American Pharoah filly tops on Monday

Average and median show gains on 2020 figures on day one at Keeneland 

Lot 43 American Pharoah - Letgomyecho. Picture: Keeneland.
Lot 43 American Pharoah -  Letgomyecho. Picture: Keeneland.

A daughter of Coolmore Australia shuttler American Pharoah (Pioneerof The Nile) whose undefeated juvenile half-sister Echo Zulu (Gun Runner) captured Saratoga’s Spinaway (Gr 1, 7f) eight days ago, sold for US$1.4 million to Northshore Bloodstock, agent, to top Monday’s opening session of the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

Betz Thoroughbreds, agent, consigned Monday’s top-priced yearling as Lot 43, and the filly is a half-sister to Grade One winner Echo Town (Speightstown) and Grade Three winner J Boys Echo (Mineshaft). They are out of Grade 2 winner Letgomyecho (Menifee).

Alan Quartucci of Northshore purchased the filly for owner Joe Allen and said she most likely will go to trainer Shug McGaughey.

“She looks like a real runner,” Quartucci said. “She has a fantastic pedigree that’s still going forward every day. The filly who won in Saratoga (Echo Zulu) was amazing. (The yearling) was the whole package.” 

American Pharoah is standing his fifth season in Australia this year for a fee of $49,500 (inc GST). 

The most expensive colt to sell on Monday, and the second top lot, was a son of Spendthrift Farm’s Into Mischief (Harlan’s Holiday) who was bought by Winchell Thoroughbreds for US$1,350,000. 

The colt was consigned by Mt Brilliant Farm and will be trained by Steve Asmussen. 

“He’s probably an Into Mischief who doesn’t look like an Into Mischief,” Ron Winchell said, “and I’ve had Into Mischiefs that look like Into Mischiefs and I can’t seem to find the winner’s circle with them, so I figured I would go a different direction. I knew he might be expensive.”

Mt. Brilliant owner Greg Goodman bought the colt’s dam as a three-year-old and said the son of Into Mischief had always been a standout. 

“He has always been outstanding,” said Goodman. 

“He’s always done everything right. A calm horse, smart; we’re really happy with him and we’re really happy Mr. Winchell got him and that he’s going to a good home.” 

During the first of two sessions of the prestigious Book 1 catalog, Keeneland sold 95 yearlings for a total of US$38,172,000, for an average of US$401,811 and a median of US$325,000. Totals include six horses sold via online bidding for US$2,605,000. Three horses brought seven figures.

During the first session of last year’s sale, 109 lots sold for US$40,680,000 at an average of US$373,211 and median of US$330,000. The top price was US$1.25 million and the session topping filly was one of five lots to sell for seven figures. 

Courtlandt Farm finished the session as the leading buyer having spent US$2,600,000 on five lots and Taylor Made Sales Agency was the sessions leading consignor having sold 14 yearlings for US$5,782,000. 

“The sale should be a fun environment,” Keeneland President and CEO Shannon Arvin said. “It is exciting that we are here, that we are all back together and that we have these phenomenal horses on offer in Book 1. 

“We had complimentary cocktails being passed and brunch being served, a Bluegrass band playing ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ on the auction stage right before the sale started. We worked hard to create that environment, and we got a lot of positive feedback. Book 1 at Keeneland’s September Sale is special, and it deserves to feel that way.”

Keeneland Vice President of Sales Tony Lacy said that it was good to see the sales pavilion full.  

“Trade was really strong today,” said Lacy. 

“There was confidence, and the money was spread out over more horses. The energy on the grounds was very strong. I have not seen the Sales Pavilion this full in a long time.”

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