Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Sovereign for Uncaptured

This dark bay or brown colt -- consigned by Four Star Sales as hip number 631 at the 2011 Keeneland September yearling sale (catalogue page) for Ontario-based breeder William D. Graham -- was a handsome, 18-month-old son of Lion Heart.

Canadian Horse of the Year Uncaptured as a yearling in the Four Star Sales consignment.

In the few days that he was on the sales grounds walking (...and walking...and walking...) and showing to prospective bidders, this guy’s attitude never soured. He was all class, the type that makes your job selling horses easy, and you’d bring him out for people you knew, whether they had asked to see him or not because he was just that nice.

And clearly he was; he caught the right people’s eyes and even I tweeted before he sold that the son of Lion Heart and Captivating was a super” colt and a VERY nice Coeur de Lion” (playing with Lion Heart’s name in French). This sucker is gorgeous, I wrote. “If he were by a more commercial stud he’d raise the roof here today. He sold for the hefty price of $290,000 -- well above his sire’s 2011 yearling median of $25,000 for 77 sold -- and was the most expensive Lion Heart yearling from the stallion’s 2010 crop of foals.

Bought by trainer Mark Casse on behalf of John C. Oxley, yesterday evening this handsome fellow now known as Uncaptured became the ninth two-year-old to receive Canada’s Horse of the Year award as a juvenile. Uncaptured has some esteemed predecessors: Canadiana (1952; filly); King Maple (1953); Viceregal (1968); La Prevoyante (1972; filly); L’Enjoleur (1975; he repeated as Horse of the Year at three in 1976); L’Alezane (1977; filly); Deputy Minister, a son of Viceregal’s full brother Vice Regent (1981); and most recently, Dauphin Fabuleux (1984). L’Enjoleur was the first of these to win it as a Sovereign Award, which was instituted in 1975.

(As a side note, two of the three juvenile filly Horses of the Year -- L’Alezane and La Prevoyante -- died on the track as four-year-olds.)

Of course, Uncaptured was awarded the Sovereign for champion two-year-old male as well. His  11-year-old dam Captivating (an unplaced daughter of Arch who is also the dam of multiple stakes winner Dancing Raven) was in the running for 2012 Canadian Broodmare of the Year. She didnt win, but otherwise, it was a very good night at the Sovereigns for her son’s connections: Breeder Graham, owner Oxley, and trainer Casse each garnered top honors in their respective categories. Oxley and Casse also teamed up for the champion two-year-old filly award with Spring in the Air.

Uncaptured is the third champion sold as a yearling by Four Star, after Uncle Mo (2010 champion two-year-old male in the U.S.) and Slip Away (2010 champion steeplechaser in the U.S.).

Besides Uncaptured and Dancing Raven, Captivating has an unraced four-year-old Badge of Silver daughter named Penelope Plum; a yearling filly by Majestic Warrior; and she was bred to Uncle Mo for a foal of 2013. Her 2011 colt by Badge of Silver died last year.

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