making his mark. The son of prolific Japanese stallion Sunday Silence produced the 2011 Horse of the Year in France, Dabirsim. The juvenile went a perfect five for five, taking two Group 1 races along the way. Throw in the American graded stakes winner Howe Great and it’s clear that Hat Trick is here to stay.
#3 Into Mischief ($7.5k @ Spendthrift, 8 entries): This stallion’s first foals are hitting the track in 2012 and it’s too early to make a judgement call based on how they have performed. It isn’t too early to judge him though. This guy was very precocious, winning the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity in near record time. He beat six graded stakes winners in that race, including future Grade 1 champs Colonel John and Monba. His form was verified as a sophomore with a second place finish in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes. Into Mischief has all the qualities of a top stallion for a fraction of the cost.
#4 Colonel John ($15k @ WinStar Farm, 49 entries): The son of Tiznow is well built and is producing well built progeny. That is always a good sign. Colonel John showed poise at two by winning the Real Quiet Stakes and then running second to the aforementioned Into Mischief in the CashCall Futurity. As a sophomore he annexed the Santa Anita Derby as well as the Travers. His form stayed strong as a four-year-old as he found the winners circle in a turf stakes race and ended up third in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. This stallion possesses tremendous breeding, an excellent race record and a wonderful frame. Look for his progeny to make noise at the sale and then at the track.
#5 Tiz Wonderful ($12.5k @ Spendthrift, 44 entries): This is the second Spendthrift stallion and second son of Tiznow to make the list. Tiz Wonderful is a beautiful stallion that stamps his progeny, just as his sire does. I love young stallions that showed a high degree of talent as a juvenile. This guy popped a 99 Beyer Speed Figure in his debut at Saratoga where he won by 12 ½ lengths. His ability was on full display in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes where he scored a rousing win over Any Given Saturday. Tiz Wonderful’s pedigree and race record suggests his foals will be able to successfully handle the distance of classic races such as the Kentucky Derby.
Honorable Mentions: War Pass, English Channel, Street Boss, Macho Uno