Once again, Keeneland did a terrific job of attracting foreign buyers to its recently concluded September yearling sale, but the same pat on the back cannot be given to the authorities in charge of tracking the whereabouts (and racing records) of these horses destined for foreign lands outside the major racing centers. A case in point is this pedigree from the recently concluded Keeneland September sale: Hip No. 1405 from Book 2, Session 6, a colt by Proud Citizen from Starbourne (Ire), by Sadler’s Wells. Click here to see the pedigree. Note that his stakes-winning dam, a Group-1, classic-placed mare, is listed in the catalog as the dam of five named foals but no winners. This colt was unsold as a $55,000 RNA.
In 2008, the same mare’s Giant’s Causeway colt sold for $45,000 to Raut LLC (as it’s called now) in the same sale. Click here to see the page. This colt was named North Stream, and equineline.com, a money-making subsidiary of The Jockey Club, lists him here as unraced, as lately as today, Sept. 28. However, on Aug. 15, a month before Hip No. 1405, the Proud Citizen half-brother, entered the ring, North Stream had won the Russian Derby in Moscow. And this past Saturday, Sept. 25, more than a week after Hip No. 1405 was RNA’d, North Stream won the Chechen Derby in Gudermes.
Russia’s racing in Moscow is significantly more advanced than Chechnya’s at Gudermes—the track just opened this year, in fact. But Russian racing in Moscow is significantly below the quality of that at the major European centers, and Russia is not categorized at all—not even as a Part III country—in the “Blue Book“; its major stakes races, as such, are not recognized with black type in catalogs. However, winners should be recognized, and in as timely a manner as possible. It wasn’t possible, obviously, to note in the catalog that North Stream had won the Russian Derby (because of publishing deadlines), but he should have been noted as a winner, as he’d won earlier this year.
This year the Russian buyer Raut LLC purchased well more than 100 head from the September sale, and last year I counted more than 200 US-bred 2-year-olds in Russia alone. These horses are winning Russian Group races and classic races, but so far the mechanisms needed to get timely information from Russia are not in place. Breeders, consignors, and buyers are paying the price, as well as historians and the chroniclers of the sport.
Chechnya is a part of the Russian Federation. Neighboring Ukraine to the west is the second-largest country in Eastern Europe and an even more obscure racing destination than Russia. But the winner of the top race in Ukraine is the 3-year-old Modest Wiener, a son of Maria’s Mon like this year’s Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver.
Modest Wiener sold at the same 2008 Keeneland September sale as North Stream. Click here to see his catalog page. Like North Stream, he boasts a fine pedigree with a Graded 3 winner as his dam and fine family below her. Bred by Cynthia Knight, whose husband bred 1997 Epsom Derby winner Benny the Dip, this colt sold for $42,000 to King Farm.
Equineline.com, however, lists him as of today, Sept. 28, as unnamed and unraced. In fact, the colt is a major winner in Ukraine, as noted earlier. On August 29, Modest Wiener won the Prize of the President of Ukraine over 2400 meters on turf at Lviv Hippodrome. Lviv, by the way, is apparently an enchanting city known as “Little Paris.”
Below is the video of the race (Modest Wiener is in blue and white silks on the rail early in 4th):