Catching up with the million-dollar yearlings of 2014 Keeneland September
As we look ahead to this year's Keeneland September Yearling Sale, which begins Monday, it's a good time to revisit the top sellers from one year ago.
A total of 13 sold for $1 million or more at Keeneland September in 2014, led by a pair of $2.2 million colts by War Front and Tapit, respectively.
The $2.2 million War Front colt out of Gold Vault (pictured above) was purchased by Coolmore's M.V. Magnier. Named Air Vice Marshal, the half-brother to multiple Grade 1 winner Contested joined Aidan O'Brien in Ireland. He has been the most active of the 13 so far.
After a third on debut at the Curragh June 7, the bay broke his maiden next time at Gowran Park June 21. Air Vice Marshal was dispatched as the 11-4 favorite in the July 11 Superlative (G2) during Newmarket's July Festival, where he finished second. He has been withdrawn from his last two engagements, the July 28 Vintage (G2) and August 23 Futurity (G2), on account of rain-softened ground.
At this point, Air Vice Marshal's still eligible for Sunday's Vincent O'Brien National (G1) at the Curragh. His other fancy entries include this fall's Dewhurst (G1) and Racing Post Trophy (G1), as well as next spring's Irish 2000 Guineas (G1), and as a far unlikelier proposition, the Epsom Derby (G1). Given his American pedigree, preference for firm turf, and the fact that he's not at the top of Ballydoyle's juvenile depth chart, he could be the type to try a Breeders' Cup race.
Air Vice Marshal has a full sister cataloged this year -- Hip No. 303, set to sell on Tuesday.
The $2.2 million Tapit colt out of Justwhistledixie went to Shadwell, which named him Mohaymen. The half-brother to 2013 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1) hero New Year's Day has posted several works this summer for Kiaran McLaughlin. After a five-furlong breeze in :59.98 from the gate at Saratoga August 23, the gray has since covered the same ground in 1:01.06 on September 5.
The $1.6 million Unbridled's Song colt out of Tizamazing (herself a full to Tiznow) remains unnamed. Whisper Hill Farm purchased the half-brother to 2013 Preakness (G1) winner Oxbow.
The $1.5 million Medaglia d'Oro filly out of Dowry, snapped up by Moyglare Stud, has been named Gioia Stella. The half-sister to Grade 1 winner Nereid and to Grade 1-placed stakes victress Sea Queen turned in two works at Belmont Park about a month ago, but none since an easy half-mile in :52.01 August 9.
The $1.45 million Dubawi filly out of Epsom Oaks (G1) queen Casual Look was named Eyeshine by her new connections, Flaxman Stables Ireland. Plans reportedly called for the British-bred to return to Europe. Although the France Galop website lists her in the care of John Gosden, her name does not appear in the Racing Post database.
The $1.35 million Tiznow colt out of multiple Grade 1-winning millionaire Dream Supreme has been named Tour de Force. Purchased by trainer Mark Casse, agent, the half-brother to Grade 1-winning sire Majestic Warrior has been training in Kentucky. First posting works at Keeneland in May, he then moved to Churchill Downs, where he most recently covered five furlongs in 1:01.80 on August 30. His yearling half-brother, a Medaglia d'Oro colt named Silver Shield, is here as Hip 241 -- the last horse to tour the ring Monday.
The $1.3 million War Front colt out of Score, another Coolmore purchase, has been named Schubert. Interestingly, his breeder, DATTT Farm, has since become a partner in the colt with Coolmore. The May 17 foal has yet to race for O'Brien, but could make his debut at Listowel September 15. Like so many Ballydoyle babies, he's got plenty of fancy entries, from the Middle Park (G1), Dewhurst and Racing Post Trophy to the Irish 2000 Guineas and Epsom Derby.
The $1.2 million Bernardini filly out of Grade 1-winning millionaire Mushka went to John Ferguson, Sheikh Mohammed's advisor. Named Crowned, she is a member of the Godolphin squad with McLaughlin, according to Racing Post. She doesn't appear on the Godolphin website, however, and has yet to post a work.
The $1.2 million Tapit colt out of multiple Grade 1 heroine Dream Rush remains unnamed. Coolmore bought the half-brother to Grade 1 winner Dreaming of Julia and the talented but retired too soon Atreides. Dream Rush has her current yearling, a Bernardini colt, cataloged as Hip 240.
The $1.1 million Curlin half-sister to champion Beholder, and young sire Into Mischief, has been named Leslie's Harmony. The Bridlewood Farm purchase hasn't recorded a published work.
The $1.1 million Tapit colt out of Foxy Danseur, now owned by Shadwell, has been named Tathqeef. Dispatched to Gosden's yard in Newmarket, he has yet to race. He won't take up his early engagement in the September 26 Royal Lodge (G2), but holds an entry in next June's Epsom Derby. His yearling half-sister by Medaglia d'Oro is set to sell as Hip 282 Tuesday.
The $1.1 million Tiznow filly out of Countess Lemonade, named Celestial Smile, was off the worktab for a while following her half-mile breeze in :51 at Fair Hill July 18. The Stonereath Stud juvenile has started to gear up again, however, with a three-furlong move in :38.00 on September 5. She comes from a superb family, with her dam being a half to Duke of Marmalade and Ruler of the World, and further maternal relatives including A.P. Indy and Lemon Drop Kid.
The $1 million Tapit filly out of Super Espresso, named Espresso Time, was third in her July 26 debut for Graham Motion. After turning in a steady series of works at Fair Hill, the Chiefswood Stable colorbearer was sent off as a 4-1 chance at Laurel. She got off to a poor start -- the chart calls it "unprepared for the break" -- and did well to rally for third. Unfortunately, Espresso Time hasn't worked back since then. Her yearling full sister is in the sale as Hip 683, scheduled to tour the ring toward the end of Book 1 on Wednesday.
That's what I've been able to glean so far -- if I learn of any bulletins on the unnamed or others of uncertain status, I'll update this post.
Photo of Air Vice Marshal courtesy of Keeneland.