Lane’s End sire Strikes on Day 5 at Keeneland

Leading sire Smart Strike dominated Day 5 at Keeneland’s September yearling sale on Thursday.  The Lane’s End sire was represented by a filly and colt that topped the day’s trade at $550,000.

San Francisco businessman George Bolton bought the Smart Strike filly who is a half-sister to G2 West Virginia Derby winner Soul Warrior.  They are from the stakes-winning Sea of Secrets mare My Miss Storm Cat.  “My bloodstock advisor John Moynihan said she was his favourite filly in the sale,” Bolton said.  “She’s obviously beautifully bred and we love the sire.”

Bolton had paid $1 million for a Smart Strike colt on Tuesday.  He has enjoyed success with offspring of Smart Strike, having previously owned an interest in two-time Horse of the Year Curlin.

Zayat Stables went to $550,000 to purchase the colt by Smart Strike out of the Deputy Minister mare Madame Thor.  He is a half-brother to stakes-placed Star Defender from the family of Breeders’ Cup Sprint winner Very Subtle.  

Smart Strike (Mr Prospector) stands for a $75,000 fee at Lane’s End Farm.  His session-topping lots were both consigned by Gainesway as agent.

A colt from the first crop of Darley sire Street Sense out of the winning Storm Cat mare Priceless Storm bought the day’s second-highest price of $435,000 from Coolmore agent Demi O’Byrne.  Consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, the colt is from the family of stakes winners Master Command and Aurora Lights.

A total of 197 horses sold on Thursday for $23.23 million.  The average was $117,939 and, due to this year’s format change, there are no comparable figures for 2009.

“Thursday’s session brought the highest median and highest clearance rate of Book 2 so far, which we view as a positive sign,” Keeneland’s Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said.  “We have lots of buyers on the grounds – a nice mix of familiar faces as well as new ones. They are all here looking for a good value on a quality horse, and as we’ve seen all week, there’s some spirited bidding going on for the really good horses.”