A dark bay colt from the same sire as 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro fetched the high price of $2.9 million Monday afternoon during the first day of Keeneland's yearling sale.
Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai,
paid the winning price for the yearling by Dynaformer out of
Seller Dell Hancock, whose family owns Claiborne Farm in Paris, Ky., was pleasantly surprised by the amount. With Dynaformer getting older, Barbaro's success must have had a significant role, she said.
"Any time you've got a sire that's old like that and they get a good horse in the last couple years, it makes you think, well he can still do it," Hancock said.
Barbaro was undefeated when he won the Derby before breaking his
leg early in the Preakness. He was euthanized Jan. 29 after a long
fight to survive.
John Ferguson, the sheik's buyer, said he'd been watching the colt for some time. The bloodlines were part of the allure, as was his upbringing.
"Dynaformer's a proven stallion at the highest level," Ferguson said. "You've got a great individual by a sire that you know can do it, from a family you know can do it, from a farm you know can do it. He's an exciting horse to have."
Dynaformer stands at Three Chimneys Farm in Midway, Ky., where he collects a $150,000 stud fee - $50,000 more than stablemate Smarty Jones, a Kentucky Derby winner.
Although the prices were lower than usual, three horses topped the $2 million mark through late afternoon at the sale. The sheik also paid the second-highest price of $2.4 million Monday for another dark bay colt.
That colt, by A.P. Indy and out of Denebola, will stay in the United States rather than head overseas, Ferguson said.
Coolmore Stud paid the third- and fourth-highest prices for horses Monday, $2 million and $1.6 million.