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Updated: 9 hours 38 min ago

Keeneland November 2014 by the numbers: NY-bred weanlings continue upward trajectory

Mon, 2014-11-17 11:18
By Sarah Mace

There will always be individual New York-breds, both weanlings and older breeding stock, who stand out at the annual Keeneland November breeding stock sale, but this year’s cumulative results revealed a more meaningful overall trend: the value of New York-bred weanlings at this marathon sale is decidedly on an upward trajectory.

At the conclusion of eleven sessions of trading this year, 89 New York-breds in all changed hands of 121 offered (26.4 percent buyback) for an average price of $52,181 and a median of $30,000. For reference, these numbers are down somewhat from last year, when 92 New York-breds sold of 112 offered (17.9 buyback) for an average price of $53,372 and $37,000 median.

When considered by themselves, however, the weanlings posted stronger results than the group of New York-breds as a whole both this year and last, selling for an average price of $56,621 and median of $40,000. The weanling buyback rate was elevated this year, to be sure – 32.6 percent (29 weanlings sold of 43 offered) – but some high-priced RNAs suggest that sellers are confident that they have better options down the road. Six individuals who failed to sell who drew bids ranging from $50,000 to $120,000.

The New York-bred weanling average and median this year are also up over the weanling results in previous two renewals of the sale. In 2013 New York-bred weanlings averaged $50,591 with a $37,000 median; in 2012 the group averaged $38,544 with a $27,000 median. The increases year-to-year are shown in the chart below with percentages.

New York-bred weanlings at Keeneland November 2012-2014

2014 NY-bred weanlings (% change from previous year) 2013 NY-bred weanlings (% change from previous year) 2012 NY-bred weanlings Sold 29 43 39 Offered 43 55 56 Buyback % 32.6% 21.8% 30.4% Average $56,621 (+11.9%) $50,591 (+31.3%) $38,544 Median $40,000 (+8.1%) $37,000 (+37%) $27,000

Not only have New York-bred weanlings been selling better at Keeneland over the last few years, but the buyers’ “ceiling” appears to be rising incrementally. This year saw the first $200,000 New York-bred weanling in three years.

New York-bred weanling top achievers at Keeneland November 2012-2014

2014 2013 2012 Top seller $200,000 (Hip 292, colt by Sidney’s Candy, o/o Evrobi) $185,000 (Hip 283; filly by Lonhro (AUS), o/o Danehill Dancer (IRE) $175,000 (Hip 1139: colt by Super Saver, o/o Broadway Hennessey) 6-figure horses 5 7 4

The recent strength of the New York-bred yearling market, especially at the Fasig-Tipton preferred sale in Saratoga, has grabbed many headlines. Now the weanling market, both at Keeneland and the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Fall sale, which continued to gain ground in its third year, appears to be gathering a momentum of its own.


Regal Minister holds sway in Notebook, Posse progeny take down both NYB stakes at AQU

Sun, 2014-11-16 17:14

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

DATTT Stable homebred Regal Minister gave his New York-based sire Posse (Rockridge Stud) his second progeny stakes winner of the day with a frontrunning open-length victory in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Notebook stakes at 6 1/2 furlongs for New York-bred juveniles. The Lewis Dinner, who wired the filly division of Sunday’s new New York-bred stakes races, put one in the win column for Posse earlier on the card.

Making just his second start on the heels of a determined debut sprint victory on October 6, Regal Minister got out of post two sharply at generous odds of 8-1 and outsprinted One Eyed Ray, who broke from the outside post, for the early lead.

Settling into a good rhythm with One Eyed Ray prompting at his flank, Regal Minister carved out early fractions of 23.15 and 47.64. A host of challengers lined up in the turn, but Regal Minister shook everybody off at the head of the stretch, and opened up all the way to the wire on his way to a dominant 3 3/4-length victory in a final time of 1:12.27.

Breakin the Fever, over-eager early and repeatedly checked inside to prevent clipping heels, switched out to the two path in the stretch to get up for second at longshot odds of 36-1, while Bullheaded Boy (7-2), who made a big five wide move on the turn, finished third. Completing the order of finish were Clockwork, odds on favorite Good Luck Gus, Tizquick, One Eyed Ray and Navy Blue. [VIDEO]

Jockey Manny Franco, who also piloted The Lewis Dinner to victory in the Key Cents, said, “My horse has some pace. He broke good and took the lead, and I just tried to keep him nice and easy. When I asked him, he went. I tried to settle him a little bit because he’s strong when he takes the bit. He relaxed pretty good.”

Mark Hennig, the chestnut colt’s conditioner, said, “He’s a neat kind of horse; he’s always trained well. He’s willing to go easy, but when a horse comes to him he’s competitive. He’s not a flashy horse in the morning, but he’s well meant.”

Hennig said that Regal Minister will pointed next to the six-furlong Great White Way division of the New York Stallion Stakes series for New York-sired New York-bred 2-year-olds at Aqueduct on December 28.

Regal Minister is the first foal out of Dattts Regal, an unraced daughter of Mr. Greeley, who currently has a yearling colt by Freud and a weanling full sister to Regal Minister. She was bred to Warrior’s Reward this year.

The Lewis Dinner serves up frontrunning victory in Key Cents

Sun, 2014-11-16 14:18

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

By Sarah Mace

The Lewis Dinner, a five-plus length maiden breaker in her fourth start exactly a month ago, ratified that victory with a frontrunning score in the inaugural running of the $100,000 Key Cents Stakes for New York-bred 2-year-old fillies co-featured at Aqueduct on Sunday afternoon with the Notebook later on the card for males.

A wire-to-wire winner last out, The Lewis Dinner had the challenge of facing other speedy types in the six-horse field, not least odds-on favorite My Super Nova. In the event My Super Nova stumbled at the start and the other speed did not materialize, so that after breaking sharply from post four, within a matter of strides the 7-2 second choice had taken control of the lead. Sandra pressed the pace to her outside.

The Lewis Dinner continued to lead by a diminishing length though early fractions of 22.52 and 46.47, until she was confronted by Sandra at the head of the lane. She then found another gear and kicked away to a 3 3/4-length victory, accompanied by some hallmark tail swishing, in a final time of 1:11.04. Sandra finished second, 2 1/4 lengths ahead of Sweetpollypurebrd, who closed from fourth into the show spot. Completing the order of finish were Alexandrie, the unfortunate My Super Nova and Dunn Listening. [VIDEO]

Rudy Rodriguez, who trains The Lewis Dinner for Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC and Gary Aisquith, said, “When the horse to beat doesn’t break, it’s always a good thing. I was very comfortable [when The Lewis Dinner got the lead]. I told [jockey] Manny [Franco] to send, and put her near the lead and see what happens from there. We weren’t going to let [My Super Nova] go anyway. It worked out good.”

Franco added, “I’m proud of my filly. Rudy told me to send her out of the gate, and when I saw [My Super Nova] stumble out of the gate, I went.”

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

This was the first opportunity The Lewis Dinner has had to race over a fast track since her runner-up finish to Graeme Crackers by just a half-length on debut at the Spa on July 18. Third to Bar of Gold in a second appearance at the Spa on August 14 over “good” going, she followed a second place finish to Quezon, next out winner of the Maid of the Mist, with her maiden-breaking effort, both times over a sloppy (sealed) racetrack. Never off the board in five career starts, The Lewis Dinner has now earned $139,500.

Foaled on February 2, 2012, The Lewis Dinner is a daughter of Posse (Rockridge Stud) bred by James Lamonica, Lee Sacks, Soave Stables and Posse Syndicate. Her dam Nick’s Honor, an unraced daughter of Jump Start, has produced three winners from three to start, all earners of six figures and stakes performers. Her second foal Kelli Got Frosty by Frost Giant is also a stakes winner. Nick’s Honor has a yearling filly by D’ Funnybone, a weanling filly by Frost Giant and was bred this year to Tale of the Cat.

Changing hands twice via public auction, The Lewis Dinner was picked up by Eisaman Equine at the 2013 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearlings sale for $50,000, and brought the same price when purchased by Dubb at OBS in April after breezing a furlong in 10.0 seconds in the under tack show.

Champion Big Brown to take up residence at Dutchess Views Farm

Fri, 2014-11-14 10:00
Edited Press Release

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Big Brown, who ranks among North America’s leading third-crop sires and has nine stakes winners this year, will stand at Dutchess Views Farm in Pine Plains in 2015. His introductory fee will be $8,500.

Currently on shuttle duty at Vinery Stud in Australia, Big Brown is due to arrive at Dutchess Views in late December and will be available for inspection by breeders in the beginning of the New Year.

“We have entered into a synergistic relationship with Dutchess Views,” said Andrew Cohen of Sunrise Stallions, which also stands Heavy Breathing at the farm. “We have been impressed with how owners and managers Michael Lischin and Anya Sheckley have handled Heavy Breathing, and we are looking forward to a great beginning in New York with Big Brown. He is the most accomplished horse ever to stand in the state and he will be an outstanding option for New York breeders.”

“We have been standing stallions in New York for 17 years. Big Brown is as exciting a stallion as I have seen come to New York,” Lischin said. “Not only has he already had numerous quality stakes horses, he also is represented by several very promising young horses that could make an impact on the national racing scene in the coming months.”

Big Brown’s versatile daughter Puca, a fast-closing third to eventual Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf winner Lady Eli in a Saratoga maiden race on grass and a 16-length winner at Belmont Park on dirt, finished well after being blocked in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Santa Anita. Trained by Bill Mott, she wound up only about three lengths behind winner Take Charge Brandi after her troubled trip.

Dortmund, a juvenile colt by Big Brown trained by Bob Baffert, proved much the best in his promising debut at Santa Anita on November 2. Nicky’s Brown Miss, a two-year-old Big Brown filly, won the Kentucky Downs Juvenile Fillies Stakes and was third in the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Big Brown’s offspring also are making a mark around the world. His son Darwin, a $1.3 million purchase by Coolmore, finished only about a length behind European Horse of the Year Kingman while third in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes. Apollo Sonic, co-bred in New York by Cohen, finished a strong third in Japan’s most coveted race, the Group 1 Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby), last year.

Another son of Big Brown, Big Wildcat, is a group stakes winner and Group 1-placed in Brazil. From his early Australian runners, Big Brown already has sired stakes-placed fillies Wroclaw and Muscovado. In South Africa, Big Brown’s son Masnoon helped international trainer Mike de Kock set a record for juvenile winners for 2014 season.

Sunrise Stallions and Gary Tolchin’s Golden Goose Enterprises recently acquired a majority interest in Big Brown and decided to stand the nine-year-old son of Boundary in New York. Cohen and Tolchin both were principal owners of Big Brown during his racing career, and they also stand 2012 New York record-breaking freshman sire Frost Giant, a full brother to Heavy Breathing, at Keane Stud in Amenia.

Big Brown, the champion colt of his generation after also winning the Florida Derby and Haskell Invitational Stakes, previously stood at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Kentucky.

Trainer Michael S. Ferraro notches 3000th career win

Thu, 2014-11-13 06:33

SV Photography

By David Mattice

FARMINGTON, N.Y. – Trainer Michael S. Ferraro notched his 3000th career win at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (FLGR) on Wednesday, November 12.  He reached the milestone when Sweet Sweet Afleet scored a two and three-quarter length victory in the eighth race under jockey David Lopez.

Ferraro began his career in 1971 at Fort Erie. He dominated the local trainer standings after winning his first F.L.G.R.title in 1975. The elite horseman from Buffalo, New York has been the top conditioner at F.LG.R a record 18 times.

Fio Rito, a 28 time winner and F.L.G.R. Hall of Famer, was the most notable horse from the barn of Ferraro.  He set multiple track records and was the first New York-bred to win a Grade 1 Stakes.

“You have to respect (Ferraro), he’s been a constant for 30 years,” said trainer James Acquilano. “He’s still at the barn every day and does everything right.”

Acquilano was the groom of Fio Rito while working for Ferraro in the 1970’s.

“He is the best horseman on the grounds,” said trainer Sal Iorio, Jr. “I always knew turning for home I would have plenty of horse.”

Ferraro registered 2,869 of his 3,000 wins at F.L.G.R. Sal Iorio, Jr was formerly a jockey that won 137 races for Ferraro.

Ferraro is the second F.L.G.R. trainer to reach the prestigious mark of 3,000 wins. His horses have won 47 stakes and amassed a sum of over $23 million in purse earnings. Chris Englehart, who currently has 3,612 career wins, was the first to accomplish this achievement.

McMahon of Saratoga formally introduces Central Banker, announces 2015 stud fees

Wed, 2014-11-12 06:32
(Edited Press Release)

McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds formally announced the addition of Central Banker to its stallion roster Tuesday, in addition to the 2015 fees for all the stallions at the farm. The McMahons purchased Central Banker near the conclusion of Monday’s seventh session of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale for a session-topping $400,000 (Hip 2494).

A Grade 2 winner of $598,786 by leading sire Speightstown, Central Banker recorded three triple digit Beyers at 3 and 4, including his lifetime best 107 Beyer in his win in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes over Shakin It Up on Kentucky Derby day 2014. The four-year-old out of multiple stakes winner Rhum, by Go For Gin, is a half-brother to multiple stakes winner Gantry ($822,531) and Song of Pirates, multiple stakes placed.

Joe McMahon commented, “Central Banker will be one of New York’s most exciting stallions for 2015. He broke his maiden at two in Saratoga and at three he was third in the Grade 1 King’s Bishop Stakes when forced to go five wide. He ran a 105 Beyer when second in the Grade 1 Malibu and a 107 Beyer winning the Grade 2 Churchill Downs on Derby Day.” Joe’s son Mike added, “Central Banker showed his versatility by winning or placing 9 times in 13 starts at 9 different racetracks. We love his 1 3/4 Ragozin. That is freakishly fast!”

Bred by WinStar Farm, LLC, the $200,000 Keeneland September yearling raced for Klaravich Stables, Inc. and William H. Lawrence, and was trained by Albert M. Stall, Jr.

Central Banker will remain in KY for viewing until the end of the November Sale. He is located at Mike and Natanya McMahon’s Spruce Lane Farm, in Versailles KY, and is available for inspection from noon to three with light refreshments available. Central Banker will stand for $7,500 live foal.

2015 stallion roster and fees for McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds:

CATIENUS $2,000 live foal
CENTRAL BANKER $7,500 live foal
HERE COMES BEN $7,500 live foal
JUSTENUFFHUMOR $2,500 live foal
TEUFLESBERG $5,000 live foal
THE CLIFF’S EDGE $2,500 live foal

McMahon of Saratoga goes to $400,000 to acquire Grade 2 winner Central Banker

Tue, 2014-11-11 09:22
(Edited Press Release)

Grade 2 winner Central Banker will enter stud next year in New York at McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, which purchased the 4-year-old son of Speightstown for $400,000 during Monday’s seventh session of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale (Hip 2494). The amount was the highest price paid during the session.

Claiborne Farm, agent, consigned Central Banker, the third-to-last horse offered Monday. He is out of the stakes-winning Go for Gin mare Rhum and is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner Gantry and stakes-placed Song of Pirates.

Mike McMahon said the purchase price “was a little higher” than initially planned, “but it’s competitive to buy stallions. He’s a very nice Speightstown, just a beautifully balanced horse.”

Among Central Banker’s four wins in 13 starts was this year’s Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes. In 2013, he was second in the Grade 1 Malibu and third in the Grade 1 Foxwoods King’s Bishop. Central Banker earned $598,786.

With the purchase of Central Banker, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds was the session’s leading buyer.

Annual NYTB Stallion Season Auction to be held January 12-14

Mon, 2014-11-10 18:09
By Sarah Mace

New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB)’s annual Stallion Season Auction will be held on beginning Monday, January 12, 2015 and ending Wednesday, January 14. The auction raises funds that enable NYTB to carry on its two-fold mission of promoting New York breeding and racing and protecting the welfare of industry stakeholders.

In the past, proceeds from the NYTB Stallion Season Auction have helped secure the purses and incentives that exist in the state today, making New York’s regional breeding program the strongest of its kind in the nation.

Currently New York-breds enjoy a $40 million restricted race program with 800 New York-bred races run annually at the three New York Racing Association racetracks and at Finger Lakes. Approximately $8.6 million in purse money is distributed each year in stakes restricted to New York-breds, and the New York Breeding and Development Fund is worth $21 million.

Down the road NYTB is committed to protecting these advantages and, therefore, also protecting the investments so many from New York and out-of-state have made recently in the New York breeding program.

In 2014 the following New York farms donated seasons to the NYTB auction: Dutchess Views Farm, Keane Stud, McMahon of Saratoga Thoroughbreds, Questroyal North, Rockridge Stud, Saratoga Stud, Sequel Stallions New York and Darley at Sequel Stallions New York.

The auction has also attracted many sponsors from out-of-state: from Kentucky, Adena Springs, Darby Dan Farm, Darley, Millennium Farms, Pin Oak Stud, and WinStar Farm; from Pennsylvania, Penn Ridge Farms and Pin Oak Lane Farm; and, from Maryland, Adena Springs at Heritage Stallions.

Donations of stallion seasons will be accepted until the beginning of the auction. Click here for the donation agreement. Questions may be directed to NYTB at (518) 587-0777 or

NY-bred standouts at KeeNov Bks 2-3: Yawkey Way, Wholelottashakin, weanling duo

Mon, 2014-11-10 13:16
By Sarah Mace

Following the Book 1 fireworks on Tuesday and Wednesday, top-class New York-breds continued to be in demand in Books 2 and 3 of Keeneland’s November breeding stock sale. Accomplished race mares Yawkey Way and Wholelottashakin sold to the same buyer for $200,000 each, while well-bred weanlings by Ghostzapper and first crop sire Gemologist went for $190,000 and $185,000 respectively.

Stakes winning sprinter Yawkey Way (Grand Slam) in foal to Violence (Medaglia d’Oro) sold to Sabana Farm (David Seguias, Agent) for $200,000 in opening session of Book 2 on Thursday. Bred by New Dawn Stud LLC and foaled at Sez Who North in Stillwater (now Questroyal North), Yawkey Way (Hip 484) is out of a winner by Touch Gold whose dam was a stakes winner in France. She was consigned by St. George Sales, Agent III.

A $50,000 Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling in 2009, Yawkey Way sold the following year as the second highest-priced New York-bred at the OBS February Select Sale, bringing $165,000. Campaigned by Klaravich Stables, Inc. and William H. Lawrence and trained by Chad Brown, Yawkey Way was precocious, winning her debut and, second out, a state-bred stakes at Saratoga. She retired after three seasons with a record of three wins, two seconds and one third from ten starts and $127,400 in earnings.

Also purchased by Sabana Farm for $200,000 was Parting Glass Racing’s graded stakes placed turf runner Wholelottashakin (Hip 1293). Consigned by Woods Edge Farm (Peter O’Callaghan), Agent VII, the 5-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy was hammered down early in Saturday’s fourth session as a broodmare prospect.

Bred by Mia Gallo and foaled at Tom and Mia Gallo’s Blue Stone Farm in Cambridge, Wholelottashakin issues from an immediate family of successful New York-bred runners. Her stakes placed dam Carr Shaker (Carr de Naskra), was bred in New York by James F. Edwards and purchased by Thomas J. Gallo III Sales Agency for only $10,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton December mixed sale. Out of Talc Shaker, a New Jersey-bred multiple stakes winner, Carr Shaker is a full sister to stakes winner and stakes producer She’s a Shaker and has also produced Dewars Rocks (Big Mukora), who won the Grade 3 Rare Treat, and stakes performers Woodford Rocks (Big Mukora) and Northern Shaker (Compliance).

Wholelottashakin, who compiled a record of four wins, seven seconds and two thirds along with $337,465 in earnings, never became a stakes winner, but earned five stakes placings while competing against a particularly strong cohort of New York-bred turf females, even when running out of state. In 2012 at three she finished second to Breeder’s Cup Filly and Mare Turf heroine Dayatthespa in the Sweetest Chant Stakes at Gulfstream Park and ran second to the same rival in the 2013 Yaddo Stakes at Saratoga. This past January Wholelottashakin finished second by a neck in the Grade 3 Endeavour at Tampa Bay Downs.

Books 2 and 3 also saw a pair of well-bred weanlings change hands. Spinghouse Farm went to $190,000 to purchase Hip 1259, a chestnut colt by Ghostzapper from the family of Chief Bearhart, 1997 Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and multiple Sovereign and Eclipse champion. Bred by Jerry Bilinski, Roddy Valente and Rick Alfred and foaled on February 8, 2014 at Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, the colt sports a pedigree page that is littered with black type.

The colt’s dam is the unraced Storm Cat mare Stormy Bear, whose 2014 juvenile, Zayat Stables’ Mr. Z (Malibu Moon), ran second this year in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special, Grade 3 Sanford Stakes and Keeneland’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity before finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. Bilinski purchased Stormy Bear for $27,000 at last year’s Keeneland November sale. The colt’s second dam Amelia Bearhart, the Outstanding Broodmare in Canada in 1996, produced Chief Bearhart and Grade 1 winner Explosive Red. Other graded stakes winners appearing under the second dam are Strut the Stage, Multidimensional and Aldous Snow and champion Private Zone.

Hip 1066, a bay colt from the first crop of Gemologist whose second dam is a Grade 1 winner, sold for $185,000 to Baccari Bloodstock from the Eton Sales consignment. Bred by SF Racing LLC, breeder of the top New York-bred weanling from Book 1 (see further below), and foaled on March 9, 2014 at Vinery NY at Sugar Maple in Poughquag, the sale colt is out of Impending Storm (Mineshaft) unplaced in three starts, but a daughter of November Snow (Storm Cat), winner of the Grade 1 Alabama and Grade 1 Test Stakes in 1992. A sister of graded winner Scatmandu and stakes winner Lady Sorolla, November Snow produced seven winners including stakes performers and stakes producers. Impending Storm was purchased by Bowden Global Bloodstock for $90,000 at the 2009 Keeneland November sale.

The Book 1 standouts Lady Samuri and a weanling by Sidney’s Candy, are still the New York-bred sale toppers, but through Keeneland’s first three books New York-bred sales continue to be strong overall. A total of 38 individuals have sold (11 weanlings and 27 older horses) for an average of $96,842 and median of $78,500. The weanling average and median ($105,636 and $80,000) are slightly higher than that of the older horses ($93,259 average, $75,000 median).

Cumulatively the sale at large has yielded an average price of $136,586 and median of $75,000, both up seven percent over last year ($127,301 and $70,000). In both the general population of the sale and among the New York-breds buybacks are up, however. For all horses, cumulative buybacks rose to 21.9 percent from 17.6 percent last year. The New York-bred buyback rate is up to 32.1 percent, though the three horses who have RNA’d for six figures suggests that sellers are being exacting.