Connect Filly Tops Book 4 Finale

The momentum carried through into Tuesday’s closing session of Book 4 of the Keeneland September Sale in Lexington with a filly by sophomore sire Connect drawing a $450,000 final bid from Maddie Mattmiller, acting as agent for Black Type Thoroughbreds.

Tuesday’s session grossed $21,182,500, up slightly from the corresponding session in 2021 when 312 horses sold for $20,549,000. The average for the day was $71,805, up 9.02% from 2021, while median increased 22.22% to $55,000. The final day of Book 4 saw a total of 295 horses sold, while 1,851 yearlings changed hands through the initial eight days of selling.

Through eight sessions of the 12-day sale, a total of 1,851 yearlings have sold through the ring for $376,636,000, an increase of 15.26% over last year’s corresponding period when 1,800 horses sold through the ring for $326,762,000. Average price is up 12.09% from $181,534 to $203,477, while the median of $130,000 rose 8.33% over $120,000 in 2021.

A total of 11 yearlings realized $250,000 or higher during yesterday’s session while five drew that amount last year. The session’s $450,000 topper also represented an increase from one year ago when another filly by Collected brought top price of $320,000.

Making the Right Connection

Black Type Thoroughbreds came out swinging Tuesday when landing Hip 2637, a daughter of Connect out of Fun Affair (Distorted Humor), offered by Paramount Sales. Bred by Castleton Lyons and Kilboy Estate, the Jan. 30 foal is a granddaughter of champion juvenile filly Caressing (Honour and Glory), who is also responsible for champion 3-year-old colt West Coast (Flatter).

“She stood out in this current book,” said Mattmiller, who handles Black type’s bloodstock purchases and is also the wife of the partnership’s principal, Jake Ballis. “She is a big, mature filly that her pedigree backed up what you saw at the end of the shank. So, we knew we’d have to pay a little bit for her. She was an obvious one.”

“We have an interest in Hidden Connection who took us to the Kentucky Oaks [in 2021] for Black Type Thoroughbreds,” she pointed out. “We were hoping since Connect hasn’t had anything super recent, she might get overlooked a little bit. But obviously, that didn’t happen.”

“[The stallion] hasn’t big horse in a minute and I think that’s why she was in Book 4. But physically she just stood out, which was reflected in her price.”

The operation purchased three other yearlings at Keeneland over the past week, a colt by Candy Ride (Arg) (Hip 107, $450,000) in Book 1; a filly by Lemon Drop Kid (Hip 641, $210,000) offered in Book 2, and a filly by Hard Spun (Hip 2330, $170,000) on the first day of Book 4.

According to Mattmiller, the partnership’s sole colt purchase will ultimately join George Weaver, while the Lemon Drop Kid filly will be sent to Michael McCarthy in California.

“Obviously, that’s what the market is telling us we have to pay,” she explained when asked about the $450,000 price tags hanging off Black Type’s leading two purchases. “In Book 1 and 2, you get the pedigrees and top stallions. Once you get to Book 4 and 5, you’re going to see the freshman sires or unproven stallions mixed in, but they are still top physicals.”

She concluded, “The market was still strong going into this book off of our appraisals and what they brought in the ring. We probably got shut out on just as many as we bid on.”

“For the obvious horse, you’re still going to pay.”

Top Colts Heading Tuesday’s Action

Leading the colts on the afternoon, Jebel Ali Stables went to $400,000 for a yearling by GI Florida Derby winner Dialed In. offered as Hip 2557. Out of the winning Bellamy Road mare Castle Road, the May 11 foal hails from the family of multiple GI Breeders’ Cup Mile scorer Tourist (Tiznow). He was consigned by his breeder, Hinkle Farms.

The only other yearling to surpass the $300,000 mark was Hip 2399, a colt by Nyquist. Purchased by X-Men Racing yesterday, May 4 foal was consigned by breeder Anderson Farms. Out of the Quiet American mare Reason, the colt is from the family of Grade I winner Switch.

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