Sheikh Mohammed bought four of the five most expensive yearlings during the opening session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Select Sale on Monday night.
Just hours after another stock market meltdown on Wall Street, the Darley ruler helped boost the first session average of the two-day sale by 30% to $329,694.
Topping trade was the Medaglia d’Oro half-brother to Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver at $1.20 million. The colt was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency and, besides Super Saver, is a half-brother to recent G3 winner Brethren (Distorted Humor).
Super Saver stands at WinStar Farm and will shuttle to Eliza Park for his first southern book this year.
Medaglia d’Oro knocked Bernardini off the top of the leader-board after his Darley associate dominated the opening salvos.
A Bernardini filly from G1 winner Sugar Shake (Awesome Again) was sold to John McCormack Bloodstock for $950,000. Her dam landed the 2007 Santa Maria Hcp and she also lobbed at G2 level in the El Encino Stakes.
Earlier in the evening, Sheikh Mohammed purchased a $750,000 Bernardini colt and a $600,000 Bernardini filly. Both high priced yearlings were consigned by Gerry Dilger’s Dromoland Farm.
“Bernardini has had a fantastic start to stud and they’re two very nice types,” Sheikh Mohammed’s bloodstock manager John Ferguson said. “The colt is an exceptionally athletic horse, and he’s a particular favourite of Sheikh Mohammed.”
Bred in Kentucky, the colt was pin-hooked for $170,000 by Summit High Equine at the Keeneland January Sale. He is from the stakes winning mare Mountain Mambo (Mt. Livermore). Ferguson saw off Hall of Fame trainer Nick Zito to buy the colt.
“The filly looked very much like Gamilati,” Ferguson said. “She’s a Bernardini filly that won the Cherry Hinton Stakes for us at Newmarket last month. This one is very athletic and has a lot going for her.”
The Bernardini filly was bred in Kentucky by Peter Blum Thoroughbreds and is from the Fappiano mare Nataliano. She is a half sister to a G1 winner A. P. Adventure.