An American Pharoah yearling has sold for $1 million at a recent Keeneland January sale. The sale was completed by Coolmore Stud, one of the richest operations in international Thoroughbred racing and opposing bidders knew that the group was going to make a big play on this young horse. The price tag, however, more than triples sales from the same time last year.
“American Pharoah doesn’t need any explaining and Aidan O’Brien always believed Caravaggio to be the best sprinter he ever trained, so when our team considered this colt the best individual in the sale it was an easy decision for us to make,” M.V. Magnier of Coolmore Stud noted in a pre-written statement for media members. “We’re incredibly lucky to have two great partners in Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith who are fully committed to finding the next Caravaggio. We’ll leave it until later in the year before we discuss where this colt will be trained.”
The recently purchased American Pharoah yearling is a half-brother to Caravaggio, a four-year-old turn runner out in Europe who has won the 2017 Commonwealth Cup and the Flying Five Stakes. Both are out of Mekko Hokte, a daughter of Holy Bull out of Aerosilver. Windmill Manor Farm bred both Caravaggio and this recent yearling and weren’t surprised by the enormous acquisition price the colt fetched.
“He deserved it. He was a beautiful, beautiful horse and Caravaggio is such a good racehorse. I thought he would be close to there”, said Pat Costello of Paramount Sales regarding the million dollar American Pharoah yearling. “This horse was so athletic and he moves so beautifully. Every top buyer on the ground seemed to be on him.”
American Pharoah is coming up on being three year’s removed from becoming the first horse to rampage the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2015. His stud fee of $200,000 is amongst the highest in the entire world but his progeny are already receiving high asking prices as well incredible praise. At a Fasig-Tipton sale last November, Really McDonald of Eaten Sales said that, “I am blown away by how good they are,” when asked about the American Pharoah yearling that went for $1 million last November at Fasig-Tipton. “They all have that big shoulder with great depth through the girth. It is unusual to see babies that deep at this point in their lives. They’re really athletic, and like ours, they have minds like their dad’s. They are all easy to be around.”
Many will fondly mention American Pharoah as the horse that restored mainstream appeal to the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing along with California Chrome, but the next generation of horses that he is flooding the market with is sure to have some sort of impact. The next few years is a big upswing for American breeding in general. For many years following the crippling stock market downturn that nearly gutted the sport, Tapit was the only major stallion worth banking on. Now American Pharoah, Uncle Mo, More Than Ready, California Chrome and many others are producing the next generation of superstars at a much higher stud fee with yearlings demanding high prices as well.
This is a great and exciting development for racing. I know that we are all excited to see how the American Pharoah yearling from the Keeneland and Fasig-Tipton sales turn out, but we’ll have to sit on our hands for at least another year before seeing them in action.