In the days leading up to the world-famous Keeneland September yearling sale, David Anderson of St. Thomas, ON was excited about two things: his homebred colt Halo Again was going into the Queen’s Plate as one of the contenders, and a yearling filly by Medaglia D’Oro he bred on his Anderson Farms.
“Watch this one at the sale,” he said to Canadian Thoroughbred. “We have probably the most special filly I have ever raised selling. She is the real deal.”
Halo Again fizzled in the Plate but on Sept. 14 the yearling, from the mare Orchard Beach, also bred by Anderson, was the subject of a brisk bidding war and was eventually hammered down for a whopping $1.6 million, bought by Shadwell Estate Company. The filly is the most expensive yearling sold by Anderson. The yearling’s older half-brother, Sergei Prokofiev, a Group 3 winner in England, was sold by Anderson for $1.1 million and that Scat Daddy colt will enter stud in 2021.
Anderson took over his late father Bob’s farm just about 10 years ago and has built up a broodmare band and breeding business that would his make his father proud.
He told Blood-Horse on Monday, “I’m very emotional right now. I bred her mother and I bred this filly, and she’s probably the most athletic filly I’ve ever had on the farm.”
Orchard Beach, a Tapit mare who was bought in utero by Anderson, could not be sold at auction because of a sore foot due to an errant nail. Anderson kept her to race but after two starts she was injured and had to be retired.
Anderson has 10 more yearlings to sell through the sale and there are plenty of Canadian-bred offerings in the remaining sessions.
Canadian-born Donato Lanni, whose colt Clayton was third in the Plate, was the busiest bloodstock agent at Keeneland as he bought 12 for $5.9 million for the American partnership of SF Bloodstock, Starlight and Madaket Stables.
After Book 1 of the big September Sale, 2 sessions, yearlings averaged just over $400,000. From the first two sessions of the 2019 sale, yearlings averaged about $420,000. Attendance at the sale is lighter due to the COVID-19 pandemic .
The auction continues Wednesday through Sept. 25.