American Pharoah makes presence felt with pair of million dollar yearlings
With two seven-figure yearlings in the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale, 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah is drawing away from his contemporaries in the sire business just as he did from his rivals on the racetrack.
Through August 6, the first yearlings by American Pharoah are averaging an impressive $606,000 with 11 sold this year, including the $1.2 million filly out of Grade 1 winner Life At Ten who topped the first day of the Saratoga sale when sold to Larry Best’s OXO Equine.
Among those leading the cheers for American Pharoah are his trainer, Bob Baffert, who signed the ticket on a $1 million colt purchased during the session by Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier. The colt is a half-brother to multiple Graded winner and six-time Grade 1-placed Upstart.
“I see a lot of American Pharoah in him. He's stamping his foals pretty well - their head, their demeanor,” Baffert said, adding it was "love at first sight" when he saw the bay colt, who was catalogued as Hip 62.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the American Pharoahs run,” Baffert said. “He was too great. He’s got to get a good one.”
In addition to support from his trainer, American Pharoah is also receiving substantial backing from Coolmore. The colt marked the second $1 million offspring of the stallion, who stands at Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Kentucky, bought by the Irish-based conglomerate.
At the Keeneland January mixed sale, Coolmore paid $1 million for an American Pharoah half-brother to its Group 1 winner and young stallion Caravaggio and to Grade 2 winner My Jen.
Another $1 million offspring of American Pharoah, a filly who is a half-sister to Grade 1 winner and sire Bodemeister, was sold by Coolmore at Fasig-Tipton’s November sale in Kentucky to Yoshiyuki Ito’s Grand Farm of Japan.
Overall in the initial Saratoga yearling session, six American Pharoah yearlings were sold for a total of $3.22 million and an average price of $536,667.
Another American Pharoah colt came close to making headlines early in the session, but Hip 10, produced by multiple stakes winner J Z Warrior, by Harlan’s Holiday, was listed as an $800,000 RNA.
The colt had been the most expensive pinhook in the Saratoga sale as a $575,000 weanling acquisition by Scott and Evan Dilworth.
The American Pharoah filly out of Life At Ten was a $500,000 pinhook by Gainesway’s Brian Graves with Michael McMahon and Jamie Hill and Bonne Chance Farm.
Of the other 12 stallions with members of their first crops in the Saratoga catalogue, the horse with the next closest average, with two or more sold on the first day, was WinStar Farm’s Carpe Diem. The multiple Grade 1 winner by Giant’s Causeway averaged $292,500 for four yearlings sold, with Hip 22, a colt out of stakes winner Lemonette, by Lemon Drop Kid, bringing the highest price when sold to Phoenix Thoroughbreds for $475,000.
Lane’s End Farm’s Honor Code ranked next with an average of $275,000 for three sold. A colt out of the Candy Ride mare Sweet Talkin elicited the highest bid for an Honor Code yearling when sold to West Point Thoroughbreds and Robert Masiello for $375,000.
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