by Sarah Mace
The second highest-priced weanling – and top weanling colt – in Thursday’s fourth session of Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale was a New York-bred by Rock Hard Ten, bred by Doug Koch’s Berkshire Stud and purchased from the consignment of Denali Stud (agent) by Joe and Scott Ford’s Westrock Stables in Little Rock, Arkansas for $300,000 The bay colt, who is inbred 3S X 3D to Mr. Prospector, garnered the biggest price ever for a weanling by Rock Hard Ten, whose first foals are three-year-olds this year.
The Rock Hard Ten colt is the third New York-bred offspring from the unraced Fusaichi Pegasus mare Regard, all bred and foaled by Berkshire Stud. Regard’s dam, stakes-winner Notice Me, by Distinctive, produced stakes-winner Give Notice (also the producer of a stakes performer), and two more stakes performers, including Look Upon, dam of New York-bred stakes-winner Shine Upon by Congaree.
Regard’s first foal, two-year-old Todd Pletcher-trainee Highest Regards, won his debut by 3¼ lengths on June 24 at Belmont Park for owner Donna McLaughlin in a five-furlong restricted maiden special weight race, turning in an eye-catching performance that earned him an 83 Beyer Speed Figure. Highest Regards had sold as a weanling at Keeneland November for $135,000 The mare’s second foal, a colt by Tale of the Cat, was this summer’s sale-topper of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Preferred New York yearling sale, when purchased by Repole Stable for $140,000.
The Rock Hard Ten colt and his breeder drew rave reviews from his consignor “He was a real nice horse. The buyers were all over him, and he got vetted a lot,” Denali’s Craig Bandoroff said. “He was a special horse, and they want special. It’s just that special is hard to find.” Bandoroff continued, “Doug [Koch of Berkshire Stud] said he was a nice horse, and the minute he came in, we said, ‘Yeah, these are the kind you need.’ Doug’s a very good breeder–he breeds a lot of good horses. He has a beautiful farm in New York. It’s as nice as any place in Kentucky. He was a prominent racetrack veterinarian at Belmont, and now probably has 10 or 15 mares. He raises a good horse.”