Yearling By American Pharoah Brings $1 Million at Keeneland January Sale

(American Pharoah colt brings $1 million at Keeneland January Sale / Photo Courtesy of Keeneland)

OK, things have officially thawed out at Keeneland sales pavilion. And, it didn’t take long for the sun to melt the snow, ice and the pocket books.  On Tuesday, a yearling colt by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah made the sun shine bright.

Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier paid $1 million for the colt, who is a half-brother to Coolmore’s Group 1 winner Caravaggio during Tuesday’s second session of Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale. The amount is the third-highest recorded for a yearling colt in January Sale history.

“American Pharoah doesn’t need any explaining and Aidan O’Brien always believed Caravaggio to be the best sprinter he ever trained, so when our team considered this colt the best individual in the sale it was an easy decision for us to make,” Magnier, who is attending sales in Australia, said in a statement issued after the purchase. “We’re incredibly lucky to have two great partners in Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith who are fully committed to finding the next Caravaggio. We’ll leave it until later in the year before we discuss where this colt will be trained.”

Paramount Sales, agent, consigned the colt, whose dam is the Holy Bull mare Mekko Hokte. He also is a half-brother to Grade 2 winner My Jen.

“He deserved that price,” Paramount’s Pat Costello said. “He’s a beautiful horse and Caravaggio was such an incredible racehorse. This horse is so athletic and he moves so beautifully. Every top buyer on the grounds seemed to be on him and he had a ton of (pre-purchase examination) vet work done on him. All the top people in the business were interested.”

The January Sale runs through Thursday

He’s a fighter. If you’ve ever watched him, you’ve seen thaT. With the track playing a little fast today, I told Jose (Lezcano) he was going to like this track. The one thing about him is, if he gets in a battle, he’s going to win the battle. As long as the track is fairly firm, I think he’ll run on anything. I would say there is a good chance (to return for the Grade II, $400,000 Tampa Bay Derby on March 10), but it’s something I have to talk to Mr. (John) Oxley about. I would also say I was kind of wishy-washy about trying him on dirt, and Mr. Oxley said ‘Can we do it one more time?’ He is the boss, so I said ‘Of course.’ ”

  • 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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean