Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin acquired the two top-priced horses of Monday’s opening session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, paying $2.5 million for a grey colt by Tapit who is a half-brother to 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist, and $2.15 million for a son of Medaglia d’Oro.
The Sheikh's nearby Darley stallion operation stands Nyquist and Medaglia d’Oro.
Hinkle Farms consigned the session-topping colt, who is out of the winning Forestry mare Seeking Gabrielle. The same vendor sold a Curlin colt to Sheikh Hamdan's Shadwell Estate for $1.05 million.
At last year’s September Sale, Hinkle Farms sold the Tapit colt’s half-sister by War Front (now named Maria Rosa) to Godolphin for $1.75 million.
“Sheikh Mohammed is delighted to be here,” said bloodstock agent Anthony Stroud, who signed the ticket for Monday’s two high-selling colts. “It is great for him to be back at Keeneland. He selected the horse. He owns the half-brother Nyquist. Sheikh Mohammed really liked this horse; he was his pick of the day. (The colt) has a fantastic pedigree, a good physical, and he will be an exciting prospect.”
Nyquist, a September Sale graduate, is represented by his first crop of yearlings at this year’s auction.
“We have been very impressed with the Nyquist yearlings as we have gone around looking at them,” Stroud said. “That was one of the factors (in this purchase).”
Godolphin was Monday’s leading buyer with three purchases totaling $5.25 million. Its third acquisition of the day was a $600,000 Medaglia d’Oro colt out of stakes winner Wait Til Dawn from the family of Breeders’ Cup winner Spain.
The $2.15 million Medaglia d’Oro colt is out of Tara’s Tango, a daughter of Unbridled’s Song who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner Visionaire and Grade 3 winners Scarlet Strike and Madison’s Luna.
“The boss is just looking for attractive horses that will make good athletes and good racehorses, and that’s why we’re here,” Stroud said.
The colt was consigned by Denali Stud, agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised.
Yuji Hasegawa of Japan acquired a full brother to champion Unique Bella when he paid $1.5 million for a Tapit colt out of Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic winner Unrivaled Belle, consigned by Timber Town, agent.
Repole Stables, Vinnie Viola and Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier paid $1.5 million for Golden Whim, a full brother to multiple Grade 1 winner New Money Honey. Lane’s End, agent, consigned the Medaglia d’Oro colt, whose dam, Weekend Whim, is a full sister to Grade 1 winner Any Given Saturday.
Ben McElroy, agent, paid $1.05 million for the Pioneerof the Nile colt out of stakes winner Uptown Twirl. Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, he is the first foal out of Uptown Twirl, a half-sister to champion Classic Empire and stakes winner Anytime Magic.
“The horse is for Qatar Racing; it will be trained by Simon Callaghan,” McElroy said. “I thought it was one of the better colts today; obviously, that was reflected by the price. I was actually the underbidder on his dam as a yearling when Warrendale (Sales) sold her a few years ago. I always followed the dam; she was pretty talented and ended up being half-sister to Classic Empire so (this colt is) bred on the same cross as a champion two-year-old.”
Pioneerof the Nile also is the sire of a colt out of Irish Group 2 stakes winner Up sold for $1 million to Magnier and Peter Brant’s White Birch Farm. He was consigned by Lane’s End, agent.
Magnier said part of the attraction to the colt was his half-brother, Monarch of Egypt, a $750,000 purchase by Magnier and White Birch Farm at last year’s September Sale. Monarch of Egypt became American Pharoah’s first winner when he won in Ireland in April and has become Group 2-placed.
The September Sale continues on Tuesday and ends on September 22nd.
READ LEO POWELL'S SALE REPORT IN THE IRISH FIELD NEXT WEEKEND