McKinzie Leads Rookie Yearling Sires Through First Half Of Keeneland January - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

McKinzie Leads Rookie Yearling Sires Through First Half Of Keeneland January

McKinzie at Gainesway 5.28.21

Though the formal yearling auction season doesn't reach the North American calendar until July, a strong performance with newly-turned yearlings at the Keeneland January Horses of All Ages Sale can certainly help establish commercial momentum when the summer months roll around.

By that metric, Gainesway's McKinzie has put himself in a position to succeed with his debut yearlings during Book 1 of the Keeneland January sale.

The 8-year-old son of Street Sense is the leading first-year sire of newly-turned yearlings by both gross and average sale price (two or more sold) through the auction's first two days, with six yearlings bringing a combined $870,000 and averaging $145,000.

“He's really jumped through all the hoops and shown the quality that he has, and showing that with his foals,” said Gainesway's Ryan Norton. “We're excited to see how these yearlings come along this summer and fall.”

The early results at the January sale mark a continuation from last fall's mixed sales, when McKinzie's debut weanlings averaged $134,250, third-best in his class behind Authentic and Game Winner. He had 15 weanlings change hands for six figures.

McKinzie's January draft was led by a colt out of the winning Candy Ride mare Sweet Talkin who sold to P B Bloodstock on Tuesday for $250,000.

The bay colt is a half-brother to Grade 3 winner Cavalry Charge, from the family of Grade 1 winner Adieu, Grade 3 winners Direct Line and Rapport, and Kentucky Derby runner Necker Island. Four Star Sales consigned the colt, as agent.

McKinzie measures in at 16.3 hands tall, with long legs, and Norton said he's been good at passing that scope along to his foals.

“A lot of leg, big bodies,” he said, describing how McKinzie is stamping his youngsters. “If you have a mare that needs some height, he'll definitely provide that, and a great walk. The foals here are walking like he does, and I think that's part of the reason why they're bringing so much.”

“He's got a big, rangy body,” Norton continued. “I know a lot of people look at him and think he's just a two-turn horse, but what they forget is he's a Grade 1 winner at two, three, and four, so he had a lot of precocity and could carry the distance as well. He's a horse that's going to fit a lot of breeders, where you can start early with them as a 2-year-old, but you'll still have a horse that can contend in the classics.”

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The precociousness that Norton describes comes from a 2-year-old campaign where McKinzie was unbeaten in two starts, winning on debut by 5 1/2 lengths, then being awarded the G1 Los Alamitos Cash Call Futurity by disqualification after interference down the stretch by first-finisher Solomini.

At three, McKinzie started the season with a victory in the G3 Sham Stakes, then came on strong during the second half of the season with scores in the G1 Pennsylvania Derby and G1 Malibu Stakes. He continued to run strong at four, highlighted by a win in the G1 Whitney Stakes and a second in the Breeders' Cup Classic, then he won the G2 Triple Bend Stakes as a 5-year-old.

In total, McKinzie won eight of 18 starts and earned $3,473,360.

Bred in Kentucky by Summer Wind Farm, McKinzie is out of the Grade 2-winning Petionville mare Runway Model, whose runners also include the stakes-placed Rompin Reid. His second and third dams are also stakes winners with graded black type.

McKinzie will stand the 2023 breeding season for an advertised fee of $30,000.

Leading First-Season Yearling Sires Of Keeneland January Book 1 By Average Yearling Sale Price
(two or more sold)

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