Representatives from Barsuk T. L. Farm went to a familiar and proven source when shopping for racing prospects at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale and fortunately Virginia’s Audley Farm supplied consignor Brookdale Sales with just the type of colt the Russian agents were looking to buy.
The Virginia-bred – a son of Malibu Moon out of the Smart Strike mare Hatpin named Martin Night Bars – sold for $70,000 and nearly two years later rewarded his owners with a victory in the Russian Derby at Central Moscow Hippodrome Aug. 28.
“It was awesome,” said Jamie McDiarmid, Audley’s equine manager. “Probably one of the good sides of the story, and there are many, is that the gentleman that bought the horse from Brookdale had bought a yearling from them the year before that had just won the Russian Derby, so he was coming back for another one. So in three years they sold him two horses that won the Russian Derby.”
The 2,400-meter Russian Derby, recognized in that nation as a Group 1 stakes and worth approximately $61,335, was one of two stakes on the Aug. 28 card won by runners bred in the Mid-Atlantic and one of five won by graduates of Keeneland September.
The day’s other Mid-Atlantic-bred winner was Karaul, a 2-year-old son of Shackleford out of the Cozzene mare Pier Sixty Six, who won the $23,000 Grand Prix going 1 mile. Bred in West Virginia by Hector Alcalde, Karaul sold for $27,000 to MAB Agency at last year’s Keeneland September sale.
Martin Night Bars led a one-two finish for Mid-Atlantic-breds in the Russian Derby, scoring by a head over Maryland-bred Saarstown. Bred by the Alan Kline Revocable Trust and sold for $40,000 at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July sale, Saarstown is out of the unraced Saarland mare Saarley Solution.
Martin Night Bars is the fifth foal out of Hatpin, who was sold by Audley for $135,000 in foal to Bodemeister at Keeneland January 2015. Foals out of Hatpin sold well for Audley at public auction. Her first, the Johannesburg colt Dannhauser, brought $270,000 at Keeneland September in 2009 and the Indian Charlie gelding Shaishee sold for $325,000 at Keeneland September in 2011. Brookdale sold both colts, along with another by Harlan’s Holiday named Kit Check who brought $190,000 at the same sale last year.
“I wish we could say we still own the mare but we actually don’t,” McDiarmid said. “We sold her after we sold that colt. Hill ‘n’ Dale bought her, so she went to a great home, she’ll be well looked after.
“She was getting older and we were in sort of a rebuilding mode at the time. Sale-wise she had done OK, we were almost out on her so it was a good moment to move on. If I like the mare and we’re selling, usually I like to keep a daughter and we did that, a foal by Empire Maker named Hatmaker who we have now at the farm. We kept a little piece of the mantel, know what I mean?”
Audley bred and sold Grade 1 winner and 2012 Kentucky Derby and Preakness runner-up Bodemeister and its position in the Mid-Atlantic breeding industry is well established. Audley sold Bodemeister’s dam, the Storm Cat mare Untouched Talent, for $5 million. The farm was a four-time winner of Virginia’s top breeder award and also produced Grade 1 winner Mandy’s Gold. Now the Berryville operation can boast of a Russian Derby winner.
“As a yearling he was pretty straightforward,” McDiarmid said. “Good and strong, a little bit crooked hence the price, but you can get that Malibu Moon you know. Strong, racy looking, hard-knocking type of horse. We bred him and we’re happy to have a Russian Derby winner off the farm. And we’re pretty sure the guy will be back at Brookdale this year looking for another one.”
Karaul, originally purchased as a weanling by Machmer Hall for $48,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic December mixed sale in 2014, is the fourth winner from the first six foals to race out of Pier Sixty Six. The mare’s second foal, the Aragorn gelding Paco Smart, won six of 29 starts and earned $309,446 from 2011-14 and two West Virginia Breeders Classic stakes events.
Alcalde purchased Pier Sixty Six, out of graded stakes winner Double Sixes, as an unraced 3-year-old for $100,000 at the 2006 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February mixed sale.
Barsuk T. L. Farm owned two of the other American-bred winners in Russia Aug. 29 – Conard Lord, a 4-year-old colt by Congrats who won the Group 1 N. N. Nasibov Cup; and Dominika Bars, a 3-year-old filly by Kitten’s Joy who won the Russian Racecourses PLC Stakes. The other American-bred winners were Ikaryi, a 4-year-old by Indian Charlie who won the Grand Sprinters Stakes; and Tiger Kid, a 5-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid who won the $153,536 President of the Russian Federation Stakes.