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'He's the best young Candy Ride I've seen' - $600,000 colt heads Keeneland sale

334 horses sold for turnover of $27,967,500 in the opening session of Book 4

The session-topping Candy Ride colt at Keeneland
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A strong opening session ushered in Book 4 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, led by a $600,000 standout son of Candy Ride, selling to Kim Lloyd, agent for Talla Racing.

Elm Tree Farm (Mr and Mrs Jody Huckabay), agent for Stonestreet Bred & Raised, consigned the colt as hip 2214.

The opening session of Book 4 saw 314 horses change hands of the 373 through the ring for gross receipts of $27,544,000, for an average price of $87,720 and a median of $67,500. Fifty-nine horses failed to meet their reserve to represent an RNA rate of 15.8 per cent.

Huckabay's hopes of selling the colt out of a later session, where he could shine, were realised when the colt topped session seven. Out of the Maclean's Music mare Essentially, a half-sister to a pair of stakes winners, including 2004 Darley Alcibiades and Golden Rod stakes winner Runway Model, dam of multiple Grade 1 winner McKinzie.

Kim Lloyd: "I told Mike and my friend John Moynihan that he's the best young Candy Ride I've seen"

Lloyd signed the ticket on behalf of Talla Racing and said they plan to eventually send the bay colt to southern California-based trainer John Sadler.

"Mike Talla - Talla Racing - bought him, and we're very excited about it," said Lloyd.

"I told Mike and my friend John Moynihan that he's the best young Candy Ride I've seen…I was saying to them, 'This is a Book 1 horse in Book 4.' You never see that. So it's very exciting."

Unplaced in two starts, Essentially is out of two-time stakes winner Ticket To Houston, by Houston. Essentially is also a half-sister to Grade 3-placed Elena Strikes and stakes-placed Texas Kitty, dam of Grade 3 winner Saham. Another half-sister, Mama Tia, is the dam of Grade 3 winner Southern Honey, stakes winner Calithirty Seven and stakes-placed Shangroyal.

The Book 4 placement did not slow the steady flow of onlookers interested in the colt.

Huckabay said: "He's been a rock star here at the sale. Everyone asked why he was back so far, and it was just that we thought that if we moved him back in the sale, he could be a rock star, and he was. The sale was spotty early for us, but the past two books have been great."

The Maverick Racing-Siena Farm partnership made three purchases on Monday for gross receipts of $825,000, at an average price of $275,000 to be the day's leading buyer.

Trainer Kenny McPeek purchased five yearlings during session seven to be the second leading buyer by gross. His purchases included colts by Runhappy (hip 2103) and Mendelssohn (hip 2277) and three fillies, by Violence (hip 2142), Army Mule (hip 2163) and Collected (hip 2216), for gross receipts of $800,000 at an average price of $160,000.

McPeek said: "We didn't do a lot of business in Book 1 and a little bit in Book 2, but I have a lot of good clients that have purchased since. We have been buying about three daily, and it's been good, the ones that I have I really liked. 

"I got some for what I thought was a reasonable value. Now, as we are getting into these later sessions, the horses I'm fond of, I'm finding it's even easier to get for my clients."

McPeek has purchased 14 horses for a running gross of $2,290,000 thus far.

"I don't have a specific number, and I'm sticking to the ones I like, pass the vet, and have the physicals that grab me," he added. "We're trying to pick out what I think are the better ones on those particular days, and hopefully we are right."

A busy atmosphere at Keeneland for the first session of Book 4

During the past seven days of selling, 1,622 horses have sold of the 2,008 to go under the hammer for gross receipts of $365,280,000. An average price of $225,203 was recorded, and a median of $155,000. A total of 386 horses have failed to meet their reserve, to represent an RNA rate of 19.2 per cent.

In 2021 to this point, 1,592 horses had sold of the 1,984 on offer for recorded gross receipts of $317,572,500. That equated to an average of $199,480 and a median price of $140,000. In all, 392 horses had failed to meet their reserve to represent an RNA rate of 19.7 per cent.

Gainesway closed out the seventh session selling 27 horses for gross receipts of $2,827,000, good for an average price of $104,704, to be the session's leading consignor by gross.

Book 4 continues on Tuesday, with hips 2370-2780 slated to walk across the ring. 

For all the North American racing and bloodstock news, visit Bloodhorse

I was saying to them, 'This is a Book 1 horse in Book 4.' You never see that. So it's very exciting
E.W. Terms