Smart Strike millionaire heads Day 3 at Keeneland September Sale

A son of Smart Strike became the latest millionaire at Keeneland’s September yearling sale when he topped the first open session during Day 3 on Tuesday.  He was purchased by George Bolton who was a partner in Smart Strike’s Horse of the Year Curlin.

The colt is a son of the Seattle Slew G3 winner Ask Me No Secrets.  Bolton said he has a partner in the purchase but declined to identify that person although it was rumoured to be Curlin’s majority owner Jesse Jackson.  The San Francisco businessman also purchased a $320,000 Malibu Moon filly and a $160,000 Tiznow filly.

Tuesday’s session comprised 204 sales for turnover of $27.29 million.   The average price was $133,784 which was down from Day 3 in 2009 but that was largely due to a different format this year.  The clearance rate improved three points to 68%.

“There was a more businesslike tone on Tuesday, which is exactly what we expected,” Keeneland’s sale director Geoffrey Russell said.  “The new format meant that Day 3 saw a wide range of prices as well.  The key continues to be that the clearance rate is very manageable and consignors are trading horses.”

Others buyers spending a half-million or more on Tuesday included Sheikh Hamdan who paid a $550,000 for a Bernardini colt, Eugene Melnyk who weighed in with $500,000 for a Malibu Moon colt and Bob Baffert who bought a Stormy Atlantic colt for the same amount.

North America’s premier yearling auction will continue through to September 26.