Top Priced Yearling - Hip 131 Distorted Humor Colt
(Photo : Keeneland)
KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLING SALE
10 - 21 September 2012
While many an American breeder will take heart at the results of the recently concluded Keeneland September Sale, there is a stark reality about the numbers. The top stallion (by average), A.P. Indy, is in retirement, and he is at that stage where the commercial appeal of his progeny would ordinarily have been in decline. Yet the dearth of “big” alternative choices is such that A.P. Indy retains pole position, and while he is still such an influence in his own right, that he remains there is as much an indictment on those around him as it is a compliment to his staying power. While the names of Street Cry, Distorted Humor, Unbridled Song, Giant’s Causeway, Tapit and Smart Strike are all worthy of their own respect, they simply don’t have the pizzazz of the generation before.
Cast your minds back to the 70s and 80s and the awed silence which greeted a son of Northern Dancer as he entered the salesring; remember the great stallions contemporaries Mr. Prospector, Nijinsky, Danzig, Alydar, Lyphard, Blushing Groom, Riverman, Vaguely Noble, Raise A Native and Exclusive Native and the lesser likes of Secretariat, Sir Ivor and Caro. These stallions were the legacy of decades of investment by American breeders across the Atlantic, where they plundered the substantial larder of European bloodstock, including most of the top racehorses of the era and any emerging stallion who looked the part. The balance of power shifted to the States in what seemed like an irretrievable monopoly at the time, and studs like Claiborne, Spendthrift and Gainesway presided over a lock on European money for almost three decades. The traffic was one-way, justified by overwhelming dominance and the American conquest of a disproportionate share of the European classics.
It is the story of all empires though, that when you think things are going so well you believe you can take your foot off the juice, and that’s the story of American breeding. Complacency set in, and far from maintaining the levels of investment which had characterised the raids of Bull Hancock, John Gaines, Leslie Combs and others of earlier decades, they tended to sit back somewhat on their laurels.
A buying splurge triggered initially by Coolmore, Robert Sangster and Vincent O’Brien, and ratcheted up to unprecedented levels by the Maktoum family, has witnessed a resurgence in the stocks of Europe’s fire power; epitomised by Galileo, Montjeu, Dubawi, Dansili, Pivotal and Oasis Dream. These are the new colossi of the stallion universe, and you can expect the world and his dog to turn up at the Tattersalls Highflyer in early October, where we’ll see the fireworks for which the Keeneland sales pavilion was once renowned.
The truth is, if America wants to get back to the top of the pile, they will only do so through the strength of their stallions, which means if you want ‘em, go get ‘em!
KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLINGS
Overall Top 10 Colts
KEENELAND SEPTEMBER YEARLINGS
Overall Top 11 Fillies
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