Bernardini colt caps Keeneland 2YO Sale

A colt by Darley sire Bernardini topped Keeneland’s April 2YO Sale on Monday when he made $625,000 to the bid of prominent owner Jess Jackson.  The Kentucky-bred juvenile breezed 600m in 33.80s prior to the sale.

This year’s sale was trimmed to one session comprising 181 horses.  Turnover passed $12.01 million for an average of $169,197.  That was down just 5.4% compared to the 2009 catalogue which was boosted by a $1.90 million best seller.

“There was a strong market for quality,” Keeneland sales director Geoffrey Russell said.  “Moreover, there was a good cross-section of North American, Japanese and European buyers, an indication that our investments in building a deeper buying bench are reaping dividends.”

Jess Jackson’s Stonestreet Stables is best known for campaigning Curlin and Rachel Alexandra.  “He’s a beautiful mover with a good pedigree,” Stonestreet spokesman John Moynihan said of the Bernardini colt.

His dam Moonlight Sonata (Carson City) captured the 2002 Arlington-Washington Lassie St (G3).  Her first foal Beethoven (Sky Mesa) landed the 2008 Kentucky Jockey Club St. (G2).   The sale-topper was a $75,000 buy at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky yearling sale last October.

The day’s top filly was a Johannesburg dark bay out of $3.5 million earner Spain (Thunder Gulch).  She attracted a winning bid of $525,000 from Prime Equestrian.  She originally sold for $300,000 at the Keeneland yearling sale last September.

Spain was a G1 winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and La Brea Stakes.  She has gone on to produce Irish stakes winners Plan (Storm Cat) and Dreamtheimpossible (Giant’s Causeway).

Prime Equestrian comprises French interests who race in Europe and Dubai.  They topped the buyers’ list at Keeneland while acquiring 10 horses for $2.10 million.