While all breeders take pride in their horses, Runnymede’s 19-strong consignment to the Keeneland September yearling sale has impressed General Manager Martin O’Dowd as one of the best in the farm’s long history at the world’s largest yearling venue.
And that is saying quite a lot, especially considering that 16.7% of the 24 yearlings Runnymede offered in 2009 already have won or placed at the Grade/Group 1 level.
“I am very happy with the fitness level and appearance of our 2011 consignment,” O’Dowd said. “I learn a lot about our yearlings as I put them through a demanding presale training regimen and I am convinced this crop is as good as any we have taken to Keeneland in past years.”
For pedigrees and photos of all of Runnymede’s Keeneland sale yearlings, click here.
Three exceptionally handsome colts with strong pedigrees are in Keeneland’s prestigious Book 1 that spans the first two days of the sale.
The first to go to the ring will be a son of Elusive Quality out of the Saint Ballado mare Sacre Coeur who is catalogued as Hip 6. He is a half brother to Grade 3 winner Bizzy Caroline.
“This striking dark bay is a true athlete, light on his feet and a joy to watch in the paddock,” O’Dowd said.
A flashy son of Medaglia d’Oro out of the Kingmambo mare Alcina is Hip 28.
“He is a strong, mature individual, very correct with a beautiful walk,” O’Dowd said.
Hip 196 is an outstanding dark bay colt from the first crop of Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness Stakes (G1) winner Big Brown out of Miss Forest City, by Coronado’s Quest. This is the thriving female family descending from champion Numbered Account that includes Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver, champion Rhythm, Grade 1 winner Frost Giant and many other notable runners.
Miss Forest City’s first foal, a juvenile filly by Exchange Rate named Silver Sycamore, recently won a maiden race at Leopardstown racecourse in Ireland.
“The Big Brown-Miss Forest City is a handsome colt who bears a strong resemblance to Big Brown. I fully expect this one to emulate his sire and perform at the highest level,” O’Dowd said.
Runnymede has five yearlings in Book 2, all of which O’Dowd describes as “really smart individuals who are hard to separate—they all strike me as racehorses.”
A dark bay filly by Street Cry who is the first foal out of Grade 3 winner Meribel, by Peaks and Valleys, is one of the headliners of this group. She is Hip 1009.
Another highlight will be Hip 243, a chestnut filly by Proud Citizen who is a half sister to stakes winner Pinch Pie, who recently finished third in the historic Alabama Stakes (G1) at Saratoga Race Course.
Hip 968 is a very precocious chestnut son of Big Brown out of the stakes-winning City Zip mare Little Miss Zip. “He has already given us clues that he will be very fast,” O’Dowd said.
Hip 480 is a lovely filly by City Zip while Hip 923 is an eye-catching daughter of Afleet Alex.
More promising Runnymede horses can be found in the pages of Book 3.
“Heading this group is a very striking dark bay by Hat Trick out of our Street Cry mare, Cotton Club Ballet (Hip 1337). Very well made, he has a great stride and a deep page. I think highly of this colt and I think our friends ‘across the pond’ will like him for sure,” O’Dowd said. “Among his stablemates for this part of the sale is a very sharp colt by Purim out of a French Deputy mare, and hard to fault fillies by Sky Mesa, Bernstein and Heatseeker.”
Runnymede will wind up the sale with six yearlings in Book 6.
“This is a very attractive and well-bred group of yearlings that has me wondering how they ended up in Book 6,” O’Dowd said. “The City Zip colt (Hip 3673) looks fast and precocious. And we have a nicely bred filly by Point Given out of our Broad Brush mare Emerald Isle (Hip 3831), whose pedigree follows a well established nick.
“We also will offer a handsome and flashy North Light colt (Hip 3876). This is a strong and very well conformed colt, with a great way of going—I will be following this one closely,” he continued. “Rounding out this group are very nice fillies by Henrythenavigator, Exchange Rate and Heatseeker.”
Runnymede’s Book 1 yearlings will be in Barn 1, with the Book 2 group in Barn 33. Book 3 yearlings will be stabled in Barn 3, while Book 6 horses will be in Barn 38.