Throughout this week we delve deeper into the books of the Keeneland September sale. For followers of Illinois breeding and racing, this is where it gets fun. Though the three Illinois-bred yearlings in Book 1 were bred well, none of them came from families deeply entrenched in Illinois. For most of the yearlings in the later books, it is a different story. Many of the dams have a stronger connection to the state: either they were bred here, they raced here, or they have already produced runners on the local circuit.
No Illinois-breds found their way into Book 2 or Book 3, but Books 4 through 6 are peppered with yearlings from the Land of Lincoln. Blinkers Off will be here through the week with a look at each of them.
Coverage of the second week of Keeneland September begins here, with the six Illinois-breds in Book 4.
Hip 2383, Stormy Atlantis, bay colt by Get Stormy out of Ayla (Sandpit)
Stormy Atlantis has some serious local connection on the bottom of her pedigree. Dam Ayla is herself Illinois-bred, a maiden winner at Arlington. Even Ayla’s Brazilian-bred sire Sandpit has a local connection; in three tries in the Arlington Million, Sandpit had two seconds and a third to show for it. Ayla has produced two winners: 2015 Pat Whitworth Illinois Debutante winner Tizgorgeous (Tizdejavu) as well as the consistent Shanghai Red (Newfoundland), a seven-time winner on the local circuit with four victories this year.
Hip 2561, gray or roan filly by Fort Prado out of Leading Astray (Belong to Me)
This horse may be the most Team Block horse ever bred. Sire Fort Prado and dam Leading Astray are both Illinois-bred, and both Block homebreds. Both won graded stakes, as well. Leading Astray (Belong to Me) is herself out of Illinois blue hen Taxable Deduction — making her full to multiple stakes winner Corrupt, and half to multiple graded stakes winner Free Fighter and graded stakes winner Suntracer. This family wins, mainly going long on the turf. The pedigree could not be better, though there may be physical (or at least commercial appeal) questions, both because she is being sold in the first place and because she was relegated to book four.
Hip 2952, bay filly by Northern Afleet out of Lil Minnlet (Black Minnaloushe)
This filly is out of Illinois-bred mare Lil Minnlet, a daughter of Lil Pushlet. Lil Pushlet produced seven winners including multiple stakes winner Big Looie (Military), multiple stakes placed Big Rushlet, and the aforementioned Lil Minnlet — herself stakes placed. Most of Lil Pushlet’s progeny did their best work on the dirt, though the turf influence of Black Minnaloushe must have taken with Lil Minnlet. She did her best on grass, and has produced a turf winner in Big Tom Prado (Fort Prado). Lil Minnlet has produced one other winner, Lil Heat, who has won twice over polytrack.
Hip 2958, chestnut filly by Shackleford out of Love This Kitten (Kitten’s Joy)
This filly is from the first crop of Shackleford, and is the first registered foal out of Illinois-bred Love This Kitten. She won $265,483 on the track, eventually growing into a solid allowance-level runner going two turns on the turf. She always found state-bred stakes company a bridge too far. Still, Love This Kitten is the most accomplished out of her dam Aunt Nell, though her other foal Antic did win two races in Chile. Third dam, Mrs. K., peppers black type on this filly’s page; Mrs. K. herself placed second in the Dogwood Stakes her three-year-old year, and also produced four black type winners.
Hip 3073, dark bay or brown colt by Archarcharch out of Silky Kitty (Stormin Fever)
Though dam Silky Kitty was bred in Kentucky, she is out of the mare Polish Silk — making her half to both last year’s Champion Illinois-bred Three Year Old I Got It All and impressive Hawthorne maiden winner Wildwood Silk. Silky Kitty raced from ages two through five, and though she never hit the board in any of her stakes attempts, she won four times in 22 starts and cracked six figures in earnings. Silky Kitty has three foals of racing age, though only one has raced. Illinois-bred Three Way Trade (Grand Slam) was a $55,000 purchase at Keeneland September in 2012. The four-year-old gelding has won twice in twelve starts at Hastings, and was stakes-placed there at two. Both wins have come over dirt, but he has won at both sprint and route distances.
Hip 3110, chestnut colt by Broken Vow out of Taradduf (Forestry)
Taradduf was not Illinois-bred, but she did race most of her career in Illinois. She broke her maiden at Arlington in 2011 for trainer Daniel Peitz, in the colours of Shadwell Stable. After that, she was privately transferred to trainer David Hinsley and owner Richard Perkins. After going winless in six more starts that year, she retired to broodmare duty. This colt has an Illinois-bred juvenile half-sister, Run to Glory (City Zip), who has run twice this year. She finished second behind next-out stakes winner Ruthless Quality in her debut at Arlington, sprinting five furlongs on turf. Next out, she crossed the wire tenth and last in the listed Arlington-Washington Lassie, going seven furlongs on poly. Run to Glory hammered for $27,000 at Fasig-Tipton October last year, but that did not meet her reserve.