Keeneland Sales Graduates Win G1 Stephen Foster, Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday

(Pavel, who sold at Keeneland, winning the G1 Stephen Foster / Photo Courtesy of Coady Photography & Churchill Downs)

Once again, recent history proves that past history is the best. And, correct.

On Saturday, two more graduates from the sales grounds and higher education of the Keeneland Sales pavilion performed admirably in that post-graduate studies and work products.

Pavel, a 4-year-old son of Creative Cause who twice walked his way through the sales ring at the world’s greatest Thoroughbred auction house, found his running shoes and the winner’s circle after capturing the G1 Stephen Foster Handicap. For his efforts, the colt also catapulted trainer Doug O’Neill to an automatic birth in this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic after capturing the “Win & You’re In” Stakes.

In addition, King Zachary, who sold for $550,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale to owner Thomas Conway, ran away with an impressive victory in the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The 3YO colt by Curlin destroyed the highly favored Ax Man, coming off a Stakes win at Pimlico and three wins in four career starts. And, King Zachary inched away from this stablemate, Tiz Mischief, a 3YO colt by Into Mischief who also sold at Keeneland in September of 2016. He was purchased by his trainer, Dale Romans, for his long-time client and friend Frank Jones for a tidy $55,000.

Here’s a closer look at all three of these Keeneland Sales Grads:

PAVEL, 4YO colt by Creative Cause – Mons Venus ($90,000, 2014 Nov Breeding Stock, Consignor- Brereton C. Jones/Airdrie Stud, agent, Buyer- McMahon & Hill Bloodstock, agent; $80,000 RNA, 2015 Sept Yearling, Consignor- Hidden Brook, agent) O- Reddam Racing; B- Brereton C. Jones & WinStar Farm (KY); T- Doug O’Neill

KING ZACHARY, 3YO colt by Curlin – On My Way ($550,000, 2016 Sept Yearling, Consignor- Eaton Sales, agent; Buyer- Tom Conway) O- Thomas Conway; B- Waymore (KY); T- Dale Romans

TIZ MISCHIEF, 3YO colt by Into Mischief – Indivia ($55,000, 2016 Sept Yearling, Consignor- Cross Keys Sales, agent; Buyer- Dale Romans, agent) O- Frank Jones Jr.; B- T/C Stable (KY); T- Dale Romans


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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