INDEPENDENT HORSE RACING NEWS

Authentic connection suits Mori at Keeneland

Japanese trainer and agent Hideyuki Mori has continued his pursuit of siblings of Kentucky Derby winners, adding a full brother to Authentic at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, a day after buying a half-brother to Justify.

Hideyuki Mori insists that he looks at the physical before the pedigree when it comes to yearling purchases, but for the second day in a row at Keeneland, the Japanese trainer landed on an impeccable page, buying an Into Mischief colt who happens to be the brother to 2020 Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup classic winner Authentic.

The colt, offered as Hip 247, and already given the name Awesome, sold for US$800,000 to Mori, who also paid US$1.2 million for the Curlin half-brother to Justify on Monday.

Authentic, now a resident alongside his own sire Into Mischief at Spendthrift in Kentucky, won six of his eight starts, including a Kentucky Derby held in September rather than May due to COVID. Racing for a syndicate which included over 5000 microshare owners though My Racehorse, Authentic blitzed the field in the Breeders Cup Classic, setting a new track record at Keeneland in the process in what would be his final start.

He and the yearling colt purchased by Mori on Tuesday are out of the Mr Greeley mare Flawless and both were sold by Bridie Harrison for breeder Peter Blum Thoroughbreds.

Mori has also clearly taken a shine to the progeny of champion stallion Into Mischief, having purchased $1 million-plus colts by him this year at both the Saratoga Select Yearling Sale and the Ocala Select Yearling Sale.

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Hip 247, Awesome, a brother to Authentic which cost Hideyuki Mori US$800,000. (Photo: Keeneland).

Masahiri Miki has been another major Japanese investor in American bloodstock in the past 12 months and he struck twice on the second day, spending US$450,000 on a filly by Quality Road (Hip 191) and US$400,000 on a filly by War Front (Hip 206).

Miki made a major mark on the American broodmare sales last November spending US$6 million on two Grade 1-winning mares at Fasig-Tipton and a further $2.3 million on Grade 2 winner Pink Sands at Keeneland November.

Yoshizawa Stables backed up its two purchases from the opening day at Keeneland to pay US$475,000 for Hip 263, another colt by Into Mischief.

Prominent owner Koji Maeda was also on the buyers’ sheet, paying US$500,000 for Hip 269, a Quality Road filly out of multiple Grade 1 winner Hard Not To Like.

Dana Bernhard purchased the top-priced yearling of the second day, paying US$1.8 million for Hip 311, a colt by Constitution, who is out of Grade 1 winner Last Full Measure, by Empire Maker and was bred by China Horse Club.

Hip 311, the session-topping US$1.8 million Constitution colt. (Photo: Keeneland)

The colt was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.

“He’s one of the best colts we’ve seen in this crop,” Taylor Made CEO Mark Taylor said. “He’s beautifully bred.  The blood is there. He looks like a Derby horse: a lot of presence, a big walk, a lot of substance. Very strong. We’re just fortunate to have him.

“Congratulations to China Horse Club; they bred a beautiful horse. I think Constitution is on his way to the top. (The yearling) is a great representation of the stallion. He brought a bunch of money, which he deserved to.”

A total of 22 yearlings have sold for US$1 million or more during Book 1 at Keeneland this year compared to 11 in 2021, while the average price has surged 18.6 per cent year on year, returning the market to pre-pandemic levels.

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