- Sounds like synthetic surfaces are starting to become a factor at the big yearling sales. Today's the first day of the September Keeneland Marathon, and the early returns feature - surprise - the usual suspects. As of this writing, the Sheikh and Coolmore have led the way by spending $2.4 and $2 million respectively for two sons of AP Indy. (Well, until a half-brother to Pulpit, by Dynaformer, went to the Sheikh for $2.9 million.) And interestingly, John Ferguson, representing the Sheikh of Dubai, had this to say about his purchase, out of a Group 1 winning Storm Cat mare:
"Quite honestly, a horse like that by A.P. Indy with an outstanding mare in Denebola, who not only was a great mare but the fact that she won the Marcel Boussac (Fr-I) in France on the grass. You know with this advent of Polytrack, I think in the past you were maybe looking at A.P. Indy with an all-dirt pedigree. I think, now an A.P. Indy with turf on the bottom won’t do any harm.” [Bloodhorse]Ferguson added that the colt will stay in the U.S. And while his English may be a bit mangled here, it seems as if his point is that an AP Indy with grass in his distaff pedigree may be more attractive than in the past due to opportunities to race on Polytrack in the U.S. I know that some breeders talk as if they're going to go out of business tomorrow because of the synthetic stuff; but any change will certainly be a gradual one and, as in this case, not necessarily to their detriment.
If it floats your boat, you can actually watch and hear the proceedings live on the Keeneland site here.