Keeneland Presents American Graded Stakes Standings: Finding Grade 1 Bargains

by | 05.25.2018 | 3:29pm
Grade 1 Carter Handicap winner Army Mule, an $825,000 purchase as a 2-year-old, sold for just $35,000 as a yearling

As we race into the busy Memorial Day weekend – which features graded stakes at seven different tracks – let's pause to look at where things stand in 2018 in terms of horses that have achieved at the highest level in the United States: Grade 1 races.

There have been 19 individual winners of Grade 1 races thus far, with Justify the lone three-time G1 winner, having taken the Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in succession. He'll try to make it four straight Grade 1s on June 9 in the Belmont Stakes in an attempt at becoming American racing's 13th Triple Crown winner.

Of those 19 G1 winners, only three are racing for their breeders: Kaleem Shah's American Gal, La Providencia's Brazilian-bred Hi Happy and Red Oak Stable's Unbridled Mo.

Fourteen of the 19 G1 winners sold at public auction, with two of them changing  hands privately without going through an auction ring.

It's not that surprising to see so few homebreds winning the biggest races, as the commercial market now dominates the Thoroughbred industry.

Also not a surprise is the fact that the Keeneland September Yearling Sale – the highest volume Thoroughbred auction in the world – has supplied more G1 winners than any other sale. Seven of the aforementioned 14 horses last sold at Keeneland September while two others  were offered during that auction and then were resold at 2-year-old sales. Thus, nine of the 19 G1 winners in 2018 passed through the Keeneland ring during the September sale.

You don't need to spend a million dollars to find a G1 winner at auction; in fact, the most spent on a 2018 G1 winner was the $825,000 paid for unbeaten G1 Carter Handicap winner Army Mule at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-Year-Olds in Training. Army Mule also represents the biggest pinhook home run of this group,  having been previously purchased at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Fall Yearling Sale for $35,000.

Six of the 14 G1 winners sold at auction for prices of $100,000 or less. Lowest price among them was Irish-bred G1 Jenny Wiley winner Sistercharlie, who sold for about $14,000 as a yearling at the Arqana October sale in France. Presumably, owner Peter Brant paid a bit more when he purchased the filly to race in the United States prior to her G1 win at Keeneland.

Nevertheless, there are still bargains in the bloodstock business.

Graded Stakes Wins by Sales Company     
RankSale CompanyWins
Graded Stakes Winners by Sale      
1Keeneland Sept.51
2Keeneland Nov.15
3OBS March9
4FT May7
5FT Florida6
FT October6
7FT Saratoga5
8Kee January4
OBS April4
10FT July3
FT New York3
Graded Stakes Winners by Sale Year     
RankWhen SoldGS Winners
43 and up7
Graded Stakes Winners by Consignor     
Rank ConsignorWinners
1Lane's End9
2Taylor Made8
3Denali Stud6
4Eaton Sales5
6Claiborne Farm4
Wavertree Stables4
8Crupi's New Castle3
Four Star Sales3
Penn Sales3
Select Sales3
Graded Stakes Winners by Sire     
RankNameWinners (Wins)
1Tapit 5 (6)
Uncle Mo5 (6)
Curlin5 (5)
4Into Mischief4 (5)
Distorted Humor 4 (4)
Quality Road4 (5)
7Ghostzapper3 (4)
Macho Uno3 (3)
Scat Daddy3 (5)
Speightstown3 (3)
Street Sense3 (3)
Graded Stakes Winners by Breeder     
RankBreederWinners (Wins)
1WinStar Farm5 (5)
Stonestreet4 (4)
3Claiborne Farm3 (4)
Spendthrift Farm3 (4)
John Gunther3 (5)
6Adena Springs2 (4)
Calumet Farm2 (2)
Sarah Farish2 (2)
Charles Fipke2 (2)
Godolphin2 (2)
KatieRich Farms2 (2)
John Liviakis2 (2)
Ramona Bass2 (3)
SNC Regnier & San Gabriel Inv2 (2)
T/C Stable2 (2)
Graded Stakes Winners by Owner     
RankOwner(s)Winners (Wins)
1WinStar Farm7 (10)
2China Horse Club6 (10)
Head of Plains Prtnrs6 (8)
4Medallion Racing4 (5)
Gary Barber4 (4)
Michael Dubb4 (7)
Bethlehem Stable4 (7)
Madaket Stables4 (4)
9Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey3 (3)
SF Racing3 (4)
Graded Stakes Winners by Trainer     
RankTrainerWinners (Wins)
1Chad Brown12 (12)
2Todd Pletcher
11 (15)
3Bob Baffert5 (7)
Mark Casse6 (6)
Mike Maker5 (5)
6Steve Asmussen4 (4)
Brad Cox4 (6)
Peter Miller4 (4)
Wesley Ward4 (4)
10Richard Baltas3 (3)
Simon Callaghan3 (3)
Jerry Hollendorfer3 (4)
Kiaran McLaughlin 3 (3)
H. Graham Motion3 (5)
Total Graded Stakes Wins by Horse     
Midnight Bisou3
Blended Citizen2
City of Light2
Heart to Heart2
Hi Happy2
Magnum Moon2
Martini Glass 2
Monomoy Girl2
My Boy Jack2
Something Awesome2
Ultra Brat2
Graded Stakes Wins by Jockey     
1Jose Ortiz15
2Irad Ortiz Jr.9
Mike Smith9
John Velazquez9
5Javier Castellano8
Flavien Prat8
Luis Saez8
8Tyler Baze6
Florent Geroux6
Julien Leparoux6
Ricardo Santana Jr.6
12Joe Bravo5
Kent Desormeaux5
Tyler Gaffalione5
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