Bobby Zen

The whole point of the breeze-ups is that the functionality of a pedigree is on display. Nowadays, in fact, breeze times are treated as though rendering more or less redundant all the painstaking surmise of the yearling sales. Pinhookers, having seen so many offbeat sires achieve knockout sales, can prioritize “run”—knowing that lot of prospectors won’t even bother looking at the catalogue until the lots have shown their wares.

But it’s for precisely that reason that European breeze-up consignors have increasingly been able to repair a dismal separation between the gene pools either side of the Atlantic. It doesn’t matter if European buyers haven’t even heard of a stallion, so long as they can piggyback the expertise of these exceptional judges who sieve the American market for a horse with the right mechanics.

Of course, it does no harm if the page has some green streaks, whether in Europe or on turf in the U.S. But maybe the spectacular impact of Justify, following that made by his own sire, may help a few people remember how the European breed was once energized by Northern Dancer and his sons.

Even if that is only an incipient awakening, then the sheer volume of American stock in the Arqana Breeze-Up Sale—48 individual entries from 34 different American-based sires–will guarantee plenty of competition even among those who will be coming to Deauville (May 9 breeze show, May 11 auction) in the hope of repatriating Kentucky horses broken in by European horsemen.

That was the case six years ago when Norman Williamson of Oak Tree Farm sold a War Front colt, a $175,000 RNA at Keeneland the previous September, to Justin Casse for €250,000. Taken back to his native land, he became GI Preakness winner War Of Will—and now brings thing full circle with a member of his first crop featuring as Hip 177.

Little wonder, then, if the Arqana management is so eager to encourage American participation in this most cosmopolitan of catalogues. As Arqana’s Executive Director Freddy Powell notes, this relatively boutique sale has drawn no fewer than seven members of Justify‘s third crop—compared with eight in the imminent OBS Sale that encompasses four times as many lots.

There are seven sons and daughters of Justify catalogued at Arqana | Sarah Andrew photo

“I wouldn’t say we deliberately target American sires,” says Powell, “but I would say that our vendors who are used to buying in America quite like the Deauville track. We go left-handed, it’s a flat track, and I think it’s something that naturally makes sense for an American horse. We’re a little bit later in the year, but the chance is there is going to be better ground. I think more than anything, it just makes sense. As we know, pinhookers like things that make sense.”

Last year’s repatriated graduates already include West Point Thoroughbreds’ Stretch Ride (Street Sense), third in the GII Kentucky Jockey Club last fall.

But while some pretty flashy pages will inevitably be struck out the moment the time sheets come through, from their catalogue pages alone, here is an early look at 12 offerings that will have obvious resonance for American visitors.

Lot 7, c, Uncle Mo—Tocco d’Amore (Ire), MC Thoroughbreds

MC Thoroughbreds offers Europeans a familiar page through a colt bought for just $30,000 at Keeneland. That’s a startling sum on paper for a son of Uncle Mo out of Tocco d’Amore (Raven’s Pass), who had cost Moyglare Stud €2 million as a yearling and won her only two starts including a 12f Listed race at Naas. She represents a famous Kilcarn Stud family as half-sister to five-time Group winner Echo Of Light (GB) (Dubai Millennium {GB}) out of champion Salsabil (GB)’s Group 2-placed sister Spirit Of Tara (Ire) (Sadler’s Wells).


Lot 13, c, Maclean’s Music—Unreachable, Powerstown Stud

Powerstown Stud’s draft has an especially strong Bluegrass tint and features a very bold KeeSep pinhook in a $310,000 Maclean’s Music half-brother [13] to Lemon Pop (Lemon Drop Kid), a dual Group 1 winner in Japan. It all makes sense, though, when you look at his dam, a once-raced daughter of Giant’s Causeway out of Harpia (Danzig), a graded stakes-winning sister to Danehill himself. He’s a May foal but bred to be anything.


Lot 14, c, Justify—Unrivaled Princess, Leamore Horses

That colt is followed into the ring by another with an aristocratic page: the first Justify on parade, presented by Leamore Horses after being recruited by Chad Schumer for $105,000 at Fasig-Tipton last October. He’s out of an unraced sister to triple Grade I-winning millionaire Unique Bella (Tapit), their dam of course being GI Ladies’ Classic winner Unrivaled Belle (Unbridled’s Song). This family continues to thrive, with the latter’s half-sister having produced a leading sophomore last year in Raise Cain (Violence). The mare’s first foal, a filly by Medaglia d’Oro, was retained by breeders Whisper Hill Farm and recently broke her maiden by 9 ½ lengths.


Lot 40, c, McKinzie—Belle’s Finale, Malcolm Bastard

A real standout on paper is the McKinzie half-brother to none other than Up to the Mark (Not This Time) offered by Malcolm Bastard. This fellow contributed $200,000 to his sire’s impressive debut at the yearling sales when exported from Fasig-Tipton last October.


Lot 55, c, Not This Time—Cloudy Dancer (GB), Gaybrook Lodge

Not This Time—now looking the principal heir to Giant’s Causeway—has a suitably versatile prospect in a colt out of an unraced Invincible Spirit (Ire) half-sister to Royal Ascot winner/Classic runner-up Gale Force Ten (GB) (Oasis Dream {GB}) from Gaybrook Lodge. This colt was alertly exported for $62,000 at Keeneland, in that he represents a coveted family in Europe: the next dam is a Listed winner out of a half-sister to fillies that respectively ran first and second in the G1 Moyglare Stud S. before subsequently delivering Group 1 winners and/or producers.


Lot 61, c, Tiz The Law—Cozze Up Lady, Powerstown Stud

There will be much curiosity about the breeze of Hip 61, a colt from the debut crop of Tiz The Law who appears well found by Powerstown Stud at Fasig last fall for $60,000. That’s because his half-sister Kimari (Munnings) has made headlines on both sides of the ocean: she won a Keeneland maiden on debut by 15 lengths, and was then thwarted only in a photo for the G2 Queen Mary S. She again finished second at Royal Ascot the following year, this time at Group 1 level, before returning home to win the GI Madison S. back on dirt. On retirement she was bought by Coolmore for $2.7 million, and her half-brother by Constitution made $1.3 million as a yearling, so any sign of athletic ability in this colt will make him hot property.


Lot 62, Justify—Curlylocks (Ire), Lynn Lodge Stud

But there probably isn’t a page in the catalogue to surpass the next into the ring: a February 2 colt by Justify out of a lightly-raced sister to Churchill (Ire) and Clemmie (Ire). The latter was the first Group 1 winner by Galileo (Ire) over six furlongs, tapping into the speed of her stakes-winning dam Meow (Ire) (Storm Cat) and granddam Airwave (GB) (Air Express {Ire}), a special conduit of indigenous British speed. If he can run at all, this lad will prove a characteristically inspired Mags O’Toole punt at Keeneland for $135,000.


Lot 63, c, Omaha Beach—Dad’s Princess, Oak Tree Farm

Her colleague Norman Williamson of Oak Tree Farm presents another fascinating Keeneland import immediately afterwards. This Omaha Beach colt has already landed one knockout pinhook, Williamson having given $150,000 for him nine months after he made just $6,000 as a short yearling in the same ring.


Lot 64, f, Justify—Damson (Ire), Kilminfoyle House Stud

The Americans are obviously intended to stick around, as next into the ring is another that could cause a transatlantic tug-of-war: a January filly by Justify out of elite runner and producer Damson (Ire) (Entrepreneur {GB}), subject of a $155,000 docket at Keeneland and presented here by Kilminfoyle House Stud.  Damson, who beat colts in the G1 Phoenix S. at two, produced another flying juvenile in Requinto (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) but there’s also Aga Khan depth to the further family.


Lot 136, c, Quality Road—Love Child, Longways Stables

Longways Stables went to $150,000 at Keeneland for a Quality Road colt. The mare’s first foal by the same sire is a winner, but the key here is that she’s out of a lightly raced sister to none other than Serena’s Song (Rahy), who has demonstrated due genetic prowess in delivering not only a multiple graded stakes winner on turf in Doubles Partner (Rock Hard Ten), but also the fertile producer Princess Serena (Unbridled’s Song), dam of three Group 1 and/or Group 2 winners and second dam of two others.


Lot 147, c, Bernardini—Morilles (GB), Gaybrook Lodge

Gaybrook Lodge offers a colt from the final crop of Bernardini pinhooked for $62,000 at Fasig October. He’s out of a Montjeu (Ire) half-sister to graded stakes winner Indy Groove (A.P. Indy), their own dam a sibling to GI Super Derby winner Home At Last (Quadratic).


Lot 177, c, War Of Will—Promenade Review, C. F. Bloodstock

War Of Will, poster boy for this sale, should definitely interest European breeders with the genes he’s now recycling at Claiborne. But meanwhile C.F. Bloodstock has brought over a colt from his first crop, unearthed at Fasig last October for $50,000. He’s the second foal of a lightly raced half-sister to Promenade Girl (Carson City), winner of the GII Molly Pitcher and dam of triple Grade I winner Cavorting (Bernardini)—herself meanwhile celebrated as mother of Clariere (Curlin).

But Powell said he felt that there was much more on offer for Americans than American blood.

Of the 207 catalogued, he said, “There are 65 fillies in total, some very well-bred ones by typical European sires that could do well in the U.S. A Frankel (GB) filly (lot 60), two fillies by Kameko (164 and 178), a young, multiple graded-stakes winning son of Kitten’s Joy; and fillies by Lope De Vega, No Nay Never, and similar stallions who could appeal to American trainers or owners or people who want to add a bit of European blood to their broodmare band.”

The post Arqana Breeze-Up Sale: What’s Interesting for Americans? appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions.

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