Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Smart Strike Colt Brings $475,000 on Tuesday at Keeneland

Lexington, KY (April 7, 2008) – A colt by Smart Strike brought a final bid of $475,000 from trainer Bob Baffert to top the second and final session of Keeneland’s April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale.

Baffert said he purchased the colt, out of the Belong to Me mare Private Feeling, for Mike Pegram, Paul Weitman and Karl Watson. He was consigned by Jerry Bailey Sales Agency, agent.

“I wasn’t going to go home without him,” Baffert said. “He worked well (an eighth of a mile in :10 during Thursday’s Preview Day show) and he’s a good mover.”

Baffert purchased colts with classic potential for three different clients during the sale – paying a sale-topping $1.9 million for Vallenzeri, on behalf of Kaleem Shah, and $300,000 for a Dixie Union colt for Hal Earnhardt.

Centennial Farms paid $440,000, the session’s second-highest price, for a colt from the first crop of Rock Hard Ten. Consigned by Leprechaun Racing, agent, the colt is out of the Deputy Minister mare Fiddlin Devon.

“We’re always looking for a classic colt,” said Centennial President Donald Little Jr. The colt will be sent to Paula Parsons’ Middleburg, Virginia, farm and eventually to trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

On Tuesday, Keeneland sold 35 horses for gross receipts of $4,920,000, down 46.36 percent from 2008 when 43 horses brought $9,172,000. The average of $140,571 decreased 34.10 percent from last year’s $213,302, while the median of $110,000 was down 15.38 percent from $130,000 in 2008.

“This is where the Thoroughbred market is today,” said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland’s director of sales. “But make no mistake; there is great interest in horses that have the potential to achieve what buyers see as the ultimate goal – the Kentucky Derby. Horses that stood out as classic, two-turn horses sold well.”

The April Sale has produced two Kentucky Derby (G1) winners since it’s inception in 1993 – last year’s winner and champion three-year-old colt Big Brown as well as 1995 Derby winner Thunder Gulch.

Cumulatively, Keeneland sold 66 horses for $11,805,000, down 27.57 percent from the corresponding period last year when 77 horses brought $16,299,000. The average of $178,864 represents a 15.50 percent decrease from $211,675 in 2008. The median was down 21.67 percent from $150,000 in 2008 to $117,500 this year.

John Sadler, as agent, purchased a colt by Dixie Union out of the unraced Wavering Monarch mare Risk for $310,000, the day’s third-highest price. The colt was consigned by Eddie Woods, agent.

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