Illinois-breds at Keeneland September: Book 6

Book 6 of Keeneland September runs on Friday and Saturday of this week, and marks the end of the sale.  This book also contains the last four Illinois-bred yearlings in the sale.  Buried here in Book 6 is another one of the five yearlings highlighted here among 2014’s Illinois-bred foals to watch out for: the only member of Musketier’s first crop to be bred in the state.

Let’s meet the last few Illinois-breds of Keeneland September!

Hip 3567, bay filly by Sidney’s Candy out of Atlantic Storm R N (Stormy Atlantic)

Atlantic Storm R N only raced once, finishing a well-beaten eighth in a maiden claiming sprint over the Arlington main.  She was in the barn of Michael Reavis for that race, and Reavis and Carol Ricker have bred Atlantic Storm R N’s two recorded foals to date.  The first of her foals, a two-year-old by Spring at Last named W W Spring Storm, has started three times so far, with his best finish to date being a third-place finish against maiden special weight company at Fairmount.  W W Spring Storm sold for $17,000 to William Stiritz at Fasig-Tipton October last year.  More than anything, the pedigree suggests middle-distance prowess.  Sire Sidney’s Candy was a multiple graded stakes winner at middle distances on both turf and dirt.  Second dam Aly’s Question was a two-time stakes winner, both times at a mile and a sixteenth on grass, and also finished third in the River Cities Handicap (GIII) over that same trip.

Hip 3745, gray or roan filly by Musketier out of Optimistic Bullet (Dancer Man)

This filly is the only member of Musketier’s first crop to be bred in Illinois, and the second of this year’s Keeneland September yearlings to have been featured as one of Blinkers Off’s 2014 Foals to Watch Out For.  Musketier epitomized stamina and soundness: he won at group level at 2, he won a graded stakes at 10, and he specialized in turf marathons.  Just as this foal is from Musketier’s first crop, she is also the first foal out of her dam.  Optimistic Bullet, bred in Brazil, was a dirt sprinter, a hard-knocking claiming type who won four times at Turf Paradise, ThistleDown, and Mountaineer.  She is half to Optativa, who produced a pair of Group II winners in Brazil.  Out of Mind (Sestero) did his best work as a middle distance/miler type; Official Report (Baligh) stayed 2400 meters.  Out of Mind was bred on a similar cross as Optimistic Bullet herself, as Sestero sired Dancer Man.  Given that, and the fact that Optimistic Bullet garnered all four of her wins at sprint distances, this breeding looks like stamina over speed.  There is durability top and bottom, though, as Optimistic Bullet won through age five.  Optimistic Bullet was not sold at public auction during her racing career, but was sold at Keeneland November 2013 (while pregnant with this foal) for $7,000.

Hip 3760, bay filly by Wilburn out of Prairie Flower (Flower Alley)

This filly is one of the second class of Wilburn, 2011 Indiana Derby winner.  Wilburn has four maiden winners, though it remains to be seen (given how few have run, or even matured) what sorts of runners this Bernardini x Moonlight Sonata (Carson City) son will produce.  Dam Prairie Flower is also relatively inexperienced from a breeding perspective.  This Flower Alley daughter of Salty Helen, a multiple stakes winner at Turf Paradise, has no progeny to race yet.  This filly has a full brother, Illinois-bred as well, but he has not been named, much less raced.  That colt was not sold at public auction.  Salty Helen’s stakes wins came over dirt at ages two and three, with one at three furlongs and one at six.  Among her progeny to race, three won – all at sprint distances, and they broke their maidens at ages two, three, and four.  However, none of those three came from an A. P. Indy or Seattle Slew line sire.

Hip 4141, gray or roan colt by Fort Prado out of Stormin Diamond A (Storm Bird)

The final Illinois-bred of this year’s Keeneland September sale is another one of the Team Block-bred offerings.  He is by Fort Prado — an Illinois-bred sire, bred by Team Block, who was standing his first season in Kentucky when this colt was bred.  Fort Prado showed uncommon soundness during his racing career — he won his first stakes race at three, and continued to perform in added-money events through age eight.  With three crops on the track, he has a solid 7.02 furlong average winning distance, and his runners have often shown strength on grass and at at two turns.  Stormin Diamond A never raced, but she has a long broodmare career behind her — ten runners to date, and seven winners.  Her one stakes winner to date was Jake Skate, an Arch gelding who won a dirt mile listed stakes at Golden Gate, and hit the board at GIII level.  She has not spent her entire broodmare career in Illinois, but all of her foals since 2008 have been Illinois-bred–and Team Block-bred.  (That transfer happened privately, as there is no record of Stormin Diamond A at public auction since 2003.)  Among her Illinois-bred progeny, her best has been Revolt (Fusaichi Pegasus), a solid allowance horse on the Chicago circuit who has done his best at two turns on the grass.  Though she has produced so many runners, this will be her first by a Sadler’s Wells-line sire.  Still, this suggests that a Fort Prado x Stormin Diamond A may like to go long.

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