Excerpt: Paulick Report, Joe Nevills
Hip 242, a yearling Quality Road colt who sold for $310,000 at the 2020 Keeneland January Sale
The demand for newly-turned yearlings was solid during Monday's session, and the head of the charge came from a pair of colts consigned by Denali Stud who accounted for two of the day's three highest yearling prices.
The bar in that division rested with Hip 242, a Quality Road colt who sold to First Finds for $310,000.
The dark bay or brown colt is out of the multiple Grade 2-winning Foxhound mare Foxysox, whose three winners from five runners includes the multiple stakes winner Curlin's Fox.
I thought he was exceptional, and I've had a lot of luck with Quality Road,” said Tami Bobo of First Finds. “I thought this was definitely the horse we needed and I'm looking forward to pinhooking him. He's beautiful, he's forward. He looks early. He looks like the kind of horse you want to take to Saratoga. If all the stars align, we'll try.”
Denali Stud consigned the colt as agent for Kentucky breeder Williamson Racing. The operation of Warren B. Williamson during her on-track career.
“He was a beautiful colt with a tremendous profile to him,” said Denali Stud's Conrad Bandoroff. “It didn't take much imagination to see what he could grow into. He was bought by a very astute judge, and it's definitely a compliment to the colt and how he was raised.”
The Quality Road colt picked up the baton from the early session-leader among the newly-turned yearlings, Hip 69, a first-crop Gun Runner colt who sold to Nick de Meric as agent for Klaravich Stables for $290,000.
The colt is the first foal out of the stakes-placed Any Given Saturday mare Sunday Sonnet, who is herself a half-sister to multiple Grade 3 winner Pianist. His extended family includes Irish champion Prince of Birds and Italian Group 1 winner Sudan.
“He's just a beautifully balanced, smooth, athletic-looking colt, an outstanding mover, and by a young sire that I think has a tremendously bright future,” de Meric said. “Gun Runner is already turning heads, and I think the best is yet to come for him.”
De Meric said he'd been in the hunt for a few other Gun Runner foals during the fall mixed sale season, but this was his first successful purchase.
“I think the same horse here in September could easily bring 30-40 percent more than he did today,” de Meric said. “Obviously, that's the play that we're gambling on – that we're not competing with the entire yearling buying public.”
The colt was bred in Kentucky by Hermitage Farm, and he was consigned by Denali Stud, agent.
“He really had a swagger about himself,” Bandoroff said. “He handled everything in stride, and was a really fun colt to have in the barn.”
“When we did our pre-sale inspection and looked at these two yearlings, we definitely got excited,” Bandoroff continued. “We had two serious bullets to fire, and both colts handled themselves really well while they were on the grounds, and you could tell as the buyers started coming back and going through their lists that these horses were making the cut. Both horses did their job really well and made our jobs a lot easier.”