This year’s catalogue at Keeneland September features 21 Illinois-bred yearlings, only one of whom has been declared out so far. Out of those, three are assigned to Book 1, tantamount to the select portion of the sale.
Previews of the other Illinois-breds in books four, five, and six are forthcoming. The yearlings in those books include half-siblings to some of my favourites: In the Chamber, Tizgorgeous, Frontier Force, Big Tom Prado. They also include two out of the five Illinois-bred foals of 2014 who I discussed at Blinkers Off earlier this year.
However, there are three slated to go early in the sale, in Book 1; this is a look at each of them.
Hip 192: bay colt by Bernardini out of Crystal Symphony (Red Ransom)
Crystal Symphony was a successful racemare in her own right, winning $288,360 on the track and annexing the 1999 running of the My Charmer Handicap (GIII) at Calder. However, she has also been successful as a broodmare. Out of seven foals to race, six of them have won. Classic Campaign (Rahy) has been the best of her produce so far. A winner of $584,388, this Kentucky-bred won four stakes races, with his one graded triumph coming in the state of Illinois — the 2007 Robert F. Carey Memorial Handicap (GIII). Crystal Symphony has produced two other stakes winners as well, Lindelaan (Rahy) and Cuyahoga (Theatrical).
Hip 192 was Crystal Symphony’s second foal by Bernardini. She produced a filly by him in 2011 named Shy Girl. Illinois-bred Shy Girl sold for $480,000 as a yearling at Keeneland September in 2012. She never ran, but produced a Jimmy Creed colt last year and is currently in foal to Temple City. Crystal Symphony’s only other Illinois-bred horse of racing age, 2012 colt Tango Romeo (Speightstown), sold to Calumet Farm for $140,000 at OBS April in 2014, but has not run.
Only since 2011 have Crystal Symphony’s foals been Illinois-bred; her previous progeny was bred in Kentucky. However, she was sold for $300,000 at Keeneland November in 2010; Brinker Hill Farm purchased her. They bred this colt in conjunction with Darley. Two of the three Illinois-bred yearlings in Book 1 are associated with Brinker Hill Farm; they also bred hip 694.
Hip 390: Leaseholder’s Lute, dark bay or brown colt by Midnight Lute out of Leaseholder (Taylor’s Falls)
Leaseholder was a hard-knocking racemare in the 1990s. She started 37 times between ages three and six, winning ten times and amassing over $140,000 in earnings. She finished third in the only stakes she attempted, the 1993 My Charmer Stakes at Turfway. Still, most of her racing days she was one of those mares who consistently hit the board in the claiming ranks.
She has proved as classy a broodmare as she was durable as a racemare. Though Leaseholder’s Lute is the first Illinois-bred foal out of Leaseholder, he is by no means the first foal out of the mare. She has eleven racing-age foals, and eight winners among nine to race. The star among her progeny is multiple Grade I winner Tough Tiz’s Sis, winner of the Lady’s Secret Stakes (GI) at Santa Anita as well as the Ruffian Handicap (GI) at Belmont. Tough Tiz’s Sis has herself produced Tiz Midnight, a Grade II winner and Grade I placed. Leaseholder also produced listed stakes winner Golly Greeley, and the stakes-placed Leaseholders Dream.
Leaseholder has been as durable in the broodmare ranks as she was in the racing ranks. Still, as she is 25 this year, it would be no surprise if Leaseholder’s Lute ends up being the last, or one of the last, foals out of this mare.
Gary K. Tussey bred this colt. He has been associated with Leaseholder through her breeding career, though this is the first time she has foaled in Illinois. He only bred two yearlings in Illinois this year, though the other (Misremembered x Irish and Foxy, by Irish Open) was not entered in Keeneland September.
Hip 694: bay colt by Lemon Drop Kid out of Tamarind Hall (Graeme Hall)
Tamarind Hall started in the claiming ranks at Woodbine and Tampa Bay, but found her stride once she moved to the northeast. She hit a very good stretch during the summer and fall of her four-year-old year, winning the Bed o’ Roses (GIII) at Belmont and finishing third in the Ballerina (GI) at the Spa in 2011.
Hip 694 is the second of the Illinois-breds in Book 1 who was bred by Brinker Hill Farm. She was sold by her previous owner (Eklektikos, Three Chimineys Sales as agent) after her sharp 2011 campaign, drawing $250,000 at Keeneland November, with Summerfield Sales as agent. She turned up at the races in 2012 with Brinker Hill Farm listed as owner. She never quite found the form in 2012 that she had in 2011, so Tamarind Hall retired and was bred. This colt, hip 694 is her first foal. She had an Illinois-bred Street Sense colt this year, and is back in foal to Congrats.