SEPTEMBER SALE GRADUATE SPOTLIGHT: SPORTING CHANCE; TRAINER LUKAS HAS LONG ASSOCIATION WITH KEENELAND SALES

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TUESDAY, SEPT. 12 -- FIRST SESSION OF BOOK 2

The Hopeful (G1) is a strong indicator of 2-year-old talent that could produce Triple Crown success. Sporting Chance, a graduate of the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling Sale, let everyone know he is a colt to keep an eye on as he cruised down the Saratoga stretch, abruptly ducked out and still pulled ahead to win this year’s running on Sept. 4 by a neck.

Racing Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas purchased Sporting Chance for $575,000 at last year’s September Sale from Woods Edge Farm, agent, for longtime clients William Mack and Robert Baker. Breeder Hunter Valley sold the Tiznow colt as a weanling at Keeneland’s 2015 November Breeding Stock Sale for $275,000 to Lapis Bloodstock.

“It was very gratifying to win the Hopeful with Keeneland September graduate Sporting Chance, especially for Bob Baker and Bill Mack,” said Lukas as he looked at September Sale yearlings Monday morning. “They come every year and buy two or three quality horses, and we have had a lot of luck together.

“I have had a lot of success at this sale, but then again that means I am old and have been around longer than most people,” he added with a laugh. “We have been coming to this sale for a long, long time. We have always done well here. With three or 4,000 horses to look at, we always feel comfortable that we can find some to fall in love with. This sale has been good to us over the years.”

Other September Sale graduates Lukas has trained include 2015 champion Take Charge Brandi (who following her racing career sold for $6 million at Keeneland’s 2015 November Breeding Stock Sale), 2013 Preakness (G1) winner Oxbow and 2009 Belmont (G1) winner Editor’s Note.

Lukas added that his first Keeneland purchase was a Secretariat filly he bought at the 1977 July Selected Yearling Sale for $275,000. Named Terlingua, she became a multiple graded stakes winner more famously known as the dam of legendary sire Storm Cat. 

Baker and Mack’s interests grew by one horse during Monday’s opening Book 1 of this year’s September Sale when they acquired a son of Into Mischief consigned by Lane’s End, agent, for $550,000. The colt is out of the A.P. Indy mare Divine Presence, whose dam, Divine Proportions, by Kingmambo, was a European champion at 2 and 3.

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