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Although there was little enough sunshine from the results of this year’s Keeneland April sale of 2-year-olds in training, one of the highlights was the solid reception of some freshmen sires.

In particular, the grand Kris S. stallion Rock Hard Ten won another resounding endorsement of his first-crop prospects from the juvenile sales market with a colt (Hip 168) bringing $440,000 and a pair of fillies (Hips 3 and 135) bringing $260,000 and $300,000.

In this bone dry market, that sort of response from buyers is akin to singing and dancing in the streets.

The reason those youngsters sold so well was that they looked the part and worked well. They have size and scope, good bone and quality. They looked like nice racehorses.

But don’t expect to see them butting heads with the Wildcat Heirs for the super-sharp, early juvenile competition. They look like young athletes who are likely to continue growing, begin racing in August at Saratoga or Del Mar, and continue from there.

A trio of freshmen sires also each had a lot sell for $200,000 or more at the Keeneland auction. Leroidesanimaux, who is a handsome animal himself, had a very good lot come through the ring, as Hip 181 brought $210,000 and went to Mamoru Kato for the Japanese market.

A pair of fillies by the Pulpit stallion Purge brought $240,000 and $105,000 (Hip 15). The more expensive of the two, Hip 164, is a half-sister to the once-beaten Japanese star Suni (by Soto).

And the Wild Again stallion Offlee Wild received a major thumbs up from the marketplace when Hip 18 went for $300,000 to Buzz Chace for West Point Thoroughbreds.

Rubbing shoulders with the $200,000 level was a daughter of Horse of the Year Ghostzapper. Out of the Theatrical mare Belva, the half-sister to champion English Channel brought $190,000 from Ramona Bass. The filly was Hip 143 in the sale and had been a Keeneland September RNA for $470,000.

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