Keeneland Sales Sold 6 of the 10 Entries in Saturday’s Belmont Stakes: Amazing

From the Media Team at Keeneland:

Triple Crown Hopeful Justify Leads Six Keeneland Sales
Graduates among 10 Horses Entered in Belmont

China Horse Club International, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm’s undefeated Justify, sold for $500,000 at Keeneland’s 2016 September Yearling Sale, will capture the Triple Crown with a victory in Saturday’s 150th running of the $1.5 million Belmont Presented by NYRA Bets (G1) at Belmont Park.

Justify, the 4-5 morning-line favorite to win the Belmont, is one of six graduates of Keeneland sales that are among the 10 3-year-old colts entered Tuesday in the race. Justify is the latest among the 22 Kentucky Derby (G1) winners and 24 Preakness (G1) winners produced by Keeneland sales.

Keeneland sales graduates entered in the 2018 Belmont are:

Blended Citizen (Proud Citizen-Langara Lass) – The Peter Pan (G3) and Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) winner was offered by Penn Sales, agent for breeder Ray Hanson, at the September Sale. Doug O’Neill trains Blended Citzen for owners SAYJAY Racing, Greg Hall and Brooke Hubbard. He will be ridden in the Belmont by Kyle Frey.

Free Drop Billy (Union Rags-Trensa) – Bred by Helen K. Groves Revocable Trust, Free Drop Billy was consigned by Gainesway, agent, to the September Sale and sold for $200,000 to Kempton/Berkelhammer, agents for owner Albaugh Family Stables. Dale Romans trains Free Drop Billy, who was second in the Holy Bull (G2) and third in the Toyota Blue Grass (G2) at Keeneland and Gotham (G3) at Aqueduct. Winner of Keeneland’s Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) in 2017, Free Drop Billy will be ridden by Robby Albarado.

Gronkowski (Lonhro [AUS]-Four Sugars) – The Belmont will mark the North American debut for Gronkowski, who was consigned as a weanling by Trackside Farm, agent, to the 2015 November Breeding Stock Sale and sold to Margaret O’Toole for $75,000. Epic Thoroughbreds bred the colt, who began his career in England for owner Phoenix Thoroughbred. III Jose Ortiz will ride Gronkowski for trainer Chad Brown.

Justify (Scat Daddy-Stage Magic) – Breeder John D. Gunther’s Glennwood Farm, agent, consigned Justify to the September Sale, where he sold for $500,000 to China Horse Club and Maverick Racing. Trained by Bob Baffert and ridden by Mike Smith, Justify races for China Horse Club International, Head of Plains Partners, Starlight Racing and WinStar Farm.

Noble Indy (Take Charge Indy-Noble Maz) – WinStar Farm bred Noble Indy, winner of the Louisiana Derby (G2), and races him with Repole Stable. Denali Stud, agent, offered the colt at the September Sale. Javier Castellano will ride Noble Indy for trainer Todd Pletcher.

Vino Rosso (Curlin-Mythical Bride) – John D. Gunther also bred Vino Rosso, the Wood Memorial Presented by NYRA Bets (G2) winner who races for Repole Stable and St. Elias Stable. Glennwood Farm, agent, consigned Vino Rosso to the September Sale, where he sold for $410,000 to Mike Repole/St. Elias, J.J. Crupi, agent.  The colt is trained by Todd Pletcher and will be ridden by John Velazquez.


I was absolutely dancing into the Winner’s Circle. It was so exciting and Joel has been like one of my kids ever since he came from Bay Meadows. We tease each other a lot. We greet each other by grunting and everybody looks at us like, ‘what’s that all about’ but we’ve been doing it for years. So it’s wonderful to win with him. The owners are great people that really deserve something like this.

“This horse seems like he’s more adept at seven furlongs to a mile so I’m not sure he wants a mile and a quarter …

“I could tell my horse had won, but I was so excited in the stretch I thought I was gonna pass out.

“We are very happy with the way our horse had trained for this race, but it’s always scary when you get a look at those Baffert ‘Maseratis’, it pretty much unfolded the way we had hoped.

“The people that own this horse, they’ve got this colt a seven furlong-miler type maybe time will tell differently, but the other colt they are focusing on him going the two turns.”


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