Big things were expected of Juddmonte Farms’ homebred Hidden Scroll after the Hard Spun colt turned in one of the most impressive wins of 2019, romping by 14 lengths over a sloppy track on the Pegasus World Cup Series Day at Gulfstream Park and stopping the timer in 1:34.82 for a mile.
But fate intervened and the 4-year-old colt had yet to live up to expectations for trainer Bill Mott before being sold for $525,000 Nov. 17 as a racing or stallion prospect to top the penultimate session of the Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale.
Purchased by Fergus Galvin, agent for Marc Detampel, from WinStar Racing, agent for Juddmonte, Hidden Scroll (Hip 3295) led a vibrant session featuring racing and stallion prospects and racing and broodmare prospects, as well as the usual mix of weanlings and mares.
Keeneland reported 216 horses grossed $5,697,700 for an average price of $26,378, and a $10,000 median price. The RNA rate was 10.4%. During the comparable session a year ago, 269 head averaged $16,940 with an $11,000 median on total receipts of $4,556,800.
Going into the Nov. 18 sale finale, Keeneland has sold 2,060 horses for a gross of $156,257,200, with an average price of $75,853 and a $30,000 median. The RNA rate is 16.8%. After nine sessions during last year’s 12-day sale, 2,168 head had averaged $90,552, with a $37,000 median, on an aggregate $196,317,000 in sales.
Following his impressive debut, Hidden Scroll was quickly elevated into graded stakes company, but he was unable to replicate his debut form, finishing fourth in the Xpressbet Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2) and sixth in the Xpressbet Florida Derby (G1). He was then sidelined for some 10 months following a third-place effort in an allowance race at Churchill Downs due to a lung infection and returned to win an allowance at Gulfstream Park earlier this year.
Unplaced in four additional 2020 outings, three of which were on grass before being offered at Keeneland, Hidden Scroll has gained a reputation for his pre-race issues, traits that his new connections hope he can overcome.
Galvin said it was no surprise that Hidden Scroll, who has earned $104,007, stood out on the day considering his pedigree and unfulfilled potential. He is out of the Empire Maker mare Sheba Queen and from the family of group 1 winner Etoile Montante, grade 2 winner Starformer, and 2020 stakes winner Flavius.
(L-R): Buyers Fergus Galvin and Adrian Regan with Hunter Valley
“I think he has been on everybody’s radar,” Galvin said, adding, “with his reputation being good and sometimes bad, really. We’re taking the view that he is not really a turf horse and he always had a huge amount of ability.”
While Galvin credits Mott with his work with Hidden Scroll, it will be up to new trainer Brad Cox to try to turn the colt’s behavior around.
“It is well documented he has some gate antics and pre-start antics that hopefully we can get ironed out, because the talent is there,” Galvin said. “Bill has done a really good job with him up until now and we’re hoping a change of scenery might work to his advantage.”
With sales of $1,644,000 for 27 horses, WinStar Racing was the session’s leading consignor. Also on behalf of Juddmonte, WinStar sold Delaware (Hip 3410), a 4-year-old son of Frankel who came to Keeneland off a third in Saturday’s Artie Schiller Stakes at Aqueduct Raceetrack. Agent Steven Young paid $130,000 for Delaware, who is a half brother to French stakes winner Environs and from the family of grade 1 winner Proviso.
Eddie Kenneally, agent for William Werner, paid $275,000 for the supplemental entry Edgemont Road (Hip 3422F), a 4-year-old Speightstown gelding who was third in the Lafayette Stakes Presented by Keeneland Select on the Nov. 7 Breeders’ Cup World Championships undercard. Team V consigned Edgemont Road, who is out of Swaythisaway, by Scat Daddy. His family includes champion Rhythm, grade 1 winner Frost Giant , and sire Not For Love.
The session’s top-priced weanling was a colt from the first crop of Mo Town sold to P & B Stable for $65,000. Consigned by Mulholland Springs, agent, as Hip 3171, the colt is out of Supplement, by Sky Mesa , and from the family of grade 3 winners Thatlookonyourface, Dark Nile, and Lou Brissie.